On 02 Sep 2010, at 10:01, Rex Allen wrote:

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,

I don't do that. I insist that if 3-we are machine, that if we have a body capable as being described by a (digital) machine, then (simplifying a bit to be short), consciousness is not produced by that machine, but filtered from 'arithmetical truth'.

then the
rules of that system "determine" the arguments that you present and

This looks like a universal critics of science. I assume indeed that we are machine, and then I make a reasoning, and then indeed I also ask the machines what they think about the theory. Computer science makes the interview of ideally correct machines indeed feasible.

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.

Not really, because by proceeding in that way, I may discover evidences that I am wrong.

How is this situation an improvement on solipsism?  Only you exist.
Only the machine exists.


I believe in electron, bridge, numbers, nations, humans, planet, galaxies, etc. But that is just a personal confession. Then all what I say is that if I am machine, then all those things I just mention have to emerge from numbers with their additive and multiplicative structure, and I explain how and why.

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?

Well, most people do share with me the assumptions, they do believe that there is an infinity of prime numbers, that consciousness could be plausibly preserve in functional digital brain substitution, and then they follow, with varying degrees of easyness the reasoning.

The "matrix" and machine's "dreams" obey to the laws of computer science.

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.

No identity thesis. The relation between consciousness and the number relation is more "holistic" than the materialist usually thinks.

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

I use numbers, but I could use combinators or truing machines. What is important is that they are finite things, and admits many relations between them, and that some relation are universal in the sense of computer science.

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?

It is the undefinable "true" nature of those relations, and their hopefully stable nature, which is not yet proved for digital mechanism (but progresses can be amde, and what is already found makes the quantum mechanics solultion of that stability problem a confirmation of digital mechanism, up to now.

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.

Your consciousness, for you. But the point is to try to share something with others.


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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