Hi Brent and Bruno,
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 1:44 PM
Subject: Re: On the Sequencing of Observer Moments
On 5/20/2011 3:54 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 18 May 2011, at 18:54, meekerdb wrote:
On 5/18/2011 9:21 AM, Stephen Paul King wrote:
Interesting! If we follow this idea, that memory is not necessary for
consciousness, then consciousness does not require a persistent structure to
supervene upon. No?
I don't see how that follows.
Me too. Consciousness requires logically the entire arithmetical reality, for
example (with mechanism). Without 2+2=4, there is no consciousness, nor
computation, nor matter.
"Require" in what sense: logical, nomological,...? We know that a blow to
the head can interrupt consciousness
We don't know that. With comp nothing interrupt consciousness.
I have experienced it, a gap in my consciousness. Of course you may say it is
only a gap in my memory of consciousness, but a loss of memory can be induced
in by drugs that do not cause one to be unresponsive at the time which is not
remembered. This tells me that being unconscious is more that just not
and erase memories.
That can indeed happens locally and relatively. And that can give the feeling
of having been unconscious.
But consciousness is a matter of having feelings. Why credit feelings of being
conscious but not those of having been uncouscious. This goes back to the
question of the role of memories and whether memory is essential to
consciousness. You may hypothesize that nothing interrupts consciousness, or
make it true by a definition that denies physical (3rd person) time. But this
strikes me as trying to save a theory by redefining words.
Let me be clear, if we say that X supervenes on Y then the existence of X
is dependent on the existence of Y, right?
Consciousness, stripped of the notions of self-awareness, is what I was
considering. This corresponds, crudely stated, the idea of some kind of
correlation between the content of any given individual 1p and that which is
the same for many 1p or even invariant over transformations from one 1p to any
other in the equivalence class of 1p. In that sense, if consciousness does not
necessitate memory – any form of correlation with representations of prior
events – then why does consciousness require any persistent structure at all to
exist? What motivation does persistence of structure have in any discussion?
This disallows for Last Thursdaysm, I realize, and that is kind of the point
that I was trying to make. It seems to me that self-awareness requires memory
but bare consciousness does not. This seems consistent with the notion of an OM
as have been considered by Russell and Bruno, but it makes my confusion about
how OMs are sequenced even more profound!
We may posit that 2+2=4 is what undergirds reality, but what the heck does
“feelings” have to do with 2+2=4? There is no alternative to 2+2=4 except for
falsehood; but “feelings” seems to be a nonsense term without the notion of
some form of comparison between, for example, “I experience a qualia that is
incompatible with nothing other than having been unconscious yesterday.” How is
the truth of this statement evaluated? To put such statements in the same
domain as 2+2=4 seems to be a massive error. Feeling something requires a
comparative process and a process that requires persistence in time (or over
many separate and irreducible computations) so that the content of
consciousness is not identical to some stochastic variable (giving rise to the
White Rabbit problem). To bring propositions like 2+2=4, which are universal
true statements and even tautologies, as support for the idea that
consciousness supervenes from Arithmetic Realism (implicit in the 2+2=4) then
is to reduce consciousness to a trivial mapping, like the identity 0 – 0 = 0.
I have tried to ask Bruno if the logical propositions that he is
considering include 1p statements such as this one and, more generally,
statements about the local state of affairs as seen from some place and time so
that I can better understand if there is a place for an OM in his result, but I
get the feeling that there is no answer yet to this question. I am trying to
advance the discussion.
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