Hi Craig and Bruno,
I think you two are 'talking past each other' in that you are
thinking of completely different things in your comments.
On 8/6/2011 2:12 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Aug 6, 12:46 pm, Bruno Marchal<marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
On 06 Aug 2011, at 13:42, Craig Weinberg wrote:
If we 'need to agree on elementary principles' doesn't that mean it's
If we agree on principles, it means it is intersubjective, but this
does not mean it is necessarily not objective. Something can be both
intersubjective and objective.
But it's not intersubjective if we don't agree. You need to understand
math in the exact way that it is intended in order to agree. Certainly
as math becomes more complex, it can become less objective than simple
language. Mathematicians can disagree, but speakers of English don't
disagree on the use of the word 'the'.
Intersubjectivity is, by definition, built up from a plurality of
subjects having similar referents. I would go so far to claim that
objectivity is an abstraction of intersubjectivity. Mathematics deals
with concepts, content of thought that we use intentionally or not to
That being burned causes pain or that pain hurts
doesn't need to be agreed upon at all.
We are not on the same wave-length. If you do a theory of sensations,
you might use the assertion that "pain hurts" as an axiom.
But pain hurts whether or not you have a theory about it. It already
is an axiom. You don't need to say Let Pain = Hurt.
That is not Bruno's point; it is not that a theory determined
whether or not pain = hurt, it is how we can think about the
relationship between pain and hurt. Axioms, crudely, are a way of
considering primitive matters of affairs that are and there are no
alternatives. This way of thinking has some assumptions itself, axioms
if you like, that are different from , say, the anti-fundamentalist
He is discussing how the quantitative and qualitative valuations
and properties of our concepts have patterns to them and these patterns
can be considered seperately from the particular physical instantiations
of them. I would nto so far as saying that their existence is
independent in the existential sense. But the point is that particular
properties are not subject to human vote, whim, or intension. The fact
that 2 is both an even and a prime number has nothing at all with human
choice. OTOH, the fact that we use this particular symbol '2' to
represent that quantity of two-ness and all that that entails is
dependent of human choice.
have to ask them to agree on them. It is not because many will agree
that there is no an agreement.
No, I think you can just ask them 'does pain hurt?'. Arithmetic isn't
the same, the whole system of logic has to be introduced and
understood in advance before it's truths can be agreed upon.
What about situations where we do not know the language and thus
cannot ask the question "Are you in pain?" and expect a response "yes"
Of course "pain hurts" is a rather objective statements on a
subjective experience. I guess in many theory things like that might
be derived from more primitive definitions.
Physical to me is just an intellectual category of phenomena which can
be characterized by their adherence to physical law.
And what is a physical law?
A category of consistent, quantifiable observations common to objects
outside of ourselves and distinct from phenomena with ourselves.
But are the 'laws" subject to contingency, or are they necessary
from the interactions between many entities? It is often the case that
physical laws are interpreted in the same way that we consider human
'laws' of traffic and other conduct. The former are not contingent on
choice while the latter are.
Can they be
described primarily by terms like mass, local boundaries, temperature,
That are measurable numbers. The one normally related to mathematical
I would say that the numbers are our measurement, what they are
measuring is not necessarily a number.
.... Sure, we measure quantities, the specifics of what is measured
can vary... But given the way that we communicate on the
quasi-invariants within intersubjectivity, the idea that numbers refer
to quantities does not seem problematic...
interactions with other phenomena that are considered
That is circular.
I'm trying to say that an actual bowling ball can be distinguished
from an imaginary bowling ball by it's interaction with actual bowling
pins. Not saying it would constitute evidence of physicality in the
positive (virtual bowling ball can knock over virtual pins) but that
it does suggest evidence of non-physicality in the negative (virtual
bowling ball cannot knock over actual pins by itself). A physical
bowling ball could potentially supervene upon a simulation however, by
being slammed into the screen or computer hard enough to break it.
Anything that could actually run a simulation of bowling pins could
potentially be crushed by a large enough or small enough bowling ball
going at the right speed. Math alone cannot supervene upon physical
Can we not distinguish between a concept in the mind and a physical
object in the world? How else are we to relate descriptions to
referents? A simulation of a billiard ball is a meaningless fiction if
there is no referent to which that simulational pattern can be compared
and contrasted. How exactly is the world that you observe with your
senses not a simulation in the sense of being in your head? If we did
not perceive the world via simulations generated by the brain then, for
one example, hallucinations would never occur.
I think that I could have a dream where 2+2=5
and it could make perfect sense in the dream.
Dreams illustrates that sense can be put on anything.
