Le 22-déc.-05, à 23:51, [EMAIL PROTECTED] a écrit :

What I will say is of course obvious from third-person
hind-sight, but it helps me to guard against delusion to
point out the limitedness of email list dialogue when it comes
to accomplishing anything "significant". I think that the significance
is in becoming better at expressing ourselves.

Especially on a delicate subject.

So, Bruno, I've been
bewildered for a while at why you are going to all this trouble to
help lowly list participants like me in learning the rudiments of modal

Two bad news:
1) People on this list are one century in advance compared to what the average scientist can talk about in this time of overspecialisation and ivory towers.
2) I am probably *two* centuries in advance :) Look, I am asking to people to listen to the machines, but people does not yet listen to people.
At least the "lowly list participants" seems to share some genuine interest in deep and hard fundamental questions.

Yes, I know English, and I could perhaps help with basic English
usage. But when it comes to insider questions like "machine psychology",
aren't there English-speaking philosophers out there that already know
what you're trying to get at?

Those who can grasp enough see me as an outsider competitor, the others are not serious.
Very few people knows really simultaneously quantum mechanics, mathematical logic, and "philosophy of mind".

You seem to be implying that there
are not. This is surprising. What is this "path which can hardly be
avoided" you talk about?

Listening to the machines. Listening to what a vast class of machines can already correctly prove and correctly guess about themselves.

The word "theology" is made from the root "theo", God, and this in my country is loaded with the historical baggage of puritanical (<-hint to what my country is) "whatever went wrong when I was growing up". We use theology/religion as the scapegoat for "whatever went wrong when I was growing up". Some readers' blood pressure is already starting to rise. So we put on our "scientist" hat so we can "objectively" step aside from "whatever went wrong when I was growing up" that I don't want to deal with any more, as purely subjective, lumping it all into the "religious" pot, or at least the "ignore" pot, until it comes out on our medical bill. Yes, some of us out of necessity deal with some of it through the psychological label (or even "mystical" in a therapeutic sense), until we reach our personal saturation point, and then lump the rest of it into the "religious"/"ignore" pot.

I will think of that. I think the problem is not with theology, but with religious institutions. But then OK, I guess this should be better taken into account.

So I would say that both "theology" and "psychology" will not do if you are talking to the general audience.

Gosh! I thought it would work *only* with some general audience. In academia I already know that most scientist are allergic to word like "theology" (but in my poor country, also in front of word like mind, person, thought, consciousness, and actually even "quantum" sometimes).

(Just to toss something out there, how about "machine introspection"?) Of course, depending on who your audience is, even the words "machine" and "physics" are problematic. The term "physics" is particularly problematic because it is interpreted in the reductionist sense, which may or may know include the mind.

Apparently many words are problematic here. Mathematicians should know the choice of word does not "really" matter. But most understand this only in their very specialised field.

Now here is where I will ask some questions, and then it will be clear that I am missing the point because I am still an outsider when it comes to this self-referential self-enlightened machine stuff.

We all are, really.

Why are you afraid of "eliminating the person"?

Look at history. All philosophies which eliminates the person lead to politics which eliminates the person, either in some bloody way of in some bureaucratic way ...
But the "scientific" reason not to eliminate the person, is that it would be a "scientific" error, as the machines can already explain by using the logic of self-reference and the definition of the knower by Theaetetus.

I know you define personal identity through logic ("double-diagonal" stuff etc.) But it sounds like you say, contrary to the reductionist view, that there is something essential to the person that cannot be completely described from the bottom-up, at least that there is something to a person that is "forever incomplete".

Yes, as Judson Webb(*) already understood clearly, Godel's theorem is a vaccine against almost all form of reductionism.

Again, this is something contrary to the prevailing reductionist view, strengthened by simplistic popular desire, and a desire by some on this list, to have a COMPLETE explanation for everything.

Sorry for them, but this is as impossible as finding a period in the decimal expansion of the square root of two. The lobian machines are already a bit more wise than that ...

Thanks to you and Stathis for your kind answers I will meditate upon.
The question is really "how to call the logic G* \ G"? (The logic of what is true about machines but that machines cannot prove, but can still guess). Mmhhh....

Wish you the best,


(*) Webb, 1980
Webb, J. C. (1980). Mechanism, Mentalism and Metamathematics: An essay on Finitism. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland.
Webb, 1983
Webb, J. C. (1983). Gödel's theorems and church's thesis: a prologue to mechanism. In Cohen, R. S. and Wartofsky, M. W., editors, Language, logic, and method, pages 309-353. D.Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland.


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