I started to read [the English version of] your discourse on Origin of
Physical Laws and Sensations. I will read more later. It is certainly
very interesting and thought provoking. It makes me think of 'Reasons
and Persons' by Derek Parfitt. His book is very dry in places but
mostly very well worth the effort of ploughing through it.

As a non-mathematician I can only argue using my form of 'common sense'
plus general knowledge. [En passant - I am happy to see that your
French language discourse features a debate between Jean Pierre
Changeaux and a mathematician. Changeaux's book 'Neuronal Man' was a
major influence in setting me off on my quest to understand the nature
of consciousness. He helped me to find a very reasonable understanding
which makes a lot of sense of the world. Merci beacoup a JPC. :-]

I dispute the assumption that we can consider and reify number/s and/or
logic apart from its incarnation. It is like the 'ceteris paribus' so
beloved of economists; it is a conceptual tool not a description of the

Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Le 02-oct.-06, à 18:03, markpeaty a écrit :
> So you assume a primitive world. From this I can already infer you have
> to distrust the computationalist hypothesis in the cognitive science.
> <<snip>>
> I agree. That is what makes the human mind "turing universal". When it
> lacks memory space it extends itself through the use of pebble, wall,
> etc.

There are practical and in-principle limits to what can be achieved
computationally. Any computational device, however much it might seem
to be divine, has to BE somewhere, instantiated in some form. This
means that no computer is ever going to fully emulate a system in the
real world. Problems preventing total emulation include, truncation of
numbers in calculation, arbitrary cut-offs in the accuracy of
measurements, and entropy. [The latter will manifest as 'Murphy's Law'

> Now, are you really saying that mathematical truth (not the
> mathematical expression that humans have developed to talk about that
> mathematical truth) is a human's construct.

MP: Yes. To assume otherwise is to believe in a 'Truth' or 'Truths'
beyond that which we can sense, feel or think. That is OK, as long as
it is seen for the religious practice that it is. But in reality [I say
:-] we are limited to asserting the existence of self and world,
although we are very safe to do so due to the contradictions involved
in denying the existence of either self or world. All the rest is
descriptions of one sort or another.

Would you say that the
> number 17 was not a prime number at the time of the dinosaurs?
> In which case you distrust the "Arithmetical realism" part of comp, and
> you are remarkably coherent.

If dinosaurs could count and think with sufficient levels of
abstraction, presumably they would have come across prime numbers in
their spare time. Otherwise, like trees falling in the forests of the
early carboniferous which made very little 'sound', prime numbers would
have been very thin on the ground, so to speak.

That said, I read with interest a year or two ago about certain kinds
of insects [I think they are in North America somewhere] which lie
dormant in the earth in some pre-adult stage for a PRIME number of
years, 11, 13, were chosen by different species. Apparently the payoff
for this strategy is that few predator species can match this length of
time, and repeating cycles of shorter periods cannot 'resonate' so as
to launch a large cohort of predators when the prey species produces
its glut after waiting for the prime number of years.

I suspect that this could have started happening way back in the
Cretaceous or whenever.

> >
> > That so much of what occurs in 'the world' CAN be represented by
> > numbers and other mathematical/logical objects and processes, is better
> > expained by assuming that the great 'IT' of noumenal nature is actually
> > made up of many simple elements [taken firstly in the general sense].
> > This underlying simplicity which yet combines and permutates itself
> > into vast complexity, is something we infer with good reason - it
> > works!
> This would make sense if you can specify those simple elements.
> Have you heard about Bell, Kochen and Specker and other weird facts
> predicted and verified from quantum mechanics. I am afraid such simple
> elements are already rule out empirically, even, with the Many World
> assumptions.

I fail to see what is the problem here. You cannot separate number from
that which is numbered, except as a mental trick, but within the brain
mathematical objects are instantiated within neural networks.

> Now even mentioning quantum mechanics, I refer to my work (see the URL)
> for an argument showing that the hypothesis that we are turing emulable
> at some level (whatever that level) entails the laws of physics have to
> be explained without assuming a physical primitive world.
> Of course this refutes the current Aristotelian Naturalistic paradigm,
> but does rehabilitate Plato and the neoplatonist conception of matter
> (Plotinus).

> Bruno

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