Re: Bitstrings, Ontological Status and Time

From: Jesse Mazer <>
Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 00:24:12 -0400

Stephen Paul King:

> With all seriousness.
> Reach out that "element of the set of all mathematical forms" that most
>people call a "hand", ball it into a fist, and pull it toward your face as
>hard as you can. Feel that effect, the blinding headache, please explain it
>away by repeating what you wrote here.

Why would I need to explain anything away? If you assume that mathematical
forms can't be conscious or feel pain, you're assuming what you're trying to
prove (namely, that we are not just mathematical forms); I don't see
anything contradictory in the idea, myself (it's no worse than the idea that
a collection of particles can feel pain).

> It didn't go away, did it? The point that I am trying to make is that
>unless we can mathematically *prove* that it is NECESSARY that the results
>of this demonstration must obtain given the choice of the action, how is it
>that we can ignore a "physical level" that is something different from just
>some combination of "elements of the set of all mathematical forms"?

The mind/body problem, the problem of what "qualia" are and where they come
from, is not something you're likely to solve with a mathematical proof. But
again, I see no reason why the problem becomes any easier to solve if we
assume there is a world of physical particles separate from the world of
mathematical forms.

> The point is that we can *prove* that we can not decide whether or not
>some statement is true or false within some theory (that includes the
>ability to count), thus we can be sure that we can not be sure which
>"element of the set of all mathematical forms" coorespond to that action

What "action" are you referring to?

>in fact we can't even specify the membership function of that set!

You mean which form the "action" is, or which form I am? If the latter, why
should a conscious element of the set of all mathematical forms necessarily
be able to identify *which* mathematical form its own self is? I also can't
know the exact configuration of every atom in my brain, would you take that
as an argument against physicalism?

Received on Sat May 07 2005 - 00:26:57 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:10 PST