On 28 Dec 2011, at 14:39, David Nyman wrote:

On 28 December 2011 06:14, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

Consequently, it would have to be the case that any "physical
computer" (e.g. our brains), proposed as a supervenience base for
experience, would itself first require to be constructed out of
"epistemological properties" before it could begin to "compute"
anything further.  This should seem, to say the least, odd.


I'm not sure on why this should be odd. The physical world is a model we created to explain things and so it's not odd that epistemology preceded ontology. First we learn some facts and then we build a model to explain
them.  The model defines our ontology.

My suggestion was that any oddness appears only if one tries to make
sense of CTM in terms of some sort of dual-property view rooted in
"primitive materiality".  As Bruno says, this often seems to be at
least an implicit assumption.  But even in it own terms, such a theory
can only isolate computation (and hence anything consequential on it)
in terms of its "epistemological properties", because the very
object-relations (e.g. those present in computers or brains), in terms
of which any coherent appeal to computation can be made, are
themselves nothing other than computationally-constructed
abstractions.  Consequently this seems (at least to me) to be in
practice pretty much indistinguishable from Bruno's characterisation
of the "reversal" of matter-computation, since, given that CTM
mandates at the outset that all possibility of engagement with matter
is fundamentally epistemological, there seems to be no remaining
motivation to appeal to inconsequential "primitively-material"
properties, except as a sort of religious commitment.

Since this seems quite consistent with what you say above, I'm not
really surprised it doesn't seem odd to you.


This is correct as an argument against "primitive matter". At least it makes sense.

But I am not sure it will address the case of the immaterialist physicalist, on a type close to Tegmark.

What UDA1-7 and MGA do at once, is to show that the notion of primitive matter is spurious in the comp frame, but also (mainly perhaps) that physics is branch of number theory/computer science (more precisely: of machine's theology). The physical reality is not a mathematical reality among others, it is more like the border of some mathematical reality.

Both a physicalist and an arithmeticalist have primitive objects (number, particle) but also elementary dynamic (laws of addition/ multiplication, forces). And from this derives higher order constructs, some being able to develop self-reference and first person views.

But computationalism is not arithmeticalism. It does not reduce physics as a mathematical theory, but as a precise "machine's theological phenomenon".

It explains, perhaps wrongly, the origin of observables and its invariants. The physical supervenes on the border of numbers' consciousness. So the reversal is both ontological (switch particles ---> numbers/programs) and epistemological (physics = science of the universal numbers multiplying and fusing dreams).

*

I don't think the model defines the ontology, like Brent says. Our models define our belief about what we are searching.

Bruno

PS I will comment other posts asap. Probably tomorrow.






David


On 12/27/2011 4:59 AM, David Nyman wrote:

The "frank incoherence" comment was directed towards the case where,
rejecting any form of dualism, one grasps the "single primitive" horn
of the dilemma in the form of a primitively-physical monism, rather
than the  arithmetical alternative.  But for those willing to
contemplate some sort of property dualism (which is not always made
explicit), there is, as you say, no immediately obvious contradiction.

My own reasoning on this latter option has focused on the unquestioned
acceptance of  composite material structure which seems to underpin
the notion of a "primitively physical machine".  As you once put it
"ontological reduction entails ontological elimination".  IOW, the
reduction of "materiality" to a causally-complete micro-physical
"mechanism" automatically entails that macro-physical composites must
be considered fundamentally to be epistemological, not ontological,
realities. Micro-physics "qua materia" entails no such additional
ontological levels of organisation.

Consequently, it would have to be the case that any "physical
computer" (e.g. our brains), proposed as a supervenience base for
experience, would itself first require to be constructed out of
"epistemological properties" before it could begin to "compute"
anything further.  This should seem, to say the least, odd.


I'm not sure on why this should be odd. The physical world is a model we created to explain things and so it's not odd that epistemology preceded ontology. First we learn some facts and then we build a model to explain
them.  The model defines our ontology.

Brent


It might
even seem to be indistinguishable, in the final analysis, from
computational supervenience.

David


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