On 12 Jan 2014, at 14:18, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Sunday, January 12, 2014 5:41:15 AM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 12 Jan 2014, at 05:12, Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:

RE: arXiv: 1401.1219v1 [quant-ph] 6 Jan 2014
Consciousness as a State of Matter
Max Tegmark, January 8, 2014

Hi Folk,
I confess that after 12 years of deep immersion in science’s grapplings with consciousness, the blindspot I see operating is so obvious and so pervasive and so incredibly unseen it beggars belief. I know it’s a long way from physics to neuroscience (discipline- wise). But surely in 2014 we can see it for what it is. Can’t they (Tegmark and ilk) see that the so-called “science of consciousness” is
·         the “the science of the scientific observer”

That's observation theory, not consciousness theories.

Observation is part of consciousness. Without consciousness there is no observation.

It depends on what you mean by observation. For many purposes, observation can be only an interaction. that is enough to explain the wave collapse appearance from the SWE. Now, observation can also be defined in a stringer sense involving consciousness, I can agree. Yet, this does not permit a direct identification of consciousness theory with observation theory.

·         trying to explain observing with observations

Of course you need logic, ans some assumption on the mind (like computationalism assume mind to be invariant for Turing simulation).

Since observation is part of consciousness,

OK, for some sense of observation. But there are many use of "observation" which do not require consciousness.

he is pointing out that trying to explain consciousness without recognizing that all evidence of it comes from consciousness is circular reasoning.

But nobody tries to negate that! Obviously consciousness requires consciousness to be part of the evidence. The same occurs for matter. But from this you cannot conclude that consciousness or matter have to be primitively assumed in the theory. That would be circular.

Whether or not we need assumptions for our theories is not relevant to the ontology of consciousness.


·         trying to explain experience with experiences

Well, at some level, we can't avoid that, but the experience are extended into testable theories.

Tests and theories are experiences.

You confuse a theory, with the experience of a theory.

·         trying to explain how scientists do science.

In some theoretical frame. yes, "meta-science" can be handled scientifically (= modestly).

But consciousness ≠ modesty or science.

Sure. Nobody said that. A theory of consciousness does not need to be conscious.

·         a science of scientific behaviour.
·         Descriptive and never explanatory.

You overgeneralize. That is the case of physics, but not of meta- mathematics in the comp frame. I recall to you that computationalism is incompatible with physicalism.

Why is meta-mathematics in comp more explanatory?

Meta-mathematics explains how machine can be aware (in some variate senses) of their own limitations, in both the ability to justify some guess, and to express some lived experience.

· Assuming that the use of consciousness to confirm ‘laws of nature’ contacts the actual underlying reality...

That's partly wrong, partly correct.

That's partly information about an opinion, mostly cryptic.

It was correct, because consciousness does not tell anything per se about the reality, except for itself. It was not correct, because a *theory* of consciousness can have verifiable aspects, and so, if they are refuted we *might* learn something about reality, in some local revisable way.

· Assuming there’s only 1 scientific behaviour and never ever ever questioning that.

That's fuzzy, and false, as far as I can interpret it precisely.

It's supposed to be false. He's giving another example of how scientific approaches to consciousness beg the question and deceive themselves.

I understood that. I was agreeing with Colin.

It means precisely that in reality there are many, many tools within science and reason, but the contemporary approaches consolidate science into a single dogmatic ideology.

This is a bit frstrating when you read the authors and see that their opinions is quite variate and variable. Wjat is true, is that most of them adopt, not always consciously, the theology of Aristotle, with the belief in "Nature" and things like that, which gives terms which are too much fuzzy for the fundamental questioning.

· Assuming scientists are not scientific evidence of anything.

That's false in Everett QM, and in computationalism.

They still do not contain scientists, only toy models of the footprint that first person interaction imposes on 3p functions.

Not at all. In the Everett universal waves, there are scientists (indeed all of them, for Everett). Don't confuse the physical wave that Everett is assuming to exist and is talking about, with the mathematical description of the wave that he provides. Those differ like a finger and the moon.



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