On 10 May 2011 13:21, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

>> What does it mean for numbers to understand?
> Suppose I can answer this in a way that you understand. Then it means the
> same things for the numbers.

This seems to me to be a very central point.  Chalmers gives very
convincing arguments why an "Aristotelian machine's" expressed
behaviour (including its "thoughts" and "beliefs") are
indistinguishable from a conscious person's - excepting only that it
is not IN FACT conscious (!).  This alone should be enough (as indeed
he argues) to demonstrate the inadequacy of such a metaphysics of
matter, unless consciousness itself is to be denied (which, as Deutsch
argues in his most recent book, is just bad explanation).  It seems as
if, starting from an Aristotelian perspective, there is no way this
puzzle can be resolved even with the addition of various ad hoc
assumptions (such as Chalmers himself attempts, unsuccessfully IMO);
the assumed primacy of "material processes" inevitably ends in the
vitiation of "mental" explanation, in this view of the matter.  To
resolve the puzzle it seems that "material processes" and "mental
processes" (or, one might say, material and mental explanations) must
emerge as deeply correlated aspects of a single narrative. Hence, if
computationalism is to be the explanation for the mental, it must
likewise suffice as that of the material.  From this perspective, as
you say, it is then of the essence that any explanation must "mean the
same things for the numbers" as it does for me.


> On 09 May 2011, at 20:30, meekerdb wrote:
>> On 5/9/2011 11:00 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>> On 09 May 2011, at 18:57, meekerdb wrote:
>>>> On 5/9/2011 1:34 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>>> On 07 May 2011, at 19:36, meekerdb wrote:
>>>>>> On 5/7/2011 8:19 AM, John Mikes wrote:
>>>>>>> Thanks, Russell,
>>>>>>> I am gladly standing corrected about our fellow smart animals.
>>>>>>> HOWEVER:
>>>>>>> We speak about a "self-awareness" as we, humans identify it in our
>>>>>>> human terms and views.
>>>>>>> Maybe other animals have different mental capabilities we cannot
>>>>>>> pursue or understand, as adjusted to their level of complexity usable in
>>>>>>> their 'menatality'. It may - or may not - be only according to their 
>>>>>>> number
>>>>>>> of neurons as our conventional sciences teach. Or some may use senses 
>>>>>>> we are
>>>>>>> deficient in, maybe totally ignorant about. (We have a deficient 
>>>>>>> smelling
>>>>>>> sense as compared to a dog and missing orientation's senses of some 
>>>>>>> birds,
>>>>>>> fish, turtle)
>>>>>>> In our anthropocentric boasting we believe that only our human
>>>>>>> observations are 'real'.
>>>>>>> Thanks for setting me straight
>>>>>>> John.
>>>>>> Not only do other species have different perceptual modalities; even
>>>>>> within the "self-awareness" there are different kinds. Referring to my
>>>>>> favorite example of the AI Mars rover, such a rover has awareness of it's
>>>>>> position on the planet.  It has awareness of it's battery charge and the
>>>>>> functionality of various subsystems.  It has awareness of its immediate 
>>>>>> goal
>>>>>> (climb over that hill) and of some longer mission (proceed to the gully 
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> take a soil sample).  It's not aware of where these goals arise (as 
>>>>>> humans
>>>>>> are not aware of why they fall in love).  It's not aware of it's origins 
>>>>>> or
>>>>>> construction.  It's not a social creature, so it's not aware of it's
>>>>>> position in a society or of what others may think of it.
>>>>>> I expect that when we have understood consciousness we will see that
>>>>>> it is a complex of many things, just as when we came to understand life 
>>>>>> we
>>>>>> found that it is a complex of many different processes.
>>>>> Life and consciousness are different notion with respect to the notion
>>>>> of explanation we can find from them. In case of life, we can reduce a 
>>>>> third
>>>>> person describable phenomenon to another one (for example we can argue 
>>>>> that
>>>>> biology is in principle reduced to chemistry, which is reduced to 
>>>>> physics).
