On 04 Aug 2008, at 18:18, Peter D Jones wrote:
> > > 1) Mathematical structrures are no help in explaining qualia.
> > And physical structure does?
> Materialism opens up a number of ways of addressing this issue. Qualia
> could be basic properties of matter, or emerge from basic
> properties, and so on.
Materialist which are serious about the mind body problem are either
force to develop varieties of dualism or mind-eliminativism. Most
agree that the mind-body problem is not yet solved.
If qualia are considered as basic properties of matter, then you are
lead to panpsychism. If qualia emerge from basic properties of matter,
then you should say which one, and you have to make them non Turing
emulable, like Penrose suggests.
All this is very speculative compare to the idea that the
manifestation of the mind is related (albeit not in a one-one way) to
information handling in the brain.
> > If you try to use matter to instantiate consciousness with matter,
> > will have to make them both actually infinite.
> I cannot remotely see why that should be the case.
This is indeed far from obvious, and I can only refer you to my papers
(see my Sane04 in my web page).
In a nutshell, this is due to the fact that if you instantiate
consciousness with a finite piece of matter, that consciousness will
be Turing emulable and will be attached, from the conscious first
person point of view to an infinity of different computations: those
going through that Turing states (up to some equivalence relation). It
is a non obvious consequence of the first person computationalist
indeterminacy. Machine cannot know which computations supports them,
and their personal future depends on a realtive measure put on all
> > Could you conceive that the instantiation itself could be a
> > mathematical phenomenon?
> Of what kind?
Assuming digital mechanism, the math is of the kind of theoretical
computer science. The science of what universal machines can belief
in, can know, can infer, can observe, can deduce, can communicate, can
do, or cannot ...
> THere is also the mismatch between the tradtional contingency of
> existence, and the equally traditional necessity of mathematics.
The first person indeterminacy, be it through Everett-Deutsch
formulation of Quantum Mechanics, or be it through universal
dovetailing on all computations, explains very well, it seems to me,
that a necessity leads to contingencies, once we distinguish first and
third person points of view. Now the incompleteness phenomenon,
(through its intensional variants (because I agree with Torkel
Franzen's remarks on that point)) can be used to provide mathematical
justification of those contingencies.
> > If not your notion of instantiation will lead to the Mallah-
> > Putnam
> > implementation problem.
> If you are alluding to the idea that any physical process
> implements every computation: it is wrong.
I agree with you. But I was alluding only to the difficulty of just
defining implementation once we try to make it "substantial".
(It is more a Mallah question than one by Chalmers or Putnam. My fault).
> > Using substance to actualize a reality is a sort of "Bohmian move",
> > and it leads to
> > panpsychisme. You have to make matter conscious per se.
> That is completely unproven.
See above: you are already suggesting yourself that qualia could be a
basic property of matter when I ask you to explain how matter could be
needed to instantiate consciousness.
"Substance" is a powerful meme that we share probably with most
animals, but through the notion of dream or shared video-game you
could easily grasp that substance is a first person construct, like
the collapse in QM. Many problems remain, for sure, but we are going
to a coherent picture where the problem can be formulated and worked
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