On 18 Jan 2010, at 00:37, Rex Allen wrote:
The patterns I've observed don't explain my conscious experience. There's nothing in my concept of "patterns" which would explain how it might give rise to conscious experience. So I fully buy the idea that patterns (physical or platonic) can be used to represent aspects of what I experience. And that these patterns can be updated in a way so that over time they represent how my experiences change over time. What I don't see is why this would give rise to anything like the qualia of my conscious experience. There is an explanatory gap. And I don't see how any new information about patterns or the ways of updating them will close that gap. And for me that's really the deal-breaker for any causal explanations of consciousness, as opposed to considering it fundamental.
This is what computer science and provability logic explains. Digital pattern, once their combinatorial properties makes them universal, obeys a rich set of mathematical law, which justifies eventually the existence of true undoubtable but incommunicable, yet self-observable, states which are good candidate of qualia.
Consciousness is explained by being a fixed point of universal transformation. If you do the math (self-reference logic) it justifies many of our propositions intuitively believed on consciousness, including the existence of the explanation gap, and the non definability of consciousness. Consciousness is in between truth and consistency.
Physics does not help, except by picking up the local "universal machine" from the neighborhood. But this "physical explanation" does not give a role to "primitive matter", it just use the universal pattern allowed by observation, and comp has the remaining problem of justifying that picking up. Why quantum computations?
To take "consciousness" as ontologically fundamental seems rather awkward to me. You can only get to "don't ask" type of answer. It is the symmetric error of the Aristotelian.
At least, with the number, we have already enough to understand that we have to take them as fundamental, because nothing less than the numbers can explain the numbers. Then consciousness can be described by the first person state of knowledge available to the numbers.
The whole number theology is explain by addition and multiplication, only. It works in explaining the "mystery" aspect of the views from inside.
Sometimes I have a feeling that you are not aware that "conventionalism" in math is dead. There is no "causality" in math, but there are many sort of implications and entailment, capable of explaining the illusion and persistence of causal relations. Math kicks back.
Are our life sort of dreams? I think so, but I think this has to be made precise (indeed testable) and explained. Who are the dreamers? Why does they dream, etc. Do I interact genuinely with others? etc.
Math is not only about representations. It is also about facts. Bruno http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
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