Dear Jonathan,

Non-separateness and identity are not the same thing! Your argument against dualism assumes that the duals are somehow separable and non-mutually dependent and thus lacking a linking mechanism dualism fails as a viable theory. On the other hand, once we see the flaw in the assumption that we are making, that Body and Mind - Physical existence and Mathematical existence (or Information!) are separable in the sense that one can have meaning and "reason to be" without the other, we can again consider how dualism can be viable as people such as Vaughan Pratt have done.

The hard part is in overcoming the prejudice that has built up since Descartes' flawed theory was proposed. His failure was in assuming that Body and Mind are "substances" that have independent yet equal existence. The use of the assumption of "substance" caries with it the necessitation of a "causal connector" and barring the existence of such a connector the assumption leads to an inconsistency. When we consider the duality in terms of process or types and tokens or hardware and software, whose very meaning vanishes with out the other, it makes a lot more sense.

This is analogous to claiming that numbers can somehow exist without there being any need for them to be representable in any way. How does any number, even a Gödel number, represent anything at all if the means by which to perform the act of making a distinction is not present "in them"? There is not such a thing as an "action" in Platonia!

It is one thing to claim that any event or action or aspect of existence can be faithfully represented as some number, just like a movie is enumerated by a string of ones and zeroes in the tiny pits in DVD disc, but without there being some means that is not a number to act upon that number, the very notion of number vanishes. Numbers, all mathematics and logics, necessitate some means to express themselves.

Unless we can somehow "read each other's minds", it is impossible for me to communicate the difference between the number 1 and the number 2. Without some physical structure to act as an interface between our Minds, minds cannot interact or even "know" anything; there is no "definiteness". Similarly, Bodies cannot ask questions or predictions or have anticipations or self-representations without some Mind associated. Nature has given us fingers with which to understand numbers...

A Platonist neglects his own brain when he demands that we believe that numbers are all that exist.

Consciousness seems to be more of a functional relationship between the Physical and the Mental, the Outside and the Inside, as Chalmer's states. When the two dual aspects are taken to the ultimate level of Existence in-itself, the distinction between the two vanishes. Russell saw this long ago, he denoted it as "neutral monism". It is too bad that he made the mistake of excluding non-well founded sets from consideration.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Jonathan Colvin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 6:22 PM
Subject: RE: What do you lose if you simply accept...

Stathis: Can the description of the apple, or bat, or whatever
meaningfully include what it is like to be that thing?

My argument (which is Dennet's argument) is that "what it is like to be that thing" is identical to "being that thing". As Bruno points out, in 3rd
person level (ie. the level where I am describing or simulating an apple), a description can not "be" a thing; but on the 1st person level (where a
description *is* the thing, from the point of view of the thing, inside the
simulation, as it were), then the description does "include" what it is like to be that thing. But "include" is not the correct word to use, since it
subtly assumes a dualism (that the qualia exist somehow separate from the
mere description of the thing); the description *just is* the thing.


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