On 15 Jan 2010, at 03:52, Brent Meeker wrote:

Bruno Marchal wrote:

Le 14-janv.-10, à 09:01, Brent Meeker a écrit :

I think there may be different kinds of consciousness, so a look- up-table (like Searle's Chinese Room) may be conscious but in a different way.

In a way distinguishable by the person? From its own (first person) perspective?


I don't think it makes sense to attribute consciousness to anything which "do" the computation, but only to the (abstract or immaterial) person supervening on the logical and arithmetical relations defining those computations, (infinitely many exist).

Persons need to be self-referentially correct relatively to their most probable computations, only.

I don't understand what "self-referentially correct" means nor in what
sense computations can be "theirs"?

A machine (number) x is self-referentially correct relatively to a history/computation y if the proposition asserted by x are true relatively to y.

Rough example: the machine is an altimeter in a plane. The plane is 500 miles above the ground. The altimeter asserts "1000 miles". Given that the altimeter *is* in the plane, it is not self-referentially correct relatively to the most probable computation (already well approximatized by Newton, best described (if ever) by appropriated quantum fields, but (if comp is correct and uda valid) only correctly described by the fields emerging from the numbers in fine.

Despite the "self" in self-referentially correct, it is a third person form of self-reference, it is not the first person, but a first person can be attached to it by the Theaetetus definition as I attempt to sketch below.

Persons are conscious, not machine, nor computation, nor states, nor numbers, except in a metaphorical way.

So you take "person" as well as arithmetic to be fundamental.

Not at all. I take "person" as an important concept, even a key concept. But it is not "fundamental". It does not belong to the ontology. Matter and mind, histories and persons, realities and consciousness, emerge already from addition and multiplication, assuming comp.

Digital Mechanism obviously assumes the existence of consciousness and persons. This has to be done, if only implictly, by the doctor. It would be annoying, if not frightening, if the doctor tells you that after examining you he has come to the conclusion that you are a zombie and that you will got a digital brain independently of you saying "yes" or "no".

So comp assumes persons, like it assumes some amount of consensual reality. But not necessarily as fundamental.

But then ...

... the uda reasoning leads to the conclusion that, ONCE we assume comp, the best TOE we can ever dream of is elementary arithmetic. Or, you can chose your favorite universal system, and consider its minimal first order logical specification. Ontologically it is enough. Any Sigma_1-complete segment of arithmetic is enough. From the "persons" inside this will already be immeasurably *bigger*.

I prefer elementary arithmetic because it is virtually believed by all those who have been lucky enough to have followed good primary school. It is hardly the case for java, lisp, the combinators or quantum topology!

So what is a person?

In auda I opt for a minimalist conception. A first person is defined by its true beliefs. If it is a correct machine it inherits a "theology" from the subtraction TARSKI (truth theory) \minus GODEL (provability theory). That gives the 8 hypostases/universal person points of view. That theology is correct for all "correct lobian numbers"

I limit myself to correct machine.
You may though that for such machines "true belief" = "belief". And you are, of course correct.

But   (important "but"!) ...

... the machine is correct, and thus consistent, and so is prevented by Gödel to prove or believe its correctness, so the machine doesn't know, nor believes that "true belief" = "belief", and the logic of true beliefs of the machine is different from the machine logic of beliefs. All the 6 + 2 * infinity universal machine person points of view differentiates through that gap between truth and provability.

For the ontology, we need no more than Sigma_1 completeness. Like Robinson Arithmetic.

For the epistemology (and the unravelling of the internal views), we need no more than "provable Sigma_1 completeness". Like Peano Arithmetic, Zermelo-Fraenkel, etc.

It is a pure first person,I am talking here, like a soul before the fall. It is before getting its self entangled to deep probable universal histories, with many universal being capable of sharing the most normal (probable) "video games".

No machine can represent its "first person notion". Correct machines will compulsively NOT believe their are machines. Yet they will understand (prove) that if they are correct machine, it is normal, even necessary, that they can't really believe it. Somehow the first person that we can defined for the machine already asserts "I am not a machine", or "I have no name", and she is, from her first person perspective, completely right. Yet she can *bet* on comp, by betting on some third person relative level of description supporting the manifestation of something which is indeed not "mechanical". But that "non mechanical" thing emerges, as the natural (Bp & p) knower correlated to the discourse of the machine.

You can see then consciousness as a state of a machine conceiving the possibility of a truth. The possibility of a "satisfaction". It entails the possibility of a lie, an error, a dream, a bug, etc.


A universal machine, or number inherits a notion of first person plausibly when the machine can, qua computatio, infer its own ignorance (G-G* gap), that is when the machine is Löbian (like Peano Arithmetic). Then a physics can be associated too. (8 "hypostases" appear, or 6 + 2 * infinity, actually).

Is Peano Arithmetic conscious? No! That would be the same mistake. But by Lobianity it defines a "natural" (Theaetetical) first person view, and its physics and metaphysics. (or then it is a metaphor or a short cut).



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