Le 21-août-06, à 04:14, David Nyman a écrit :
> (BTW please delete any previous version of this posted in error.)
> I'm absolutely sincere in what I've said about approaching comp in 'as
> if' mode.
All right. I thought so. Let us try to see if and where we differ.
> But at the same time I've hoped from the beginning that we
> could make explicit the choices that motivate our different ontic
> starting assumptions. Are there perhaps irreconcilable issues of style
> or preference, or are there fundamental logical, philosophical, or even
> semantic errors entailed in one or other position? Well, let me
> continue in the effort by trying to clarify my position on some of your
> recent points.
>> So, either you put in AR something which is not there (like peter D
>> Jones who want me doing "Aristotle error" on the numbers (like if I
>> reifying some concreteness about them), or you should have a powerful
>> argument against AR, but then you should elaborate.
>> To be honest I have not yet seen where you postulates comp wrong in
>> your long anti-roadmap post.
>> Recall that I take comp as YD + CT + AR (Yes Doctor + Church Thesis +
>> Arithmetical Realism).
> OK. I've already agreed to accept AR in 'as if' mode. So that implies
> I'm staying on the comp road in the same 'as if' spirit to see where it
> leads. It's very interesting! Also I genuinely think that AR is not
> 'false' from any of the *logical* perspectives from which you
> defend it.
> My problem - outside 'as if' mode (and this goes back to the
> 'primacy' issue) - is with adopting *any* essentially 'non-indexical'
> (or in Colin's usage 'non-situated') postulate as 'ontic ground zero'.
> My view - and I'm still not clear whether you think it unjustified, or
> that you simply *prefer* to start elsewhere - is that we go wrong the
> moment we fail to treat reflexive indexical necessity with maximal -
> *extreme* - seriousness. My most basic claim is that to make *any*
> non-indexical assumption primary - even one as apparently 'modest' as
> AR - is to try to 'sneak past' this, and thereby to fail *the* crucial
> test of ontic realism.
Because comp makes it possible to postulate a simple theory where
everything is communicable in a third person way. By making the first
person primitive, you loose the ability to explain it (or to get some
best possible third person explanation). I agree with Peter (1Z) when
he criticize you by saying that a person is something complex, and I
agree with Dennett when he says that something complex must be
explained by something easier. Now comp shows the ultimate fundamental
role of the first person, and that is why I appreciate your seriousness
here, and in principle you still could try to formalize it in a third
person way, but your last attempt led to some explosion of more
The same remark works when you are making "indexical" primitive,
although "indexical" can be translated in purely third person way (that
is exactly what Post, Turing, Godel ... Kleene have proved). The case
of platonist or classical machine gives rise to the indexical but
purely arithmetical "provability predicate" B, and this one is
quasi-primitive in the sense that all others notions of persons (the
hypostases) are variant of B.
So yes, there is just a tiny difference between us. I just doubt you
can axiomatize your first person indexical seriousness in a simple
third person way. If comp is correct, you can't, I think, and
eventually this gives a protection of the first person against
To sum up, the notion of first person is too complex to be be
primitive, especially when you see that comp explains why the first
person is correct when thinking it is primitive (but false by trying to
put this in a third person discourse.
And the, unlike Peter, I consider that the notion of "matter" is also
complex, and assuming it also thhrows away any hope foir explanation,
and then comp forbid that move anyway by the UDA.
> We could call this position maximal personal, or indexical,
> seriousness, but what's in a name? It frustrates me almost beyond
> endurance that this isn't simply 'obvious' (though error, especially
> one's own, is subtle).
As a first person discourse, comp tells that you are correct. As a
third person discourse you are on the verge of inconsistency.
> But it seems as though we're somehow 'tricked'
> out of seeing it because all 'personal' interaction (including that
> with the 'self') is relational, and 3rd-person is the characteristic
> mode of relational interaction. So all natural language just assumes
> Consequently when you say:
>> What you say is exactly what the lobian *first person* will feel. I
>> hope you will
>> see this eventually.
> I think I do 'see' it. I understand that the lobian first person
> *emerging* from your non-indexical AR postulate could indeed be
> decribed as 'possessing' such a view. I can indeed 'see' how you can
> invoke a '1st-person David analog' in 3rd-person language in this way,
> but I can't at all see how this causes 'indexically necessary David' -
> 'here and now' - to appear out of 'thin 3rd-person air'.
Yes and that is normal. I reduce the mystery of "here and now" to the
much simpler mysteries of the type: "why am I in Washington and not in
Moscow", or "why am I in Moscow and not in Washington" after a WM
self-duplication experiment. Surely with comp you could figure out that
those questions, although first person meaningful, are third person
> Does mere
> logic posess such power?
