I just realized that for some reason only half of these posts show up
in my e-mail…
Bruno, you speak of self-consciousness… do you mean body-image? Or do
you mean abstract self-recognition? Or the tendency towards false
identification? Or body relation/identification in a combative
It seems like your notion of self-acceleration or self-speeding is
what some people call psycho-active or psychedelic …. Or what others
call meditative metamorphoses through concentration. Concentration or
the will to power in the Spinoza and Nietzschean sense as self-
speeding. The lack of this concentration of the will or self-
intensification/force equated to what Kierkegaard called
spiritlessness… a symptom of modernity.
On Jul 2, 4:27 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
> 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
> 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".
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at