On Aug 29, 4:03 am, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> >> There is this special quality of subjective experience: that which is
> >> left over after all the objective (third person knowable) information
> >> is accounted for. Nevertheless, the subjective experience can be
> >> perfectly reproduced by anyone who has at hand all the relevant third
> >> person information, even if it can't be reproduced in his own mind.
> >> You can build a bat which will to itself feel like a bat if you know
> >> every scientific detail about bats and have appropriately capable
> >> molecular assemblers at your disposal.
> > Yes of course. But your ability to do this would not enable you to
> > determine what the bat was actually feeling solely from the physical
> > facts alone.
> So you say. I'm not so sure.
Go back to our previous discussions. A complete material description
of something cannot be mapped to subjective experiences without using
knowledge about subjective experience. If you know that neurons X are
firing in way Y, for sure, the subjective experience is entirely
dependent on this process, but how do you know what subjective
experience this material process is actually causing? You can't know
without having knowledge of the *correlation* (mapping) between the
material procceses and subjective experience. And in using knowledge
of this correlation, you would be slipping in references to subjective
experience in your explanations. ('cheating' as it were).
> > I agree that mental properties are depedent on the physical
> > substance. The physical substance might be what is fundmanetal. But
> > physical *properties* are what emerge from the movements of the
> > underlying substance.
> Huh? How does gravitational mass emerge from movement? And what does
> "emerge" mean?
mass appears to be intrinsic to a physical thing itself (ie
*substance*), not a property resulting from physical processes.
'Emerge' simply means that properties are not intrinsic but are a
result of physical interactions and processes.
> >Futher there are other non-physical properties
> > which appear as well - mathematical for example.
> Is being countable a physical or a mathematical property? As I see it,
> mathematical and logical "properties" are properties of our descriptions of
> the things. They are desirable properties for any predictive description
> because they avoid self-contradiction; something that would render a
> prediction meaningless, but would be fine for a poem.
being countable is of course of a mathematical property. And your
point here is at the heart of our disagreement. Because of the
argument from indispensability, I *don't* think that mathematical
properties are properties of our *descriptions* of the things. I
think they are properties *of the thing itself*. Some kinds of
description (ie mathematical concepts) can't be dispensed with in our
explanations of reality. Therefore the simplest explanations is that
these concepts exist objectively.
> >This point is that
> > there's an essential difference between specific physical properties
> > (which can be objectively measured - as in the the exmaple of
> > circulation), and subjective experiences, which are not reducible to
> > specific physical properties
> You keep asserting that, but exactly the same thing was said about life.
Yes, but I can explain exactly what the difference is in the case of
mind/brain. Mental properties are mathematical patterns. Physical
properties are not.
> >(subjective experiences are a
> > *mathematical pattern* , and the same pattern could be enacted on
> > anything- you could have intelligent silicon, rocks, clouds or
> > anything. Further thesse patterns cannot be directly objectively
> > measured.
> Why can't such patterns be measured? If I create an intelligent computer,
> why can't I follow it's operation?
You *can* measure the physical correlates of these patterns. But the
point that I (and David) had been making that the physical correlates
of these patterns are not the mathematical pattern (ie the mental
> > If I would only make one essential argument here it is:
> > It's known for a fact that there exist mathematical concepts (infinite
> > sets) which are indispensible to our explanations of reality but which
> > can't be explained in terms of any finite physical processes.
> I don't think so. Infinities in physical theories are just convenient
> approximations for something very big.
> Brent Meeker
I would carefully read Rudy Rucker's 'book of Infinity. It is a
through rebutting of the idea that 'inifinites in physical theories
are just conveient approximations'. The whole of cantor's set theory
simply doesn't work without assuming that the infinities are things in
themselves. There is more than one kind of infinity.
It all comes down to perspective. The attempt to reduce everything to
material concepts would severely limit science. In fact most of
computer science couldn't be done. computer scientists don't talk in
terms of material processes - they make constant references to
*mathematical* objects and behave exactly as if these mathematical
things are real. In fact the reason that modern computer science took
so long to arise is that scientists were thinking too
materialistically after Newton.
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