> At this stage you should try to be specific about the reasons why an
> hardware independent isomorphism cannot exist, or perhaps you are
> just saying that "first person feeling" would not be genuine if they
> were not related to some 'physical reality' in which case I could
I feel we're getting quite close to any genuine difference between us
on these issues, so I'll try my best to clarify. I still believe
there are some vocabulary problems, so first I'll have another go at
pinning these down (sorry, but please be patient!). One thing that
strikes me is that there are (at least) two distinctly different
usages of the term `first person':
`First person 1' (FP1) is used when I mean to indicate my own internal
centred perspective, `looking out', as it were, on the world. It is
the word `I' exclusively as used reflexively by a first person about
him/ herself. As such, it can't be reported in third person narrative,
only directly *uttered* by some FP1-centred individual. I will call it
`First person 2' (FP2) is used to describe a point-of-view within a
third person narrative. For example:
David thought about the problem and realised - "I am confused again!"
The narrative contains the *description* of a first person
characterised as `David', whose point-of-view we would call a `first
person position'. The use of `I' here is understood to be this
*narrative* David's reference to himself. As such it's 'FP2-I'
Throughout these discussions, when I have used terms such as `first
person, `personal, or `presence' to describe the context within which
`individual first persons' IMO could arise, I have meant the sense
given in FP1. The intuition that I have is that even when you `strip
away' the structuring that provides the perceptual mechanism and its
experiential content, what remains must be an FP1-type context - the
`Big `I', if you like, the `arena' within which all else takes place.
And this 'Big I' could only be 'directly uttered' - metaphorically in
this case - by a 'Big FP1'. It is *not* an FP2-type description in
a third person narrative.
The intuition at the heart of this is that if what I'm calling an
FP1-type context is the fundamental ontology, then there is no
requirement for the 'FP1-I' to suddenly `spring into existence' when
FP2-describable points-of-view subsequently emerge as a consequence of
third-person structuring. The idea of such an otherwise completely
novel ontology `springing into being' in this way has always struck me
as fundamentally incoherent.
>From this perspective, the discourses of QM, MW, mathematics, comp
etc. take place in terms of `third person' structuring of an FP1-type
context. Direct FP1-type experience is derived from the global
`self-intimacy' of this context with a particular sort of structural
content (what I have termed `perceiver/ percept' dyads). Why
`self'-intimacy? To eliminate any notion of `observers'. By
`self-intimacy I mean to say that such knowledge is an immediate
apprehension by the context of its own content, which is why I've
termed it an `equivalence', not a `property'. Consequently, individual
FP1-type content (`experience') is the direct, immediate acquaintance
of demarcated perceivers with aspects of their own structure.
`Third person' is then just a narrative or description of this same
structure. The world outside the individual, containing other first
persons and all manner of additional paraphernalia, is likewise `third
person' when read as narrative by first persons (including, of course,
their individual representations of shared interpersonal discourse).
Notwithstanding this, all of it exists fundamentally `in its own
right' as FP1-type context+content (i.e. not just the regions of it
that happen to be demarcated `first persons'). In this larger sense,
reality itself is that which can only be 'directly uttered'. What is
captured in what we call third person discourse - our 'shared reality -
are our continued empirical strivings to map these narratives and
models to distant regions of 'directly uttered' reality. Because we
comprise such nodes within a network of structure-read-as-information,
we are each of us able to represent and 'directly utter' our personal
versions of 'consensual reality'. If this condemns us to 'solipsism',
at least we're justified in the belief that our private worlds are at
least partially synchronised by such 'energetic coupling' with the
other parts of the forest.
I think I'm also able to clarify here why I believe that a certain
kind of `structural isomorphism' is the underlying basis of our own
phenomenal experience. Since the FP1-type context is, as it were, a
superposition of all activity (including that activity read as
`experience' by perceivers), we must hypothesise within it organising
schemas that demarcate different functional levels. Within the
`physical' domain, such schemas are supported by the physical `laws of
form'. Consequently, IMO, such `laws of form' must be established (and
within the comp hypothesis, this could be by `physical substrate
emulation') to mediate the structural relationships which are read by
the 'perceiver' component of the structure as `experiential content'.
By contrast, if the behaviour of the `substrate' at this level is
unconstrained (e.g. because the `code' can be run on an arbitrary set
of hardwares conforming to a common syntactical rule-set), the
`semantic coherence' at this level of the FP1-type context would IMO be
> I am not sure. Feel free to dig in that direction, but it seems to
> me it is easier to accept some sharable part of 3-mathematics and
> build from that. Especially when we have an unavoidable
> self-reference for a vast class of machines. Thanks to Turing & Co.
> we can see, like Godel already saw in 1933, that godelian
> self-reference cannot describe a knower, but then, using some math
> trick we can define a knower in term of self-reference+ truth which
> provides a good candidate for a notion of first person (even
> unameable by the machine). Somehow a "physical reality" is what
> Number-Nature needs for entangling closely enough the many possible
> independent computations, so as to made first person stable and
> partially sharable. *many*-worlds prevent such approaches against
> solipsism. Perhaps I agree that the context in which particular
> personhood arises is first person (plural), but the context in which
> personhood per se arise is eventually "reducible" to the behavior of
> the roots of a universal diophantine polynomial (or choose your
> favorite turing universal systems).
We appear to be more or less agreeing here, especially what you say
about '"physical reality" is what Number-Nature needs for entangling
closely enough the many possible independent computations, so as to
made first person stable and partially sharable' - which is more or
less what I meant by 'organising schemas' necessary for 'semantic
coherence' above. However, again based on my 'FP1-type' idea above, I
would have to say that 'the behavior of the roots of a universal
diophantine polynomial' would be an aspect of a fundamentally
FP1-type context - perhaps what you so delightfully term
'Number-Nature' - the 'ultimate FP1'.
> That eventually there is a duality making it possible to choose the
> first person point of view as the most basic one cannot yet be
> entirely ruled out for sure, but comp and the quantum without
> collapse makes it as unlikely imo.
Do you still feel this notwithstanding my FP1/ FP2 distinction? We
would be saying that whatever we take to be basic must be an 'FP1-type
context', for the reasons I argue above.
> OK, but do you see this moves invite you to provide a definition of
> "first person" in third person term. Comp succeeds partially, but
> then justified completely why its success cannot be but partial.
> Indeed eventually the physical appearances emerges from the never
> completely specifiable border of the person. The platonic number
> does not emerge, and I agree they are mysterious, but here too we
> can understand that we cannot infer our beliefs in them from any
> weaker beliefs.
I agree that 'first person' (i.e. FP2 according to my schema) can be
defined in third person terms. However IMO FP1 cannot be so 'defined'
but only 'directly uttered'. This means that the manifest existence
of FP1 entails that we assign primacy to something that is capable of
such 'direct utterance'. I agree that (per comp) the Platonic number
'does not emerge' - i.e. has primacy - and that consequently its basic
ontology in my terms must be FP1.
> If this is wishful thinking, then this an example of recursion. But
> then that's not wishful thinking, so it is not an example of
> recursion. But then it is wishful thinking ... ... and then it is
> certainly an example of meta-recursion
> ... (I will stop here ;)
Ah! Does this prove you're not a TM?
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at