On 6/11/2012 6:09 AM, David Nyman wrote:
On 11 June 2012 13:04, Bruno Marchal<marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
Why do you think that pure indexicality (self-reference) is not enough? It
seems clear to me that from the current state of any universal machine, it
will look like a special moment is chosen out of the others, for the
elementary reason that such a state individuates the "present moment here
and now" from her point of view.
Yes, but the expression "from the current state of any universal
machine" (different sense of universal, of course) already *assumes*
the restriction of universal attention to a particular state of a
particular machine. Hoyle on the other hand is considering a
*universal state of attention* and hence needs to make such isolation
of particulars *explicit*. The beam stands for the unique, momentary
isolation in experience of that single state from the class of all
possible states (of all possible machines). Thus, momentarily, the
*single* universal knower can be in possession of a *single* focus of
attention, to the exclusion of all others. This is the only
intelligible meaning of mutually-exclusive, considered at the
If you remove such a principle of isolation, how can the state of
knowledge of the universal knower ever be anything other than a sum
over all experiences, which can never be the state of any single mind?
Sure, the states are "all there at once", but what principle allows
"you", in the person of the universal knower, to restrict your
attention to any one of them?
That seems confused. The theory is that 'you' are some set of those states. If you
introduce an external 'knower' you've lost the explanatory function of the theory.
It seems to me that, if one wants to
make sense of the notion of a *universal* locus of experience, with
personal identity emerging only as a secondary phenomenon, you are
bound in the first place to consider matters from that universal point
of view. And then you must not forget that this point of view, *as a
knower*, is also *your* point of view. Hence to the extent that you,
*as a merely subsidiary characteristic of such a universal point of
view*, are restricted to "one place, one time", so must it be equally
Do remember that I accept that this is a heuristic, or way of
thinking; I do not know how, or if, it corresponds to any fundamental
principle of reality. But I think that if one purges one's mind of
the implicit assumptions I mention above, one can see that the notions
of "a single universal point of view" and "everything considered
together" are actually mutually exclusive. So pick one or the other,
but not both together.
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