Right. That's the point. If you turn it around, nothing can make sense
unless you make sense of it also
Not sure. The dinosaurs made sense before the humans made sense of
But not before the dinosaurs made sense of their own existence, or the
biosphere made sense of reptiles.
So, why is it necessary to have a hierarchy of supervenience?
I think that the primality of 17 makes sense independently of
any observer or physical reality. I mean that the proposition that
there is no numbers different from 1 and 17 capable to divide 17" is
true in all circumstance. Even in absence of a physical reality.
Indeed I begin to explain that such arithmetical truth implies the
existence of consciousness and stable first person plural beliefs in
local observable physical phenomena.
I do get what you're saying, and I agree that the internal consistency
or arithmetic, prime numbers, etc is compelling as a primitive, but
that consistency is not accessible to all states of consciousness -
like a dream. All states of consciousness though imply sensorimotive
experience. Being present. Even if there is no exterior geometry of a
dream world, you can still be present in a void. To compute in the
real world, we need to use physical materials with certain properties.
It would be hard to build a calculator out of clouds. It could be done
I suppose, but the object-ness of a material is directly proportionate
to how appropriate it would be to hosting/reflecting our calcuations.
You can simulate a cloud with virtual water droplets and convection
currents, but can you simulate silicon microprocessors with fog?
Bruno is defending the claim that we and all of our experience of
the world are, crudely stated, 'the dreams of numbers'. This idea
entails that the physical world and all of its properties are also part
of that dream. So in a deep and subtle sense there is no 'you' that has
the dream of being in a world, what we are experiencing is dreams within
dreams. There is not fundamental 'stuff'.
. Including arithmetic. It doesn't
make sense by itself.
Why would you need an observer for making true that only 1 and 17
That seems to me super-anthropocentric.
To me it seems anthropocentric to imagine that an abstract human
artifact like 17 can exist without an observer.
'17' the symbol or that which that symbol represents?
I think you are confusing the truth of "1 and 17 are the only numbers
dividing 17" with the proposition "humans have discovered that 1 and
17 are the only numbers dividing 17"
I think you are confusing just the opposite. If comp is right, I can
make a computer program that believes that 3 divides into 17 equally,
and make a whole race of universal machines that will never be able to
figure out any differently. Now if I get rid of the humans, 17 divided
by 3 will be #, objectively. Any mathematical consequences of this
would simply be be understood as an interesting puzzle or open
question of mathematics.
No, comp does not allow arbitrary mathematical relationships to
intermingle such that in one part 17 is prime and in some other part 17
is not prime. Global consistency is a basic requirement and that
prevents the scenario that you are pointing at.
It needs the physical abacus of a microchip or a
loom or a brain to do that.
Also, those object makes use of more complex arithmetical relations.
Because there I can't think of any compelling evidence that numbers
exist in a vacuum.
We must distinguish between the meanings that we confer to objects,
abstract or concrete, and the idea of meaningfulness itself. The fact
that no evidence is found is never a proof of non-existence. It is
simply impossible to prove a negative via demonstrative proofs. That is
the first lesson of logic.
In a dream I
thought that some windows' curtain disproved "p -> p".
"2+2 = 5" can make sense in a lot of real contexts, like biological
one, but this just means you have to use something else, nit the
natural numbers, to describe the process. One proton + one proton can
give thousand of particles, if smashed with the relevant energy, but
one proton is not the number one, and smashing is not arithmetical
I would say that it's
still intersubjective, only the scope of phenomena which shares
to it encompasses non-living matter as well as symbolic abstraction.
The day I wake up believing that comp is true, I don't believe in non
living matter, nor any stuffy matter at all. It is in our number
Matter is a projection from inside coherent sharable piece of dream/
I agree that matter, as it is experienced subjectively, is a
projection of the PRIF, which is at heart mathematical relations, but
they are mathematical relations of what? Feeling. Sense. Experience.
These things can insist without even mathematical coherence. Pain
needs nothing except it's ability to inspire the motivation for it to
end. Any mathematics are superimposed as an afterthought.
In your opinion. If by math you mean analysis and physics, I can give
sense to what you say in the comp theory. But I have to assume the
numbers at the start. Most theories do it.
That's why my view opens the door to territory that is completely
unexplored. I assume that numbers and sense are mutually self-defining
through non-self projection. It's ok to assume numbers at the start,
but just recognize that numbers can't mean anything without a
corresponding sense that can be made out of them as a sensorimotive
experience. They are in fact the same thing, just ontologically
Craig, but please understand that we cannot find solutions to hard
problems simply by inventing new languages. yes, it is imporant to have
a lexicon that is general enough and a grammar/theory of how all of ones
descriptive terms relate to each other and how meaning obtains, but does
it not make sense that we build upon what we know 'works". Sure, we
often face revolutions in our understanding that compelled us to recast
our ideas about the world and existence into new terms, but this can not
We have to comprehend that we each see a different world and that
arguing about whose point of view is correct or not is a waste of time.
