Re: I think, was "Difficulties in communication. . ."

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2006 15:58:56 -0700

George Levy wrote:
> Brent Meeker wrote:
>>That brings us back to Descartes "I think therefore I am"; which Russell
>>pointed out was an unsupported inference.
> IMHO everything hinges on "I think." "I think" MUST BE THE STARTING
> POINT - for any conscious observer THERE IS NO OTHER OBSERVABLE STARTING

Are you disputing Russell's point that "I" is a construct and "thinking" is
all you have without inference?

> "I think" is both an *observed fact* as well as an *axiom* from which
> everything else can be derived.

I don't think much of anything can be derived from just "I think". For
example, "I think" is consistent with "Pigs fly" and with "Pigs don't fly";
so you can't infer whether or not pigs fly.

>So you could argue that the observation
> of "I think" supports the axiom "I think." In fact any conscious
> observation of the world also necessitates the "I think" observation and
> the "I think" assumption.
> "I think" also implies the concept of sanity. Unless you assume the
> first step "I think" and that you are sane, you can't take any rational
> and conscious second step and have any rational and conscious thought
> process. You wouldn't be able to hold any rational discussion.

But if you weren't sane you might still think you were. To hold a rational
discussion you'd need to assume or prove there's someone to talk to.

> in any computational process is the concept of sanity. Maybe this is
> what Bruno refers to as "sane machine."
> "I think" also implies a certain logical/mathematical system (which
> Bruno is working on).

I "think" not.

> "I think" furthermore implies a reflexive quality

Or just assumes it.

>which is essential for
> consciousness. This reflexive quality is also included in Bruno's
> logical/mathematical system.
> "I think" also infers

Did you mean "implies"??

Brent Meeker

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Received on Sun Aug 13 2006 - 19:01:01 PDT

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