On 29.01.2012 00:15 Pierz said the following:



On Jan 28, 11:04 pm, Evgenii Rudnyi<use...@rudnyi.ru>  wrote:
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.

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 think it's clear that in approaches such as Gray's, which are
based on a conventional materialist ontology, any laws invoked must
ultimately rely on/emerge from physical laws. In fact, that's clear
in Gray's qualifier "providing cybernetics respect the laws of
physics and chemistry". "Respects" in this clause means that
cybernetics must be subservient to physics, therefore emergent from
it. However the laws of physics do not include cybernetic laws - the
fundamental equations of physics are actually reducible to a handful
of equations you can write down on a couple of sheets of paper. In

Sorry, I have not understood your answer. Let me contrast this with your previous statement

>>> 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.

What happens with the cybernetic laws from this viewpoint?

terms of the point I am making regarding qualia, Gray's argument is
one variant on the theme of the type of reasoning I object to. It's
all there in the statement:

"Behaviour as such does not appear to require for its explanation
any principles additional to these."

The issue isn't explaining behaviour, it's explaining consciousness/
qualia. These approaches always end up conflating the two, their
proponents getting annoyed with anyone who isn't prepared to wish
away the gap between them.

The quote above was from the beginning of Gray's book where he tries to consider life and a human being from the viewpoint of physicalism. Yet, he shows later on that this does not work and consciousness remains as a hard problem.

Evgenii




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


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