On 27 Sep 2012, at 19:18, meekerdb wrote:

On 9/27/2012 9:52 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
I object to the idea that consciousness will cause a brain or other
machine to behave in a way not predictable by purely physical laws.

But this cannot be entirely correct. Consciousness will make your brain, at the level below the substitution level, having some well defined state, with an electron, for example, described with some precise position. Without consciousness there is no "material" brain at all.

Why would the state be well defined *below* the substitution level? The substitution level is classical or near classical and so already QM implies that there is a lower level where the state is not well defined.

This is not quite clear and depends on your interpretation or even formulation of QM. The lower level where the state is not defined, is relative to your own state, and it is "well defined" relatively to any finer grained computations, it just doesn't matter for your computational state.

I *can* know the exact position of an electron in my brain, even if this will make me totally ignorant on its impulsions. I can know its exact impulsion too, even if this will make me totally ignorant of its position. In both case, the electron participate two different coherent computation leading to my computational state. Of course this is just "in principle", as in continuous classical QM, we need to use distributions, and reasonable Fourier transforms.

The state is well defined, as your state belongs to a computation. It is not well defined below your substitution level, but this is only due to your ignorance on which computations you belong. You can "observe" yourself below the substitution result, but the detail of such observation are just not relevant for getting your computational state.

Bruno




Brent


Of course, you will argue that this is what physics already describes, with QM. In that sense I am OK, but consciousness is still playing a role, even if it is not necessarily the seemingly magical role invoked by Craig.


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http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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