Re: subjective reality

From: <>
Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2005 11:27:48 -0400

 -----Original Message-----
 From: Bruno Marchal <>
 Sent: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 12:30:20 +0200
 Subject: Re: subjective reality

 On 31 Aug 2005, at 16:20, wrote:

> I think most people would grant you that the mind-body problem has >
not been solved.

  Not meet them so much in my experience. Positive Religious (like
Muslim, Catholic, ...) have build-in solution. It is most of the time
tabu to question them. Negative Religious (like Atheist) have build-in
solution, but are generally not aware of the religiosity of their
solutions. Only (serious) philosopher of mind/cognitive scientists are
aware of the problem.

  I would leave the "soul" out of my statements. The soul-body problem
was solved long time ago.

> They would probably would also agree
> that 3 classes of solutions (at least) have been presented over >
the centuries, namely, (1) Physicalist solutions (there is no mind
> stuff!) (2) Pure Idealist solutions (there is no body->
stuff=matter) and (3) Dualist varieties where both exist and you > try
to figure
> out how the two stuffs interact etc... It seems to me that your >
attempted solution is of type (2), Am I right?

  Well OK. I guess you make the difference between solipsism and
idealism which can be realist or platonist. The mind stuff is just
numbers and their dreams ...

 What do numbers dream about? And do the name sheep to go to sleep?

> You do however
> invoke a favorite classical physicalist hypothesis in the form of >
YD and than you "turn the tables" on it, so to speak, no?

  YD has nothing with classical physicalism, unless you assume
physicalism at the start. YD does not assume a universe physically
exist, only that "I" exists and that I am supported by a relatively
stable (sheaf) of computations. Actually the use of the YD in the UD
reasoning is accompanied by an explicit postulation of a physical
universe for making the reasoning easier, but that hypothesis is
explicitly eliminated toward the end of the reasoning.

  It seems to me that most of your statements mention assumptions that
you accept as starting points only to show that
  they are not needed in the end! If you assume that the I is "only
supported by a stable sheaf of computations" aren't
 you already assuming what you mean to prove?

> I think that the YD motivation is the weakest link in your chain >
(a real Trojan horse because it is physically untenable)

  I really don't understand. To make YD false you must associate
yourself to something non-turing emulable. Nobody has ever found a non,
turing emulable process. Recall that quantum-like indeterminacy can be
retrieved in the self-discourse of self-duplicating machine. Also, with
some notable exception like Penrose, everybody accept YD. I teach about
it since more than 30 years, and only strict dualists (with assumes
explicit substancial soul) criticize it. I told you that those who get
my point (of the UD Argument) and still soes not accept the conclusion
prefer to abandon Arithmetical Realism. It is an empirical discovery in
the sense that (I think we agree here), it is almost nonsense for me to
abandon arithmetical realism.

  This is patently false and even more so in your much loved platonic
realm which is quite infested with non-digitally computable
  entities. Turing was careful to provide an example called the Halting
problem and he also proved that most real numbers are
  incomputable but there are many others problems that have been proved
Turing un-computable over the years and mathematicians keep finding
such instances (tilling problems are one big source of examples).
Furthermore people that work in neural network Learning Theory have
began to show that there are by-example methods for leaning
uncomputable problems which I think are very relevant to this question.
 Read for example:

  In physics it is a bit more dificult to argue the uncomputability of
natural processes whose phenomenology one has not studied
  fully but there are surely instances of uncomputable within physical
theories that we already know. A classical paper on these
 issues in cosmology is by Hartle and Geroch. You will find it at:

  There is also a recent book on the subject (which I have not seen) by
Barry Cooper and Piergiorgio Onifreddi.
 You can read a review of it at

  About QM the problem is not simulating indeterminancy but simulating
quantum correlations by local mecanistic means which
  is how Turing machines compute! Failed attempts to produce such
emulations by Wolfram are what makes his book well...

  About AR I think you also have a misconception of it: AR is the
believe that numbers exist, not the ONLY number exist!
  That would be more like pythagorianism, I believe. In any case I am
not suggesting you abandon it...

> to so
> if you use just to demolish it later, why use it at all?

  This is the eleventh time you confuse "p -> q" with "q -> p". Unless
(here) you mean by "demolish YD", the non use of YD in the translation
of UDA in arithmetic.

 So, you don't demolish it, you just abandon it. OK.

> Why not proceed to that interview directly?

  You can. But this is like going from physics to the study of
differential equation. Here it would consist to go from cognitive
science to pure mathematics. Actually if you justify that probability
*must* obey to the Bp -> Dp rule (probability one of p entails the
probability of ~p is not one), then OK, you can extract the
comp-physics from math alone. But how will you explain the Bp -> Dp
rule in that context? Why suppress a motivation which also makes the
link with theology: the fact that the comp-doctor cannot pretend that
"science" has show that you can survive with an artificial brain (in
case comp is true).

  Sorry, but I don't follow here! You get physics but you loose
theology!!! Why do you need the theology?

> Can that be done and leave your argument intact? That would make it
> a lot more interesting in my opinion...

  You are in minority here, but this is just because most people agree
with YD (or at least it makes sense as an hypothesis in the cognitive




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Received on Thu Sep 01 2005 - 11:41:02 PDT

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