On 23 Jun 2011, at 19:29, Rex Allen wrote:

On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 1:44 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 6/21/2011 8:17 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
But comp denies that "we can prove that a machine can think". Of course we
can prove that some machine has this or that competence. But for
intelligence/consciousness, this is not possible. (Unless we are not
machine. Some non-machine can prove that some machine are intelligent, but this is purely academical until we find something which is both a person and
a non-machine).

But of course we can prove that a machine can think to the same degree we
can prove other people think.  That we cannot prove it from some
self-evident set of axioms is completely unsurprising. This comports with my idea that with the development of AI the "question of consciousness" will
come to be seen as a archaic, like "What is life?".

Actually, I think you may have a point.  The question of "what is
life" is really not a scientific question.  Yet, nevertheless, I am

In the same way, the question of "what is consciousness" is not a
scientific question either.  And yet, I am conscious.  Consciousness

Science is just not applicable to these questions, because these
questions have nothing to do with the core purposes of science:

"Instrumentalism is the view that a scientific theory is a useful
instrument in understanding the world. A concept or theory should be
evaluated by how effectively it explains and predicts phenomena, as
opposed to how accurately it describes objective reality."

So science is about formulating frameworks for understanding
observations in a way that allows for accurate prediction.  To ascribe
"metaphysical truth" to any of these frameworks is to take a leap of
faith *beyond* science.

Taking the view of "instrumentalism with a pinch of common sense",
there is no reason to believe that every question that can be asked
can be answered scientifically.  Is there?

Unless and until consciousness can be made useful for prediction, it
will remain invisible and irrelevant to science.

Public communicable science = third person description. With comp + the classical theory of knowledge, modeling belief by machine provability, you can develop a third person publicly communicable discourses on things that you cannot seen, detect, experience, or predict.

There is no reason to forbid the scientific approach on "what escape the scientific discourse", once we make a theory about those things, precisely. That would be a confusion of level. We cannot use our private experience as argument in a scientific paper, but, if we put our theories on the table, we can reason and learn on any subject, including first person (conscious) experiences.

In particular if we believe that consciousness in a local (relative) invariant for some local universal system (like "the laws of physics") then it makes the quanta and the qualia theory derivable from arithmetical self-reference, and this in a way which lead to precise predictions. Comp, even if false, provides, thanks COMPuter sciences, a tool for measuring our non-computability with respect to what we observe. If your instrumentalism forbids third person discourse *on* the first person discourse (in some theory) then your instrumentalism will degenerate into metaphysical positivism, which is self- contradictory, if only terribly infertile.

Comp just translated the mind-body problem into a problem in math and in physics. It also illustrates that "science" (= honest scientists) have not yet solved the problem, and that with comp there is indeed a genuine problem. Up to now, thanks to the quantum, and Gödel, nature confirms comp and the classical theory of knowledge (= does not refute its explanation of quanta, and of course qualia).

But you are right, somehow, consciousness has to remain invisible by science, for reason similar that self-consistency is unprovable by a machine, and "self-truth" is not even definable by the machine. But assuming comp and the classical theory of knowledge, we can explain why something like consciousness has to exist and remains invisible. And given that the theory explains the quanta, we can compare it to nature and test it. This shows that we can indirectly falsify a theory of consciousness, making it scientific in the common sense of Popper.

It is, I think, non scientific to exclude anything from the attempt to formulate more precise public question in any field, including fields approaching the incommunicable, the infinite, the unbounded, and other in-#. We can glimpse things which can have tremendous applications, notably in survival matters, quality of life, dignity and many things from life.

In comp, it is the gap between G and G* which makes this conceptually possible. The truth we infer is always larger than the proofs we get at. All machines does that naturally, except when they are taught "shut up and calculate".



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