>>>>> For consciousness there is an hard problem, which is the mind-body 
>>>>> problem,
>>>>> and most people working on the subject agree that it needs another sort of
>>>>> explanation. Then comp shows that indeed, part of that problem, is that if
>>>>> we use the "traditional" mechanistic rationale, we inherit the need of
>>>>> reducing physics to number theory and intensional number theory, with a 
>>>>> need
>>>>> to explicitly distinguish first person and third person distinction. In a
>>>>> sense, the "hard problem" of consciousness leads to an "hard problem of
>>>>> matter" (the first person measure problem). Of course, I do think that
>>>>> mathematical logic put much light on all of this, especially the
>>>>> self-reference logics. Indeed, it makes the problem a purely mathematical
>>>>> problem, and it shows quanta to be a particular case of qualia. So we can
>>>>> say that comp has already solved the conceptual problem of the origin of 
>>>>> the
>>>>> coupling consciousness/matter, unless someone can shows that too much 
>>>>> white
>>>>> rabbits remains predictible and that normalization of them is impossible, 
>>>>> in
>>>>> which case comp is refuted.
>>>>> Bruno
>>>> I don't see that reducing consciousness to mathematics is any different
>>>> than reducing it to physics.
>>> It is more easy to explain the illusion of matter to an immaterial
>>> consciousness, than to explain the non-illusion of consciousness to
>>> something material.
>>> Consciousness can be explained by fixed point property of number
>>> transformation, in relation to truth, and this explains 99% of consciousness
>>> (belief in a reality) and 100% of the illusion of matter, which is really
>>> the illusion that some particular universal number plays a particular role.
>>> Each time I demand a physicist to explain what is matter, he can only
>>> give to me an equation relating numbers. With math, it is different, we have
>>> all relation between numbers, and we can understand, by listening to them,
>>> why some relation will take the form of particular universal number, having
>>> very long and deep computations, and why they will be taken statistically as
>>> describing a universe or a multiverses.
>>>> Aren't you are still left with "the hard problem" which now becomes "Why
>>>> do these number relations produce consciousness?".
>>> Not true. The math explains why some number relatively to other numbers
>>> develop a belief in a reality, and it explains why such a belief separates
>>> into a communicable part and a non communicable part. This is entirely
>>> explained by the G/G* splitting and their modal variant (based on the
>>> classical theory of knowledge).
>>>> I don't think this "hard problem" is soluble.
>>> An explanation gap remains, but then those number can understand why an
>>> explanation gap has to remain,
>> What does it mean for numbers to understand?
> Suppose I can answer this in a way that you understand. Then it means the
> same things for the numbers. Indeed you are, roughly speaking, such a
> number, in some technical sense which can be made precise when we take comp
> and computer science into account.
>>  I take it you mean for something like a Godel numbering, the numbers
>> represent a theorem about what can be expressed and what can be proven.  But
>> this is a model of thought and understanding.  There may be a gap between it
>> and reality just as there may be a gap between the models of physics and
>> reality.
> Not in the computationalist theory, that I am assuming. The doctor does not
> put a model of your brain in your skull. He put a machine 100% equivalent,
> and by definition, you survive this substitution. Sometimes a point of a map
> does localize its own position. This is what happen with the comp
> hypothesis, and the reason why I say that consciousness is a semantical
> 'fixed point'.
>>  One cannot be sure a hitherto successful model is not reality itself -
>> but such a belief must be provisional at best.
> Well, all theories are belief of that kind. Nobody pretends having find the
> "true" theory. My point is logical/technical. IF I am a machine, then the
> physical laws, quanta and qualia, have the following explanation... Moreover
> we get, at last, an explanation of why there is physical laws at the start.
>>> for purely logical reason. This explain why we do feel that there is
>>> something non explainable. But it is 99% explainable, and this includes a
>>> complete explanation why there is, necessarily, a remaining 1% which cannot
>>> be explained, but which can be reduced to our belief in the natural numbers.
>>> In any case, comp forces us to reduce physics to number "psychology", and
>>> this explain conceptually the existence of the physical realm. And we get a
>>> simple and elegant theory of everything: addition and multiplication.
>>>> Rather what can be solved is how to make devices, like intelligent Mars
>>>> Rovers and parts of brains the doctor can insert, which act conscious.  And
>>>> further to understand which computations correspond to different kinds of
>>>> thoughts, such as "awareness of self as a part of society" or "feeling of
>>>> guilt" or  "I'm in Moscow".  When we have that kind of engineering mastery
>>>> of AI, the "hard problem" will be seen as a simplistic, archaic wrong
>>>> question.
>>> Not at all. If your device is conscious by virtue of doing some right
>>> computation, from the point of view of the device itself, his reality must
>>> be described by a sum on all computations going through its states, implying
>>> that physics must be non local, indeterminist, etc.
