On 01 Mar 2010, at 20:29, Rex Allen wrote:

On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 4:07 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
On 01 Mar 2010, at 05:40, Rex Allen wrote:
At most (!) one of those levels is
what really exists - the other levels are just ways that we think
about what really exists or ways that things *seem* to us.

The point is that such a seeming is what we can call real from our points of view. Remember that with comp, the whole physicalness is a higher level
first person (plural) machine coherent-dream type of notion.

Note that all your present remarks in this thread seems to contradict your "consciousness is fundamental" posts. It looks you are searching for a
reductionist explanation.

Earlier in the thread I was sprinkling around "assuming physicalism"
disclaimers, but I stopped.  So in this thread I've been trying to
argue that even granting physicalism, Stathis's evolutionary
explanation was effectively an empty tautology.

I disagree with you. You remind me the first computer users. Some of them dismiss the first high level programming language because, they add nothing. "It is the same" for the babies!
In a sense, this is true: you don't change the arithmetical truth.
In another sense, it changes everything; because it defines an abstract person (the interpreter) which is capable to extract information (even if relative) from arithmetical truth. Once they have enough "induction abilities", or "generalization abilities", they get Löbian, and inherits a theology. (defined by the "truth-notion" (in the sense of Tarski, which, for arithmetic, is not controversial).

Stathis' evolutionary explanation may be incomplete, but it describes plausibly an important type of routines ("genetical algorithm)" participating in our most probable histories.

Above the universal threshold, complexity grows. You can understand only by referring on something bigger. Arithmetic, like the game of life, or the S and K combinators, or c++, break that treshold. Their "block relaties" (logicians' models) contains already a universal dissident, eternally unsatisfied, exploring well eventually the infinite mindscape.

Which connects to my main point that explaining our conscious
experiences in terms of a physical world doesn't get you anywhere
because the question just changes from "what causes consciousness" to
"what causes the physical world".

No. If physicist did found an explanation of consciousness in term of a physical world, then I would have buy physics in a second. It is because physics does not succeed, nor really address (except in Everett) the conciousness/reality question, that I have try to search why physics cannot solve that question, but how, on the contrary, if we assume digital mechanism, with digital made precise mathematically through Church thesis, the mind body problem is indeed reduce into a pure body problem, where the theory of mind is the study of what machine can prove, and guess, and intuit, and feel, about themselves (each term being defined by a variant of the self-reference logic, following Theaetetus).

With physicalism, you've explained consciousness in terms of something
which itself has no clear definition except, circularly, in terms of
our observations of it.

Which goes back to Brent's point about 1-p=>3-p=>1-p=>3-p...ad
infinitum.  Which isn't obviously wrong, but seems unsatisfactory to
me as a proposal for how things "really" are ontologically (as opposed
to epistemologically). Ontologocially, why not just say "1-p" and be
done with it?

Then you do the error done by many physicalist. You are confusing an observation with an explanation. I try to explain what I observe, and figure out what I believe in, what I know, what I expect, etc.

With comp, everyone already believe in the ontology, because it is taught in school: N = {0, 1, 2, ...}, structured by the laws of addition and multiplication. Despite Hartree Field, that theory is a subtheory of most general scientific theories.

Once you've given 1-p such a prominent role, what do you need 3-p for,
except as a way to explain the consistency of 1-p?  But in that case,
what explains the consistency of 3-p???

Which 3-p?

Wtih comp the basic 3-p is elementary arithmetic. The 1-p are personal histories of self-referential number (combinator) relatively to existing computations, or to proof of Sigma_1 sentences. But, cf uda, the consciousness flux is distiributed on the whole execution of the UD. Below our (sharable) level of substitution, this justifies a statistic on infinitely many computations.

Any way. I am just a logician. I am just saying, whatever you take or not the 1-p as being ontologically primitive or not, that if you believe your survive a digital brain/body substitution, then the ontology is {0, 1, 2, 3 ...} (or K, S, KK, SK, KS, ...}, and the 1-p and 3-p are explained by statistic on sequence of addition and multiplication (or abstraction and application).

