On 18 Feb 2013, at 22:45, Kermit Rose wrote:

On 2/18/2013 4:14 PM, LizR wrote:
On 19 February 2013 06:28, Kermit Rose <ker...@polaris.net> wrote:
On 2/18/2013 4:31 AM, LizR wrote:

Yes, I agree with all that. I assume the hard problem is whether consciousness itself does, rather than the contents of consciousness.

??? How can their be any consciousness if there is no content to the consciousness?

I don't know if there can. I was saying that, if I understand Chalmers (big if...) then consciousness is not the same thing as the contents of consciousness. That is, a person isn't simply the sum of the contents of their consciousness, but they are something else, which is aware of those contents.


Bertrand Russel constructed the natural numbers this way.

The null set is the set with no members.  The null set is zero.

One is the set containing the null set.   One is different than zero.

Two is the set containing zero and one.

zero = {}.
One = {zero}
Two = {zero,one}

That's not Russell's idea. It is the idea of Kuratowski and Wiener. You can recover it, and all ordinals, by the reflexion principle in formal set theory. You just give a name to "God", and then correct it:

First you see Nothing, so at first the whole is {}. We can call it zero.
But then you see that, so the whole is {{}} = {0}
But then you see {} and {{}}, so you get {{}, {{}}} = {0, 1}
But then you see {}, {{}}, {{}, {{}}}, so you get {{}, {{}}, {{}, {{}}}} = {0, 1, 2, 3}
But then ...
Stop it, said the student we see what we get, it is {{}, {{}}, {{}, {{}}}...} = {0, 1, 2, 3 ...} = omega

Oh! You see that?, so you get {{}, {{}}, {{}, {{}}}, ...{{}, {{}}, {{}, {{}}}...} } = {0, 1, 2, 3, ... omega} = omega +1 But then you see 0, 1, 2, ... omega, omega+1, so you get {0, 1, 2, 3, ... omega, omega +1}
But then you see ... omega+2
{0, 1, 2, 3, ... omega, omega +1, omega+3}
But then ...
Stop now, we get it, said the student, we get {0, 1, 2, 3, ... omega, omega +1, omega+2, omega+3, ...} = omega + omega.

Oh but then you see ...
omega+omega+omega+omega+omega+omega+omega+ ... = omega * omega
omega*omega*omega*omega*omega*omega*omega*omega*omega* ... = omega exp omega
omega exp omega exp omega exp omega exp omega exp omega exp omega exp omega exp ... = epsilon zero
And we are only at the beginning!

Can you see what we get, ultimately?

All null sets are identical.

That's reasonable. But false in some intensional theory, where Leibniz identity does not hold. Like with" 0 is my bank account", and "0 is the origin of the universe", but this would hardly make my bank account into the origin of the universe.

A set of contents of consciousness would be referred to as examples of consciousness.

I am confused by the image of "something else, which is aware of those contents".

That's normal. It can't have a name.

An agent is different than consciousness. Consciousness is an attribute of the agent which is conscious of
the contents of it consciousness.

But Liz suggested that consciousness without content might make sense. Well, I know she doubted it too, but that's OK, it is not obvious.

Consciousness cannot exist without a conscious agent.

Then you will miss the first step of the reflexion principle above.

You will see nothing, and you will never get it and see {}.

But I do agree with you statement, and that is one of the reason, to consider God as a sort of agent, somehow.
(We just discuss this on the everything list, so I put it in cc.)

But perhaps that is just my point of view. It is just that I have not yet had any coherent explanation of how it could be otherwise.

You might try the total amnesia thought experience. You forget your name, your language, your concepts, space, time, etc. At which stage would you loose consciousness. Amnesia does not diminish consciousness, only the content.

Note that some drug seems to lead to such a state. You forget everything, and coming back from that state, you feel you have never been so much conscious. I think it is an illusion made by the brain to associate non-consciousness to non-content-of-consciousness.

With computationalism, this can make sense, at least if we can attribute such consciousness to the virgin universal machine, which exists in arithmetic, and so is not forgettable somehow. Once you realize that loosing some memory does not diminish consciousness (but only the content of consciousness), when you forget everything, you begin to recall the "original consciousness" of the universal machine. We are, at the least, extension of that machine. This leads also to the idea that a brain is a consciousness selector, or focuser, not something "creating" consciousness, which would exist out of time and space, as the virgin internal view of arithmetic.



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