On 26.01.2012 07:19 Pierz said the following:

As I continue to ponder the UDA, I keep coming back to a niggling doubt that an arithmetical ontology can ever really give a satisfactory explanation of qualia. It seems to me that imputing qualia to calculations (indeed consciousness at all, thought that may be the same thing) adds something that is not given by, or derivable from, any mathematical axiom. Surely this is illegitimate from a mathematical point of view. Every mathematical statement can only be made in terms of numbers and operators, so to talk about *qualities* arising out of numbers is not mathematics so much as numerology or qabbala.## Advertising

Here of course is where people start to invoke the wonderfully protean notion of ‘emergent properties’. Perhaps qualia emerge when a calculation becomes deep enough.Perhaps consciousness emerges from a complicated enough arrangement of neurons. But I’ll venture an axiom of my own here: no properties can emerge from a complex system that are not present in primitive form in the parts of that system. There is nothing mystical about emergent properties. When the emergent property of ‘pumping blood’ arises out of collections of heart cells, that property is a logical extension of the properties of the parts - physical properties such as elasticity, electrical conductivity, volume and so on that belong to the individual cells. But nobody invoking ‘emergent properties’ to explain consciousness in the brain has yet explained how consciousness arises as a natural extension of the known properties of brain cells - or indeed of matter at all.

`Let my quote Jeffrey Gray (Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard`

`Problem, p. 33) on biology and physics.`

`"In very general terms, biology makes use of two types of concept:`

`physicochemical laws and feedback mechanisms. The latter include both`

`the feedback operative in natural selection, in which the controlled`

`variables that determine survival are nowhere explicitly represented`

`within the system; and servomechanisms, in which there is a specific`

`locus of representation capable of reporting the values of the`

`controlled variables to other system components and to other systems.`

`The relationship between physicochemical laws and cybernetic mechanisms`

`in the biological perspective on biology poses no deep problems. It`

`consist in a kind of a contract: providing cybernetics respects the laws`

`of physics and chemistry, its principles may be used to construct any`

`kind of feedback system that serves a purpose. Behaviour as such does`

`not appear to require for its explanation any principles additional to`

`these."`

Roughly speaking Gray's statement is Biology = Physics + Feedback mechanisms

`Yet even at this stage (just at a level of bacteria, I guess there is no`

`qualia yet) it is unclear to me whether physics includes cybernetics`

`laws or they emerge/supervene. What is your opinion to this end?`

I wanted to discuss this issue in another thread http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list/t/a4b4e1546e0d03df

`but at the present the discussion is limited to the question of`

`information is basic physical property (Information is the Entropy) or not.`

Evgenii

In the same way, I can’t see how qualia can emerge from arithmetic, unless the rudiments of qualia are present in the natural numbers or the operations of addition and mutiplication. And yet it seems to me they can’t be, because the only properties that belong to arithmetic are those leant to them by the axioms that define them. Indeed arithmetic *is* exactly those axioms and nothing more. Matter may in principle contain untold, undiscovered mysterious properties which I suppose might include the rudiments of consciousness. Yet mathematics is only what it is defined to be. Certainly it contains many mysteries emergent properties, but all these properties arise logically from its axioms and thus cannot include qualia. I call the idea that it can numerology because numerology also ascribes qualities to numbers. A ‘2’ in one’s birthdate indicates creativity (or something), a ‘4’ material ambition and so on. Because the emergent properties of numbers can indeed be deeply amazing and wonderful - Mandelbrot sets and so on - there is a natural human tendency to mystify them, to project properties of the imagination into them. But if these qualities really do inhere in numbers and are not put there purely by our projection, then numbers must be more than their definitions. We must posit the numbers as something that projects out of a supraordinate reality that is not purely mathematical - ie, not merely composed of the axioms that define an arithmetic. This then can no longer be described as a mathematical ontology, but rather a kind of numerical mysticism. And because something extrinsic to the axioms has been added, it opens the way for all kinds of other unicorns and fairies that can never be proved from the maths alone. This is unprovability not of the mathematical variety, but more of the variety that cries out for Mr Occam’s shaving apparatus.

-- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.