On 14 Nov 2008, at 01:19, Kory Heath wrote:
> My impression is that you're more interested in exploring the
> consequences of that conclusion after you accept it.
Not at all. I am just a logician showing that any consistent being
(human, machine, extraterrestrial, angels, gods, etc.) cannot believe
both in digital mechanism and materialism. It *is* the only
consequence I have ever been interested in. My primary goal is to show
that mechanism does not solve the mind body problem per se, as
Descartes understood quite well already. Indeed with mechanism, you
have to justify the appearance of matter without postulating a
universe. The math part just makes the same reasoning a bit more
constructive, to please some local mathematicians who found my work
too much easy as to give a PhD thesis (sic). It is a bit ironical
because I found the math part before the non math part. But both
amounts to the same thing. If I am a machine, physical laws are
emerging from the logic of numbers.
> there's nothing wrong with focusing on the issues that interest you
> most. But for the world-at-large, the primary issue is *why* we should
> accept in the first place that persons represented by unimplemented
> computations are conscious.
I interpret your "unimplemented computation" by "not implemented in
the *physical* world" because a computation is always implemented in
some universal machine language, be it Conway game of life, Fortran,
Combinators or or Elementary Arithmetic.
All my work (theses, papers, and my talk on this and other lists) is
just that: the notion of matter does not even make sense for a
mechanist. Many got the point with the first seven steps of the UDA,
and the MGA is intended for people, like Peter Jones, who insists that
consciousness can appear only when the computation is implemented in a
"real primary material word". For many this is just an ad hoc moves to
save physics as the fundamental science. The MGA is intended to show
that even that magical move does not work. Indeed, from a purely
logical point of view, you can still believe that the seven first
steps of the UDA proves only that our physical universe is too much
"little" to run any significant part of a real UD. After the MGA, as I
suspect you already understand, we just don't need to run the UD. Its
"natural" atemporal running is already contained in the set of
elementary arithmetical truth.
In a next post Kory wrote:
> On Nov 14, 2008, at 9:29 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Now a computationalist cannot say "I believe that persons represented
>> by unimplemented computations are conscious" for the reason that all
>> computations have to be implemented".
> Ok, I see your point. Computations are actions that people (or
> computers or whatever) perform in our world.
Why in our world? In (or relatively to) any universal machine,
material or immaterial. Sorry for not having been clear of that. I use
the term "implementation" in the sense of theoretical computer
science. By using Godel's trick I could define implementation purely
with numbers and addition + multiplication.
> So it's still not quite
> right to refer to "persons represented by unperformed computations".
> But I still want some concise way of correctly saying what I'm trying
> to say.
Some believe that for having a real conscious person, you have to
implement it in a real primary material universe. It is clearly what
Peter Jones thinks. I am saying that a person can be fully conscious
like you or me, even when implemented either directly in arithmetic,
or in a mathematical physical universe itself implemented in
arithmetic (or fortran, whatever). I think your point is just the same
than mine: we don't need a material bottom.
The question for the existence of mathematical physical universe
(your mathematical physicalism) is an open one. If it exists, we have
to explain how it wins the "measure of uncertainty" battle on all
other programs which reach also your mind computational state in the
universal deplyment. All right? (this follows from step seven).
> "Mathematical facts play the role that physical existence is supposed
> to play for materialists."
I would say "some mathematical facts". But I agree with that. And
those mathematical facts, after Godel Turing and Co., can even explain
consciousness, where pure physicalism fails (and the UDA-MGA) explains
in detail why physicalism has to fail there.
Kory wrote also to Brent:
> On Nov 14, 2008, at 11:22 AM, Brent Meeker wrote:
>> For a non-materialist it seems that an un-implemented
>> idea or program is an incoherent concept. So for the non-materialist
>> there can be no such distinction as "implemented" or "not
> I can't answer for Bruno, but in my formulation, I would say that we
> can talk about "un-implemented" programs as long as we understand that
> we just mean "un-implemented in our particular world".
Yes sure. Although in some context (like the prove by absurdo that
MECH + PHYS is inconsistent) I mean "our particular world as conceived
as material". I think we agree on the meaning, and we have to be sure
on the vocabulary so as not to confuse the other. For that reason I am
not sure you will appreciate the MGA, because you clearly seem to be
aware we don't need material stuff. (Unlike Greg Egan, by as Stathis
said, he needs the stuff for making his story novel).
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