I do exactly what Everett has done for QM. But I do this for "arithmetic". The wave is already phenomenological, first person plural. But thanks to the fact that machine can reflect their own incompleteness, they can learn the geometry of their limitation, and what is invariant.

But if causal laws are "real"

Assuming comp "causal laws" is never "real". It is the main interest of comp that we don't have to rely on any notion of causality, other than logical
implication A -> B, that is: ~A v B satisfied by Platonia, or by the
"standard model" of arithmetic. Causality is a multiform levels- intricate
emerging concept. It has no ontological sense, it is always an
epistemological notion.

I don't have a problem with anti-realism about causal laws, since as
you say, my position boils down to "consciousness is fundamental and

What does that explain? I cannot even derive from that if you would accept that your daughter marry a man with a 100% artificial body (cf Mister D).

Now, accepting that consciousness (1-p) is invariant for a substitution process at some level, entails an explanation of how the consciousness/reality coupling emerge from arithmetical truth.

But where is physicalism without causal laws?

In the block-universe type of ideas, and variants. I would say.

With comp epistemology
can be said more real than the ontology. Plotinus is aware of this: his God is beyond being, like matter is somehow below being: only intelligible ideas are real or existing, and God is what make those ideas possibly "real", and it cannot be "real" itself. The same for matter which is just the symptom of
the limiting competence of "God".

So your version of comp also doesn't seem obviously wrong to me
either.  But as Kant pointed out, the difficulty is not that we can
conclude too little but rather that we can conclude too much.

Sure. And today it is not yet clear if the arithmetical hypostases cure the lobian machine from its 1-p white rabbits. QM evacuates the 1-1-p white rabbits, but to eliminate the 1-p, you have to derive QM from the logic of the material hyposases.

the structure of our experience of the world, it is possible to deduce
contradictory particular claims about how things really are.

You mean" to infer". We can interpret differently, in different theories, similar observation.

For reasons I've mentioned previously, it seems best to me to go with
the simplest option, which is that only our experience exists.

You take the most mysterious thing as axiom, referring to a term, "experience", that philosophers debate on since philosophers debate.

And what do you mean by "our"? The humans, the living creature in the galaxies, the universal numbers, the lobian numbers.

It is here that I am precise: "us" = the lobian number. I study their theology, which includes physics.

seems counter-intuitive at first, but I think when you break
physicalism down then it's actually not as intuitive as it initially
seems either.  First, why does the material world exist; second, why
this material world instead of some other; and third, why would an
unconscious material world give rise to something like conscious
experience instead of being populated by zombies?

I agree with all you say here. I just exploit the fact that with the comp hypothesis, computer science provides a theory of mind which explains why some collection of machines develop stable and sharable hallucinations (called physical realities). The numbers, by self- reference logic and computation, explains both the mind and the "illusion" of matter, if you want.

All answers seem to boil down to:  "It just is that way".

I really dislike that answer, to be frank. It is fatalism.

 But we
could have said that about conscious experience without invoking the
material world.

To the extent that your proposal says that conscious experiences exist
platonically, then I guess we're in agreement.  But if you posit the
existence of additional kinds of things other than as subordinate
aspects of experience, then we part company.

I try to be a scientist, Rex. My personal theology is private. I am a logician. I just say that if you are willing to bet you could survive with an artificial digital, and as material as you want, brain, then you can, by working a little bit, understand that the theory of everything is given by any first order logical specification of any universal system or language, and that you can derive from that a complete theology, which is experimentally testable, because the theology includes a theory of matter, or a physics. I give a tool, a technology, to measure our degree of computationalism.

In the toe derived from comp, we can posit only 0, s(0), s(s(0)), ..., + the laws of addition and the laws of multiplication, and classical logic.

From that we have to derive quanta and qualia from self-reference and its variants brought by the incompleteness phenomena (by (a)uda).

Consciousness is fundamental, but not primitive, it is a form of self- knowledge, and it is fixed point for a mathematical transformation. It belongs in the (non constructive) union of truth and consistency.



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