Hi George,

I think that we agree on the main line. Note that I never have 
pretended that the conjunction of comp and weak materialism (the 
doctrine which asserts the existence of primary matter) gives a 
contradiction. What the filmed-graph and/or Maudlin shows is that comp 
makes materialism
empty of any explicative power, so that your "ether" image is quite 
appropriate. Primary matter makes, through comp, the observation of 
matter (physics) and of course qualia, devoied of any explanation power 
even about just the apparent presence of physical laws.
I do think nevertheless that you could be a little quick when asserting 
that the mind-body problem is solved at the outset when we abandon the 
postulate of an objective (I guess you mean physical) world. I hope you 
believe in some objective world, being it number theoretical or 
computer science theoretical, etc.
You point "3)" (see below) is quite relevant sure,


Le 08-oct.-07, à 05:10, George Levy a écrit :

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> I think that Maudlin refers to the conjunction of the comp hyp and
>> supervenience, where consciousness is supposed to be linked (most of
>> the time in a sort of "real-time" way) to the *computational activity*
>> of the brain, and not to the history of any of the state occurring in
>> that computation.
>> If you decide to attach consciousness to the whole physical history,
>> then you can perhaps keep comp by making the substitution level very
>> low, but once the level is chosen, I am not sure how you will make it
>> possible for the machine to distinguish a purely arithmetical version
>> of that history (in the arithmetical "plenitude" (your wording)) from
>> a "genuinely physical one" (and what would that means?). Hmmm...
>> perhaps I am quick here ...
>> May be I also miss your point. This is vastly more complex than the
>> seven first steps of UDA, sure. I have to think how to make this
>> transparently clear or ... false.
> As you know I believe that the physical world can be derived from
> consciousness operating on a platonic "arithmetic plenitude."
> Consequently, tokens describing objective instances in a physical world
> cease to be fundamental. Instead, platonic types become fundamentals. 
> In
> the platonic world each type exists only once. Hence the whole concept
> of indexicals looses its functionality. Uniqueness of types leads
> naturally to the "merging universes:" If two observers together with 
> the
> world that they observe (within a light cone for example) are identical
> then these two observers are indistinguishable from themselves and are
> actually one and the same.
> I have argued (off list) about my platonic outlook versus the more
> established (objective reality) Aristotelian viewpoint and I was told
> that I am attempting to undo more than 2000 years of philosophy going
> back to Plato. Dealing with types only presents formidable logical
> difficulties:  How can types exist without tokens?  I find extremely
> difficult to "prove" that the absence of an objective reality at the
> fundamental level. Similarly, about a century ago people were asking 
> how
> can light travel without Ether. How can one "prove" that Ether does not
> exist? Of course one can't but one can show that Ether is not necessary
> to explain wave propagation. Similarly, I think that the best one can
> achieve is to show that the objective world is not necessary for
> consciousness to exist and to perceive or observe a world.
> However, some points can be made: getting rid of the objective world
> postulate has the following advantages:
> 1) The resulting theory (or model) is simpler and more universal (Occam
> Razor)
> 2) The mind-body problem is eliminated at the outset.
> 3) Physics has been evolving toward greater and greater emphasis on the
> observer. So why not go all the way and see what happens?
> I don't find Maudlin argument convincing. Recording the output of a
> computer and replaying the recording spreads out the processing in time
> and can be used to link various processes across time but does not 
> prove
> that the consciousness is independent of a physical substrate.
> Rearranging a tape interferes with the thought experiment and should 
> not
> be allowed if we are going to play fair. By the way, I find the phrases
> "supervenience" and "physical supervenience" confusing. At first glance
> I am not sure if physical supervenience means the physical world
> supervening on the mental world or vice versa. I would prefer to use 
> the
> active tense and say  "the physical world supervening on the mental
> world," or even use the expression "the physical world acting as a
> substrate for consciousness".
> >

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to