Hi Gordon,

On 13 Nov 2008, at 19:36, Gordon Tsai wrote:

> Bruno:
>    I'd like to hear more details about MGA if you don't mind.


> I tried to find the detailed description with no avail.
> Even though I am new and still sipping through the snipits here, I  
> feel the potential of this hypothesis. I think the all the hard  
> problems (mind/body, subjectivity/objectivity, dualism/non-dual) are  
> basically circular dependent, like two coupled subsystems, perhaps  
> neither of them fundamental. How do we gain ‘the outside view’ of a  
> closed-system if we are inside or we are the system? It’s like chess  
> pieces being aware of their existence and searching for underneath  
> rules by observation. I also like your ideas such as ‘self-observing  
> ‘ideal’ machine discovers the arithmetic truth by looking  
> inside’ (pardon my poetic distortion).  How close can we look? The  
> light is on but nobody’s home?

If you know french, I can give you links to the places where I give  
detailed account. If not, just be patient. I will make a try on this  
Thanks for letting know your interest.

Bruno Marchal

> Gordon
> --- On Thu, 11/13/08, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> From: Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: Re: QTI & euthanasia (brouillon)
> Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008, 9:38 AM
> On 13 Nov 2008, at 00:16, Kory Heath wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Nov 12, 2008, at 9:33 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> >> First, I have never stop to work on that and try to share the
> >> argument
> >> with people interested in the matter.
> >
> > True. You're tireless! (That's a complement.)
> >
> >> Second, it happens that sometimes I think the burden his on him to
> >> tell us what he means by a physical universe.
> >
> > I totally agree. But most people will just wave their arms and say,
> > "What do you mean? We're obviously in a physical universe.
> What's
> > problematic about that?"
> I think there is a reason for that. Million of years of Darwinian
> brain washing. But we can't complain, it has also been brain-building.
> Note that the Greek are the first to rationally take a distance from
> that, and by this move created modern science including theology as
> the most fundamental science. But humanity was perhaps not mature
> enough, so when Aristotle reintroduced the idea that matter is basic,
> both scientist and theologian get back to it.
> Of course poets and mystics know better ....
> > And then the burden is back on us to explain
> > why the concept of "physical existence" is more problematic than
> it
> > seems. Burden Tennis.
> This is the reason why I have developed the Movie Graph Argument
> (hereafter MGA).
> >
> >
> >> It is not a question of taste. It is a question of acknowledging  
> use
> >> of logic and assumptions, and finding either hidden assumptions, or
> >> imprecise statements or invalid argument step(s).
> >
> > I see your point. But there are issues of clarity or focus, and to
> > some extent those are a matter of taste. I'd like to read an essay  
> (by
> > anyone) that lays out a clear argument in favor of the position that
> > computations don't need to be implemented in order to be conscious.
> Be careful with the term. The MGA is subtle and to explain it we will
> have to be more precise. For example here it is better to remember
> that only *person* are conscious. Computations are not conscious (be
> it soft or hard wired).
> > I
> > believe this argument can be made without reference to Loebian
> > machines, first-person indeterminacy, or teleportation thought-
> > experiments.
> MGA is a completely different thought experiment. It looks a bit like
> UDA, but it is deeply different.
> >
> >
> > I hope you don't find my criticism too annoying.
> Not at all. But many in this list said it was obvious that the UD does
> not need to be run, and I remember that I thought that explaining MGA
> was not really necessary. Even you, right now, seem to agree that
> computation does not need to be implemented. This does not motivate me
> too much. The MGA is far more subtle than UDA, and it is a bit
> frustrating to explain it to people who says in advance that they
> already agree with the conclusion. Even Maudlin did complain to me
> that few people have understand its Olympia reasoning. Many confuses
> it with other type of criticism of comp.
> > It's easy for me to
> > sit on the sidelines and take potshots, while you've done a lot of
> > actual work. And remember that I do, in fact, believe that
> > computations don't need to be implemented in order to be  
> conscious, so
> > you're usually preaching to the choir with me.
> You see!
> > My point is that, I can
> > imagine Dennett reading your posts, and saying "Ok, that makes sense
