On 10 Jun 2011, at 00:50, Russell Standish wrote:
On Thu, Jun 09, 2011 at 10:17:46PM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
I do have a precise
theory, (not in my thesis, though) and free-will begins with
Löbianity. From this I infer that very plausibly, worms and ants
(and perhaps communists) have no free-will, but that spiders,
octopus, mice, dogs and humans have it. I thought only homeotermic
animals were self-conscious free animals. They can dream and can
have empathy, but since recently I accumulate evidence that
Löbianity occurs already with many invertebrates. Notably the
This is an interesting variation from you earlier claims, where you
were claiming that consciousness was very primitive.
I realize I have been clear on this in some FOR list post, perhaps not
here. I don't think I have varied on this. To be conscious, you need
only to be universal. To be self-conscious, and have free-will, you
need to be Löbian. I have no doubts that planaria and other worms are
conscious, but they have no notion of self and of others (or very
crude one). Löbianity is more sophisticated. They can infer
proposition on themselves and on others. They can attribute
consciousness on others.
In the arithmetical term, consciousness appears with Robinson
Arithmetic (= Peano Arithmetic without the induction axioms), and
Löbianity (and self-consciousness) appears with Peano Arithmetic.
Löbian entity have the same rich theology (captured *completely* by G
and G* at the propositional level).
So to be conscious, all you need is a brain, or a computer. All
animals with a centralized nervous system are probably conscious. To
be self-conscious, you need not *much* more, just one more reflexive
loop making possible to build an "inductive"self-image. It leads to
genuine empathy, awareness of death, etc.
Löbianity makes an animal as conscious as you and me.
It might be considered as the earlier delusion, and enlightenment
might be a passage from PA to RA, but I am, of course not sure about
Are cells and amoebas conscious? That is quite plausible, in this
setting, because those are genuinely universal. The genome of
Escherichia Coli (bacterium) is Turing universal, making even bacteria
conscious, but they lack Löbianity, and they might lack any sense of
self-consciousness. In fact we can equate the consciousness of those
lower creature with the consciousness of RA, or of any universal
numbers (sigma_1 complete theories). So consciousness, as opposed to
Löbianity, remains rather primitive.
identifying free will (or Loebianity) with consciousness, then only
selectively granting species might get around the anthropic ant
My critics of that argument was more about the use of a form of
Absolute Self-sampling assumption. It makes no sense for me to ask
what is the probability of being a bacterium, or a human, or an alien.
The only probability is the probability to have some conscious state
starting from having some conscious state (cf. RSSA versus ASSA).
Mind you, there are an awful lot of spiders - on my suburban block, I
would estimate a population of several thousand individuals, making up
perhaps 30-50 species, living on an area of land containing 4 humans
(and not many more mammals, I might add). You might need to limit it
to just some spider species - after all, I would expect a great
variation in spider intelligence.
Yes. My point was about jumping spiders. But here too, there are many
sorts, in fact more than 6000 species.
One thing I would like to ask is how you would objectively infer
Loebianity in a non-communicative species? That would indeed be a step
forward if we could do this arthropods.
That is why it is typically something you will infer by yourself when
you have developed special relationship with the animal. I have some
friend who have (giant tropical) spiders as pets and I was a bit
skeptical when they told me that such relations were empathic, and
thus communicative at some level.
Having looked at many videos on jumping spiders, I have come to the
conclusion that, after all, they might be right (with a high degree of
It is amazing, but it looks like we can develop a bond with some
spider! I suspected this a little bit. I *do* suffer from some
arachnophobia, and it might have been partially related with a quasi-
unconscious feeling that, when we chase a spider, the animal *knows*
that you exist and are there, and has an idea of what you try to do.
Now, I don't think that ants have Löbianity. They are conscious, but
never seems to attribute consciousness or personality to you (unlike
cats, dogs and now spiders (and octopus)). Spiders have free will :)
Prof Russell Standish Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales http://www.hpcoders.com.au
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to email@example.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at