Le 13-nov.-05, à 06:35, uv a écrit :
Bruno wrote on Saturday, November 12, 2005 3:37 PM
Indeed the link with quantum suicide and comp suicide are in my
older paper "Informatique théorique et philosophie de l'esprit,
Toulouse 1988". Also explained in my 1991 paper "Mechanism
and personal identity".
So you say that that is your key paper to the quantum suicide ! So
I will spend more time on that one. But I see that you claim a
"Strong Mechanistic" viewpoint. I take it from that and your other
comments that we therefore have to accept 'strong mechanism'
through the series of papers. If it does not we probably need to
know at this point.
What I called "strong mechanism" in "mechanism and personal identity"
is what I call "computationalism" today, or just comp. I have no idea
if comp is true or false, but it is my working hypothesis. the
advantage of that hypothesis is that we can reason about it and even be
led to testable consequences.
To repeat: comp is a digital form of Descartes-La Mettrie mechanist
thesis. It is the idea that we are "machine", or more precisely that
we would not been able to be aware of a substitution of our
body/environment/universe in the case of a digitalizable subtitution
done at some right level of substitution.
That hypothesis is far stronger than the "strong AI" thesis, which only
presuppose that some machine can think (but not that "we" are machine ;
although with OCCAM we could say that the truth of Strong AI would make
plausible comp. Now comp itself is far weaker than the "functionalist
hyp" in the cognitive science. This is because all functionalist
presuppose some high level of substitution. Comp does not put any bound
on the level, and that nuance changes many things.
To me, that is not an unreasonable point of view as physics is a
very mechanical or mathematical subject.
Now a key point is that I don't make any physical assumption in my
work. Moreover, the result is that, once we assume the comp hyp,
physics can no more be the fundamental science. Physics is *entirely*
reduced to a "measure calculus" pertaining only on mathematical objects
of the type "computational histories" aka observer-moments.
The Universal Dovetailer Argument (UDA) *is* the proof that physics is
reducible to computer science. The proof is informal, non mathematical,
yet complete in itself.
Then I translate the argument in the language of a "sufficiently rich
proving machine", which I am used to call just "lobian machine" in
honor of Lob. This is not done to add rigor to the UDA, it is done to
make the proof constructive and to show exactly why and how the laws of
physics emerge. At the place where the UDA predict I should find the
logic of the physical propositions, I got indeed sort of quantum
logics, and I take this as a confirmation (not a proof) of comp. The
results has recently been generalized for large portion of non-comp!
But it does rather make
the presupposition that physics and all its applications are to be
grounded in old quasirationalist values.
This is debatable. To put it roughly, I show that if comp is true, then
we must backtrack 2300 years of Aristotelian Naturalism. In short Plato
is correct and Aristotle is wrong, as far as we look on their
conception of reality.
That does not allow much
space for epiphenomenalism even, let alone dualism if we need
to use 'isms'. I am not bothered about a humanism aspect, it is
more the logical and philosophical aspect
Epiphenomenalism and dulaism supposes two kind of reality. My approach
is monist, but of the immaterialist kind. Space, time, matter, energy,
etc. all emerge from relation between natural numbers as seen from
varieties of machine points of view. (Even non-lobian machines, but the
lobian one are the one which can effectively derive physics from the
computer science, mainly from self-reference.
1-death and 1-loss-of-consciousness have no
meaning, I would say, although lack of coffee in the morning can
create some trouble which we could easily confuse with some
first person paradoxical apprehension of its own lack of
consciousness, like a zombies complaining nobody want to
believe they are zombies!
So you seem not to mind if people are zombies (in the sense of
You mean that I *do* mind that some people could zombie. (Or I don't
understand your inference).
3-death and 3-loss of consciousness are alike, except we can have
more hope in the latter.
Interesting. So 'hope' will somehow ultimately arise as a parameter in
the system or is it somehow disgarded as a relatively worthless
semantic concept, which I am sure is logically possible in such a
"Hope" is very near the idea of betting on some realities. In that
sense "hope" will not arise ultimately because it is atemporally there,
in the consistent dreams' machines, and the physical world will emerge
from it. I have already explained but I can do it again, but then I
must explain more the modal logic and Solovay etc.
I begin to see "the baby being thrown out with the
bathwater" in 'strict mechanism'.
If the baby is any "primitive physicalness" then you got it right. My
point is really that physics is a branch of computer science, or even
just number theory.
So we end up with 'no zombies' and 'no hope'.
I guess I have been unclear. I do believe comp coherent with some form
of zombie but It is hard to explain what they are alike before you get
the point that it is not the brain which generates consciousness, but
Also for "no hope". I would say the contrary: hope everywhere (but then
despair is also possible everywhere ... when the hopes are not
Or possibly still 'we
don't know'. Modern computer science is full of 'parameters
which we will eventually sort out' but have not done in 100 years.
You are a bit quick here.
However the point here is that consciousness and related phenomena are
not easily categorised in your system. There are so many ways that
individual consciousness can be eliminated or partly eliminated from
the system , by quantum suicide or otherwise.
I don't understand. In what sense does quantum suicide eliminate
individual consciousness? I thought the point is that it does not.
It seems a very great weakeness to me that a simple statement like
1-death and 1-loss-of-consciousness have no meaning, I would say
has to be made. There are so many intermediary conditions between life
and death that exist or are manmade.
Yes, but you need to be conscious of them in some way to talk about,
and in that case they cannot be 1-death or 1-loss-of-consciousness (by
I mentioned two of them. Jail
imprisonment and hypnagogic myoclonus. Another could be simple
dreaming. All these are different in your 3-system to what they would
be in a 1-system. This make your 3-system (if I can call it that) more
immediately manageable but much less descriptive. SO MAYBE
YOUR 3-SYSTEM IS SOME MANY-ONE MAPPING FROM A
"REAL" SYSTEM !!!? (Maybe that can be stated in category theory
One problem with 'strong mechanism' is that it only allows
20th Century computer level explication of the human mind at this
I take the discovery of the Universal Machine by Babbage, Post, Turing,
Markov and others as one of the big discoveries of all time. Of course
there is a local sense in saying that "nature" (in which I don't
believe in once comp is assumed though) has discover it many many many
times, from the electron path, to the cells, to the brain, to the
That is like assuming that the sun goes around the earth.
The fact that Occam's razor must be watched for in other
interpretations, does not prove their lack of validity, rather
Could you tell me what is a myoclonus?
"A myclonic twitch or hypnagogic myoclonus consists of one or more
sudden full-body twitches, and often preceded by a sensation of
falling. The twitches occur during very light sleep as the conscious
brain relinquishes control of the body's motor functions. While not a
cause for medical concern, these twitches can be startling. The cause
of myclonic twitching is unknown: they appear to be associated with
(a) anxiety and (b) faint stimulus."
There is a lot more that can be written on the topic. Some claim a
similar effect occurs with 'lucid dreaming' as well.
Note that "Conscience et Mécanisme" contains a full chapter on lucid
dreaming. But in the more recent work I have substituted it for the use
of video (a-la "matrix") in the reasoning because the notion of lucid
dreaming is not yet well understood by the average scientists. And this
despite lucid dreaming has been clarified and confirmed experimentally
by the famous (independent) experiments of Hearne and LaBerge.
To sum the key point: comp leads toward immaterialism.
And this should not be confused with solipsism. the comp immaterialism
is of the form of objective idealism (like Pythagorism for example).
Poetically: matter and time emerges from coherence conditions existing
for large class of machine's possible "dreams". A dream being
essentially a computation viewed from some 1-person point of view.