Re: computationalism and supervenience

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 12:56:00 +0200

Le 27-aožt-06, ˆ 17:49, 1Z a Žcrit :

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Le 25-aožt-06, ˆ 02:31, 1Z a Žcrit :
>>> Of course it can. Anything can be attached to a bare substrate.
>> It follows from the UDA that you cannot do that, unless you put
>> explicitly actual infinite in the "bare substrate",
> I don't see why.

Because the UDA shows the mind-body relation cannot be one-one. You can
attach a mind to a computation C based on your (putative) bare matter,
but then that mind will correspond to an infinity of computations
simulating sufficiently closely C, unless C is using non turing
emulable "property" of that bare matter, but then the comp hyp is

>> an then attach your
>> mind to it (how?).
> Why not ? A bare substrate can carry any property whatsoever.
> Just because it isn't a logically necessary truth doens't make
> it impossible.

OK but one "second after", the probability or the credibility that you
are still in contact with that bare matter is negligible.
I am not pretending this is obvious, and you can tell me where in the
UDA you have troubles.

>>> If it
>>> were impossible to attach a class of properties to a substrate,
>>> that would constitute a property of the substrate, and so it would
>>> not
>>> be bare
>> I am sorry but you lost me here. Especially when elsewhere you say the
>> bare substrate can have subjective experiences.
> Think of a bare substrate as a blank sheet of paper.
> You can writhe anything on it, but what is written
> on it is no part of the paper itself.

This looks like Colin Hales' conception of consciousness, which at
least does not need bare substrate a priori.
And then with numbers we don't have any of those trouble in the sense
that numbers, although they play nicely the role of building blocks,
they do have (relational) property of their own.
(But I know that you don't believe in numbers, whatever that could mean

> A bare substrate can carry any properties, but it is bare
> in itself.

I have no idea what you try to say here.

>>> Bare substrate is compatible with qualia.
>> How?
> There is nothing to stop it being compatible with qualia.
>>> Nothing-but-numbers is not.
>> Why?
> Becuase you would have to identify qualia with mathematical
> structures, which no-one can do.

We can identify qualia with the truth about quantities and qualities
that introspective machine can simultaneously measure and realise they
cannot communicate the result to any machine. The logic of credibility
one bearing of those qualia is then describe by the logic of the
statement which are provable (in the logician sense), true (in Tarski
sense) and consistent (again in the logician sense). I have been able
to deduce that such a credibility one defines a canonical notion of
arithmetical quantization. I can formulate precisely questions like
"does the comp-nature violate Bell's inequality, does the comp-physical
laws allows irreversibility, etc. Unfortunately, this leads to hard
mathematical questions. But my initial goal was not to solve those
problems, just to show that if we take comp seriously enough, then such
questions can be put in precise mathematical shapes.

>>> If Platonia is not real in any sense, it cannot
>>> contain observers, persons, appearances, etc.
>>>>> To exist Platonically is to exist eternally and necessarily. There
>>>>> is
>>>>> no time or changein Plato's heave.
>>>> All partial recursive solutions of Schroedinger or Dirac equation
>>>> exists in Platonia, and define through that "block description"
>>>> notion
>>>> of internal time quite analogous to Everett subjective
>>>> probabilities.
>>> The A-series cannot be reduced to the B-series.
>> All the point is that with Church thesis you can do that.
> How ?

1) distinguishing truth (G*) and provability (G) for lobian machine
which are simpler than us.
2) defining the first person by "true-provability" (Theaetetus,
Plotinus), or true-consistent-provability.
3) isolating the temporal logic of the 1-person, which appears
4) by showing how those logics does reduce, at the G* level, the
*appearances of A series" to the B-series (that is technical of course)
5) We can at this stage explain why the machine will not been able to
make this reduction about herself. The machine can consistently believe
what you say!
6) by using the comp bet to lift what the simpler than us lobian
machine say to us about herself and applying it to us in some
interrogative mode (here we need to bet in a subtle (interrogative) way
on our own local consistency).

>>>>> A program is basically the same as a number.
>>>> No it isn't. You don't know which programme is specified
>>>> by a number without knowing how the number is to
>>>> be interpreted, ie what hardware it is running on.
>> Not necessarily. The numbers can be interpreted by other numbers. The
>> closure of the Fi for diagonalization makes this possible. No need for
>> more than numbers and their additive and multiplicative behavior. I
>> don't pretend this is obvious.
>>>>> A process or a computation
>>>>> is a finite or infinite sequence of numbers (possibly branching,
>>>>> and
>>>>> defined relatively to a universal numbers).
>>>> It is not just a sequence, because a sequence
>>>> does not specify counterfactuals.
>> That is why I said "possibly branching".
> Branching is not COUNTERfactual either -- the other branches
> are as real as "this" one.

You are confusing 1-person and 3-person. The other branches are
certainly not as "real" as "this" one from a first person point of view
(even if they are realistically as real from the third person point of
view), for the same reason that IF you are duplicated into
reconstitutions in Washington and Moscow, the copies are both "real",
but from they own point of view they are different.

