On Dec 7, 1:09 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> 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.

Couldn't anything be 'explained' in the comp frame though? Is there
something specific about arithmetic which lends itself to the
production of material appearances rather than disembodied numbers
flying around or universes of variations on the theme of odor? On what
basis do you choose the natural numbers as a basic ontology? As you
know, to my mind, enumeration is obviously a high order
anthropological logic rooted in a sensorimotive primitive which is
gestural and rhythmic, not a formal ontological system.

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

I don't think that the theory of everything can be just arithmetic,
because not everything makes sense arithmetically. Everything does
however make sense in some sense, that's why I think that a sense
based theory of everything is the only plausible option.

> > 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.

But what do they use to play games with? It can only be themselves or
some meta-arithmetic phenomenon. It doesn't mean anything to say it's
an 'illusion', illusions still have to be produced through some means.

> 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.

I understand what you mean, you're saying that matter can be virtual,
like the Matrix. This would be supported by the success of simulation
logic in modeling matter as well as the philosophical idea that we
cannot tell the difference between a realistic dream and reality. As
long as the arithmetic that we are computes other arithmetic processes
as being a material body, then there is no way we would be able to
tell the difference. I think that is not exactly the case.

Given the example of learning not to wet the bed as we grow up, I am
inclined to think that just because some aspects of ourselves can be
convinced of an immaterial realism does not mean that all parts of
ourselves can be fooled indefinitely. We are vast and complex. One or
a group of senses can be fooled at a time but it is not clear that the
self can be virtualized entirely. It may not work that way. We are
rooted in a historical flow of causality which is anchored to specific
events in this universe. We are therefore unrepeatable and unique on
some level - not subject to simulation or digitization as a generic
pattern. Matter may not have to be made of something, but there must
be something that at least pretends to be made of matter, and that
thing, and it's capacity to pretend in that way can only be primitive.

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

How can you say that the organization of matter is causally
efficacious if you say matter is an illusion? How can matter be any
less of an illusion than consciousness? I can inject a general
anesthetic into the bloodstream of someone with the most robust mind
in history and they will go down instantly, helpless in the face of a
few milligrams of dissolved material 'illusion'. Bullets versus Ghost
Dance. Zyklon B vs Torah. What does it mean to disbelieve an illusion
that kills?

> > 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.

What's an example of something that doesn't refer to itself in some


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