On 10 Apr 2012, at 21:21, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

On 09.04.2012 18:58 Bruno Marchal said the following:

On 09 Apr 2012, at 16:35, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:


I believe that now I understand what physicalism is. What would you
recommend to read about mechanism? Something like this SEP paper about


Yes, it is a good description of physicalism. For mechanism such type of media are not aware of the UDA argument, so you have to understand it by
yourself, by reading my papers, or this list. New idea or result take
time to be accepted, especially when they cross different
disciplinaries. I can give you many titles of books and papers---or you can find them in the references in my thesis, or papers. But mechanism is defended mostly by materialist and they use the mechanist assumption
mainly to burry the mind-body problem. The subject is hot, and
authoritative-argument are frequent.

I understand that but right now I would like to understand what a mechanism is.

Gandy has written good paper on this. The book of Odifreddi on recursion theory makes a good sum up. The idea of mechanism is mainly the idea of finiteness and some local causation process, or there arithmetical counterpart. A good book in computer science can help.

Mechanism from a materialist viewpoint would also interesting.

That exists because many subset of the physical laws are Turing universal. So we can implement computation in nature. But the notion of computation is mathematical, even arithmetical, so the elementary "causation" can be reframe in term of addition and multiplication. This is not obvious unless you have read some original paper in the field, like those in the dover book by Davis (the undecidable).

After all, to make a conscious choice it is good to consider all alternatives. But mostly I am interested to learn what mechanism is (say theory independent).

Somehow the best account is the original one made by Turing. You will find it in the dover Davis book. Probably on the net too.

Hence if you know something in Internet or in the written form, I would appreciate your advice. The best about 20 pages, not too little, and not to much.

OK I found the paper by Turing:

Of course, the language is old, and we prefer to talk today in term of functions instead of real numbers.

You can try to read it. I will search other information, but there are many, and of different type, and most still blinded by the aristotelian preconception. So it is hard to find a paper which would satisfy me. But you can get the intuition with Turing's paper I think. It would be nice you complement it with some good book, like the one by Nigel Cutland:




This is why I like Gray's book where he distinguish between three
different conscious processes.

1) Reconstruction of the external world.

... that he seems to assume.

From what you said, I think Gray is still physicalist. But as I insist, this forces him to postulate some non comp hypothesis, which nobody has
ever done, except for the theories based explicitly on fairy tales.
To be fair, some people try to develop a notion of analogical machines, but they are all either Turing emulable, or Turing recoverable by using
the first person indeterminacy.

Gray is definitely physicalist. He recognizes though that consciousness cannot be explained by physicalism, but the book is written in the physicalism language. This makes it a nice antiphysicalism weapon: You like physicalism, please read Gray's book, it is for you. In order to convince someone you have to speak her language, otherwise it is hard.

As for reconstruction of the external world, in my view this statement fits well the language of the 1st and 3rd person views. The 1st view is after all how the 3rd view reality is perceived by the 1st view. In the Gray's language the brain makes this dirty view and forms for example conscious visual experience.

Gray says 1) this way "The World is Inside the Head".

p. 1. “For, just like those inner sensations, that world out there is constructed by our brains and exists within our consciousness. In a very real sense, the world as we consciously experience it is not out there at all: it is inside each and every of us.”


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