Le 03-janv.-07, à 06:39, Mark Peaty a écrit :

BM: '  (= Bruno Marchal, not Brent Meeker)
OK, except I don't see what you mean by on a "number" basis. We know that number have a lot of quantitative interesting relationships, but after Godel, Solovay etc.. we do know that numbers have astonishing qualitative relationship to (like the hypostases to mention it). '


MP:  No no no, sorry, this is just me being colloquial. Nothing deep or important was intended! :-)  I was responding to a *possible implication* in Stathis's statement about religious fanatics. I thought it was  worth emphasising that, along with the deluded majority who think they are 'doing what is right', there are also those whose motivation is strictly instrumental and manipulative and who find willing collaborators amongst the naive fanatics. This situation is not confined to 'religious' organisations of course but to any sub-culture in which the description of the world has fallen into a closed loop.


We agree on this.





BM: 'Except that Dawking and Dennet fall in their own trap, and perpetuates the myth of a "physical universe" as an explanation. They continue to bury the mind/body problem under the rug.'

MP: Well I think that we will rapidly reach our 'agree to differ' line with this one. I think physical just means both extended and able to be measured.


I can agree with that. Actually "can be measured" is enough. Some measure will then be interpreted as extensions. But OK, sorry for not always cutting the air genuinely .... :-) If this is really what you mean by "physical" we could be closer than you think at first sight. What I don't believe in are the "primitive material token". For example I do even believe there is a (comp) standard "model" of particles. But their "token-materiality and primitivity" is a deformed view from inside "arithmetics".



As such it is fairly close to self-evidently true, in my book. OK, so that is an 'anthropic' outlook but I exist and seem to be some sort of anthropos or whatever [sorry I never studied Greek and only ever achieved 35% in my one year of formal Latin studies :-]. It seems to me that physical is as physical does; as I wrote responding to Stathis, number is theory is just that - theory.


See my preceding post. I agree to disagree on you on this :)



It is incredibly useful in all manner of practical applications as well as effective in keeping lots of people off the streets doing amazing logical/arithmetical things for interest and entertainment's sake. I watch with awe and admiration, but I remain careful to acknowledge that a description is a description not the thing it is describing.


I also consider that we have to distinguish a description and the thing it is describing. I could explain you without *much math* why the number reality can be shown to transcend all languages and theories, showing how much those things are different.



Existence per se is ultimately mysterious

Even number existence seems to me highly mysterious. But with the comp hyp there is a possibility that both the mystery of seemingly existing matter and the (really existing) mind can be explained from the mystery of numbers. This is not really a "reduction" (only if you have a reductionist view on number and machine at the start).



and our experience of being here now is essentially paradoxical: the experience is what it is like to be the updating of a model of self in the world [always 'my' model] but we conflate the experience with actually BEING here now, when the experience is much more limited than that.


I do agree.



It would be much truer to say, I think, that this consciousness I take so much for granted is ABOUT my being here now.


OK. It is coherent with my view that consciousness is somehow an instinctive belief in a reality.



As much as anything I like to characterise it as: the registration of difference between what my brain predicted for perceiving and doing as opposed to what actually happened.


And I do agree with this. My point is just that, once we take comp seriously enough, there is case that physics is no more the fundamental science. What remains? Since 1970 I call it (in order) biology, mathematics, biology, computer science, metamathematics, biology, theology, biology, theology, psychology (suggested by Delahaye), .... and I'm going back to (pagan) theology, at least in this list, for a time. But the name is not important, or should not be important for those who search understanding (in place of propaganda).

Like you, I think, I am uneasy with all form of reductionism,
Unlike you perhaps, I disagree with reductionist conceptions of the natural numbers and machines ... Truth about numbers and machine are provably not subject to complete or reductionist languages and theories. I am not pretending this is entirely obvious, and it is related to technical stuffs (which are easier than many people think, btw).

Bruno


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

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