# Re: On the computability of consciousness

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On 16 Feb 2010, at 19:07, David Nyman wrote:```
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``` Is consciousness - i.e. the actual first-
person experience itself - literally uncomputable from any third-
person perspective?
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There is an ambiguity in you phrasing. I will proceed like I always do, by interpreting your term favorably, relatively to computationalism and its (drastic) consequences.
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The first person notion, and consciousness, are not clearly notion to which the label computable can be applied. The fact is that, no machine can even define what is the first person, or what is consciousness.
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You may already understand (by uda) that the first person notions are related to infinite sum of computations (and this is not obviously computable, not even partially).
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But auda makes this utterly clear. Third person self-reference is entirely described by the provability predicate, the one that I write with the letter "B". Bp is " *I* prove p", Beweisbar ('p'), for p some arithmetical proposition. The corresponding first person notion is Bp & Tp, with Tp = True('p'). By a theorem of Tarski "true" cannot be define (even just define!) by the machine, and the logic of Bp&Tp (= Bp & p) is quite different from Bp, from the point of view of the machine. That result on "truth" has been extended by Kaplan & Montague for "knowledge".
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Let Bp = I prove p
Let Kp = Bp & Tp = Bp & p = I know p

Then, what happens is that

G* proves Bp <-> Kp
NOT(G proves Bp <-> Kp)

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G does not prove the equivalence of Bp and Kp, for correct machine. It is false that G proves Bp <-> Kp, and the machine cannot have access to the truth of that equivalence (or indirectly by postulating comp).
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``` The only rationale for adducing the additional
existence of any 1-p experience in a 3-p world is the raw fact that we
possess it (or "seem" to, according to some).  We can't "compute" the
existence of any 1-p experiential component of a 3-p process on purely
3-p grounds.
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I guess you mean that we cannot "prove" the existence of the 1-p from the 3-p grounds. That's correct (both intuitively with UDA, and it is a theorem of machine's theology (AUDA).
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```Further, if we believe that 3-p process is a closed and
sufficient explanation for all events, this of course leads to the
uncomfortable conclusion (referred to, for example, by Chalmers in
TCM) that 1-p conscious phenomena (the "raw feels" of sight, sound,
pain, fear and all the rest) are totally irrelevant to what's
happening, including our every thought and action.
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That is why a materialist who want to keep the mechanist hypothesis have no other choice than to abandon consciousness as an illusion or matter as an illusion. In this list most people, including you (if I remember well) accept that it is just impossible to dismiss consciousness, so ... Ah, I see you are OK with this in some replies today.
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Note that the movie graph shows directly that the notion of primitive (3-p- matter makes no sense, and shows the way how to recover the appearance of matter from the logic of the first person plural point of view (somewhere in between Bp & Dp and Bp & Dp & p where Dp is ~B~p).
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But doesn't this lead to paradox?  For example, how are we able to
refer to these phenomena if they are causally disconnected from our
behaviour - i.e. they are uncomputable (i.e. inaccessible) from the 3-
p perspective?
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Good point. But you are lead to this because you still believe that matter is a primitive 3-p notion.
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```Citing "identity" doesn't seem to help here - the
issue is how 1-p phenomena could ever emerge as features of our shared
behavioural world (including, of course, talking about them) if they
are forever inaccessible from a causally closed and sufficient 3-p
perspective.
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But the physical 3-p notions are just NOT closed for explanation. It collapses all the points of view. It explains consciousness away!
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```Does this in fact lead to the conclusion that the 3-p
world can't be causally closed to 1-p experience, and that I really do
withdraw my finger from the fire because it hurts, and not just
because C-fibres are firing?  But how?
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Because it concerns knowledge, which, by definition, relate your beliefs to the truth. But that relation belongs itself to the corona G* minus G, and is unavailable by the machine itself.
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Nice and clear and important questions. You explain well the mind-body problem. You put your fingers where it hurts!
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I will comment some answers hereby:

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```On 16 Feb 2010, at 19:19, Stephen P. King wrote:

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Is there a problem with the idea that 3-p can be derived from some
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combinatorics of many interacting 1-p's? Is there a reason why we keep
```trying to derive 1-p from 3-p?
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This is a reasonable question. But with comp it is both 1-p and physical-3-p which are derived from arithmetical 3-p, yet it forces us to attribute personhood for machine (but this is comp, after all, and the logic of self-refrence justifies such an idea).
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It leads to a form of neutral monism à-la Spinoza. There is arithmetical truth, and then all the different internal arithmetical number or machine points of views.
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I will not answer Brent's post (sorry Brent) because I think you have already well answered and I have nothing to add. It looks like you do good work when you sleep :)
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```On 16 Feb 2010, at 23:21, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

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```Consciousness could be computable in the sense that if you are the
computation, you have the experience.
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I think you have the correct intuition, but the phrasing is really misleading. I am not a computation, I am a person.
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Of course we are dialoguing on the most difficult part of the mind- body problem (so-called hard problem of consciousness).
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A more correct phrasing of your sentence could be:

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The machine M can be conscious of p, because the machine M can prove that the machine M believes p, and the machine M is indeed the machine M. Then the appearance of a mind-body paradox can be explained by the (non trivial) fact that the machine M does not know, and cannot know, that she is the machine M. She can only bet on it.
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Again this is exactly:

G* proves Bp <-> Kp
G cannot prove Bp <-> Kp.

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With Kp = p & Bp, or Dp & Bp, or p & Bp & Dp. (nuance between first person plural, intelligible, sensible, etc.).
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On 17 Feb 2010, at 08:28, Diego Caleiro wrote:

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You guys should Read Chalmers: Philosophy of Mind, Classical and contemporary Readings
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Philosophy and the mirror of nature.  Richard Rorty

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In particular "The Concepts of Counsciousness" By Ned Block and "Mental Causation" by stephen Yablo will get you nearer to where you are trying to get.
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You may search on "Chalmers" in the archive to have an idea of the critical view developed here. As Chalmers confirmed (personal communication), his dualism forces him to accept that a first person will feel to be at two places at once in the self-duplication experiment (he rejects first person indeterminacy). This means he needs some form of telepathy among duplicated machines. This explains also why he is obligated to reintroduce dualism in quantum mechanics, even without the collapse of the wave packet, which deprives Everett on its strongest if only motivation.
```You may perhaps be more specific and elaborate your thought.

Bruno Marchal

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

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