Bruno Marchal wrote:
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.
But that is like saying there are quasi-stable chaotic attractors in the
neural processes of brains which are related to perception, feeling, and
action and are good candidates for qualia. Having a "good candidate"
how do you test whether it IS qualia. I think this is where the theory
of consciousness will turn out to be like the theory of life. The
description of brain processes and their relation to reported qualia
will become more and more detailed and qualia will come to seen to cover
many distinct things and eventually the question of what is
consciousness will no longer seem to be an interesting question.
Consciousness is explained by being a fixed point of universal
Universal transformation of what? Is there more than one universal
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",
The only role of 'primitive matter' seems to be that it instantiates
nomologically possible things and not others. It's the same as saying
the world is to some extent contingent.
it just use the universal pattern allowed by observation, and comp has
the remaining problem of justifying that picking up. Why quantum
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
Sometimes I have a feeling that you are not aware that
"conventionalism" in math is dead.
I'm certainly no expert on the philosophy of mathematics, but I have a
mathematician friend who is a fictionalist - which I think is what you
refer to as "conventionalism". So referring to experts I seem to find
it an open question:
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.
But it is about facts in some timeless, placeless world that seems to be
rather different from this one. Do you think there is a
fact-of-the-matter about whether the continuum hypothesis is true?
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