On 1 September 2010 09:21, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

>> 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).

Rex's question excerpted above, and Bruno's response to it, seem to
relate directly to the topic I had in mind in my original post.
Speaking, as it were, somewhat in Bruno's rather "large" sense, the
"brutely existing substrate of numbers" might correspond to that
particular perspective on the Real which is characterised by
abstraction to what I called the pole of maximal fragmentation - i.e.
the role presumably occupied by the quantum field and its
manifestations in current physical theory.  "The self-reference logic
of self-introspecting (ideally correct) programs (machine, numbers,
theories ...", would then be seen in the role of a combinatorial logic
operating over this domain - that occupied, in physical theory, by
whatever are supposed to be considered the fundamental relations
between "physical" ultimates.

The key subtlety then devolves on "the true but non communicable
part".  This seems very difficult to state concisely.  Perhaps what
makes it elusive is that first one has to appreciate that the
self-introspecting logic is (somehow) already capable of grasping that
certain of its beliefs have the characteristic of implying to the
believer, in a certain sense, the "metaphysical distinctness" of their
referents.  To see this, let us consider "Logical-David" - i.e. that
aspect of David that is purely a manifestation of "self-introspecting
(ideally correct) programs".  This Logical-David possesses - i.e. is
(partially) constituted by - certain self-referential beliefs that
mediate relations between "himself" and the "objects of his
experience".  He is already, within the constraints of this purely
logical substrate, capable of demonstrating consistent commitment to
such beliefs, and to their putative referents; indeed this is what
motivates any communicable judgement or statement whatsoever that he
is capable of producing about them.  There is something more, however.
 There is something that already seems to him to transcend this purely
logical "substrate", something somehow metaphysically distinct, that
seems to arise from its peculiarly self-referencing character.  It
seems somehow to be those very "objects of experience" themselves.

On reflection, however, Logical-David is (just) able to see that all
these considerations can still be confined within the constitutive
substrate of numbers and combinatorial logic.  Or to put it another
way, as someone notoriously said, "he would say that, wouldn't he"?
Whatever this extra something might, or might not, be, he is incapable
of communicating it directly.  Consequently, purely "logically", he
must (just) concede that any such putative metaphysical distinctness
could still be, from a purely "logical" standpoint, chimerical.  In
other words, it would appear that he cannot, with pure logic, rule out
the possibility - even to himself - of Logical-David being merely a
zombie.  And indeed, Logical-David is, precisely, such a zombie.
Actually, in this somewhat etiolated form he really should be
considered more an intriguing interpretation of the
mathematico-logical substrate than a person, as it were, in his own
right

Can there be no escape from this seemingly doleful logic?  Yes, if
there is *in fact* a David whose personal individuation is able to
transcend its merely logical embodiment.  And such transcendence
indeed implies a metaphysically distinct, direct grasp of certain
truths beyond their mere logical implication; some sort of personal
integration or synthesis - apotheosis, even - correlated with, but
irreducible to, any substrate considered in its purely
analytical-combinatorial aspect.  In short, for such transcendent
individuation to be the case, there must *actually exist* a
first-person David who is conscious, as well as merely logically
possessed, of the objects of his experience.

And as to the truth of this - of course - only he would know.

David (both of him)



>
> 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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