Hi Bruno and Craig,

On 7/22/2011 4:58 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:


On 21 Jul 2011, at 16:08, Craig Weinberg wrote:

if you think molecules are needed, that is, that the level of
substitution includes molecular activity, this too can be emulated by
a computer

But it can only be emulated in a virtual environment interfacing with
a computer literate human being though.

Why. That's begging the question.



Bruno has a strong point here. So long as one is dealing with a system that can be described such that that description can be turned into a recipe to represent all aspects of the system, then it is, by definition computable!

A real mouse will not be able
to live on virtual cheese.

But a virtual mouse will (I will talk *in* the comp theory).

Virtual mice eat virtual cheese and get virtual calories from it! Be careful that your not forcing a multi-leveled concept into a single conceptual level.



Why can't consciousness be considered
exactly the same way, as an irreducible correlate of specific meta-
meta-meta-elaborations of matter?

What do you mean by matter? Primitive matter does not exist. A TOE has to explain where the belief in matter comes from without assuming it.


OK, Bruno, would you stop saying that unless you explicitly explain what you mean by "primitive matter"? The point that "A TOE has to explain where the belief in matter comes from without assuming it" is very important, though, but you might agree that that kind of multi-leveled TOE is foreign to most people. Not many people consider that a Theory of Everything must contain not only a representation of waht is observed but also the means and methods of the observations there of, or else it is not a theory of *Everything*. This actually makes the concept of a TOE subject to Incompleteness considerations!



All what consciousness (and matter) needs is a sufficiently rich
collection of self-referential relations. It happens that the numbers,
by the simple laws of addition and multiplication provides already
just that. Adding some ontological elements can only make the mind
body problem more complex to even just formulate.

Information is not consciousness. Energy is the experience of being
informed and informing, but it is not information.

I agree.


Indeed!



This is why a brain
must be alive and conscious (not in a coma) to be informed or inform,
and why a computer must be turned on to execute programs, or a
mechanical computing system has to have kinetic initialization, etc.

Not at all. All you need are relative genuine relations. That does explain both the origin of quanta and qualia, including the difference of the quantitative and the qualitative.


But Bruno, you are side-stepping the vital question of persistance and transitivity in that notion of "genuine relations." One's TOE has to account for the appearance of time, even it it is not primitive. It is not enough to show that matter is not primitive, we have to show how the image of an evolving matter universe is possible. So far we are implying it via diamonds, but diamonds do not map in ways that are necessary to code interactions.


The path that energy takes determines the content of the experience to
some extent, but it is the physical nature of the materials through
which the continuous sense of interaction occurs which determine the
quality or magnitude of possible qualitative elaboration (physical,
chemo, bio, zoo-physio, neuro, cerebral) of that experience.


How?


Umm, Craig, no. Energy is defined by the path of events of the interaction. This is why the word "action" is used. We have a notion of least action which relates to the minimum configuration of a system, the content of the experience *is* the "inside view" of the process that strives always for that minimum.



Physical
will take you to detection, chemo to sense, bio to feeling, zoo to
emotion, neuro to cognition, cerebral to full abstraction (colloquial
terms here, not asserting a formal taxonomy).

You say so, but my point is that if you assume matter, your theory needs very special form of infinities. Which one?


Could explain this necessity, Bruno?



All are forms of
awareness. Consciousness implies awareness of awareness

That is self-consciousness.

Consciousness does not require a model of self that is integrated into the content of consciousness, therefore consciousness is not reflexive in the primitive sense.




which maybe
comes at the neuro or  cerebral level, maybe lower? It has nothing to
do with the complexity of the path that the energy takes. Complexity
is an experience, not a discrete ontological condition.

You need infinities to make complexity an experience, and that is like putting the horse behind the car.


Please explain this.



Adding some ontological elements can only make the mind
body problem more complex to even just formulate.

This makes me think that you are sentimental about protecting the
simplicity of an abstract formula, rather than faithfully representing
the problem.

I was mentioning the mind-body problem. No formula was involved. You put infinities and uncomputability everywhere, where comp put it in very special place with complete justification.



I'm not especially interested in the 'easy' problem of
consciousness.

Me neither.



It's a worthwhile problem, to be sure, it's just not my
thing. I do think, however, that if we can accurately describe the
pattern of what the hard problem seems to arise from, it may have
implications for both the easy and hard problems. At worst, my view
limits the aspirations of inorganic materials to simulate
consciousness,

That is vitalism. It fails to explain anything. It makes the problem less tractable. It is similar to the God of the gap. Comp explains why there is a gap. I am not sure you study the theory.


OTOH, Bruno. one cannot gloss over the way that quantum logic is non-distributive. Reducing all to combinators or numbers that do not involve this seems doomed from the start. it is as if we dissolve everything into a soup and say: See, Existence is soup!


but I don't see that as anything more than an
identification of how the cosmos works. We don't want to create
consciousness, we can do that already by reproducing. We want an
omnipotent glove for the hand of consciousness that we already have.
That seems easier to accomplish if we are not convincing ourselves
that feelings must be numbers.

Comp explains completely why feelings are NOT numbers. You don't study the theory, and you criticize only your own prejudice about numbers and machines.

You can use non-comp, as you seem to desire, but then tell us what is not Turing emulable in "organic matter"?

Bruno

Craig, Bruno has a point there. Be sure that you are not arguing against a straw man unintesionally!

Onward!

Stephen


On Jul 21, 9:31 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
On 21 Jul 2011, at 12:50, Craig Weinberg wrote:

I don't have a problem with living neurological systems extending
their functionality with mechanical prosthetics, it's the other way
around that is more of an issue. People driving cars doesn't mean cars
driving human minds.

Sure, but we do both: robots with neurons, and animals, including
humans, with the brain partially replaced by artificial neurons.
Anyway, if you think molecules are needed, that is, that the level of
substitution includes molecular activity, this too can be emulated by
a computer. The only way to negate computationalism consists in
pretending there is some NON Turing-emulable activity going on in the
brain, and relevant for consciousness. In that case, there is no
possible level of digital substitution.

Note that all physical phenomena known today are Turing emulable,
even, in some sense, quantum indeterminacy (in the QM without
collapse) where the indeterminacy is a first person view of a
digitalisable self-multiplication experiment.

All what consciousness (and matter) needs is a sufficiently rich
collection of self-referential relations. It happens that the numbers,
by the simple laws of addition and multiplication provides already
just that. Adding some ontological elements can only make the mind
body problem more complex to even just formulate.

Bruno











On Jul 21, 5:48 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
On 21 Jul 2011, at 00:58, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 4:40 AM, Craig Weinberg
<whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
Chickens can walk around for a while without a head also. It
doesn't
mean that air is a viable substitute for a head, and it doesn't
mean
that the head isn't producing a different quality of awareness than
it
does under typical non-mortally wounded conditions.

I think you have failed to address the point made by several
people so
far, which is that if the replacement neurons can interact with the
remaining biological neurons in a normal way, then it is not
possible
for there to be a change in consciousness. The important thing is
**behaviour of the replacement neurons from the point of view of the
biological neurons**.

And interfacing biological neurons with non biological circuits is
not
sci.fi., nowadays.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-0eZytv6Qk&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QPiF4-iu6g&feature=fvwrel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EvOlJp5KIY

This is NOT a proof, nor even strong evidences for computationalism,
but it is strong evidence that humans will believe in comp, and
practice it, no matter what.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

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