On Mon, Jul 24, 2006 at 12:35:02PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: 

> What if we just say that there is no more to the supervenience of the
> mental on the physical than there is to the supervenience of a
> parabola on the trajectory of a projectile under gravity? The
> projectile doesn't "create" the parabola, which exists in Platonia in
> an infinite variety of formulations (different coordinate systems and
> so on) along with all the other mathematical objects, but there is an
> isomorphism between physical reality and mathematical structure, which
> in the projectile's case happens to be a parabola. So we could say
> that the brain does not "create" consciousness, but it does happen
> that those mathematical structures isomorphic with brain processes in
> a particular individual are the subset of Platonia that constitutes a
> coherent conscious stream. This is not to assume that there actually
> is a real physical world: simulating a projectile's motion with pencil
> and paper, on a computer, or just the *idea* of doing so will define
> that subset of Platonia corresponding to a particular parabola as
> surely as doing the actual experiment. Similarly, simulating atoms,
> molecules etc. making up a physical brain, or just the idea of doing
> so defines the subset of Platonia corresponding to an individual
> stream of consciousness. Your head suddenly turning into a bunch of
> flowers is not part of the consciousness simulation/reality (although
> it still is part of Platonia), just as the projectile suddenly
> changing its trajectory in a random direction is not part of the
> parabola simulation/reality, or "7" is not an element of the set of
> even numbers.  > > Stathis Papaioannou >

So you consider it just a coincidence then that incredibly complicated
structures (called "brains") are part of our observed reality, even
though by Occam's razor we really should be demanding an explanation
of why such complexity exists.


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A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics                                    0425 253119 (")
UNSW SYDNEY 2052                         [EMAIL PROTECTED]             
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