On 2/25/2012 4:31 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 24 Feb 2012, at 22:59, acw wrote:
On 2/24/2012 12:59, David Nyman wrote:
Obviously not all computations have minds like ours associated with
them. I'm not sure if identity is the right claim, but I'm not sure
there's much to gain by adding extra "indirection layers" - it's not
that consciousness is associated with some scribbles on a piece of
paper, it's associated with some abstract truths and we could say
that 3p-wise those truths look like some specific structure we can
talk about (using pen and paper or computers), but at the same time,
that that abstract structure does have some sensory experience
associated with it. Other structure might represent some machines
implementing some partial local physics. In that way it's neutral
monist. We could try to keep experience separate and supervening on
arithmetical truth, but I'm not sure if there's anything to gain by
introducing such a dualism - it might make epistemological sense, but
I'm not sure it makes sense ontologically. I'm rather unsure of such
a move myself, I wonder what Bruno's opinion is on this.
On 24 February 2012 11:52, acw<a...@lavabit.com> wrote:
I look at it like this, there's 3 notions: Mind (consciousness,
(Primitive) Matter, Mechanism.
Those 3 notions are incompatible, but we have experience of all 3,
the sum of our experience and thus is the most direct thing
if non-communicable, matter is what is directly inferred from our
(but we don't know if it's the base of everything) and mechanism
our experience is lawful (following rules). By induction we build
mechanistic (mathematical) models of matter. We can't really avoid
the 3: one is primary, the other is directly sensible, the other
However, there are many thought experiments that illustrate that these
notions are incompatible - you can have any 2 of them, but never
Take away mind and you have eliminative materialism - denying the
of mind to save primary matter and its mechanistic appearence.
to be seen as a behavioral COMP). Too bad this is hard to stomach
all our theories are learned through our experiences, thus it's a bit
Take away primitive matter and you have COMP and other platonic
where matter is a mathematical shadow. Mind becomes how some piece of
abstract math feels from the inside. This is disliked by those that
matter was more fundamental or that it allows too many fantasies into
reality (even if low-measure).
Take away mechanism and you get some magical form of matter which
obey any rules - not even all possible rules
Nice summary. You say "Mind becomes how some piece of abstract math
feels from the inside", which is essentially how Bruno puts it.
However, this must still fall short of an identity claim - i.e. it
seems obvious that mind is no more "identical" to math or computation
than it is to matter, unless that relation is to be re-defined as
"categorically different". Math and mind are still distinct, though
correlated. Do you think that such a duality can still be subsumed in
some sort of neutral monism?
I think that we don't have to introduce an ontological dualism,
because the dualism is unavoidable from the machine points of view, if
you agree to
1) model belief (by ideally arithmetically and self-referentially
correct machine) by Gödel's provability. I can provide many reason to
do that, even if it oversimplifies the problem. The interesting things
is that it leads to an already very complex "machine's theology". We
might take it as a toy theology, but then all theories are sort of toys.
2) to accept that S4 (or T, = S4 without Bp -> BBp) provides the best
axiomatic theories for knowledge.
Then it can be shown that the modality (Bp & p) gives a notion of
knowledge, i.e. (Bp & p) obeys S4, even a stronger S4Grz theory.
The relevant results here are that G* proves that Bp is equivalent
with Bp & p, but G does not prove that, and so, this is a point where
the "divine intellect" (G*), the believer (G) and the kower (soul) Bp
& p, will completely differ, and this will account for a variety of
dualism, unavoidable for the machine.
So yes, this is neutral monism. The TOE is just arithmetic, and the
definition above explains why, at the least, the machine will behaves
as if dualism was true for her ... until she bet on comp and
understand the talk of her own G*, without making the error of taking
that talk for granted (because she cannot know, nor believe, nor even
explictly express that she is correct).
Hope this might help, but if you want I can explain more on G, G*,
S4Grz, and the Z and X logics. Those are not logic invented to solve
problems, like in analytical philosophy, but unavoidable nuances
brought by the provably correct self-reference logic of machines in
theoretical computer science.
I think that it would help all of us if you wrote up more about G,
G*, S4Grz, Z and X logics. I would also appreciate your comments on this
paper by Barry Cooper:
Here is its Abstract:
"Amongst the huge literature concerning emergence, reductionism and mech-
anism, there is a role for analysis of the underlying mathematical
Much of the speculation, confusion, controversy and descriptive verbiage
be clarified via suitable modelling and theory. The key ingredients we
to this project are the mathematical notions of definability and
computability theoretic framework in a real-world context, and within that,
the modelling of basic causal environments via Turing's 1939 notion of
tive computation over a structure described in terms of reals. Useful
are: a refinement of what one understands to be a causal relationship,
ing non-mechanistic, irreversible causal relationships; an appreciation
the mathematically simple origins of incomputability in definable
are materialized in the real world; and an understanding of the powerful ex-
planatory role of current computability theoretic developments."
I am still not seeing how you define the philosophical terms that
you are using, as the way that you are using words, such as "dualism"
and "monism" are inconsistent with their usage by others in philosophy.
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