On 15 Sep 2013, at 10:37, Telmo Menezes wrote:

On Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 9:54 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

On 14 Sep 2013, at 04:25, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Friday, September 13, 2013 9:42:54 AM UTC-4, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 12 Sep 2013, at 18:22, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Thursday, September 12, 2013 11:56:12 AM UTC-4, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 12 Sep 2013, at 11:33, Telmo Menezes wrote:

Time for some philosophy then :)

Here's a paradox that's making me lose sleep:

Probably many of you already know about it.

What mostly bothers me is the epistemological crisis that this
introduces. I cannot find a problem with the reasoning, but it's
clearly false. So I know that I don't know why this reasoning is
false. Now, how can I know if there are other types of reasoning that
I don't even know that I don't know that they are correct?

Smullyan argues, in Forever Undecided, rather convincingly, that it is
the Epimenides paradox in disguise,

It's the symbol grounding problem too. From a purely quantitative
perspective, a truth can only satisfy some condition. The expectation of truth being true is not a condition of arithmetic truth, it is a boundary
condition that belongs to sense.

i think you mix first person truth, that we can sometimes apprehend (like knowing that we are conscious here and now), and third person truth, which
does not depend of any entity *sensing* them.

How do you justify the assumption of entities that do not depend on any
phenomenological participation though?

That is called "realism". I guess you know I am realist about facts like "14 is not prime" and the like. We have discussed already on that, and I think,
agree that we disagree on that.

Certainly there are truths which are independent of *our* sensing as
individuals, or as human beings, or as fleshy objects or temporal spans of
felt experience, but how can we know, or rather why should we jump to
conclusions that there are things that simply 'are' independently of a sensed experience (note I omit 'entity', since it is not clear that an experience must be felt by a particular being (it could be felt by a class of beings, an era of being, or an eternity of being). Third person truth is
not anchored in the firmament of fact, it is simply a lowest common
denominator of sensitivity among all participants.

I am OK with this, but as I defined entities from what I am realist about, I prefer to make it simple and refer to an arithmetic independent of us.

If third person truth were sense independent, what would be the point of
having sense actually experienced?

The presence of far away galaxies does not depend on us (human beings), but
we still need sense (Hubble) to acknowledge their existence.

But the precise details of the galaxies may be indeterminate until
someone looks, à la Schrödinger's cat no? Of course with things like
the MWI or FPI "existance" is no longer such a clear term. Or is it?

"Existence" is not so much a difficulty for a logician (who theorize about something) because it will be contained in some standard semantics for expression like "it exists ...". Now, physicalist are usually too much informal to proceed in such a way.

So, to be short, with physicalism I would distinguish two form of existence. 1) a notion of accessible existence, like that particle exist "in my branch of the universal superposition. In that case a particle might exist in some clear way, despite its attributes can be "dispersed" on many branch, making that particles behaving in a somehow fuzzy, or wavy way. 2) ... but with QED, even the number of particles can be in a superposition state, making this more complex. So we can say that a particle exist if it exists in some branch of the superposition, for example. So what exist are basically what an observer can observe, when the observer and the observed are described in the universal wave. Note that the advantage of Everett, is that any interaction between two objects can be considered as an observation, so that even if we don't look at the far away galaxies, they have de-cohere enough to be said as existing in our branch, before we look at them.

With computationalism, it is more easy and clear. What exists, at the ontological level, is what make true a sentence like "ExP(x)". So number exists, once we assume arithmetic or combinators ..., because they make true Ex(x = x). And then (and only then), we can define different notions of epistemological existence, and they will be as many notion of existence as we have modalities (notably those coming from incompleteness, as they are unavoidable. They will make true proposition with the shape [] Ex [] P(x), or []<> Ex [] <> P(x), etc... So we will get notions of psychological existence, physical existence, etc. Even events seen in dreams get some notion of existence, for example.


How would it create sensation mechanically, and how would whatever is used
to attach first person phenomena to third person phenomena be itself
attached to either one?

Through two things: self-reference and truth. the first in technically
manageable, the second is not. But we have both once we assume the
independent truth of arithmetical relations.

Computers cannot lie intentionally,

Hmm... That is your usual anti-mechanist  propaganda.

It's not too late to discover a new perspective...

they can only report a local truth which is misinterpreted as being false
in some sense that is not local to the computation.

For the same reason, computers cannot intend to tell the truth either. As in the Chinese Room - the output of a program is not known by the program to be true, it simply is a report of the truth of some internal process.

You confuse a person, and a program or body responsible for that person being able to communicate with you (that might explain why you believe a computer cannot think. Of course when we say "a computer can think", with comp we mean only that a computer can have an activity making it possible
for a person to think relatively to some universal number/machine.

My intuition is to support the use of 'personal' to describe private
physics, but the word person seems too loaded to me. I am ok with everything that I see around me now being 'personal' in some sense, but I do not see that every line and curve, every sparkle and shadow arc is a 'person' or collection of persons. Also I think that the universal number has no reason
to feel, but a universal feeling has every reason to count.

I know that is what you feel. I have explained why numbers feels this to, as the truth here has to be logically counter-intuitive. Young machines have hard to believe that they are machines, and eventually this asks for a
strong philosophical, even theological, bet. That is why "mechanist
proselytism" is forbidden.

The interesting part is that besides being true locally, the computer's report is also true arithmetically, which is to say that it is true two ways
(or senses):

1) the most specific/proprietary sense which is unique, private,
instantaneous and local
2) the most universal/generic sense which is promiscuous, public, eternal,
and omni-local

The computer's report is, however not true in any sense in between, i.e. in any sense which relates specifically to real experienced events in space

Real events in spacetime (which occur orthogonally through mass- energy, or
rather mass-energy is the orthogonal cross section of events) are:

3) semi-unique, semi-private, semi-spatiotemporal, semi-local,
semi-specific, semi-universal.

I am quite skeptical about "real events in spacetime". I can ascribe a
local sense to that, but not an absolute one. I don't buy even weak
materialism. It contradicts most things I find much more plausible
(consciousness, persons, souls, dreams, monism, ...).

I'm trying to make an informal reference without getting too deeply into what is meant by real. I agree that spacetime is not absolute - it is the
polar opposite. Spacetime is the conditional, the local.


Still though, the point I'm making is that computation is ultra- local and ultra-nonlocal, but rather than assuming that it includes every shade in between, I think all signs point to the contrary. Quantum jumps, and what it is jumping across is 'reality' - accumulated experiences...every shade in between. Digital vs analog is a good analog for the real thing, which would be more like digital+analog vs {the superpositioned/proto- divergence of all

OK. That fits mechanist theology.





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