Bruno, list,

[Bruno]> The neoplatonician use often the term "God" for "ultimate 
explanation", 
and also use often (but it is an idiosyncrasies) the names of the greek 
Gods for concept (EROS = love, THANATOS = death, etc.). Strictly 
speaking, it has nothing to do with the judeo-christian notion of God.
Still, I like to define axiomatically God by something so big that it 
escapes any attempt to define it, except perhaps in some negative way. 
In that sense I could argue that the "God" of comp theology can be 
identified either with either the "ultimate explanation", the "root of 
everything" or even with the unnameable SELF which caracterizes the 
comp first person.
Perhaps the chapter of "God" will be a necessary blank page in comp 
treatise.
Now, I think that "GOD" as a term has much more heavy connotation than 
theology, but I am probably underestimating the stealing of "rational 
theology" by the political power (this happened sometimes after 
Plotinus death).

Whatever the seminal events thousands of years ago, there the word is now in 
the sense in which it has been used by a cumulative and widespread tradition. 
"Theology" really sounds nowadays like it means "God study" or "gods study." 
You culd "get away with it" in that sense if you include that blank page (not a 
bad idea, I think) and draw out the ramifications of its blankness -- there's 
quite a tradition of negative theology and a widely noted parallelism with the 
reflection principle and the idea of upper-case Omega and absolute infinity. 

But also I have to revise what I said and say that theology not only has God or 
gods at its hub, and but also the word "theology" is pretty rigidly associated 
with the idea of a discipline which postulates or axiomatizes the truth of the 
contents of some religious belief, faith, or revelation. Trying to treat this 
as an illegitimate or "Johnny-come-lately" meaning is like trying to treat as 
illegitimate or derivative or "unneeded among basics" the more or less 
straightforward idea of a structure as a stable balance of forces or movements, 
on mere account of Aristotle's often applying his conception of form to actions 
and activities, in the sense of a manner or pattern of action. In some 
accounts, some mathematicians are sometimes described as doing a kind of 
"theology," but that's a very different thing from _naming_ a field "theology." 
There's not to minimize this hurdle, even if you choose to try to overcome it.

You may be able to get away with it, but you may find it prudent to defend your 
use of the word "theology" in a severely scholarly way -- not only citing 
Plato, Plotinus, etc., but in terms of the history of the word in general. I 
don't think that a justificatory discussion of the word's acceptations (= 
accepted meanings) should be based so squarely and directly on what will 
certainly be taken as strident views about history and politics of thousands of 
years ago, even if you feel passionately about those events. Modern Greeks 
can't even get us English-speakers to call them "Hellenes" as we probably 
should. Tradition and monosyllabic compaction make the word "Greek" so 
expressive to us.

I seem to remember that "metaphysics" was ruled out for some reason here. I 
forget, but maybe it was because the word has the wrong meanings in some 
languages. I'm told by Colombians, that the Spanish _metafisica_ is a 
straightforward way of saying "supernatural," which is certainly not the 
meaning that you want.

I know I keep mentioning Peirce like a special authority even though I'm only 
partly peircean. Anyway, he was very scholarly, even for a polymath, and can be 
counted on to seek to use a word in accordance with its cumulative technical 
meaning, and he was one of the contributors to the Century Dictionary. Here 
from his 1903 "Syllabus - Classification of Sciences" 
http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/peirce/cl_o_sci_03.htm is his account of what 
metaphysics is about:

