Re: Dreaming On

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 19:17:17 +0200

On 27 Jul 2009, at 14:57, David Nyman wrote:

> On 27 July, 09:31, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
>> 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
> Do you mean to say that we can't recover the 1-person from a physical
> universe on the assumption that the mind is a 'computation' executed
> by elements of a physical brain, or that it can't be recovered *in any
> manner* on the assumption of 'physical ontology'? I've always assumed
> the former - which is the one attacked in your thought experiments;
> the latter would be a much stronger and more startling claim, to say
> the least.

It is the former. Typical counter-example are provided by most dualist
religions, but they have to be anti-comp.
Even with comp, you can always add a physical ontology, but you cannot
use it to explain any correlation between consciousness and what
happen in that physical ontological universe. Comp makes the
physicalist assumption devoid of any explanation power. I think you
have correct intuition about this.

>>> 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.
> Yes, I should have said 'otherwise intractable' - meaning intractable
> for any schema that doesn't explicitly generate the dreamers and their
> many viewpoints as well as their dream contents. This is the problem
> space that must be confronted - as COMP does. My point is that any
> approach to the mind-body issues that doesn't tackle this must fail at
> the outset. Agreed?


>>> 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.
> I'm still trying! I must say that the more I think about your
> arguments in detail (some of the basic ones - like the teleportation
> examples - have direct counterparts in my own intuitive history) the
> more they exercise my intuitions in helpful directions. I feel that
> there is something intuitively necessary in this generative approach,
> and specifically in the way it seeks to resolve the 0-1-3-person
> conundrums that - even if it turns out to be unsupportable as a whole
> - would remain a core feature of any successor theory.

I think so.


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Received on Mon Jul 27 2009 - 19:17:17 PDT

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