First Person Frame of Reference

From: George Levy <>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 15:33:54 -0700


I reread your post of 5/11/2004 and it raised some questions and a
possible paradox involving the idea that the "notion of first person is
absolutely not formalizable." (see below, for a quotation from your post)

GL wrote

<< It may be that using the observer as starting points will force White
Rabbits to be filtered out of the
<< observable world

BM wrote:

>>And again I totally agree. It *is* what is proved in my thesis. I
have done two things:
>>1) I have given a proof that if we are machine then physics must be
redefined as a
>>science which isolates and exploits a (first person plural) measure
on the set of all
>>computational histories. The proof is rigorous, I would say
definitive (unless some systematic
>>error of course), although provably unformalizable (so that only 1
person can grasp it).
>>2) I provide a mathematical confirmation of comp by showing that
(thanks to Godel,
>>Lob, Solovay ...) we can literally interview a universal machine,
acting like a scientist
>>---by which I mean we will have only a third person discourse with
her. BUT we can
>>interview her about the possible 1-person discourse. That is a "tour
de force" in the sense
>>that the notion of first person is absolutely not formalizable (and
so we cannot
>>define it in any third person way). But by using in a special way ideas
>>from Plato's Theaetetus + Aristotle-Kripke modal logic + Godel's
>>discovery make the "tour de force" easily tractable.
>>Here I can only be technical or poetical, and because being technical
>>yet premature I will sum up by saying that with comp, the plenitude
is just the
>>incredibly big "set" of universal machine's ignorance, and physics is
the common
>>sharable border of that ignorance, and it has been confirmed because
>>sharable border has been shown to obey to quantum laws.
>>I get recently new result: one confirm that with comp the first
person can hardly know
>>or even just believe in comp; the other (related to an error in my
thesis I talked
>>about in some previous post) is the apparition of a "new" quantum
logic (I did
>>not command it!) and even (I must verify) an infinity of quantum
logics between
>>the singular first person and the totally sharable classical discourses.
>>This could go along with your old theory that there could be a
continuum of
>>person-point-of-view between the 1 and 3 person, and that would
confirms that you
>>are rather gifted as an "introspecter" (do you remember? I thought
you were silly).
>>But then it looks you don't like any more the 3-person discourse, why?

The adoption of the first person as a "frame of reference" (my
terminology) implies the ultimate relativization. In other words, the
logical system governing the mental processes of the observer becomes
part of the "frame of reference> However, we all know that human beings
do not think according to formal systems. Human systems are full of
inconsistencies, errors, etc... and very often their beliefs about the
world is just wrong. Very often they even make arithmetic errors such as
8x7 = 65.

So if we assume a relative formulation, here is the dilemma:
1) if we adopt a formal system such as the one(s) your have talked about
we assign an absolute quality to the observer which violates our premise
of relative formulation.
2) If we adopt a non-formal human logical system," we are left with an
extremely complicated task of reconciling the observations obtained by
several observers who in my terminology "share the same frame of reference"

One of the question that arise is how fundamental should be the concept
of "frame of reference" or of the mechanism/logic that underlies our
1) Is it governed at the atomic level by physical laws down to
resolution of Planck's constant? The notion of observer is defined here
with a Planck resolution. If we share the same physical laws then we
can say that we share the same frame of reference. This option avoids
the inconsistencies of the "human logical systems" but throws out of the
window the relativistic formulation. In addition this approach provides
a neat justification for the equivalence of the sets describing the
physical world and the mental world.
2) Is it governed at the neurological or even at the psychological
level? The notion of observer here has a very coarse resolution compared
to the first option. This approach keeps the relative formulation but
becomes a quagmire because of its lack of formalism. How can the notion
of "objective reality" be defined? In fact, is there such a thing as a
true psychological objective reality? However, the fact that a
"psychological objective reality" is an oxymoron (contradiction in
terms) does not invalidate the definition of the observer at the
psychological level. Au contraire.

George Levy
Received on Thu Jun 03 2004 - 18:39:22 PDT

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