On 07 Dec 2011, at 16:35, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Dec 7, 6:02 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
On 06 Dec 2011, at 20:44, Stephen P. King wrote:

but so does ideal monism.


The irony is that they fail for the exact same reason, the problem
of epiphenomena.

I don't follow you on this. We have discussed that before. Matter
(primitive matter) simply does not exist. It can be an ideal
(immaterial) appearance (by the reasoning). Matter can not be an
epiphenomenon. It is just a phenomenon, and not a primitive one.
But with material monism, matter has to exist primitively (by
definition) and consciousness has to be an epiphenomenon indeed.
The role of matter and consciousness is not symmetrical. Matter can be
an illusion, but consciousness cannot. In all case consciousness has
to be real, or eliminated (which makes no sense). And it t makes
logical sense to eliminate primitive matter, not consciousness. Only
material monism needs to use the notion of epiphenomenon, not
immaterial (number like) monism.

Making consciousness 'real' does not mean that it has to be any more
primitive than matter though.

That is a point where I agree with you, but Benjayk would disagree.

I said to Stephen that, concerning the epiphenomena, consciousness and matter do not play a symmetrical role, but this does not mean that one of them is primitive.

With comp, the basic ontology needed is just anything given by the logical specification of any universal system. I have chosen the natural numbers, structured by the laws of addition and multuplication (that's already universal for computability). Both consciousness and matter appearance are explained in the comp frame.

Just as matter is a phenomenon but not
primitive, consciousness too is a phenomenon but not *the* primitive

Yes. comp leads to a neutral monism. The theory of everything can be just arithmetic. It will be up to *you* to listen or not to what the numbers can tell.

Regardless of it's possibly 'illusory' status, matter
still has to ultimately be made of the same primitive as consciousness
(what else is there to make it out of?)

"Observable" matter might be an illusion. The numbers do play infinite video games. Numbers dreams still obeys to the consequence of the additive+multiplicative non trivial (even non axiomatizable) number structure(s).

Matter, as it appears in dreams and games, does not have to be made of something. All what is needed are relatively persistent relations between some numbers, notably those having relatively (to some universal number(s)) self-referentially correct features.

There is no getting around the
tight connection that the matter of our brain has with our conscious

Of course, I stop to follow you here. With comp the tight connection is made with the organization of that matter, not an elusive primitive matter no one can observe.

On some level, it all has to be the same thing. To me that
means that it is neither matter nor consciousness which is illusion,
but the separation of the two.

This seems to me identifying different things.

The primitive is not empty
consciousness in a vacuum - that has zero degrees of realism. Thought
alone cannot conjure material outside of the body. The primitive is
the relation between subject and object: Sense. How I think it works
is that objectness is just the rear end of subjectness.

Yes, that's a good intuition. Matter is the border of the universal mind (with comp, the mind of the universal machine, this includes its many possible dreams). But so you don't identify them. Good.

Everything is
a subject to itself and and object to everything else.

But not everything can be said to refer to itself. Universal numbers can because they have the cognitive ability to do that.


The closer
things are to the subject, literally and figuratively, the more sense
can be made out of them and their familiarity acquires subjective
qualities. When they are extremely close/similar, they are identified
with the subject directly.


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