Re: MGA 3

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Sat, 6 Dec 2008 15:32:53 +0100

Le 05-déc.-08, à 22:11, Abram Demski a écrit :

> Bruno,
> Perhaps all I am saying is that you need to state more explicitly the
> assumptions about the connection between 1st and 3rd person, in both
> MEC and MAT. Simply taking them to be the general ideas that you take
> them to be does not obviously justify the argument.

I don't see why nor how. The first person notions are defined in the
three first steps of the UDA. Wait I come back on this in the
discussion with Kim perhaps. In AUDA I define the first person by the
"knower", and I use the classical definition proposed by Theaetetus in
the Theaetetus of Plato. Keep in mind that you arrived when I was
explaining the real last step of an already long argument.
Of course you may be right, and I would really appreciate any
improvements. But making things more precise could also be a red
herring sometimes, or be very confusing pedagogically, like with the
easy 1004 fallacy which can obviously crop here.
When I defended the thesis in France, it was already a work resulting
from 30 years of discussions with open minded physicists, engineers,
philosophers and mathematicians, and I have learned that what seems
obvious for one of them is not for the others.
I don't think there is anything controversial in my work. I got
academical problems in Brussels for not having find an original result
(but then I think they did not read the work). Pedagogical difficulties
stem from the intrinsical difficulty of the mind body problem, and from
the technical abyss between logicians and physicists to cite only them.
  It is more easy to collide two protons at the speed of light (minus
epsilon) than to arrange an appointment between mathematical logicians
and mathematical physicists (except perhaps nowadays on quantum
computing issues thankfully).

> Furthermore, stating the assumptions more clearly will make it more
> clear where the contradiction is coming from, and thus which versions
> of MEC and MAT the argument applies to.

I would be pleased if you can give me a version of MAT or MEC to which
the argument does not apply. For example, the argument applies to most
transfinite variant of MEC. It does not apply when some "magic" is
introduced in MAT, and MAT is hard to define in a way to exclude that
magic. If you can help, I thank you in advance.


> --Abram
> On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 4:36 AM, Bruno Marchal <>
> wrote:
>> On 04 Dec 2008, at 15:58, Abram Demski wrote:
>>>> PS Abram. I think I will have to meditate a bit longer on your
>>>> (difficult) post. You may have a point (hopefully only pedagogical
>>>> :)
>>> A little bit more commentary may be in order then... I think my point
>>> may be halfway between pedagogical and serious...
>>> What I am saying is that people will come to the argument with some
>>> vague idea of which computations (or which physical entities) they
>>> pick out as "conscious". They will compare this to the various
>>> hypotheses that come along during the argument-- MAT, MEC, MAT + MEC,
>>> "Lucky Alice is conscious", "Lucky Alice is not conscious", et
>>> cetera... These notions are necessarily 3rd-person in nature. It
>>> seems
>>> like there is a problem there. Your argument is designed to talk
>>> about
>>> 1st-person phenomena.
>> The whole problem consists, assuming hypotheses, in relating 1-views
>> with 3-views.
>> In UDA, the 1-views are approximated by 1-discourses (personal diary
>> notes, memories in the brain, ...). But I do rely on the minimal
>> intuition needed to give sense to the willingness of saying "yes" to a
>> digitalist surgeon, and the believe in a comp survival, or a belief in
>> the unchanged feeling of "my" consciousness in such annihilation-
>> (re)creation experiences.
>>> If a 1st-person-perspective is a sort of structure (computational
>>> and/or physical), what type of structure is it?
>> The surprise will be: there are none. The 1-views of a machine will
>> appears to be already not expressible by the machine. The first and
>> third God have no name. Think about Tarski theorem in the comp
>> context. A sound machine cannot define the whole notion of "truth
>> about me".
>>> If we define it in
>>> terms of behavior only, then a recording is fine.
>> We certainly avoid the trap of behaviorism. You can see this as a
>> weakness, or as the full strong originality of comp, as I define it.
>> We give some sense, albeit undefined, to the word "consciousness"
>> apart from any behavior. But to reason we have to assume some relation
>> between consciousness and possible discourses (by machines).
>>> If we define it in
>>> terms of inner workings, then a recording is probably not fine, but
>>> we
>>> introduce "magical" dependence on things that shouldn't matter to
>>> us... ie, we should not care if we are interacting with a perfectly
>>> orchestrated recording, so long as to us the result is the same.
>>> It seems like this is independent of the differences between
>>> pure-comp / comp+mat.
>> This is not yet quite clear for me. Perhaps, if you are patient
>> enough, you will be able to clarify this along the UDA reasoning which
>> I will do slowly with Kim. The key point will be the understanding of
>> the ultimate conclusion: exactly like Everett can be said to justify
>> correctly the phenomenal collapse of the wave, if comp is assumed, we
>> have to justify in a similar way the wave itself. Assuming comp, we
>> put ourself in a position where we have to explain why numbers
>> develops stable and coherent belief in both mind and matter. We can
>> presuppose neither matter, nor mind eventually, except our own
>> consciousness, although even consciousness will eventually be reduced
>> into our "believe in numbers".
>> Bruno
> >

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Sat Dec 06 2008 - 09:33:19 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:15 PST