Bertrand Russell thought so, but technically speaking logic is not that
powerful (at all). Now Arithmetic is *that* powerful, amazingly enough
> It seems as if only magic will do. It's like
> Harry Potter saying - "I know I'm just imagining you, but hang on, in
> just a jiffy AR will make you indexically necessary".
No need of Harry Potter. If you are a digital machine,
(self-referentially correct or not) your current computational steps
will occur at a time (an infinity of time, but note that time here is
just given by the ordering of non negative integers), making you
And then modal logic and Kripke "multiverse" has been invented to
handle those notion of "relative necessity". And the Godel "B" is quite
rich in that respect.
> On the other hand, bare 'indexical necessity' is the sole ontic
> postulate I need.
It is as correct as it is uncommunicable. "First person ndexical
necessity" is true ... until you posit it as an axiom. My feeling is
that you perhaps just confuse ... Bp and Bp & p.
> Is this an insufficiently 'modest' requirement? My
> justification is reflexively evident and incorrigible.
"Bp & p" is (obviously) incorrigible, but that is related with the fact
that no indexically correct machine can posit it as an hypothesis.
Actually, no machine can even define its own indexical Bp & p. To act
as a scientist, the machine, like the doctor, can talk only on Bp.
Now a machine can make the complete theory of both Bp and Bp & p for
any lobian machine sufficiently simpler than itself. Like ZF can prove
the G* of PA, but not its own. The erst then follow from the comp hyp.
> It does no
> practical damage to the subsequent postulation of AR - it can't do,
> because this position simply *is* the situation from which I postulate
> it. By the same token, CT survives (if true) undamaged by being
> postulated from this position. In other words, I'm claiming that we
> have access to versions of AR and CT manifested entirely in virtue of
> their generalisation from relational reality, and I can't see that you
> or I have reason to believe anything else, except through 'Penrose
> direct revelation', which you reject. So what's the
> YD now becomes the interesting case, and the point, as I recall, where
> we started. My long post refers to the dependencies and assumptions,
> implicit in bit-stream representations, that are only made explicit by
> their instantiation. My argument is that any digital program is an
> arbitrary gloss on the behaviour of a 'substrate' (i.e. lower logical
> level) - I think I've seen you argue more or less the same point - and
> therefore relies on a notion of 'causation' (dependency, sequence,
> structure, behaviour, or state your preferred terminology) - that is
> essentially non-local at the level of such instantiation.
> Consequently we must choose: to believe either that *any* example of
> situated, indexical, experience arises from localised phenomena at the
> causal level of their instantiation (appropriately schematised), or
> that it arises from arbitrary, non-localised, aspatial, atemporal,
> abstractions from behaviour at this level. I can't see that these
> considerations don't apply to *any* digital 'substitution level' that
> relies on a purely syntactical expression - e.g. instantiation in a
> digital computer -
> and would consequently have to decline the
> doctor's offer. This is what I mean by non-invariance of experiential
> structure to Turing emulation.
> However, the question then becomes one of defining the 'level' of
It is part of the 1-indeterminacy.
> You have pointed out, I recall, that the comp
> assumptions leave 'matter' devoid of any unique explanatory function.
> This isn't a surprise surely, because 'matter' is defined purely
> relationally as behaviour.
I can agree. No physicist posit matter in a fundamental theory. Except
by expression like "let B be a field, ...". But I have not yet find a
matter postulate in fundamental physics, not even in Aristotle (yet).
> Be that as it may, why would we ever expect
> a purely relational or behavioural description *on its own* to invoke
> prior indexical necessity in my maximally serious sense?
> And without
> such a prior ontic postulate, any relational schema surely 'exists'
> only in 'Harry Potter space'?
> With it, 'matter' becomes a causal layer
> in the construction of experience and everything we infer from it. If
> we can schematise this in a way that proves capable of 'substitution',
> YD would then emerge as an empirical possibility
> 'from the bottom up'. In effect, to say 'yes' to the doctor would be to
> agree to be cloned.
> So, in summary, if comp were presented as a relational substitution
> scheme defined on prior, maximally serious ontic necessity - in my
> sense - from which AR, CT and YD emerge at the appropriate relational
> level, I could perhaps travel with you even more happily. I just can't
> see, except in 'as if' mode, how AR truly serves as 'ontic ground zero'
> in this 'maximally serious' sense. I'd be grateful if you could show me
> how this is false. Or is it rather that modesty dictates that comp
> takes us no further than 'as if'?
Not just comp. I would say of any scientific theory.
And then with comp this can be justify through B and its variants
It is the correct incorrigibility of the first person which prevents
her to participate in the third person discourse. Although she is
correct, and here I follow you completely with the idea of being
maximally serious about that correctness, she have to stay mute, for
not falling into incorrectness, or even inconsistency.
Some truth just cannot be 3-asserted without becoming a falsity.
Must go now,
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