On 7/6/2012 5:18 PM, David Nyman wrote:

On 6 July 2012 18:01, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be<mailto:marc...@ulb.ac.be>> wrote:## Advertising

/I am sure your analysis might help to better apprehend consciousness, and can perhaps better handle the amnesia situation. But you have not (yet) convinced me that it has to be termed into a new form of *assumed at the outset* indeterminacy. The probability of "being me" is a sort of Dirac distribution: it is one, for "me", and zero for the others. The probability of becoming "me", is perhaps close to one on the transitive closure of the computations, and is complex to compute for particular brain instantiation./Thanks for your detailed critique up to this point, Bruno. Iunderstand of course that you are particularly concerned to assess itsconsistency with comp. By contrast, as I have said, my own motivationhas been more generally to find a heuristic for navigating some of thethornier conceptual puzzles presented by consciousness. I understandthat the kind of global probability distribution entailed by thisnotion is poorly defined in a strict mathematical sense. The globaldistribution is simply assumed ex hypothesi by the stipulation of aclass of all sentient moments, and the "relative probability" of anysub-class of moments is then assumed to derive from a kind of globalfrequency-interpretation as a consequence of the unique "stochasticsuccession" of moments. This is essentially what Hoyle had in mindwith his pigeon hole metaphor, and it stands or falls in terms of itsutility as a mode of thought for certain purposes; no more, no less.Consequently the "/*assumed at the outset* indeterminacy" /justfollows automatically from//the specification of the heuristic; asmoments succeed each other without extrinsic ordering, thepersonalised spatio-temporal characteristics associated with eachsuccessive moment have in this sense no prior determination. Thenotion of "succession" here simply grounds the bare notion ofexperiential transition, and the consequence of each such transitionis to localise the knower in terms of an underlying "real system".This system, in turn, can readily be assumed to be as complex asnecessary to account for the unfolding relative scenarios thus recovered.A feature of this view is that all subsequent notions of indeterminacyare inherited from a single primitive notion, which is assumed tomediate _all_ questions of who, where, when and relative to what. Forexample, it grounds the relative probabilities of the "futureoutcomes" of individual persons as well as more general "anthropic" orobserver self-selection issues. One could see this as a usefulconceptual simplification or a step too far, I guess. "Theprobability of being me", seems to be, as you say, all or nothing; butin terms of the heuristic it is weird but inevitable that this mustalways seem to be the case in the context of a given occasion ofexperience. The "probability of becoming me" (or that there will be a"me" to be) depends, as I think you imply, on the entire web ofrelations encoded in the real system.Thank you again for the critique. I hadn't really thought to"convince" you, but you have helped me to test the usefulness of theview under stress, as it were. I continue to find it helpful, but Iwill of course always be on the look-out for cases where it mightseriously mislead. We cannot hope for full illumination in suchmatters, but a small guiding light can often help us negotiate aconceptual obstacle in the path.David --

Dear David and Bruno,

`I am very informed by your discussion so far. I really appreciate`

`the patience and depth of the discussion! I would only add that the idea`

`of a "single primitive notion, which is assumed to mediate all questions`

`of who, where, when and relative to what" is a form of Pre-Established`

`Harmony ala what Leibniz had in mind to explain the synchronization of`

`the Monads. I see this idea as problematic because it assumes something`

`that is completely unphysical and even impossible! It is my claim that`

`any such PEH is equivalent to a solution to an optimization or`

`satisfaction problem and such require computations to be actually`

`performed to be said to have solutions.`

`One can claim that a solution exists and even privite a proof of`

`this existence, but this is no substitute for actually having the`

`solution in hand so as to use it. The real world requires that we`

`physically instantiate our computations; we have to do work to gain`

`knowledge of solutions to problems. The idea that there exists a`

`Mediator of all questions is not sufficient if we do not have the means`

`to acquire the exact nature of the "who, where, when and relative to what".`

`We have to be very careful about this "assumed from the onset"`

`stuff! Yes, it is necessary to assume things even for the sake of`

`discussion of ideas, but to assume that they are de facto primitive`

`and/or a priori is often a fatal mistake.`

-- Onward! Stephen "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed." ~ Francis Bacon -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.