Le 24-juin-05, à 20:40, Eugen Leitl a écrit :

On Fri, Jun 24, 2005 at 06:52:11PM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:

Why don't we terminate this pointless thread, until we can actually
make numerical
models of sufficiently complex animals and people, so the question
renders itself irrelevant?

You answer like if by making things more precise, automatically the
question will then vanished away, like if you knew the theorem before

No, the nature of identity and cognition can be already described with
sufficient precision.

By making some assumptions. It is important to state them clearly so that we can derive clear testable consequences of it. I hope you don't take for granted Aristotle theory of cognition which is incompatible not only with empirical facts, but also with quite general and seemingly innocent theoretical assumption, like comp.

 It's just empirically threads about personal identity
are fueled by sentiments similiar to now obsolete ones: those about phlogiston,
vis vitalis and creationism. These, too, have gone round in circles for
decades and centuries, leading pretty much nowhere.

I agree with you. But I do think it is irrational to believe that the mind-body problem is already solved. In particular with comp: it is not solved.

Statements "I believe that first-person introspective view is special"

I agree with you. It is no more special that the taste of my coffee in the morning. But this does not mean that the feeling of that taste does not exist, or that we have find an explanation how neurons are associated with that state. Many "scientist" are gifted overlooking detailed conceptual problems related to that issue.

and "I'm convinced cognition is not a physical process described by
known physical laws or require deep quantum magic",

Needless to say "I'm convinced that ..." is always unscientific. Even "I am convinced by 1+1=2". This one could be a sincere communication to a friend, not a scientific assertion. Now, what I have done, is a proof that if comp is true then notion like space, matter, energy, are secondary on the relation between numbers, and this in a verifiable way.

"continuity matters"
"location is part of system identity", "atoms themselves, not their
spatiotemporal arrangement constitute identity" are such sterile arguments.

That was a list of (vague) "hypotheses" not of arguments.

Ultimatively, they cannot be refuted by means other than a direct
demonstration, preferrably from a first-person perspective

Nobody in this list has ever do that. Some have pointed to that possibility. But that has always been a minority with no sequels. There are argumentations, and of course we go quicky up to the point we disagree so as to been able to progress. There is even two camps (mainly). Those who search some absolute measure and those who believes in the need and importance of a relative measure (to sum up very shortly).

(but even
then, some observers will still remain unconvinced, claiming the
zombie clause, or trying to get the experimenter persecuted for their

Some use of zombie in reasoning are valid, some are not.

starting to find the axioms. But: replace "sufficiently complex animals and people" by "sufficiently complex machines" or by "sufficiently rich
theories",  and then computer science and logic illustrate and
enlighten *already* the relevance of the question and the high
counter-intuitive character of the possible answers).

Absolutely. Apparently, too counter-intuitive for some people to accept, despite based on solid seat-of-the-pants science and empirically refuted
by daily routine in IT.

I'm not sure I understand? The counter-intuitive consequences of computer science have not been refuted by daily routine in IT. (Information Technologies?).

But I don't think it is useful nor necessary to go to the math before
understanding the "intuitive" but precise problems, and thought
experiments like those in this (sequences) of threads are very
illuminating. Why do you think the question is irrelevant? What do you

Of course they're illuminating. But have they convinced many? It doesn't seem

Well they should, or those not convinced should be asked to be kind enough to explain where in the argument they are not convinced, and in that case we always find that those people have not understand the hypothesis, or that we have been unclear .... But basically we tend to argue like in the proof of the irrationality of the square root of two. Now the problems are new (or it is new that we tackle them by the sc. method) and some people takes more time than other to figure out what we really talk about, but that is not a problem. Boltzman suicides himself in part due to the dogmatic opposition against the use of statistics in physics among physicist that time. Godel's theorem (like many solutions to Hilbert's problems) has been understood quasi at once, but they are exceptional in that setting. New things are generally hard to grasp and that's normal. Especially when "scientist" are quasi programmed to estimate "unscientific" question bearing just ... in the field of their collegues!



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