Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 19:33:21 +0200

On 04 May 2009, at 13:31, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> 2009/5/4 Bruno Marchal <>:
>>> ...
>> It seems to me that we agree that physical supervenience leads to
>> many
>> absurdities. Is your argument purely academical, or do you think it
>> can be used to prevent the conclusion that physics has to be
>> explained
>> by the purely mathematical notion of "most probable computation as
>> seen from inside", among the 2^aleph_0 computations going through the
>> current states, in UD* or in arithmetic?
> I agree with you. I am not terribly happy with the conclusion, because
> it seems so weird. The only way out is, as you say, if comp is false:
> the mind is not Turing emulable, or (even weirder, perhaps incoherent)
> there is no such thing as consciousness at all.

Something conscious cannot doubt about the existence of its
consciousness, I think, although it can doubt everything else it can
be conscious *about*.
It is the unprovable (but coverable) fixed point of Descartes
systematic doubting procedure (this fit well with the self-reference
logics, taking consciousness as consistency).

Someone unconscious cannot doubt either ... (A zombie can only fake

We live on the overlap of a subjective un-sharable certainty (the
basic first person knowledge) and an objective doubtful but sharable
possible reality (the third person belief).

To keep 3-comp, and to abandon consciousness *is* the correct
materialist step, indeed. But you cannot keep 1-comp(*) then, because
it is defined
by reference to consciousness. When you say "yes" to the doctor, we
assume the "yes" is related to the belief that you will survive. This
means you believe that you will not loose consciousness, not become a
zombie, nor will you loose (by assumption) your own consciousness, by
becoming someone else you can't identify with.

> OK, I think. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

You are welcome,


(*) (usual comp is a 1-comp, 3-comp is "MEC-DIG-BEH" in "C&M", for
Digital Behaviorist Mechanism in french, in a part translated by Kim
on the list recently)

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Received on Tue May 05 2009 - 19:33:21 PDT

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