From: Marchal <>
Date: Thu Jul 1 10:55:22 1999

Some comments on Hal, George and Jacques' last posts.

Hal Finney wrote:

>I did find a critique of Penrose by Maudlin at
> but it is
>not relevant to our issues.

I agree with Hal. It is not (yet) relevant ...

Thanks for having mentionned it :-)


George Levy wrote:

>I haven't read Maudlin proof but I can see that in the final analysis,
>consciousness seems to be a characteristic relative to the beholder. A
>self-referential perception.

I agree with George about a possible link between self-reference and
although I agree also with another old post by Hal saying that
consciousness per se
need not to be self-referential. I propose to postpose these questions
for a
futur thread.

George Levy wrote:

>Let's go back to the issue of consciousness implemented by a series of
>disconnected accidental events. In the context of the MW, most connections
>from one "frame" to another "frame" in the MW are accidental. However, we
>only be aware of those frames that are linked by what appears to be
> rational
>links which support both consciousness and physical laws. Therefore, in a

I agree a lot, modulo the lack of precision, I mean the success in
concision :-)

Of course this cannot be a final explanation, we still should explain
where our rational expectations comes from. How does the rational link
emerge from.

George Levy wrote:

>I don't think there is any Godelian truth about the real world we can infer
>but cannot prove.

I will not insist on that here, but if you are right I'm afraid that
computationalism is false.

>Maybe what you are saying is that the perception of
>consciousness is the perception of the self referential logical black hole
>(or blind spot) inferred by Godel, the source of logical uncertainty in the
>decision making process.

I am not sure I understand the expression "perception of consciousness".
Consciousness is what makes perception perception. But I guess there is
truth in the rest of your assertion. I believe there is a sense in which
there is a godelian blind spot for the consistent machine.
The very consistency of the machine belongs to her godelian blind spot.

Georges Levy wrote:

> I think I kind of agree with you, except that I see consciousness,
>rationality and physical laws as different aspects of the same underlying
>phenomenon having its root in the MW.

I still agree a lot. This is unfortunately very vague. I think that this
is exactly what we must make precise. More on this below.


Jacques M Mallah wrote:

> Entering the dark and deep dungeon of the mysterious library, I
>fought my way in and after avoiding many deadly traps and after much
>slaying of undead I paid the final price (10 cents/page) and seized a copy
>of Maudlin's paper.

Bravo ! You shall surely be rewarded accordingly.

Jacques M Mallah wrote:

> Chalmers includes a
>reference to Maudlin's paper and obviously does not think it ruled out
>physical computationalism.
> BTW Chalmers' own proposed solution in that paper is
>unsatisfactory, and he admits it, hence the need for proposals such as

And you admit (if I read correctly your URL) that your proposal (for
the implementation problem) is also still unsatisfactory.
There is indeed an "implementation" problem. My feeling (let us say) is
this problem is *fatal* for the physical computationalist (like you ;
BTW thanks for this nice expression).
What I JUST show in my thesis is that IF the mathematical (arithmetical
is enough)
computationalist solve the "implementation problem" (your term) THEN
she will justify the origin of the appearance of the physical laws and
solve the mind body problem.

I think that what George Levy try to describe us above can be
made more precise by
taking seriously the classical Church's thesis (and thus classical
science, self-referential correctness, etc.). The MW are the many states
accessible by a universal machine (um). (cf also the self-aware
Paraphrasing George Levy, I would say that consciousness, rationality and
physical laws are different modalities
of *self-referentially correct um RELATIVELY to her more probable
computational continuation*. It is really a *relative state*
interpretation of mathematics (arithmetics is enough) where the observer
is the um.

Nevertheless, it is quite possible that a kind of "physical
computationalism" remains consistent and may even be necessary with the
mathematical computationalism. I guess that will happen in the case
our level of substitution (which is such that, by definition, we survive
a teletransportation or a functional substitution at that level) is very
In that case the measure will be much more constrained.
What is a little ironical here (with, explicitely, the mathematical
platonism), is that by lowering the level of substitution, you will never
makes any um mortal.
But there are reason to think you will make indeed
harder for them to infer it.

Not to bad for a devil's advocate :-)

Received on Thu Jul 01 1999 - 10:55:22 PDT

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