What is our goal here?
On the mind-body issue,
which is transdisciplinar, we have just to be entirely explicit.
Explicit is great if you mean defining relations to the highest degree
of precision possible without distorting what is being defined, but
the same quality which makes numbers most objective makes them least
subjective; least appropriate for describing what our most subjective
Is it understood that numbers to not exist independent of the
relations that order and distinguish them?
Also, what if a system of arithmetic is derived from physical
isomorphism instead? If, like drops of water, 2+2 =1 big water drop.
Computers used all the time the boolean law 1+1= 0. But this does
put any doubt that the natural 1 added to the natural number 1 gives
the natural number 2. It just means that there are different sort of
numbers, and/or different operation on them.
If there are different sorts of numbers and operation, then how can
they really be objectively primitive?
I don't see any problem. There are different sorts of dinosaurs too.
They might be, in some theory, different sort of particles. This might
be in each case independent of the objective nature, or relative
objective nature of such objects.
Then why not just consider qualia different sorts of numbers? What is
it about yellow that isn't a primitive number?
This is a mistake of smashing many levels of description into one,
"flattening" concepts only increases chaos.
Natural numbers are an invention
of an entity that thinks,
The existence of numbers, with the laws of addition and
multiplication, entails the existence of universal numbers. They can
introspect themselves and discover, for themselves, the numbers and
their laws. They can even discover themselves in there, and this on a
variety of levels.
I don't think that you can say that they do that without a
mathematician being there to watch and understand, or a silicon chip
to prove it. What numbers help you discover is the logic behind sense
and the sense behind logic, but they don't necessarily reveal a logic
independent of sense. (That may be my main point right there).
I think that you are both wrong! Numbers as independent primitives
can do nothing without the schemata of ordering and relations that even
allows the notion of "introspection" and "discovery" to be meaningful.
OTOH, requiring the physical presence of a mathematician is missing the
point that the relationships upon which 'introspection' and 'discovery'
supervene are not limited some just some particular kinds of things. You
are missing the true part of functionalism.
and thought is an invention of an entity
The question which interests me is: who invented the entity that feels?
The entity that feels (say a cell) was invented by the entity that
senses (molecule), which is invented by the entity that detects (atom
or maaaybe subatomic 'particle'), which is all divisions of the
singularity into discrete mass-energy time-space topologies. It works
from top down as well, the entity that feels may be co-invented by the
Sun and Earth, or by archetypal entities which are future potentials
echoed backward through time from the singularity. I think it's likely
all the same thing objectively.
The word 'invent' presumes conscious intention and choice. Why are
those necessary in this case?
It's only humans who are educated in mathematics that can agree on
natural number axioms.
Well, that's enough, if *you* agree with them.
But I think it is false. Aliens will agree with us, or without us,
that 17 is prime (when asserted in their language). All Löbian entity
agrees with this, and the class of Löbian entity can be said to
enlarge a lot the class of humans. (I am no talking about *correct*
Löbian machines). Even RA asserts that (x divides 17) implies that ((x
= 1) or (x = 17)), with (x divides y) defined by (it exists z such
that x*z = y).
I repeat my example again. If you can believe that it's false in a
dream or when you're hallucinating, then, in comp, you should be able
to generate that hallucination in your template insane transhuman and
exterminate all other entities in the universe, including yourself.
Then 17 is no longer prime, it's just 3 x #, where # is defined
explicitly that which divides evenly into 17 by 3. Isn't that what
imaginary numbers do? Can't I just define # is 'that quantity which
makes 17 not prime'?
As I see this, this all boils down to difference that make a
Other species would not necessarily be able to
Where were numbers 100MY ago? There were certainly gestural,
natural phenomena present on the biosphere, but I don't believe that a
single natural number was yet conceived.
By humans? Probably not. But 17 is prime in an out of time and out of
space manner. Indeed, subjective time, and varieties of physical times
emerge from "17 is prime"& Co (assuming comp). This makes comp
Covered in my #xample.
(UDA explains why, assuming comp, and AUDA explains how, assuming just
addition and multiplication (and definitions, of course, notably
Theaetetus' classical definition of knowledge).
I believe you. I just think it's inside out. Which it needs to be if
you want to get anything done. I'm just thinking that we can get even
more done if we understand that it works in spite of being inside out.
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