Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Krekoski Ross (
Date: Mon Mar 03 2008 - 22:29:19 MST

hmmm, lets define this a bit clearer.

When Stathis mentioned that it had no input or output, I assumed that it was
not causally interactive with anything.

If it has causal interaction, then I take back the statement that its not a
useful question.

However we still have to deal with Heisenberg. By tinkering with or
observing its insides are we disturbing the natural flow of its simulation
of an apple? Are we disturbing it, in fact, in the exact same way as
observing a 'real' apple would disturb an apple? If by observing its
internal processes we cause different consequences for the simulated apple
than we would with the real apple, I wonder if it can still be said to be
simulating an apple.

This is not a trivial point I think.



On Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 4:49 AM, Lee Corbin <> wrote:

> Krekoski writes
> > [Stathis had written]
> >
> > > I have a computer in front of me of bizarre alien manufacture which
> > > simulates a day in the life of an apple. I don't understand its
> > > architecture and there is no I/O which would allow me to test it. The
> > > aliens all died...
> >
> > I would argue that without any input or output that it's not a
> meaningful
> > question.
> Do you consider yourself a philosophical realist? If so, then what is
> true of an object is actually the case, and what is not is not the case,
> whether or not any intelligent entity happens to have the means to
> find this out. But :-) not all people are philosophical realists.
> > You say it simulates an apple, but it might just be a paperweight
> > since we have no objective means of determining if it is in fact
> > simulating an apple.
> I stand up for philosophical realism, and want, like so many, to drive
> a stake through the heart of positivism.
> Stathis was postulating a real history of the item. As part of his
> hypothesis it
> is factual that it simulates an apple, whether or not anyone can
> demonstrate it.
> Regards,
> Lee

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:02 MDT