On 29 Apr 2012, at 18:04, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Apr 29, 11:28 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
Biologist have not make life disappearing, they have truly
the phenomenon, from other well accepted phenomena.
But saying that AI or brain research can dispose of the notion of
consciousness is just eliminitivism of a fact.
And this non-explanation relies on another sort of spurious "elan
vital"-like notion: primitive matter/physicalism.
Agree with everything you've said here.
Cool. Especially if you really agree with the idea that primitive
materialism is of the same type as élan vital.
Absolutely. Ideal monism and substance monism are mirror images.
I would not go that far ... It is more complex, imo.
Now comp explain both facts: the appearance of conscious
(incommunicable but knowable first person) truth and the appearance
the beliefs in primitive matter, and this without need to postulate
more than what we already believe in (addition and
I almost agree but I think if we look closely at comp we will find
that it relies on even more primitive sense-making intuitions.
This is because you ignore the infinite non boundable power of the
primitive sense-making number intuitions.
Any power associated with numbers can only be realized through a
process of sense making. No byte, symbol, or number has ever done
anything by itself. Numbers are a currency of sense.
Well nothing do anything by itself. But it can do things by obeying
And numbers can be and do a lot of things when you postulate some laws.
Amazingly enough, when you just postulate not much more than the
addition and multiplication laws, they can already do what any
computer can do.
What can do a number? Well a number can divide another number, a
number can play the role of a local body for some person, and such a
person can behave, in some descriptive way, exactly like you and me.
So, denying comp, introduce an infinities of zombies in arithmetic. We
don't need that.
Addition and multiplication are rooted in the notion of self, other,
The contrary is easier to show.
Of course it is easier to show *mathematically*, but nothing having to
do with consciousness can be shown through mathematics alone, unless
it is being shown to a conscious agent.
In your theory, but it leads to zombie (even if you call them
puppets), and it force you to postulate infinities, like if we have
not enough infinities with the machines.
The self is rooted in the equation
phi_x() = x, which is the most simple and concrete amoeba.
That equation is not an amoeba.
Actually you are right. It is the solution of such equation which is
an amoeba. The solution are programs which are able to produce
themselves as output. They can be used to makes self-generating
collection of programs, or machines able to look inward.
It is an idea which can be applied to
countless things real and imagined, but that doesn't make it anything
more or less than a map.
But a body is already a sort of map, for a computationalist. If you
agree that there is no "real" substance, this should not be a problem.
And machine's too take some time to understand that they are not their
bodies. It is normal, because this asks for some non trivial act of
faith (like saying "yes" to the doctor).
The equation is a metaphor; a menu, not a
meal. It will never be a meal not can a meal come out of it. The menu
is an afterthought that refers to the meal figuratively.
What is a meal, if you agree that matter is like elan vitale: a words
filling a gap.
As long as your theory is not presented, it is hard to follow, or even
to see why it is opposed to comp. It just look like you don't like
machine, like some people don't like some other people.
The equation can be translated in term of addition and
The addition and multiplication you are talking about is the human
I'm not assuming human intuition, I am assuming that any form of
addition or multiplication relies on deeper sense-motive principles.
That is like saying: OK, I admit Earth is a ball, but that ball has
still to rely on infinities of Turtle.
I cannot criticize you because I cannot understand "sense-motive",
except as a reification of intuition, but then it is like assuming
what I am interested finding an explanation for.
In computer chips, leaves on a pond, whatever - it's all sense and
which needs the concrete abstract amoeba, the "real"
terrestrial ancestor amoeba, and many years of evolution. It is
obviously more complex and tainted from human selves, and historical
Certainly human consciousness adds access to deeper qualia associated
with mathematics, but ultimately numbers have no reality other than
experience and sense (which includes the capacity of sense to reflect
many experiences in one and one experience in many).
That's a form of idealism, which might be beautiful, but is premature,
especially if you draw negative conclusion on machines and numbers.
They require a sense-motive participation to
maintain a recursive process. Something has to know that something
being computed, especially if that thing is what is doing the
computation. For this reason, I see that comp is a third elan vital-
like primitive, no more primary than either consciousness or matter.
What all three of these primordial concepts have in common is sense.
The ability to detect something, and detect it as being similar or
different from everything or nothing. Without the capacity to tune
into those kinds of symmetries, there can be no matter, no numbers,
and no consciousness.
Numbers tune quite well enough by themselves (allowing them to be
added and multiplied).
Numbers do nothing by themselves.
Numbers are only things counting.
You can see numbers as things, by doing an ontological foreground-
background reversal, and that yields tremendous factual insights, but
ultimately it is inside out if we want to really deal with
What you miss is that numbers already says a lot on consciousness, by
the distinction they cannot avoid on their own points of view.
The universe has to make sense before we can
make sense of it.
Sure. Like arithmetical truth has to make sense (realism) before
numbers can support persons making sense of it.
Yes, arithmetical truth is a primitive sense truth, and even perhaps a
superlative truth in the sense of how objects relate to each other in
lowest common denominator terms, but I suspect it is a second order
sense and not the primordial ground of being.
Numbers are a kind of sense, as is matter, emotion
OK. But comp provides a theory (computer science, arithmetic)
explaining how numbers make sense. Indeed the theory explains also
they develop different points of view, and have hard time to
I believe you, and I think if we pursue those theories we will be able
to get closer and closer to a perfect mask of generic consciousness.
We can learn about awareness by computing a relief of exactly what
consciousness is not.
There is something true here. because comp makes both consciousness
and matter not Turing emulable, but this does not prevent us to be
supported by (infinities) of computation, and to say yes to a doctor,
and to give some food to people having said yes to doctor. Your
intuition is good as far as you don't use it against machine.
You might be confusing, like many people, what a machine can do (which
is obviously Turing emulable), and the truth *about* a machine, which
is far beyond the computable. That's why computability theory is
concerned so much with the non computable.
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