Re: Consciousness schmonscioisness

From: Jesse Mazer <>
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 08:55:04 -0500

"James Higgo (" wrote:

>Your statement, 'without consciousness you can't incorporate the anthropic
>principle into your fundamental theory', is wrong. You can, it's just that
>you look for conditions that would support this observer-moment (a
>'self-referential thought'), rather than conditions that support some
>physical object like a brain.

How can you rigorously define the notion of a "self-referential thought?"
Even a very simple computation can be self-referential in some way, and
physical processes that can be seen as implementing these sorts of simple
computations are undoubtedly much more common than physical processes that
are doing the sort of complex information-processing that goes on in my
brain. Is it just amazing luck that I find myself to be one of these
extremely rare complex observer-moments?

>In your last paragraph you seem to concede that s single observer-moment
>be 'conscious' and stand-alone. What need is there for this extra word,
>'conscious'? What does it add to 'observer-moment'?

I discussed this issue briefly (and the issue of continuity vs. isolated
observer-moments) on my first post on this list, at
<>. Basically the idea is
to differentiate between a position like Chalmers' and one like
Dennett's--is there a real truth about what is like to be a given
observer-moment or not? Also, as I mention above, I don't think you can
make sense of anthropic reasoning unless you have an objective way to settle
which patterns/computations can be experienced and which can't.

Jesse Mazer
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Received on Sat Feb 10 2001 - 05:57:26 PST

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