Re: Against Physics

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 09:38:38 +0200

On 17 Aug 2009, at 02:02, Rex Allen wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 16, 2009 at 10:12 AM, Bruno Marchal<>
> wrote:
>> "I exist" could be, perhaps, tautological. But "Reality"? I don't
>> think so. Certainly not from inside.
> What is reality, beyond our conscious experience of existence?

This is what we are supposed to be interested.
I believe in the consciousness of someone different for me, for example.
I believe in math and in our ability to share it.

>> The conclusion will be that consciousness, or anything apprehended by
>> a person in some stable way has to be realted to an infinity of
>> relations between numbers. And most are not "caused" by a rule-
>> following system.
> Given an infinity of relations between numbers to work with, wouldn't
> pretty much everything be representable?

What makes you believe that all relations between numbers are
It is just false by Cantor theorem (soon (re)explained).
But if you don't believe in some amount of math, Cantor theorem will
not help.
You position look closer and closer to solipsism.

> If so, then what is the
> significance of being able to represent the contents of our conscious
> experience, including a represention of our lack of comprehension as
> to "how a symbolic self-representing relation individuate into an
> incommunicable, non doubtable, lived qualia"?
> In fact, here, this pen on my desk. To me, that pen now represents my
> lack of comprehension as to how a symbolic self-representing relation
> individuates into an incommunicable, non doubtable, lived qualia.
> There, that wasn't so hard. What is the significance of this? If
> there's no significance to my pen representing this, then what is the
> significance of using relations between numbers to represent the same
> thing?

The significance comes from the computationalist hypothesis.
See my url for detailed explanations. But, again, if you think that
sentences like "there is an infinity of prime numbers" depends on
consciousness, then it will not help.

>>> So I can (sort of) see how a logical machine might symbolically
>>> represent reality in this way. BUT, this doesn't answer the
>>> question
>>> of why there should be a conscious experience associated with the
>>> machine symbolically representing reality this way.
>>> Does it?
>> It does not. That is why it is the assumption of the theory. The
>> working hypothesis. The light in the dark.
> Okay this is related to my point above and is the core of my problem
> with your view, and with physicalism due to it's similar assumption.

It is problem you will have with all non-solipsists.
Well, even with other solipsists.

>> And then, the beauty of it, is that, ONCE the assumption is done, we
>> can understand fully and rationally why we cannot understand how a
>> symbolic self-representing relation individuate into an
>> incommunicable, non doubtable, lived qualia.
> Your "understanding" boils down to: here is a mathematical model that
> represents our situation, and which may have some practical use in
> predicting what we will observe in the future. Why will it correctly
> predict what we observe?

It is not a "model". It is the theory/guess/hypothesis.assumption.
It is the widespread belief that the brain/body is locally a machine,
or that it is turing emulable.
I am studying its consequences.

I'm afraid you are solipsist. This is an irrefutable position, "true"
by definition as lived by any first person, and false once we bet on a
reality independent of oneself (as usual in science and society).


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Received on Mon Aug 17 2009 - 09:38:38 PDT

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