Bruno, list,

Well, on the basis of that which you say below (much of which I unfortunately 
only vaguely understand), where you don't focus it all decidedly on the 
particular issues of faith and belief, it actually does now sound more like 
some sort of theology. It has various elements of theology in the broader or 
more comprehensive sense. The thing that it seems to be missing is gods or God. 
Considered as theology, it seems like a wheel sorely missing its hub. At this 
point, in terms of descriptive accuracy, this hublessness seems the hub of the 
matter. So it sounds like a kind of psycho-cosmology, or -- well, not a 
psychophysics, but, in order to suggest your computationalist primacy of the 
soul -- a physiopsychics (in English, if the adjective is "physicopsychical," 
it's a little less suggestive of paranormalism, which is strongly associated 
nowadays with the adjective "psychic.")

(C.S. Peirce held that matter is "congealed mind." Though he thought that space 
would turn out to be curved, he was pre-Einstein and saw matter as a kind of 
spentness and barrenness rather than as a tight lockup of energy.)

Your theory may be empirically refutable but, if it survives such tests, what 
is there to support its affirmation? Is derivability of physical laws from 
"laws of mind" really enough? An information theorist, John Collier, said at 
the peirce email forum "peirce-l" that he had managed to derive each two among 
logic, information theory, and probability theory, from the third remaining, 
though I don't know whether he ever published these derivations. Have you shown 
that your "laws of mind" cannot be derived from physics in a way that shows 
that the nonderivability is not merely a result of our insufficent knowledge of 
physical law? You may also encounter some flak on your conception of mind. 

For what it's worth, for my part, I would hold that a key factor in 
intelligence, at least, which learns and grows, is an evolvability factor, a 
kind of sufficient un-boundness to its "codes" and its methods and systems of 
interpretation, in order to be able to test those codes, methods, systems and 
to do so not only by trial and error but more sophisticated kinds of learning 
and testing, such that memory and active recollection take on particular 
importance. Do your laws of mind take evolvability into account? Maybe they 
don't need to, though, depending on what you mean by "mind." I tend to think 
that the mind must involve the retention and evolvability factor in some 
radical way, but it's quite vague to me how that would work. Maybe there are 
things which could fairly be called "mind" though I would never have thought of 
them that way.

If I understood your theory I might also try to challenge the idea that the 
soul is both ontologically AND epistemologically primary. Actually I wouldn't 
use, for my views, the term "primary" in a strong foundationalist sense, I just 
mean that, for various reasons, I regard the (sequential) order of knowledge to 
be the opposite of the (sequential) order of being. Of course, in logic, some 
oppositions seems to reverse themselves across changes of level, so who knows, 
I'm not totally convinced about my own views either.

Best, Ben Udell


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bruno Marchal" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Benjamin Udell" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Cc: <everything-list@eskimo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 10:38 AM
Subject: Re: Paper+Exercises+Naming Issue


Hi Benjamin, List,


I will comment your long post, taking into account some posts from its 
sequel (to avoid repetition).
But I will try to make a sort of synthesis so that people will be able 
to recast the present thread, concerned with the "theology"-naming 
issue, and the more general goal of the list which consists globally in 
the search of a TOE (Theory of Everything) and more particularly 
consists (at our present stage) to find a measure on the computational 
histories.
For this I need to summarise my own contribution in the list, which 
consists mainly in explaining results I got in the seventies, published 
in the eighties (in obscure journals or proceedings though) and 
eventually defended as a PhD thesis in France in 1998.
This includes many things from the necessity of distinguishing first 
and third person notions, the first person comp indeterminacy, the comp 
immortality and its "theoretical confirmation" through the quantum 
suicide and quantum immortality, but mainly all this can be sum up into 
the "reversal result". This is the result that IF we assume the 
computationalist hypothesis in the cognitive science then the physical 
science cannot be fundamental and are derivable from the "laws of 
mind". With the comp hyp. the laws of mind can be taken as the laws of 
computation and computability, although a precise formulation would 
lead, well, to our current naming issue. The reduction of physics 
appears to be both epistemological and ontological. That means that not 
only physics will appear to be a sub-branch of computer science, but 
that "Matter" is secondary to "Mind". All this in a very precise sense. 
So precise that the proof I gave is really constructive: it shows how 
to derive physics from computer science, and the whole technical parts 
of my thesis (the one which rely on the G-G* logics) consists in the 
beginning of such a derivation.
And then this entails that the comp hyp. (actually even a much weaker 
hyp.) is empirically testable: just compare the physics extracted from 
comp and the physics extracted from the usual observation/theory back 
and forth. And until now I got only confirmation (and not refutation) 
of comp because I can already shows that comp entails that the logic of 
the observable is quite  a quantum logic.
The proof of the reversal is mainly given by the Universal Dovetailer 
Argument together with either some Occam Razor (the easiest way) or the 
Movie-Graph Argument (or the latter Maudlin's Olympia).
Of course you are not asked to take for granted any of those results. 
You can either study the UDA (which you have perhaps already done on 
the list), or you can, just for the sake of the present discussion, 
keep the result in mind. I would withdraw anything I say in case 
someone would found an error in the argument.

