Bruno: But we can photosynthesize. And we can
understand why we 
                        cannot travel at the speed of light. All this by
using purely 
                        3-person description of those phenomena in some
                        With consciousness, the range of the debate goes
                        non-existence to only-existing. The problem is that
it seems 
                        that an entirely 3-person explanation of the
                        relations evacuates any purpose for consciousness
and the 
                        1-person. That's not the case with photosynthesis.

                JC: You can photosynthesize? I certainly can not (not being
a tree). If I had
                photosynthetic pigments in my skin, I suppose I could; and
if I had rubbery
                wings and sharp teeth I'd be a bat (if my aunt had wheels,
she'd be a
                wagon). I still can not see (intellectually) the "problem"
of consciousness.

        I said I can photosynthetize, like I would said I can fly by taking
a plane. I can photosynthetize by building some voltaic cells. This is not
the case with the brain-consciousness relation. A thorough understanding of
how the brain functions *seems* to put away any purpose of consciousness. A
thorough understanding of photosynthesis does not lead to an equivalent

By "consciousness", I think you mean "qualia". "Consciousness" can easily be
conflated with "self-awareness", which has an evolutionary purpose (it
enables us to "step outside" our own minds (treat them as virtual machines),
and thus anticipate our own and others' actions).  

                I still can not see (intellectually) the "problem" of

        It is the problem of relating first person subjective private
experience with third person sharable theories and experiments. There is a
vast literature. A good intro is
        Tye, M. (1995). Ten problems of consciousness. The MIT Press,
Cambridge, Massachusetts.

If you deny (as I do) that there is such a "thing" as first person
subjective experience (qualia) the problem goes away.
                Consciousness /qualia, 1st person phenomena, etc, IMHO,
being very poorly

        Universes, matter, existence,... are also not well defined. Perhaps
you are not interested in such problems. The success of "natural science" is
due in great part to the simplifying assumption of
psychophysico-parallelism. I have proved such an assumption is just
incompatible with the computationalist assumption in cognitive science.

        I have also reduce the problem of the existence of the 1-person to
the problem of the existence of third person sharable truth. And partially
solve it.
        My problem: few physicist knows what axiomatic methodology is. It is
the art of reasoning without even trying to define the concept on which we
reason. We need just to agree on properties bearing on those things,
captured by formula and inference rules. Mathematicians proceed in this way
since more than one century now.

                and likely non-existing entities, 

        What about the person's right? What about pleasure and pain, ... It
seems to me you just excluded those things from your definition of science,
and I'm afraid you make the category error I have describe recently.

Rights, pleasure, pain...I don't deny we can talk about these (like shadows)
*as if* they actually exist, but they do not fall into the same category of
things as electrons and universes, or indeed any other part of Platonia. I
do indeed exclude them from science, but I think the category error is not


                are a precarious pillar to base
                any cosmology or metaphysics on. 

        With comp, we just have no choice in the matter. If you are
interested at some point we can follow the proof step by step. I'm always
interested where, precisely, some people have some difficulties.

                To borrow a page from Penrose, I see qualia in much the same
light as a

        As an (arithmetical) platonist this is how I conceive anything
physical. Qualia are more colourful it seems to me. Wave lenght looks more
like shadows imo.

I am also an arithmetical Platonist, but where we differ is our belief in
the relevance of 1st person phenomena. I just don't see that they are
relevant to anything other than "human discourse" (ie. "How are you feeling
today? Bit of a pain in the Gulliver.") You appear to be trying to extend
qualia into a category relevant to cosmology/science/Platonia, and it is
this initial step that I don't follow (mixing together Popper's Worlds I and
II). I agree self awareness is important for anthropic observer selection
phenomena, but you appear to be positing a much more fundamental role for
qualia. Mais je dois admettre que je ne commence pas a comprendre votre

Jonathan Colvin

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