On 03 Jul 2011, at 00:55, John Mikes wrote:

Dear Bruno, here we go again....

A very colorful discussion about that darn consciousness, indeed, as it develops. I find YOUR scholarly text a bit skewed (Goedel and Goedel) since math logic is IMO a product of human(!) consciousness.

This is either self-defeating, or universal and empty. Would you say "no" to the digitalist doctor because the artificial brain is a human construct?

I do not comment on your "MACHINE" consciousness, since I don't feel comfortable as a machine with set inventory/design,

I don't argue that we are machine. I argue that if we are machine, the entire Aristotelian conception of reality has to be revised.

even a universal one - IF IT IS a machine.

The universal machine is a machine. I have no clue to what other universal thing you are alluding too.

The human intellect (another unknown! - not sarcastically said) has no borders or inventory, at least we have not experienced such so far.

Yes. And the assumption that we are machine does explain that fact. Today, assuming we are machine, we know that we know nothing even in the apparently restricted field of what machine can do. No borders or inventory for the machine abilities.

A "causally effective" Ccness? I wrote already my 'causality' deviation as considered within the 'model' of our so far acquired knowledge and the deterministic 'reasons' considered only by factors 'within', while the still unknown factors (maybe lots of such) also influence all that happens assigned to 'causality' of the partial listing.

When you say yes to the doctor, you don't pray for a model, but for the real thing.

(This is the reason why our terms are not 'absolute' and "The Truth".)

Of course. But they might be fact under an assumption, or theorem in a theory.

We may 'list' EFFECTIVE causes, but maybe not all.

Sure. Actually we can prove that they are not listable.

<I would not like to offend you with my hint to 'the world beyond arithmetical truth (logic).>

The point is that the inside machine's view of arithmetic is already beyond arithmetical truth (which is far beyond logic).

Soroud's expression: "consciousness is always embodied consciousness of life..." begs the question: what is life? how different is it from Ccness, if I identify the latter as
'response to relations' (information)? what else is life?
They seem to be close in such formulation. None of them "human" or even "terrestrial". Not even 'bodily ascertainable' which is a part of the figment "physical world". The JCS-online list has a long discussion about structured and unstructured dualism. I think Descartes HAD to include the soul into his 'human' unit to escape from Inquisition and that is why he anticipated the "complexity" in our time's idea - that includes the body and mind with its bi sided influences as a body-soul dualism. (I don't want to start a battle on this).

Consciousness - as the process of responding to relations is universal, human and terrestrial concepts are includable, it is independent of our so far acquired knowledge and does not restrict the application to the physical world and so the domains developed by the human mind. I have no theory to that, am insecure about the deterministic 'happening' - a term that requires 'time' - for a system where there is no time-factor identified as we know it. The so far perceived reality I know of did not give me(!) answers to a lot of questions.
That's why I say I am agnostic.

All scientists are agnostic. But we can put theories and reason in the theories. No scientist will ever pretend it has the true theory. Those who does are pseudo-priesters in disguise.


John Mikes

On Sat, Jul 2, 2011 at 7:27 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

On 01 Jul 2011, at 13:23, selva kumar wrote:

Is consciousness causally effective ?

I found this question in previous threads,but I didn't find a answer.

Was it in the FOR list (on the book Fabric of reality by David Deutsch) ? I thought I did answer this question, which is a very imprtant and fundamental question.

It is also a tricky question, which is very similar or related to the question of free-will, and it can lead to vocabulary issue. I often defend the idea that consciousness is effective. Indeed the role I usually defend for consciousness is a relative self-speeding up ability. Yet the question is tricky, especially due to the presence of the "causally", which is harder to grasp or define than "consciousness" itself.

Let me try to explain. For this I need some definition, and I hope for some understanding of the UDA and a bit of AUDA. Ask precision if needed.

The main ingredient for the explanation are three theorems due to Gödel:

- the Gödel completeness theorem (available for machine talking first order logic or a sufficiently effective higher order logic). The theorem says that a theory or machine is consistent (syntactical notion, = ~Bf) iff the theory has a model (a mathematical structure in which it makes sense to say that a proposition is true). I will rephrase this by saying that a machine is consistent if and only if the machine's beliefs make sense in some reality.

