Re: Many Pasts? Not according to QM...

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2005 11:15:28 +1000

On Mon, Jun 13, 2005 at 11:45:52AM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> To Russell: I don't understand what you mean by a "conscious
> description". Even the expression "conscious" machine can be misleading
> at some point in the reasoning.

A description could be conscious in the same way that with
computationalism, a program might be conscious. With computationalism,
a certain program is considered conscious when run on an appropriate
UTM. However, as you showed in chapter 4 of your thesis it is not
necessary to actually run the program on a physical
machine. Church-Turing thesis and arithmetical platonism (my all
description strings condition fulfills a similar role to arithmetical
platonism) are enough. Furthermore, if the conscious program _is_ a
UTM in its own right, it can run on itself (actually this is pretty
much what my reading of what the Church-Turing thesis is). This obviates
having to fix the UTM. Perhaps this is the route into the anthropic

This is a model of a conscious description, under the assumption of
computationalism. Perhaps this model can be extended to
not-computationalism, where a description is conscious if it is able
to interpret itself as conscious. I do not have problem with observers
being capable of universal computation as a necessary precondition
here, should it be necessary.

Finally, there is the possibility that a concrete observer (the
noumenon) exists somewhere, and that "conscious descriptions" are
merely the anthropic "shadow" of the observer being observed by itself.

> It is really some person, which can be
> (with comp) associate relatively to a machine/machine-history, who can
> be conscious.
> Imo, only a person can be conscious.

Isn't this the definition of "person"? Or do you define personhood by
something else.

> Even the notion of OM, as it is
> used in most of the recent posts, seems to me be a construction of the
> mind of some person. It is personhood which makes possible to attribute
> some sense to our many living 1-person OMs.
> Bruno

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Received on Mon Jun 13 2005 - 21:17:09 PDT

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