On 31 Aug 2010, at 19:36, Rex Allen wrote:

On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 11:11 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

So "idealist accidentalism"...the view that what exists is mental, and
that there is no underlying process that explains or governs this
existence.

If idealist accidentalism is correct then there is no theory at all.

Well, I'd have to hear your definition of "theory" and what the
conditions are for its existence.

The existence of a theory is usually not the object of the theory, but of a metatheory.

In some case the metatheory can itself be an object of the theory. For example zoologists are animal (but botanist are not plant). Since Gödel we know that the theory "Peano Arithmetic" can be studied "in" Peano arithmetic. And monist philosophies makes mandatory that the theory and/or the theoretican has to belong to the collection of objects or phenomena of the theory. Physicists do obey to the laws of gravitation for example. A physicist of masse m will attract a physicist of mass M with a force proportional to mM/(square of the distance between two physicists). of course that force is negligible compared to the natural repulsion that a physicist can or cannot have for a colleague ...




So obviously something exists...my conscious experience of this
moment.

That is obvious for you. I have to postulate it.
Unless you postulate we are the same person?
I can agree with that, at some level, but you waould not refer to "this moment". I am not sure what you mean by "moment" with idealist accidentalism (IA).



This experience is a multifaceted thing...in that there are
many "things" I am conscious of in this moment.

But this is true of dreams as well.  I am conscious of many things in
a dream, but those aren't things that exist outside or independently
of the dream.

In which theory. Such a sentence seems to assume a lot, if only to make some sense. If IA is correct, words like "world", "outside" refer to what?



So what accounts for the dream?  Numbers?

In the theory "digital mechanism", aka "computationnalism", we can argue for this, indeed.



How does my experience of
dreaming of a tree connect to numbers?  What is it that generates my
experience of a tree from the brutely existing substrate of numbers?

Well, from the true but non communicable part given by the self- reference logic of self-introspecting (ideally correct) programs (machine, numbers, theories ... words are used in a large sense here).



Why should numbers give rise to my dream experience of a tree?
Obviously I can use numbers to represent the tree...in the sense that
I can use saved numerical measurements to "re-present" the tree to my
self...if I can remember how to interpret the measurements.  And I'm
even willing to grant that I can use numbers to represent my
experience of the tree.  But representation is just the re-presenting
of something to your conscious experience, which is not at all the
same as explaining the fact of that experience.

The fact of experience is given by the true fixed point of the representation, like a map of the USA, when situated in the USA will have a representing point superposed on the real point.





But idealist accidentalism is a theory (even if vague)
So there is no theory, and there is one theory.
So 0 = 1.
Contradiction.
So idealist accidentalism is refuted.

I think you should have your logician license revoked...

I will not insist on that littel reasoning. Was just trying to shortly points that IA makes little sense for me.




You may save it by insisting that idealist accidentalism is not a theory. It would be a mere philosophical injunction of the type "dont' ask, don't
search".

I think it is a just a recognition that Agrippa's trilemma and the
principle of sufficient reason lead to infinite levels of infinite
regress.  Which I take as a sign that there's something wrong with
that type of interpretation of our conscious experience.



When put in computer science terms (which computationalism invites naturally to do), we inherit of the fixed point solutions of recursive equation.

I have no problem with people trying different kind of theory, but to posit consciousness at the start (or matter, actually) does not satisfy me. As I said it prevents further research. I understand that feeling (consciousness cannot be explained), but I can at least explain why machine/numbers develop discourse invoking similar failure feeling about their own consciousness/consistency, or true but non provable predicate on themselves.

Bruno


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



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