Re: Dreaming On

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 10:31:49 +0200

On 26 Jul 2009, at 16:52, David Nyman wrote:

> Thanks to everyone who responded to my initial sally on dreams and
> machines. Naturally I have arrogated the right to plagiarise your
> helpful comments in what follows, which is an aphoristic synthesis of
> my understanding of the main points that have emerged thus far. I
> hope this will be helpful for future discussion.
> We do not see the mind, we see *through* the mind.
> What we see through the mind - its contents - is mind-stuff: dreams.
> Hence dream content - i.e. whatever is capable of being present to us
> - can't be our ontology - this would be circular (the eye can't see
> itself).
> So the brain (i.e. what the eye can see) can't be the mind; but the
> intuition remains that mind and brain might be correlated by some
> inclusive conception that would constitute our ontology: Kant's great
> insight stands.
> It is similarly obvious that 'identity' theories and the like are
> non-sense: it would indeed be hard to think of two descriptions less
> 'identical' than brain-descriptions and mind-descriptions: hence
> again, any such identification could only be via some singular
> correlative synthesis.
> Hence any claim that the mind is literally identical with, or
> 'inside', the brain can be shown to be false by the simple - if messy
> - expedient of a scalpel; or else can be unmasked as implicitly
> dualistic: i.e. the claim is really that 'inside' and 'outside' are
> not merely different descriptions, but different ontologies.
> By extension of our individual introspecting, a plurality of minds,
> and the 'external world' that includes brains, can be conceived as
> correlated in some way - to be elucidated - in a universal synthesis
> or context: that context being our mutual ontology.
> Such a universal context, or in common terms 'what exists', cannot be
> fully known (i.e. can't be exhausted by description) although - or
> rather because - it constitutes what we are, and by extension what
> *everything* is.
> Nonetheless we may seek a logic of dreaming so far as it goes, and
> this will indeed be as far as anything goes in the way of knowledge
> claims.
> Mathematics may be deployed as a dream-logic: but mathematical
> physics, restricted to 'physical heuristics', prototypically gets
> stuck at the level of describing the content and behaviour of dreams,
> not their genesis.

The UDA is a reasoning which shows that once we postulate an
"ontological" physical universal, it is impossible to recover the
first person from it.

> To go further and deeper we need an explicit mathematical
> specification of dreamers and their dreams, and of generative
> mechanisms by which dreamers and their dream contents can be
> constructed.

Once comp is assumed, and UDA understood, including step 8, we get an
explicit mathematical specification of the dreamers (which will be the
universal numbers---to be (re)explained later) and the explanation of
the appearance of the dreams: self-referential gluing (sigma_1)
arithmetical relations.

> Such a schema will by its nature form an analysis of how we come to
> believe that we and our world are real, and in what terms: i.e. how we
> come to know a world in a present and personal manner.

Except for the mystery of numbers, which has to remain intact
(mysterious). The first person arise from the difference of the logics
of the points of view. Each point of view is just a different modality
of the self reference. I recall (or anticipate):

Bp & p
Bp & Dp
Bp & Dp & p

With p any arithmetical sentences, Bp the arithmetical sentence of
Gödel (Beweisbar(Godel number of p)), etc. Note that "p" = 0-person.
Bp = 03 person, Bp & p = first person, Bp & Dp = "3-person matter", Bp
& Dp & p = first person matter. This makes 08 hypostases, due to the G/
G* splitting.

The first person view arise from the discrepancy between the logic of
Bp and Bp & p (mainly).

> Consequently such a schema must subsume within its universe of
> discourse: being, knowing, perceiving, acting and intending - as the
> foundations of what it means to be real: i.e. it must be capable of
> invoking the Cheshire Cat *to the life*, not merely leave its grin
> hanging in the void.

It is here that we may differ. All what needs to be subsumed is 0, and
successor axioms, together with addition and multiplication. Assuming
comp (which is a statement about RITSIAR, and in that sense you are
correct), everything (that is: every dreams and the way they glue
together) has to be derived from the way universal numbers reflects
each other.

> Moving beyond bare analysis and description, any move to universalise
> and 'realise' the axioms of such a schema is to make a claim on
> ontological finality. It has not been completely clear (to me)
> whether COMP necessarily makes such a stipulation on realisation, in
> the sense of a claim that its axioms *literally are* what is present
> and personal (i.e. RITSIAR).

Comp could be a little more than RITSIAR: it is the fact that RITSIAR
is preserved through a substitution of my parts done at some level.
Comp assumes "yes" for the question, will I *stay* as real as I am
here and now, once I say yes to the doctor and after he has proceeded.

> However I'm coming to suspect that it does not in fact make such a
> claim, although it allows any one of us to take this as a personal
> leap of faith, specifically through the acid test of saying yes to the
> doctor.

OK then.

> COMP may turn out to be false in its specific predictions - i.e.
> empirical tests
> could rule out the possibility of our being finite machines; or
> perhaps we can never be sure one way or the other.
> Nonetheless, the inescapable implication is that any alternative
> schema must from the outset explicitly and fearlessly address the same
> problem space or else run foul of the same intractable 0-1-3 person
> ontological and epistemological issues.

This is tackled by the modality of self-reference.

> This has profound implications for virtually all current cosmological
> TOEs: i.e. a view from nowhere turns out to be nobody's view. As has
> been observed in other writings, our understanding remains profoundly
> obscured and distorted unless we restore the personal to the view from
> nowhere. Only then can we conceive why indeed there is somewhere
> rather than nowhere.

OK. You will have to judge comp, in that respect, by yourself.


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Received on Mon Jul 27 2009 - 10:31:49 PDT

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