- the Gödel second incompleteness theorem ~Bf -> ~B(~Bf): if the machine is consistent, then this is not provable by the machine. So if the beliefs are real in some reality, the machine cannot prove the existence of that reality. This is used in some strict way, because we don't assume the machine can prove its completeness (despite this has shown to be the case by Orey). This entails that eventually, the machine can add as new axiom its own consistency, but this leads to a new machine, for which a novel notion of consistency appears, and the 'new' machine can still not prove the existence of a reality "satisfying its beliefs. yet that machine can easily prove the consistency of the machine she was. This can be reitered as many times as their are (constructive) ordinals, and this is what I describe as a climbing from G to G*. The modal logic of self-reference remains unchanged, but the arithmetical interpretation of it expands. An infinity of previously undecidable propositions become decidable, and ... another phenomenon occurs:

- Gödel length of proof theorem. Once a machine adds an undecidable proposition, like its own consistency, as a new axiom/belief, not only an infinity of (arithmetical) propositions become decidable, but an infinity of already provable propositions get shorter proofs. Indeed, and amazingly enough, for any number x, we can find a proposition which proofs will be x times shorter than its shorter proof in the beliefs system without the undecidable proposition. A similar, but not entirely equivalent theorem is true for universal computation ability, showing in particular that there is no bound to the rapidity of computers, and this just by change of the software (alas, with finite numbers of exceptions in the *effective* self- speeding up: but evolution of species needs not to be effective or programmable in advance).

Now I suggest to (re)define consciousness as a machine (instinctive, preprogrammed) ability to bet on a reality. This is equivalent (stricto sensu: the machine does not need to know this) to an ability of betting its own consistency (excluding that very new axiom to avoid inconsistency). As a universal system, this will speed-up the machine relatively to the probable local universal system(s) and will in that way augment its freedom degree. If two machines play ping-pong, the machine which is quicker has a greater range of possible moves/strategy than its opponent.

So the answer to the question "is consciousness effective" would be yes, if you accept such definition.

Is that consciousness *causally* effective? That is the tricky part related to free will. If you accept the definition of free will that I often suggested, then the answer is yes. Causality will have its normal "physical definition", except that with comp such physicalness is given by an arithmetical quantization (based on the material hypostase defined by Bp & Dp): p physically causes q, iff something like BD(BDp -> BDq). I recall Dp = ~B ~p. But of course, in God eyes, there is only true (and false) number relations. The löbian phenomenon then shows that the consciousness self-speeding up is coupled with the building of the reality that the machine bet on. At that level, it is like if consciousness is the main force, perhaps the only original one, in the physical universe! This needs still more work to make precise enough. There is a complex tradeoff in between the "causally" and the "effective" at play, I think.

I hope this was not too technical. The work of Gödel plays a fundamental role. This explanation is detailed in "Conscience et Mécanisme", and related more precisely to the inference inductive frame.

To sum up: machine consciousness, in the theory, confers self- speeding up abilities to the machine with respect to the most probable continuation/universal-machine. It is obviously something useful for self-moving creature: to make them able to anticipate and avoid obstacles, which would explain why the self-moving creatures have developed self-reflexive brains, and become Löbian (self- conscious). Note that here the role is attributed to self- consciousness, and not really to consciousness. But you need consciousness to have self-consciousness. Consciousness per se has no role, like in pure contemplation, but once reflected in the Löbian way, it might be the stronger causally effective force operating in the 'arithmetical truth', the very origin of the (self) acceleration/force.

Note that the Gödel speed-up theorem is not hard to prove. There is a simple proof of it in the excellent book by Torkel Franzen "Gödel's theorem An Incomplete Guide To Its Use and Abuse" which I recommend the reading (despite it is more on the abuses than the uses). The original paper is in the book by Davis: the undecidable (republished in Dover), and which I consider as a bible for "machine's theology".



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