Re: The Game of Life

From: Marchal <>
Date: Fri Jan 7 03:02:10 2000

>This touches on a philosophical conundrum I have. Like Bruno, I too
>attribute conciousness to some animals. eg a number of dogs I know
>seem to be concious at an intuitive level. As the previous discussion
>followed, conciousness appears to be reflexive in some manner, even if
>My problem is with the Anthropic principle. If conciousness is all
>that is needed to "instantiate" an interesting universe, then why do
>we even understand what the anthropic principle is? Presumably dogs do
>not wonder why the universe has the form it does. Why do we?
>There has to be some good reason why the reference class must be
>human-like, i.e. able to understand philosophical issues such as the
>anthropic principle.

There are no good reasons, I think, to take human-like reference
class in 'scientific' (let us say) matter. And I do not.

I appreciate the Anthropic Principle though. I am convinced of the
benefit of weak Anthropic-like reasoning.

Actually you touch my principal motivation for substituting the
human observer by the machine observer.

A lot of reasoning can be done with the more vague 'Self-Aware
Substructure', (which does not need to be a machine) but as you know I
give a special role to the SRC UTM. (SRC = Self Referentially

Why animals does not wonder why the universe has the form it does?
I think that animals are SRC in some sense (after all living animals
did succeed the "evolution test"). But animals lack some degree
of introspectiveness. Animals knows but does not know they know.

When you simulate throwing a piece of wood in front of a dog, the
dog can show some sense of astonishment though.

But religions and fundamental sciences begin with astonishment
in front of the banal, when you stop taking for granted the very
nature of the apparantly obvious. This need higher introspective
power, and higher communication means, for exemple to remember
and talk about dreams.

Look at Smullyan's description() of advancing stages of
self-awareness page 89 (either in the hard or paperback edition).

Human-like interrogations begin perhaps with the Smullyan's stage 4
where the 'reasoner' is able to know that it knows.
More on that modal stuff later ...


() Raymond Smullyan : FOREVER UNDECIDED
Hardback: 1987, Alfred A. KNOPF, New York.
Paperback: 1988, Oxford University Press.
Received on Fri Jan 07 2000 - 03:02:10 PST

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