Re: Is consciousness real?

From: Marchal <>
Date: Tue Jan 30 02:24:49 2001

Robert Ettinger wrote (in the FOR Deutsch List):

> [...]
>And yet again: There is no reason that we cannot (eventually) describe
>subjective conditions in objective terms, and transfer feelings (qualia)
>one person to another. It's not a question of self-reference or anything to
>do with logical paradoxes--it's just biophysics.

I partially agree with you.
I believe you can "transfer qualia", and also that it is
first (practically) biophysics.

But, and *this* is linked to Cantor-Godel-Turing sort of diagonalisations
(mathematical self-references)
developped by many people like Benaceraff, Reinhardt, Wang, and myself
although I believe you can transfer a quale, I don't believe you can
a quale *and* at the same time prove (to a third person) that the right
quale has been transfered. I mean there will be a bet, there.

To sum up you can transfer a quale (or even duplicate yourself) but
not provably so. This is an important nuance IMO.
With sufficiently precise form of the computationalist hypothesis you
can prove that nuance. More correctly: you can prove that comp entails
that nuance.

This is done in, (french thesis, short
english paper) where you will find references.

Short summary: I extract from the computationalist hypothesis
(existence of a level such that I survive a substitution at that level)
a "consciousness" theory from which I derive an explanation where the
parallel worlds come from. (The worst is that I am serious :-))

Received on Tue Jan 30 2001 - 02:24:49 PST

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