Re: Consciousness, free will and reality according to Bruno Mar

From: Gilles HENRI <>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 15:05:47 +0100

>I think that here you confuse context of the discussion. Remember that
>with mechanism, if I am correct, it is (our belief in) the law of physics
>which are supernening on the possible computationnal histories ...
>But, there, we were discussing free will, and what I was saying, is that,
>at the local "physical" level (let us say), we are indeed "obeying
>physical law", but we are not living at that level : just remember the
>poorness of the lawyer argument : "my client is not guilty, he was just
>following the law of physics".

just to catch this point, I wouldn't say this argument is poor. It is one
of the moral consequences of MWI that would deserve discussion. Guiltiness
is in fact as illusory as free will. We are by many aspects still
middle-aged in our conception of justice. The law is necessary for the
conservation of social structure, but it doesn't mean that criminals could
have behaved differently from what they did. In fact we would be inspired
to think more about what causes the criminal behaviors, and less about how
they should be punished.
see below:

>But sometimes, by introspection, I doubt I have free-will, or I doubt
>there is a genuine meaning for the word. Indeed, I never succeed doing
>something really for free. There is always a web of (conscious or less
>conscious) reason to act as we do.
>In Mind's I (edited bay Hofstdtate & Dennett) there are very interesting
>paradoxical stuff on free will by Smullyan).

>Indeed. This is also nicely illustrated by the science-fiction novel by
>Galouye : SIMULACRON 3, where the hero begin do detect the virtual nature
>of his environment by looking at curious feature of his neighborhood.
>>This made Bruno say that paradoxically my conception is more determinist
>>than his conception, because in my conception we cannot find such a level
>>below L in which the reality is not determinated.
>>According to Bruno, the world is less determinated than the spirit.
>If we interpret the word "world" as a relative machine dream (or
>history), and if we interpret spirit by arithmetical truth : then I agree
>with you.
>I am not sure you are willing to accept these interpretations. Please
>tell me.

Does it correspond to what I said in my other mail? I am not sure that it
is simpler to assume a "dreaming machine" than a "physical world". On the
other hand, I am still not convinced that the arithmetic truth can cover
the whole reality of spirit.

Received on Mon Jan 25 1999 - 06:13:19 PST

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