>> But what is a "sum of computations";
> UDA step seven gives a pretty precise informal idea, which is made
> completely precise in AUDA which use a bit more of theoretical computer
> science, and of (real) Platonism under the form of the classical theory of
> knowledge (Theaetetus).
>> and it is an assumption that computation instantiates consciousness (your
>> theology)
> This is ambiguous, and strictly speaking false. Consciousness is not
> instantiated by one computation, but by an infinity of them. A relative
> implementation of computation, relative to universal numbers, make this
> consciousness able to manifest itself relatively to that universal number,
> with some probability.
>> which seems parallel to the physicists assumption that the 3p world can be
>> modelled by physical things.
> This is tautological. That remains correct, and even justified, in the
> mechanist theory, together with the non communicable part (consciousness,
> qualia, etc.).
>>  I see your theory as a model too.
> No. The artificial brain is not a model: it is the same as the actual thing,
> once you *assume* the theory, by definition of the theory.
>>  It may make some confirmable predictions (not just retrodictions) in
>> which case it will be a great theory.
> That might take time, but this is not relevant. The aristotelian theology
> fails to explain why physics use math, why we are conscious, what is a
> qualia. Then comp explains entirely why it has to fail on this. Comp just
> *refutes* Aristotle interpretation of the physical facts. That's all.
>> But I don't think it will do very much for achieving the kind of
>> engineering mastery I mentioned.
> It will do the same as physics, given that it does not change the physical
> science, nor its methodology. It contradicts only the (often implicit)
> theology, and it recast the physical reality in a bigger and more coherent
> picture. The aristotelian theology needs to model the brain by infinite
> analog non computational process, or to eliminate persons and consciousness.
> Comp does not criticize anything physical. It explains it. It refute ONLY
> the Aristotelian (materialist) ontology, used by atheists and christians
> alike.
>>> This *explains* the quantum without postulating it. And the logic of such
>>> self-referential programs explains also the qualia, and the gap of
>>> explanation for the qualia/consciousness. In fact physics explains nothing,
>>> it just take for granted some special universal number (the physical law),
>>> and reduce everything to it. The math, even just arithmetic, explains where
>>> universal numbers comes from, and how and why they dream, and why some
>>> dreams become sharable and define physical realities, with their sharable
>>> and non sharable parts.
>>> The hard problem is the real fundamental issue. Its comp solution really
>>> explains why they are quanta and qualia, and the laws such things obey.
>>> Physicalism/materialism eventually neglect the person and its consciousness,
>>> or build an unintelligible dualism. Physics does not even try to understand
>>> its own origin, or the origin of the object it talk about. Physics only
>>> build descriptions and scenarios, by taking a theology for granted (the
>>> Aristotelian one).
>> Physics aims for an invariant, i.e. 3p, model of the world.
> Comp also. You can even formulate one of the comp conclusion by saying that
> physics is invariant for the base theory, or that physics is invariant for
> the choice of the phi_i. But comp explains completely (except for a gap that
> it meta-explains completely) the qualia, and provide a precise theory for
> them, which is testable, because the quanta are special case of qualia.
>>  I don't know any philosophical minded physicists who think otherwise.
> New discoveries take time to be swallowed. Physicists are not wrong, they
> are incomplete with respect of many feature of reality. To put the person
> under the rug was a fertile methodological simplification, but today, we
> know that it contradicts the fact,
> unless you do have an evidence that the brain is an infinite analog machine
> (non Turing emulable) or that person and consciousness does not exist
> (brr...).
>> That there is some reality the models refer to - that's metaphysics, not
>> physics.
> Comp just contradicts the metaphysics of the physicists (most of them,
> currently). It shows that metaphysics is a science (in the Popper
> falsifiability sense), and it shows that the Aristotelian metaphysics is
> incompatible with the assumption that the brain is functional and finite.
> Once comp is assumed, elementary (first order) arithmetic is the new
> physics. Quantum mechanic and the correct GR are theorems in that theory,
> independently of the complexity of the task of retrieving them. But the
> self-reference logics already explains most of the quantum weirdness.
> Aristotelian physics is just a failed hypothesis. It does not explain why
> there is a physical universe, nor why there is a psychological universe, nor
> anything theological. It simply does not work. Comp is a progress on
> physics, like Everett is a progress on Copenhagen QM. It is the only theory
> which explains where a universe come from, and why consciousness exists and
> how they are related. Physical reality is the border of a universal mind,
> and this shows that the Platonists and neoplatonist get it right, contra
> Aristotle. This invites us to reconsider them.
> Bruno
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
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