RE: Bruno's argument

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 15:55:02 +1000

Bruno Marchal writes (quoting SP):

> > But certain computations are selected out through being isomorphic
> > with physical structures and processes (or simulations thereof):
> I would have said that certain computations are selected out by giving
> high relative measure for locally stable consciousness experiences, and
> then those relative computations will defined what is physical from
> inside. this explains (or at least makes it possible to explain) why
> apparent physical laws are isomorphic to mathematical laws. The
> physical would be the mathematical as seen from inside by mathematical
> entities.

I think I understand what you mean. If we say there is a physical world for the sake of argument, and then the whole thing suddenly disappears, there would be no way for a conscious being to know that anything had changed, because the computations underpinning his consciousness are unaffected: they still give the impression of a physical world. So the existence of a physical world somehow separate from mere mathematical entities is an unnecessary hypothesis.

> > a parabola, the number three, a mind. We are happy to say that the
> > first two of these are not "caused" by physical processes even when
> > they manifest as if they are, and I think the same consideration can
> > be applied to mind. What physical structures consciousness is
> > isomorphic with and why is another question.
> Consciousness would be isomorphic with relative or conditional average
> on *all* computations, which can be made matematical by Church Thesis.

This sounds right, but I have absolutely no idea where to start when we are talking about computations underlying consciousness. As Russell asked, why does it appear that they emanate from complex structures called brains? Why don't we perceive ourselves to be disembodied spirits, or to have heads solid like a potato?

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Wed Jul 26 2006 - 01:57:03 PDT

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