Now why "theology"?
My answer in a nutshell: because that is the most correct wording, and 
then I tend to assume, perhaps with a big amount of naïveté, that it is 
always best to use the (most) correct wording. But I know you and 
others tend to disagree with this. So before I comment your post, let 
me explain why I do think "theology" is the correct wording. Note that 
I have use it in my preliminary long version of my PhD thesis 
"Conscience & Mécanisme" where I motivate directly the field of modal 
logic through "theology", seen as a theory of all possible accessible 
state of mind/consciousness. Those who knows the French or who want to 
see the drawings can download that pdf-chapter from my web page:
http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/bxlthesis/Volume1CC/4z1_2sansp.pdf
I have been asked by the French not to use that word, and to use the 
word  "psychology" instead. There are many reasons I would like to use 
again the theological vocabulary for the writing of an English "long 
version" of the thesis, if only because the psychological wording seems 
to me less correct (or more faulty).
Let me enumerate and briefly describe the reason why "theology" seems 
suitable:

1) The main one is just to recall the admittedly subtle nature of the 
comp hyp. It is scientific in the sense of being falsifiable (cf result 
descibed above), and religious (because there is a sort of promise of 
"hell" in case you decide to take it for granted).

2) Then there is the one mentioned by George Levy: since the beginning 
we are talking about the soul, and comp can be sum up into the slogan: 
I can put my soul on a disc.

3) The notion of first person has as many thing in common with the 
notion of soul than the notion of soul is different from one theologian 
to another (so to distinguish "soul" from first-person *is* falling 
into the 1004-fallacy.

4) Comp-immortality and quantum-immortality. The "immortality" notion 
is traditionally put in the theological discourses. We talk about this 
since the beginning.

5) I have already criticise Tegmark for his naïve notion of *all math*. 
The first mathematician who has try to get a mathematical view of all 
math, not only did not succeed, but realises that the matter was so 
theological that he did engage a long correspondance with the 
theologian of his time. I am talking about Cantor.

6) The main opponent to Cantor is the great topologist Brouwer. 
Brouwer's critics is also theological, and this is reflected in his 
youth writing on life consciousness, and mysticism. Brouwer will found 
the intuitionistic logic (and later we will see that the lobian 
machine's theory of the soul is quite close to Brouwer's original 
consciousness theory, with a non nameable self living in a temporal 
structure.

7) Comp is typically the favourite theory of the strong materialist 
(that is those who does not take seriously notion like mind, 
consciousness, soul etc.). Machine theology is a way to keep the 
attention of both the materialist computationalist and the people open 
to both religion and rationality.

8) The machine theology (described at the propositional level by G*) 
has many things in common with both the pre-christian theology and some 
Chinese and Indian Metaphysics. I can develop this in due time.

9) Theology is not only the "science of God(s)"; it is the science of 
the soul, matter, hell, paradise, etc. Theologies were conceived as ... 
theories of everything, including the mind-body problem which is so 
often put under the rug by materialist or by people who makes 
caricature of Aristotle treatment of the question. It is nice that the 
comp hyp at least forces us to reconsider the question and to accept it 
is not yet solved.

10) If you let me address development I made since I have defended my 
thesis, then I have this quite amazing thing. In my thesis both the 
soul-theory and the matter-theory are obtained from variant of an 
arithmetical interpretation of the Theaetetical definition of the 
knower. Soul and matter are really just two different modal variant of 
arithmetical truth. The soul theory leads to an intuitionistic logic 
and the matter theory leads to a quantum logic. The recent event is 
that I have discovered that this arithmetical interpretation extends 
naturally to the quasi-whole work of Plotinus, including most of the 
corrections made by his followers (like Proclus for example). This is 
extraordinary because I have always taken those corrections as attempts 
to save the naturalist aspect of Aristotle philosophy, and now it looks 
like the lobian machine is much more Aristotelian than I was expecting. 
Please take this with some grain of salt, I intend to read more 
translations of Proclus ... Damascius, before I dare to repeat this 
publicly, but the fact is that the lobian machine forces me to (re)read 
theologians.
Proclus' treatise is named "theology". Plotinus did influence the Arab, 
Perse, and Latin worlds notably through an Arab translation of Plotinus 
(who did wrote his text in Greek)  entitled (wrongly) "Theology of 
Aristotle".
Plotinus extracts his theology from (mystical) self-observation 
translated and largely inspired by Plato's Parmenides.  I got that 
"Arithmetical Plotinus" from the Plato'sTheaetetus. So, it looks like 
comp and the lobian machine provides a bridge from the Theaetetus to 
the Parmenides, which is amazing because the Theaetetus is essentially 
epistemological, and the Parmenides essentially ... theological (if not 
  just pure abstract non sense actually).

Well, I will comment your post tomorrow because duty calls ....
This week and next week I am teaching again so I ask indulgence to the 
list if I am slow in my comments and if I write too quickly (in between 
courses) and depart too much from English, if not from sense (!).

Best,

Bruno


Le 06-janv.-06, à 22:15, Benjamin Udell a écrit :

> Bruno, list,
>
> The most that I can say about responding so lengthily to Bruno's 
> lengthy response to my lengthy comment, is that I've kept it in one 
> post!
>
> [Ben]>> Bruno, list,
>>> I've looked over Bruno's recent replies and, though I don't 
>>> understand much about Bruno's work or modal logic, etc., I wish to 
>>> attempt a few general remarks.
>>> If Bruno is, as he puts it, "[searching for] a general name for a 
>>> field which studies fundamental type of faith, hope, fear, bets, 
>>> etc.," then there are set of Ancient Greek

<snip>

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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