John, Stathis, Mirek, Peter,
On 06 Oct 2009, at 13:07, Stathis Papaioannou wrote to John,:
>> "We start off assuming a physicalist comp ..."
>> Not me, sorry, I stay with the 'assumption' that our physicalist
>> ideas are
>> at best scientifically (math? etc.) supported figments. And I would
>> say "NO"
>> to the doctor (sorry, Bruno) because I don't know how good that new
>> would be in comparison to my present (incompletely functioning, but
>> digitally limited) primitive brain - the TOOL for my (beloved! ha
>> ha) mind.
> So your position is, simply, that you don't agree with
> computationalism, which invalidates any subsequent argument taking
> computationalism as a starting point. That's OK, as long as we are
> clear that this is the case.
John, I appreciate Stathis' answer. The goal has never been to
convinced anybody that comp is true.
Actuallyy, I have the feeling that *too much* scientist believes in
comp, and this without realizing the consequences.
On the contrary, the goal here is to show how much "crazy" comp is,
once we dare to take it as literally true. Notably to show that comp
leads to the first person indeterminacies, and eventually to the
reversal of the current Aristotelian theology (shared by many atheists
and christians alike) which relies on a 'religious belief/dogma" on
the primary character of matter.
Actually comp *is*, strictly speaking, unbelievable. With some natural
definition it can be shown provably unbelievable by (correct) machines
(assuming their consistency), and that is why I insist that comp is
directly akin to an act of faith, and that saying yes to the doctor is
a theological act.
Personally, I doubt comp, but this is a bit diabolical, because
(correct) machine have to doubt comp for remaining consistent. So my
doubt confirms comp. Of course a confirmation is not a proof, so I can
doubt comp and remain consistent!
Mirek, I agree with Stathis about his comment on the papers you
Note that it is very difficult to define completely what a first
person is, but, for the matter of reasoning partial definitions can
work very well, and note that those definitions used in UDA and AUDA
do refer only to sharable third person notions. (In science we cannot
invoke as argument first person truth, but of course we can tackle the
first person notion itself. Through assumptions and definitions, the
notion of first person is partially amenable to third person notions.
In the UDA the first person discourse are defined by the memory, or
the personal diary of the one who enter the teleporting (or
duplicating) devices. So it is the memory of the one who is
annihilated and reconstituted. The 3 person is just the usual
discourse of an external (with respect to the teleporting device)
observer. This works very well for a (artifiicial) machine. It is
obvious that a program cannot measure the delay where it is not
executed, for example, so the difference between first and third
person is made obvious (self-duplication made it even observable in
In the AUDA, it is more difficult, and I have been stuck on this
during many years. But then I realized that the oldest definition of a
"knower", the one which define 'knowing' by believing a truth, works
very well in that context, and so I defined, in arithmetic, the first
person by the arithmetical knower, following Boolos and Goldblat. To
know that 1+1=2 is Beweisbar(godel number of '1+1=2') & 1+1 = 2.
Such a definition of knowledge is well debated since a long time by
philosophers. It appears in very old Indian and Chinese texts, and in
the Theaetetus of Plato. In fine, you can see that those who object to
such a definition are those who believe that they can distinguish
reality and dream, or, in our context, reality and digital simulation
of it, and this instantaneously. Again, this would contradict comp
(our working hypothesis). I refer you to the second paper you have
mentioned as an example.
Another example treated in detail in "conscience et mécanisme" are
works by Malcolm. In a book on 'dreaming' Malcolm argues that we are
not conscious during a dream, and in papers he argues against comp.
The logical structure of the argument are identicals.
Peter, this thread on the 1 and 3 persons is relevant for our
discussions, with David. You have not answered if the second "I" of
"ritsiar" (= real in the sense that I am real) concerns the 1-I (your
private consciousness here and now) or the 3-I (the body that you feel
that you have). I think nobody can really doubt the 'reality' of the 1-
I". The 3-I, or any combinations of the 1-I and the 3-I are doubtable.
I think that there has been some misunderstanding here, notably
between you and David, on exactly this. David, what do you think?
Soon, but not so soon, hopefully this or next week, some more
explanation on diagonalization.
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