Regarding the issue of instantiation, the recent GHZM quantum experiments
may be relevant as they imply a lack of a pre-existing reality.
Here is a rather long and technical argument that there is no pre-existing
I provide below the first and last paragraphs in this argument. The last
paragraph explains what he means by pre-existing reality. In it he negates
MWI, all hidden variables theories and even classical physics.
I want to go through the GHZM experiment again and somewhat carefully (and
in latex) and discuss the insanity of the assumptions about the laws of
Nature that are forced upon you if you want to believe in "realism", i.e.
the idea that the results of experiments (including those at the
microscopic level) reflect a pre-existing reality.
What I finally want to emphasize is that all this redundant and
"objectively real but totally unobservable" superstructure â€“ from many
worlds to extra invisible Bohmian positions of particles (which can't help
in the case of spin or particle production, anyway) or other hidden
variables to GRW collapses prescribed from above â€“ is only being invented
because certain people behave as bigots who are unable to admit that the
physics research in the 20th century has irreversibly falsified all
intrinsically classical models of the reality. All the new "fanciful stuff"
with tons of choices and processes (superluminal communication, preferred
frames, collapses, the length scale to which the GRW collapses shrink the
wave function, the frequency of such flashes etc.) that can never be
observed and with the infinite amount of fine-tuning and obfuscation that
is needed for it to fake the real, relativistic quantum world (to guarantee
that none of the new predictions is really observed) is only being proposed
because some people's bigotry has no limits. Their dogmas about "realism"
are more important for them than *any* amount of empirical evidence, more
important for them than everything that science has actually found.
On Sat, Feb 4, 2012 at 9:38 AM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net>wrote:
> On 2/4/2012 8:58 AM, David Nyman wrote:
>> On 4 February 2012 12:22, Bruno Marchal<marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>> No, I am not. I bet that comp is TRUE, but I don't see COMP as requiring
>>> that the physical world is supervening on numbers (up to isomorphisms) as
>>> So you have to explicitly show what is not valid in the UDA1-8. You miss
>>> something, let us try to find out what.
>>> I am not missing a thing, Bruno. You are missing something that is
>>> obvious to the rest of us.
>>> If someone else can confirm this, and put some light on what Stephen is
>>> saying, I would be pleased.
>> Bruno, I used to think that you were indeed missing "something that is
>> obvious to the rest of us". I don't think so any longer, because I
>> understand now that you are presenting a theory and your arguments
>> consequently derive strictly from the axioms and assumptions of that
>> theory. I don't pretend to understand all aspects of that theory of
>> course, but through discussion and the contrast of ideas I have come a
>> bit closer than when I started.
>> I don't know if it will help at all for me to state here my
>> understanding of what might motivate the theory in the first place,
>> but I'll try. Firstly, as you have so often said, the
>> informational/computational theory of mind (CTM) is more or less the
>> default assumption in science. Indeed this conclusion seems almost
>> unavoidable given that brain research seems to imply, more or less
>> unambiguously, the correlation of mental states with relations,
>> rather than relata. However, CTM in its uncritically-assumed form
>> continues to be combined with the additional assumption of an
>> Aristotelian primitively-physical state of affairs. This leads
>> directly either to denialism of the first-person, or alternatively to
>> some ill-defined species of property dualism. These consequences by
>> themselves might well lead us to reject such primitive-physicalism as
>> incoherent, even without an explicit reductio ad absurdum of the
>> unambiguous association of conscious states with "physical
>> computation". Either way, in order to retain CTM, one is led to
>> contemplate some form of neutral monism.
>> The question of what form such a "neutral" theory should take now
>> arises. Since the theory is explicitly *computational*, the axioms
>> and assumptions of such a theory should obviously be restricted to the
>> absolute minimum necessary to construct a "computational universe" (in
>> the traditional sense of "universe") or rather to indicate how such a
>> universe would necessarily construct itself, given those axioms and
>> assumptions. The basic assumption is of a first-order combinatorial
>> system, of which numbers are the most widely-understood example.
>> Given the arithmetical nature of such a universe, construction and
>> differentiability of composite entities must necessarily derive from
>> arithmetical assumptions, which permits the natural emergence of
>> higher-order structural integration via the internal logic of the
>> system. Of particular note is the emergence in this way of
>> self-referential entities, which form the logical basis of
>> Since the reality of first-person localisation is not denied in this
>> theory (indeed the theory positively seeks to rationalise it), the
>> system is not posited as having merely third-personal status, but as
>> possessing a first-person self-referential point-of-view which is
>> associated with consciousness. Perhaps it is this aspect of the
>> theory which is the most tricky, as it cuts across a variety of
>> different intuitions about consciousness and its relation to the
>> phenomena it reveals. For rather than positing a primitively-physical
>> universe which "instantiates" conscious states, the theory must
>> reverse the relation and posit conscious states that "instantiate"
>> physical phenomena. In so doing, it exposes itself to empirical
>> refutation, since those phenomena must be, at least, consistent with
>> ordinary observation (although they also predict, in the limit,
>> observations of high improbability).
>> It is this last issue of instantiation which seems to be one of main
>> bones of contention between Stephen and yourself, though I'm not sure
>> why this is the case. From my own perspective, unsophisticated though
>> it may be, it seems reasonable that the emergence of "truly physical"
>> phenomena should indeed be the result of "personal instantiation" in
>> the conjunction of consciousness and computation. After all, when do
>> questions as to what is "truly physical" emerge, other than in the
>> context of what is "truly experiential"? The rest is calculation.
>> Dear David,
> Does my claim that our primitive ground must be neutral with respect to
> any properties make any sense? It like the zero of arithmetic from which we
> can extricate any set of positive and negative quantities in pairs such
> that their sum is equal to zero. What I see in Bruno's interpretation of
> COMP is that it permits for the primitive to have a set of properties
> (numbers and + and *) to the exclusion of its complementary opposites.
> Since this is a violation of neutrality, thus I see a fatal flaw in Bruno's
> Ideal monist interpretation.
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