On 2/25/2013 1:26 PM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 25 Feb 2013, at 01:30, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Sunday, February 24, 2013 3:07:12 AM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:
Yes. That something that the machine can prove and know.
How can we know what a machine can prove or know if our own
knowledge is only belief?
Because some time our beliefs are true.
What does 'true' mean if we can only believe?
We can't define that, but we have a lot of example.
Suppose we meet and that I give you a slap. Then "Bruno gave a slap to
Craig" would be true. It would not be true, if we meet, or not, and
don't give you a slap.
Dear Bruno and Craig,
The slap is a physical action. How was it defined? Bruno, the
physical world that we perceive our bodies to be immersed in, is acting
in this example as the definer of truth. Is this your intention?
When we believe something, it means that we believe that it is true,
even when keeping in mind that it is a belief, and that we might be
wrong, that is not true.
But there could exist a physical world different from the one we
are in that has an entity in it and there is a physical condition that
validates the belief of that entity, no?
p is true means that it is the case that p, in the domain where p is
supposed to be applied.
Can the domain be defined recursively? For example, what if p is
the proposition that p' is experienced and p' is the proposition that
p'' is experienced and ... ?
If you believe that Obama is the president of the USA, it means that
you believe that in our local geographico-historical situation, it is
a true fact, even if you can have a doubt, because you might find
conceivable to wake up, perhaps younger, and that Ronald Reagan is the
president of the US. A black pothead being a president of America...
that sound like a dream, after all.
A dream only for some...
We can't know that, but we can still have sharable beliefs. By a
sort of informal habits, in most informal talk, we use very often
the term "know" for the beliefs based on quite common sharable
assumption, like "O has a successor", or the laws of addition and
multiplication. But when thinking rigorously *about* such kind of
beliefs, we have to use the term belief. It is simple: except for
the consciousness here and now, we have only beliefs.
I don't think it has to be that simple. You are only taking your own
word for that limitation on your sense. We could have all kinds of
intuitive influences beneath the threshold of our conscious awareness
which are in fact true beyond mere belief.
True is not opposed to belief. Sometimes some beliefs can be true.
ISTM that a belief is contingent on the existence of something that
contains a representation of that belief, be it a human mind or a
Platonic algorithm or whatever else may satisfy the role.
But once a belief concerns a reality different from
consciousness-here-and-now, I don't see how we can be sure that any
statement is true, independently of their plausibility.
We can be failed on all dreamable content, except one (actual
If infinitely many physical worlds exist then there could be a
'reality' for each and every belief. I conjecture that most of those
physical realities would be Boltzmann brains.
Rather than assuming that belief is a logical stick model built up
It is not build up for nothing. It is an arithmetical relation between
a number, and some universal numbers.
No, Bruno. The fact that we can construct any number from the empty
set explicitly demands that we are building up things from nothing. This
does not, IMHO, remove the 'reality' from them so long as the mutual
agreement actions are possible.
I think it makes more sense to see it as a local fog which interferes
with out larger grounding in the sense of eternity and totality.
Knowledge does that. By linking belief with truth.
But where does the 'truth' obtain from if not a physical instance?
It need not be ontological primitive, as a physical world could be
defined as merely that which at least 3 observers can agree upon as
We say: "Jim believed that Brussels was the capital of the USA, but
now, he know better".
We don't say "Jim knew that Brussels was the capital of the USA, but
now, he believed better".
Careful that we don't define a word to have a property and then use
the word to show the existence of that property. This is bootstrapping!
This is something that can easily creep into any immaterialist ontology
and ruin it (unless it is accounted for, like what Jon Barwise does in
We need to have a long discussion as to how the quanta emerges in
such a way as to allow the appearance of a physical world (a 'reality')
for multiple observers. I am assuming that an observer is defined as the
intersection of infinitely many computations as per comp.
We can't bootstrap belief from inert conditions - sense and
participation are implicit and inherent in any discussion of belief,
whether we acknowledge it or not.
I study the case of machines believing in some limited number of
sentences in computer science, with some rules of reasoning, and study
what they can believe, known, observe, feel, etc. With precise
definition of each terms. It is testable, as comp predicts they will
believe in some precise physics that we can compare with nature, and
so we can refute comp+classical-epistemology.
As it is a very weak theory (comp is weak, and classical epistemology
too), its refutation would make us learning a lot. If it is not
refuted, then we have a much simpler theory of everything, ---simpler
than the actual one, which is QM (+general relativity). And the new
theory explains the difference between qualia and quanta, and this is
a point where QM fails to address explicitly the question, although
with Everett it leans toward the comp theory.
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