>>>> The UD build all such (branching) sequences.
>>> If it exists.
>>>> That way, except I say this from the comp assumption, unlike Deutsch
>>>> who says this from the quantum assumption. (of course "real" means
>>>> here
>>>> generated by the UD)
>>> If it exists.
>> Even Robinson Arithmetic "believes" in the UD.
> No purely mathematical theory makes an onotological commitment.
> Formalists can do Robinson Arithemetic too.

Sorry but after Godel's incompleteness, it is a non sense to say that
number theory does not make ontological commitment. The intended
interpretation of any axiom of any theory formalizing arithmetical
proposition have to postulate the existence of the numbers. See the
axiom Q3 of my ontic TOE. It says that any non null number admits a

Q1) Ax ~(0 = s(x))
Q2) AxAy ~(x = y) -> s(x) s(y)
Q3) Ax ~(x = 0) -> Ey(x = s(y))

Together with the definition of addition:

Q4) Ax x + 0 = x
Q5) AxAy x + s(y) = s(x + y)

and the definition of multiplication:

Q6) Ax x * 0 = 0
Q7) AxAy x * s(y) = (x * y) + x

>> The UD exists like the
>> square root of two, or any recursively enumerable set.
> ie not at all , as far as formalists are concerned.

After Godel such a narrow formalistic conception of math does not work,
or is just a change in vocabulary.

> You do not get ontology for free with maths. It has to be
> argued separately.

I think you talk about a sort of "physical" ontology, in which I have
stop to believe, if only through the comp hyp. But even without comp, I
think "physical ontology" is the bullet making impossible to solve the
mind-body question.

>> You exist in a sense related to that existence but not necessarily
>> identical.
> If the square root of two does not exist at all,
> I do not exist in relation to it.

I don't believe you. I mean, I am sure that even for you the square
root of 2 exists, at least in some sense, and you exist in a related
sense, once comp is assumed (by UDA).

>> It depends also if by "I" you mean such or such n-person
>> view of "I". But I give all the precise definitions elsewhere.
>>> Because in a mathematics-only universe, qualia have to be identified
>>> with, or reduced to, mathematical structures.
>> Certainly. They are given by the intensional variant of G* \minus G.
>> See my SANE paper.
> So what is the formula for the taste of lemon ?

The formula belongs to Z1* minus Z1, but most probably, we cannot
recognize it as such.
If we could do that, we would disappear, because it would be more
economical to change our goal at the basic level than working to
But "things are wel done in math" in the sense that we cannot do that
for a deeper reason based on the necessary non constructive aspect of
Z1* minus Z1. We will probably come back on this if and when we will
dig more in the arithmetical presentation of the different notion of
persons (which I call now hypostases).

>>> If your Platonia is restricted to arithmetic, that would be
>>> a contingent fact.
>> I just need people believe that what they learn at school in math
>> remains true even if they forget it.
> Truth is not existence.

Of course. I am talking about the truth of existential proposition. You
keep doing that confusion.

>> I use the poetical term "platonia" mainly when I use freely the
>> excluded middle, and put no bound on the length of the computations.
>> In
>> the lobian interview, "the belief in platonia" is defined by (A v ~A).
> That formula is about truth, not existence.

Yes, but A is for any formula, including existential one. All what is
needed ion the comp theory is the belief that for any number i, and any
number j: Fi(j) stop or Fi(j) does not stop. To say that a machine
stops is the affirmation that *there is* a step where the machine has
finished her work. That is as existential as affirming that there is a
prime number.

>> You can take it formally or just accept that closed first order
>> sentences build with the symbols {S, +, *, 0} are either true or
>> false.
>> You need this just for using the term "conjecture" in number theory.
>> Don't put more in "platonia" than we need it in the reasoning and in
>> the working with the theory. When I say that a number exists, I say it
>> in the usual sense of the mathematicians. My ontology is what Brouwer
>> called the separable part of mathematics: it is the domain where all
>> mathematicians agree, except the ultra-intuitionist (a microscopic
>> non-comp minority).
> There is no domain about which all mathematicians agree ontologically.
> Platonists think it all exists, intuitionists think some of it exists,
> formalists think none of it exists.

Formalist are dead. Unless you extend the sense of "formalism" in the
manner of Judson Webb (but few people follow it on that). In that case,
formalism is a variety of mechanism, and I prefer to use the word
mechanism or comp instead.

> There is a large are over which they agree epistemologically.
> Formalists
> and Platonists can accept the same axioms and conclusons.

OK, and this is a reason to stop arguing on those terminological
questions, which just hide the reasoning. I think you will learn more
by criticizing the reasoning than by arguing "philosophically".

> Only
> inutitionists rejet some of the formalism that others accept.

I don' think so but it does not matter at all. (Intuitionist accept all
formal theories, they does not accept the intended platonist
interpretation of those theories, but a formalist neither).

Let me ask you this: what difference are you doing between the
following sentences, considered in their assertative mode (i.e. said by
someone who is supposed to be trying to communicate something):

a) Unicorns exist
b) It is true that unicorns exist


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Received on Mon Aug 28 2006 - 06:57:54 PDT

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