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To:everything-list@googlegroups.com From:David Nyman Subject:Re: Primitive Awareness and Symmetry Date:Thu, 5 Apr 2012 21:45:01 +0100
 

On 5 April 2012 20:58, meekerdb <meekerdb@verizon.net> wrote:

>> Comp + consciousness (the "internal view" of arithmetical truth)
>> implies an infinity of possible histories, in which natural selection,
>> of features advantageous to macroscopic entities inhabiting a
>> macroscopic environment, is a particularly consistent strand.
>
>
> I think that's the story even if comp is false.

I certainly hope so, if comp is to be consistent with physics.

> Are you contemplating consciousness as a kind of equivalence relation that
> picks out the different branches of Everett's MWI, i.e. solves the basis
> problem of decoherence? That would seem to make every quasi-classical
> object conscious.

Well, one could argue for a subjective perspective centred on every
quasi-classical object capable of instantiating the appropriate
structural relations, both internally and with respect to its
environment (to speak rather loosely). It is instructive in this
regard to consider the effects of changes in brain structure on the
range of possible human conscious states, which are so obviously
dependent on such relations. For example, from the various stages of
sleep, to the extreme impairment of the ability to integrate personal
history characteristic of late-stage dementia (which is close to
unconsciousness, I would speculate), culminating in the total loss of
appropriate function characteristic of brain-death.

>> But such a schema does entail a "causal" role for consciousness, as
>> the unique integrator of discontinuous subjective perspectives,
>
>
> To refer to 'subjective' perspectives seems to already assume consciousness.

Yes I am indeed assuming it, as indispensable to the account, not in
the sense of a causal role in the "physical" narrative, but rather in
terms of the "universal mind" heuristic. I hope it's apparent that I'm
not peddling some knock-down theory here, but rather proposing a
possibly illuminating way of thinking about the various states of
affairs that seem to require something supplementary to any possible
objective account. It seems to me that there are three features of the
subjective - but NOT the objective - account the presupposition of
which is both indispensable and irreducible:

(a) subjective localisation in terms of one of all possible such
states; but also
(b) the discontinuity and mutual exclusivity of such subjectively
localised states (i.e. what we usually conceive as change of
subjective location in time);
(c) the subjective integration ("emergence") of
epistemologically-composite states.

The heuristic I have described allows one to render a coherent
account, at least in broad outline, of the first two of these
features. The final feature, that of the integration of
epistemological composites, seems to me a particularly strong argument
for the justification of consciousness as a "truth" as opposed to a
mere belief, in that there is simply no need of the hypothesis of
composition in the ontologically-reduced objective account. Be that as
it may, it has proved to be an elusive intuition for many.

David

> On 4/5/2012 12:39 PM, David Nyman wrote:
>>
>> I confess this smells to me like the wrong sort of theory. On the
>> other hand, if comp is true the story can be somewhat more subtle.
>> Comp + consciousness (the "internal view" of arithmetical truth)
>> implies an infinity of possible histories, in which natural selection,
>> of features advantageous to macroscopic entities inhabiting a
>> macroscopic environment, is a particularly consistent strand.
>
>
> I think that's the story even if comp is false.
>
>
>> It also
>> entails parallel strands of "evolutionary history" - i.e. at the level
>> of wave function - which need make no reference to any such macro
>> features but nonetheless imply the same gross distributions of matter.
>
>
> Are you contemplating consciousness as a kind of equivalence relation that
> picks out the different branches of Everett's MWI, i.e. solves the basis
> problem of decoherence? That would seem to make every quasi-classical
> object conscious.
>
>
>> But such a schema does entail a "causal" role for consciousness, as
>> the unique integrator of discontinuous subjective perspectives,
>
>
> To refer to 'subjective' perspectives seems to already assume consciousness.
>
> Brent
>
>
>> but at
>> a very different logical level than that of "physical causation" (i.e.
>> the reductive structural relation between states).
>>
>> David
>
>
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