On Sun, Aug 16, 2009 at 10:12 AM, Bruno Marchal<marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>
> "I exist" could be, perhaps, tautological. But "Reality"? I don't
> think so. Certainly not from inside.

What is reality, beyond our conscious experience of existence?


> The conclusion will be that consciousness, or anything apprehended by
> a person in some stable way has to be realted to an infinity of
> relations between numbers. And most are not "caused" by a rule-
> following system.

Given an infinity of relations between numbers to work with, wouldn't
pretty much everything be representable?  If so, then what is the
significance of being able to represent the contents of our conscious
experience, including a represention of our lack of comprehension as
to "how a symbolic self-representing relation individuate into an
incommunicable, non doubtable, lived qualia"?

In fact, here, this pen on my desk.  To me, that pen now represents my
lack of comprehension as to how a symbolic self-representing relation
individuates into an incommunicable, non doubtable, lived qualia.
There, that wasn't so hard.  What is the significance of this?  If
there's no significance to my pen representing this, then what is the
significance of using relations between numbers to represent the same
thing?


>> So I can (sort of) see how a logical machine might symbolically
>> represent reality in this way.  BUT, this doesn't answer the question
>> of why there should be a conscious experience associated with the
>> machine symbolically representing reality this way.
>>
>> Does it?
>
> It does not. That is why it is the assumption of the theory. The
> working hypothesis. The light in the dark.

Okay this is related to my point above and is the core of my problem
with your view, and with physicalism due to it's similar assumption.


> And then, the beauty of it, is that, ONCE the assumption is done, we
> can understand fully and rationally why we cannot understand how a
> symbolic self-representing relation individuate into an
> incommunicable, non doubtable, lived qualia.

Your "understanding" boils down to:  here is a mathematical model that
represents our situation, and which may have some practical use in
predicting what we will observe in the future.  Why will it correctly
predict what we observe?  Because that's the way things are.  Will it
always predict what we will observe?  Well, either it will or it
won't.  We can't know in advance.  We'll see.

What we CAN be sure of is that with an infinity of relations between
numbers at our disposal, if at some point we observe something that is
inconsistent with the predictions of this model, we can find a NEW
model that is consistent with both old and new observations!

So, please see my last response to Brent about subjective explanations
and virtual-gas, I think it's relevant!

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