Re: Connes, Changeux and Comp

From: Stephen Paul King <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 10:54:05 -0400

Dear Bruno,

    Thank you for bringing this book to our attention. I will see if I can
get a copy ASAP. I am very interested in how Changeux deals with the
epiphenomena problem, if he even addresses it.
    I have read the Smullyan book and found that it strenghend my insistence
that we need to give a more detailed explanation as to how, at least, the
appearence of physical implementations are necessary; he did not address
physicality at all. Hopefully your explanation of G and G* will help.
    One question to leave you with: If it can be proved that a physical
implementation of quantum computation exist in Nature (in microtubles to be
specific), what effect would this have in your thinking? (I am very aware of
Tegmark's paper
e.html ) but have found a possible loophole that seems to allow coherence to
occur in long enough durations for quantum computations to take place.)

Kindest regards,


----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruno Marchal" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 6:06 AM
Subject: Connes, Changeux and Comp

> Hi all,
> I am rather busy finishing my (french, alas again) paper on the debate
> between the french biologist J.P. Changeux and the french mathematician
> Alain Connes.
> Actually the book has been translated:
> Changeux is a materialist elimininativist. He believes in monistic
> materialism. Mathematics, according to him, is exclusively a construction
> of the human brain.
> Connes is platonist for mathematical truth, but seems to accept some form
> of physical realism, so that he accepts a form of platonistic dualism (an
> invention of Aristotle, not Plato: it is the position of realism with
> respect to both math and physics). Connes acknowledges that his position
> entails the mystery of the relation between math and physics (the
> unreasonable effectiveness of math in physics). Obviously the comp hyp can
> reconcile them, but at the price of dismissing physical realism. I
> recommend the book. It makes clear the inevitability of a clash between
> forms of realism in science. It is also interesting that Connes uses the
> term of "bifurcation" both in relation with Everett's quantum mechanics
> Godel's theorem; that's a point which is made utterly clear in the comp
> approach I follow for the fundamental questions.
> I hope also you have been able to buy the little and cheap book "Forever
> Undecided" by Smullyan, which
> has been re-edited recently, but seems to be again out of print. I will
> make some critical comments about it soon. I definitely consider that book
> as a royal introduction to the modal logic G, which, as you (should) know
> is the basic material on which the technical comp derivation of physics is
> extracted. (Well the beginning of the derivation, of course ...). Be sure
> you have no more problem with the Universal Dovetailer Argument, and
> don't hesitate to send last minute objections ;)
> Bruno
Received on Fri Jun 18 2004 - 12:22:36 PDT

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