Counterfactuals, Computation, and Consciousness
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Using a specially designed cellular automaton capable of emulating completely the function of a human brain, we explore ways in which counterfactual sensitivity, that is, the ability of a computational system to respond to any valid inputs, relates to discrete-state machine consciousness. In this computational framework, the distinction between a computation and the recording of a computation can be blurred arbitrarily, yet the physical implementation of the computation itself is unchanged. From this, we conclude that a purely computational account of consciousness is unsatisfactory.
KeywordsConsciousness Computationalism Counterfactuals Whole-brain emulation Cellular automata
Though I cannot say I am persuaded by his conclusions, (e.g., that all reality results from the operation of a universal computer whose mere Platonic existence implies a sort of modal realism), Marchal  discusses a thought experiment with projection onto a two-dimensional computer which was an important inspiration for some of the ideas in this paper.
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