> > *if* we accept that computations don't need to be implemented in  
> order
> > to be conscious. But I still don't see why I should believe
> that."
> Dennett, like many "naturalist" is not aware that the notion of
> matter
> is not obvious at all. The greeks were much more aware than all those
> who followed, of the mind body problem (except Descartes and
> Malebranche). Today people thought about the "consciousness" problem,
> when the real trouble is in defining both mind and matter and relating
> them. And Dennett seems not to be aware that modern physics has not
> progressed at all in the "hard problem of matter", on the contrary,
> modern physics (quantum physics) makes the problem of matter even
> harder (which in a sense *constitutes* a progress of course). The QM
> many worlds saves the idea that matter is something objective, but
> even the many worlds does not explain what matter is, and if it is, at
> all.
> Dennett gives a good criteria of what could be an explanation of
> intelligence or consciousness. It has to be something relating NON-
> INTELLIGENT (or non-conscious) entity in such a way it explains
> intelligence or consciousness. This is the basic idea behind Putnam's
> functionalism, or even computationalism (which is the belief that
> functionalism is true at least at some level of description of  
> oneself).
> So, why does Dennett not ask the same for an explanation of matter.
> Matter should be explained without any use of the word matter, and so
> it should be explained by relating only ... non material entities. But
> nobody asks for that. Why? Because we are hardwired for not doubting
> matter. We take for granted that matter is made of ... matter.
> Now, physics, if you look at it, never uses the concept of matter. It
> is so typical in Newton physics where the material sun can become a
> "material point" whose only role is to attract or repulse other
> material point. Matter is explained in term of relative actions
> occurring in a space-time frame.
> Even today, if you ask a string theorist what a string is made of, or
> what a brane is made of, they look at you like if you are doing some
> metaphysics just for annoying them, or they begin a lengthy
> explanation where only mathematical objects appear.
> I am not sure physicist really believe in matter, but they fake such
> belief for evacuating what they feel to be "only" a philosophical
> problem, actually they try to escape the mind-body problem---except
> few philosophers, don't take what I am saying to literaly.
> It is only when you grasp the mind body problem, that you realize you
> have to be a bit more cautious when talking about mind *and* about
> matter.
> And MGA has been invented only to explain that mechanism does not, per
> se, solve the mind-body problem. Indeed it makes the matter problem
> the *only* big problem. Mind is well taking into account by "machine
> discourse", which are well taken into account by computer science and
> mathematical logic.
> >
> >
> > I guess what it comes down to is that the Movie Graph Argument on  
> its
> > own doesn't seem fully convincing to me. But it's quite possible
> that
> > I don't fully understand that argument. (I have my own reasons for
> > believing that computations don't need to be implemented in order to
> > be conscious, and sometimes I think some of them are functionally
> > equivalent to the MGA, but I'm not sure.) Where is the clearest
> > statement of the MGA?
> Now I feel guilty. There is just no presentations of the MGA in
> English. The MGA appears the first time in my 1988 paper, written in
> french.
> It appears in full detail in my "Brussel's Thesis", 1994, which I
> have
> been obliged to write in French (by moral harassment). Then it appears
> in my PhD thesis in France, which I did begin in english, and then I
> have been force to translate in french (I have been unlucky, it was
> not harassment, but the first year of application of the "Loi
> Toubon",
> forcing all thesis to be written in french). Note that in the two
> theses, MGA precedes UDA.
> In this list, I have always suggest people to read the Maudlin"s paper
> 1989, which develops a similar argument. Actually, some objections (by
> Barnes) to Maudlin does not work on MGA. And one objection to MGA, the
> conterfactual objection, is answered by Maudlin. It is easy to extend
> MGA 1988 a few bit so that it handles the counterfactual objection
> answered by Maudlin 1989 (and thats give the new MGA described in my
> two theses).
> Perhaps the time has come I explain the MGA on the list? Would you be
> interested? It seems that both you and Stathis already accept the
> conclusion. So ...
> Are there still people believing in the necessity of matter for
> consciousness (yet grasping UDA[1...7] ) ?
> Bruno
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
> >


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