66~~~~~~~
 192. Metaphysics may be divided into, i, General
Metaphysics, or Ontology; ii, Psychical, or Religious, Metaphysics,
concerned chiefly with the questions of 1, God, 2, Freedom,
3, Immortality; and iii, Physical Metaphysics, which discusses
the real nature of time, space, laws of nature, matter, etc. The
second and third branches appear at present to look upon one
another with supreme contempt.
~~~~~~~99

That's:

Metaphysics
i, General Metaphysics, or Ontology;
ii, Psychical, or Religious, Metaphysics,
~ 1, God
~ 2, Freedom
~ 3, Immortality
iii, Physical Metaphyiscs (real nature of time, space, laws of naure, matter, 
etc.)

If it weren't for the problem that, in some languages, "metaphysical" = 
"supernatural," "metaphysics" would probably be the right word. "Metaphysics" 
has been used by many English-language philosophers as a pejorative, but it 
does not straightforwardly mean "supernatural studies" in English. Anyway, from 
what I understand, it's not used pejoratively as often as it used to be. It 
certainly would be less asking-for-trouble than "theology." On the other hand, 
if you have a certain appetite for trouble, then maybe "theology" is the way to 
go, assuming that you don't simply thereby drive away your desired audience. 
Also, some kinds of fame are always unexpected and often regretted. You don't 
want to win the wrong kind of lottery. Some popular columnist or pundit happens 
upon your theory, vituperates semi-literately against it for thousands or 
millions to read, and suddenly you're a Bad Guy to thousands or millions who 
know nothing about you. In more general form, it's one of the !
 oldest and most common stories: You'll be on unfamiliar turf and your habits 
and instincts on unfamiliar turf may end up mis-serving you. Anyway, the 
bad-celebrity problem can happen even within academe.

[Bruno]> the UDA argument explains only but completely that if the comp 
hyp. is true then necessarily matter emerges from mind. Because this 
sounds so weird I have begin a derivation, at first just in order to 
illustrate what that could mean.

It would be interesting to see such a clarification of the Universal Dovetailer 
Argument.

[Bruno]> The problem is that physics does never really address the mind-body 
problem ....

Yes, but I was referring to the fact that, even aside from that issue, it seems 
fairly presumable that physical science is incomplete. Can you show that the 
UDA shows that the physical arises from the mental, no matter how incomplete 
our knowledge of physical principles and laws? Or can you at least show that 
the UDA shows that the physical arises from the mental under, let's say, "most" 
families of physical theories which we may come to hold?

[Bruno]> Well I already distinguish the mind from the soul. The mind is a very 
general notion comprehending all imaterial notion from the number PI to 
the game of bridge and anything not reasonnablu described by pieces of 
Stuff (even nations and person belongs to "mind"). ....

Well, that clarifies. I've read Rucker's book _Mind Tools: The Five Levels of 
Mathematical Reality_, though not his book "Infinity and the Mind" which you 
mention further on. But I get the idea. 

A question arises for me here and elsewhere. To what extent do you hold with 
Tegmark's Four-Level Multiverse view and to what extent is your theory 
logically linked to it? I ask this because, for instance, in such a Four-Level 
world, I'd expect not just two salient views (bird's eye & frog's eye, 
3rd-person & 1st-person, etc.), but four. I'd expect not just mind-matter 
dichotomies but 4-chotomies. And so on. In some cases, one may argue that one 
distinction across the 4-chotomy is more important than the other, say in the 
case of inference, where arguably the truth-perservative versus 
truth-nonpreservative is a more important distinction, more like a chasm, than 
is the distinction between falsity-preservative and falsity-nonpreservative, 
but I'd still want to know about that the four-way distinction because its 
relevance should not be presumptively precluded, especially in a Tegmarkian 
four-level Multiverse. For me there it's partly a matter of some non-maximal 
degree of sur!
 eness on my part, and partly a matter of my motivation; I take an interest in 
patterns of four-way logical distinctions, though I do wander from that 
interest in an interesting place like this.

Best, Ben Udell

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bruno Marchal" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Benjamin Udell" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Cc: <everything-list@eskimo.com>
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2006 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: Paper+Exercises+Naming Issue



Le 11-janv.-06, à 17:57, Benjamin Udell a écrit :


> 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.

Thanks for telling. Note that it is all normal you only vaguely 
understand my last post, because it is a very concise summary.

> The thing that it seems to be missing is gods or God. Considered as 
> theology, it seems like a wheel sorely missing its hub.

The neoplatonician use often the term "God" for "ultimate explanation", 
and also use often (but it is an idiosyncrasies) the names of the greek 
Gods for concept (EROS = love, THANATOS = death, etc.). Strictly 
speaking, it has nothing to do with the judeo-christian notion of God.
Still, I like to define axiomatically God by something so big that it 
escapes any attempt to define it, except perhaps in some negative way. 
In that sense I could argue that the "God" of comp theology can be 
identified either with either the "ultimate explanation", the "root of 
everything" or even with the unnameable SELF which caracterizes the 
comp first person.
Perhaps the chapter of "God" will be a necessary blank page in comp 
treatise.
Now, I think that "GOD" as a term has much more heavy connotation than 
theology, but I am probably underestimating the stealing of "rational 
theology" by the political power (this happened sometimes after 
Plotinus death).

> 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?

The UDA+MOVIEgraph argument. I will simply say UDA. (Universal 
Dovetailer Argument).

>  Is derivability of physical laws from "laws of mind" really enough?

Would be nice, but the UDA shows there is no choice. Please understand 
that the UDA argument explains only but completely that if the comp 
hyp. is true then necessarily matter emerges from mind. Because this 
sounds so weird I have begin a derivation, at first just in order to 
illustrate what that could mean.

> 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.

Could be interesting.

> 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.

The problem is that physics does never really address the mind-body 
problem, with some exception like Mario Bunge, but he dismisses it and 
explain it "away" in a manner similar to Dennett. Many people have try 
and generally the honest one (like Dennett) admit their failure. It 
*is* a tricky problem. my original goal of my research (and thesis) was 
*just* to explain that the mind body problem was not yet solved. That 
is how and why I eventually translate it into a measure (on 
computational histories) problem, quite in line with discussion on this 
list.

>
> 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.

I do agree with you here.

> 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.

As far as you don't (re)introduce substances, there is a possibility of 
staying coherent with comp. Now you question is tricky. Like in the 
block-universe of relativity there is no time "from outside". Time will 
be an internal modality, and can (and certainly will) play a basic role 
in the development of "intelligence". Well "space" got some important 
role too, but is trickier that time.

>
> If I understood your theory I might also try to challenge the idea 
> that the soul is both ontologically AND epistemologically primary.

Well I already distinguish the mind from the soul. The mind is a very 
general notion comprehending all imaterial notion from the number PI to 
the game of bridge and anything not reasonnablu described by pieces of 
Stuff (even nations and person belongs to "mind"). It is the 
"spiritual" or "immaterial" realm, and with comp it does not 
necessarily go outside the realm of mathematical (if not arithmetica) 
truth. The soul is really the first person or the knower, it is not as 
primary as arithmetical truth. It needs a lobian machine (which is a 
mathematical object). The knower is epistemological, but the mind is 
not. Comp reality is close to Rudy Rucker's Mindscape (if you know 
it(*)) except that it does not need many of its set theoretical 
construct at the bottom (they will appear as reflected in the 
object-discourse by machine).

> 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.

If Stephen Paul King is still there, I think he would suggest you to 
read Pratt's approach of the mind body problem where a similar duality 
appears. Could be interesting, but it is hard to explain without 
abstract math (category theory).

> 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.

Me either ('bout my views). This is a lobian symptom of sanity :-)
(Note the Smiley, because I am saying probably a G* \ G  truth here, 
which means I should probably shut up).

Bruno

PS I don't despair to make some comments on your "long post", although 
it could become less necessary given that I make partial answer through 
the posts which follow. In any case don't hesitate to repeat critics or 
question I would have missed.

(*) His book: "infinity and the mind" has been re-edited more or less 
recently.

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


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