-----Original Message-----
From: Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Cc: everything-list@eskimo.com
Sent: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 12:01:42 +0200
Subject: Re: subjective reality

On 29 Aug 2005, at 18:41, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


You ARE doing something speculative whether you admit it or not! And I don't really have to study your argument because

it is derived from premises that, you already admitted, are incompatible with the conclusions you claim.

Please explain what you mean. I have never say I got conclusions incompatible with the premises. I would have concluded the negation of comp. I am open that such event could occur of course, and that is why I say my derivation shows that comp is testable. I try hard to understand what you miss in my posts (not my work!). We are not yet at the point of agreeing about what we are not agreeing upon. To be clear my derivation does not involve an atom of speculation. Perhaps you could tell me what is the object of my speculation, but I'm afraid you are only confusing hypothetico-deductive reasoning and speculation (in which case all theories are speculative: in that large sense I agree.


Speculation for me is not a pejorative term, to begin with. Yes, there is a sense in which all theories are speculative but some have ceased to be purely so because either empirical or heuristic evidence was found in their favor. That is the sense in which they are no longer considered speculative. So QM, for example, is no longer called a speculative theory, though people do speculate a lot around it since it poses some serious intepretative problems. The Everett version of QM is either an interpretation of QM or a better theory (let us call it EQM) depending on whom you ask, and that is actually another item of speculation, btw. But the people who claim that EQM is a theory need to come up with feasible empirical tests for which EQM gives predictions distinct from QM. Until these tests are proposed and are performed EQM remains a speculative theory!!

Now, you start with a number of what you call hypothesis (YD,CT,AR) from which you claim you can derive the *whole of physics*. Since I don't know what the *whole of physics* is but I think that QM is likely to be included in it since is the less speculative theory we have ever found I take your claim is that you either (1) derive QM as we know it or (2) derive a better theory than QM by which I understand some theory that makes all the same predictions that QM where QM makes right predictions and makes others that QM does not predict or predicts wrong.

You are also speculating in a narrower sense and that is where I have concentrated my objections, thus far. Though two of your premises (CT & AR) seem quite legitimate to me because, though they remain conjectural, there is some heuristic evidence that favors them, there is one of them, YD, which is purely speculative. To make it precise this is the claim that "one can replace the entire experience of a human being by that of a "digital computer" without prejudice to that experience". Though you seem ambivalent about how necessary this hypothesis is to your derivation of the *whole of physics* you cannot deny that you currently use it as an axiom! You seem also aware of the fact that QM invalidates this hypothesis, in other words, if QM is true physics than you cannot accomplish such replacement (which I assume might involve some
physical interventions).

From this I see only a couple of ways out: Either

1) your derivation leads you not to QM but to a better physical theory with testable empirical predictions that falsify those of QM, presumably including those that lead to the invalidation of YD. I would very much like to see that
theory if you have it!

2) you actually prove (by non-QM means, I assume) that YD is empirically implementable and that would only require that you replace the experience of one human being (may I suggest yours?) by a digital computer version of the same. (Of course you can always claim that it has already occurred, as you sometimes suggest and that is cute but just plain silly,
too. )

Which is it?

Just to show you I am not mean spirited may I make the following suggestive question: "Could your argument be made on the basis of something not as drastic as YD, say a Turing Test type argument, which would not require you to take someone apart but just produce a convincing simulation?". Just a thought...

Godfrey Kurtz
(New Brunswick, NJ)

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