Re: 3 possible views of "consciousness"

From: Marchal <>
Date: Mon Feb 5 07:28:37 2001

Jesse Mazer wrote (replying to
(in the everything mailing list).

>My question for you [hpm] is, does your Platonic view of things
>rule out the idea
>of a single global theory of consciousness? I'm not talking about different
>Platonic worlds having their own unique definitions of consciousness...if
>that was true we'd still have the problem of why I'm any less likely to
>experience the laws of physics suddenly breaking down than I am to
>experience the world continuing as normal. We need a truly global,
>"objective" theory of consciousness to deal with this problem, I think (and
>possibly a global measure on the space of all possible laws of physics,
>although not necessarily).

Exactly. I cannot agree more. Actually this is what I (try to) provide

Look in the list archive at:

for a short
exposition of the godelian modal logics (G and G*) which gives an embryo
of an objective consciousness theory, and the link with the global
measure problem.
Consciousness can be seen as a logical descendant of Consistency.
It explains why perception can be seen as unconscious (automatic,
instinctive) anticipations, like in Helmholtz's perception theory.

There are two modal logics G and G*. This is Solovay's discovery.
At the propositional level you can axiomatize the provable
self-referential statements *by* the machine *on* itself (G), but you
can axiomatise also *all* the true statements including
the non-provable one (G*).

It is the gap between G and G* which makes a theory of qualia
possible. It is the gap between G ang G* which makes possible
the distinction between measuring and feeling, between physical
measurement and physical sensation. (Actually it is the gap between
Z and Z* which play that role, where Z and Z* are intensional variant
of G and G*).

The original paper on G and G* is :
Solovay Robert, "Provability Interpretations of Modal logics" Israel
Journal of Mathematics, 25, 287-304, 1976.

>This shouldn't be so hard to swallow, even for a strict Platonist--after
>all, we expect the laws of arithmetic to be the same in all possible
>universes, and I don't really see how something like information theory
>could change either. If there's really a theory of consciousness out there,
>my hope is that it would be similar to information theory, deducible from a
>few basic first principles which perhaps could be justified on philosophical

Yes. Although I use more computability theory and provability theory than
information theory, but this one is needed for polishing the approach.


PS I send this to the FOR list where there is an interesting discussion
on self-referential statement and Godel's theorem in relation with
Received on Mon Feb 05 2001 - 07:28:37 PST

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