On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 4:21 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> 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 ...
This is part of the point I'm making. You have to place yourself
within your proposed framework. If you posit the existence of a
rule-based system as an explanation for conscious experience, then the
rules of that system "determine" the arguments that you present and
At this point you are merely a cog in the machine of your system.
Your every thought, belief, and emotion are the byproduct of the
inexorable action of its metaphysical gears.
How is this situation an improvement on solipsism? Only you exist.
Only the machine exists.
Six of one, half a dozen of the other I’d say.
And there’s still the problem that the vast majority of physical
universes (or mathematical structures) would be dishonest “Matrix”
universes (or structures), so how likely is it that our beliefs are
true of anything outside of our subjective experience?
>> So obviously something exists...my conscious experience of this
> That is obvious for you. I have to postulate it.
I don’t see the importance of this point? I am certain that my
experience of this moment (or instant) exists...nothing important
hinges on whether your experience exists. If it doesn’t, that’s fine.
I’m not trying to explain your conscious experience, I’m only trying
to explain mine. Bouncing ideas off of you is a useful
activity...which would still be true even if it turned out that you
were just an Eliza-like chat-bot that parsed incoming emails,
rearranged the wording, and added some logician-speak before mailing
them back out.
> 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
Moment as in “Instant of consciousness”. Or even as in “instance of
>> 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.
I was thinking of physicalism.
> 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?
Aspects of experience.
>> So what accounts for the dream? Numbers?
> In the theory "digital mechanism", aka "computationnalism", we can argue for
> this, indeed.
So IF it is true that some particular some set of numbers and the
relations between them just *are* my conscious experience of seeing an
oak tree, THEN *something* has to make that true.
It’s not the numbers themselves that would make that true, because
numbers are numbers, and have nothing obvious to do with oak trees or
And it’s not the relations between numbers, because these also have
nothing obvious to do with oak trees or experience.
So, what is it that makes the previous statement true? If it is true,
then it seems to me that there must be some other kind of relationship
that can connect numbers, relationships between numbers, and the
experience of oak trees.
What, in your opinion, is the nature of this extra relationship?
> 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.
Consciousness is the start though, isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be
posited...it’s a given. Directly known.
Trying to ignore this givenness and re-derive it from things that are
inferred FROM conscious experience is where you go astray I think.
> As I said it prevents further research.
Why do you want to do further research?
Putting yourself in your own proposed metaphysical framework, what is
the cause of your insatiable lust for more research? In the grand
scheme of things, what does it mean that you want further research?
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