[time 423] Re: [time 417] The double-aspect ontology of David Chalmers

Stephen P. King (stephenk1@home.com)
Thu, 01 Jul 1999 18:51:53 -0400

Dear Robert,

ca314159 wrote:

> Matti Pitkanen wrote:
> snip the Chalmers quote
> > I have probably read these lines a couple of years ago.
> > This is nice formulation for dualism. Experience and physics as same
> > thing seen from different sides. I believe that Chalmers defines physics
> > what I would call objective reality. And experience as conscious
> > information about it. There are several counterarguments.
> >
> > a) Why and how universe decomposes into several regions having inside and
> > outside. Why no only single huge conscious experience representing all
> > possible information about Universe meaning drowning into details as
> > *duality* would suggest?
> >
> > b) Why conscious experiences seem to give so little information about the
> > objective reality?.
> >
> > c) How it is possible to have wrong information, make mistakes, in the
> > framework of strict duality?
> >
> > d) Isn't consciousness is epiphenomenon? Is free will illusion?
> >
> > e) Doesn't this lead to panpsychism as Chalmers himself admits?
> >
> > The manner to save the day is to introduce quantum jump between objective
> > realities and define conscious information as information difference.
> >
> Sounds like he's saying the physical objective reality is
> absolute Rosetta stone mediating relative subjective realities.
> The parts of subjective realities which do not utilize this
> translation are not verifiable and can be communicated
> as fictions, but are not globally invariant. The sanity-insanity
> problem additionally makes any global subjective invariant
> mythical.

    Umm, the problem I have with that I think Matti is saying is that it looks
like he assumes that there is a "physical objective reality" with definite
properties independent of observations/experiments. QM experiments show that
this is not the case. The simple double slit experiment is a good example; we
can't say that a particle traveled one path or another, we can only say that the
particle has a 50% chance of being found on either path.
    Individual observations are measurements, they actualize one possibility to
the exclusion of the others. The unity of consciousness, I believe is involved!
We only can observe from a singular perspective and thus the very act of
observing is an instantiation of consciousness.
    Your point about subjective realities being only communicable as fictions is
illuminating! :=) What is subjectively a fact to me is only such to me, to
another observer with their our subjective facts my fact is a fiction and their
fact is a fiction to me. What we agree upon as our common facts are those
aspects of our observations that overlap in a set theoretic sense, they are
shared actualities not "objective" realities in the sense of being independent
of observation. Thus your point of the sanity-insanity problem is well spoken.
This also points out how each observer has a unique gauge which is correlated
with its identity. Observers with exactly the same gauge are one and the same

> More practically, this is the analogy-logy dualism ?

    I am not sure... ?

> If I say something has a 60-40 probability, without
> further constraints, this applies to many many things
> and the relationship between those things is analogous
> not logous(logical) or causual. The macronyms we give
> to such things are literal metaphors without further
> constraints like giving the name platypus to that which
> cannot be classified in the usual taxonomy.

    Yes, I think I understand... Constraints, per say, tend to be idealized as
being applicable with crisp binary certainty. This assumption requires a
god-like perspective which must be rejected for obvious reasons! The sets of
constraints involved in a given observation seem to be crisp up close but this
crispness fades into the horizon, e.g. the farther away an observer is or the
lower the resolution of the telescope used, the fuzzier the boundary of the

> But also, "absorption" is similar in that it means something
> in two contexts. The macronym "absorption" in physics means
> a kind of "many decoherent resonances". The micronym "absorption"
> means a kind of "single coherent resonance". In the former,
> absorption is the noisy transfere of energy to a whole whereas
> in the microcosm is the noise there on an individual level
> where photons are accepted into atoms ?

    Is this "absorption" the inverse of an emission? If the emission and
absorption are only possible discretely, does it mean that the particles
involved have to remain discrete?

> The "causual logic" that works in the macrocosm like saying
> "fire produces heat" is one in which the constraints are
> "coherent" in a linguistic sense.
> Linguistic coherence can be observed in the many semantic
> interpretations where the usage of the form "its" and "it's"
> is determined:
> "He decorated the inside of the tree house and now its outside."
> "He decorated the inside of the tree house and now it's outside."
> The distinguishing rule determines the outcome.
> The minimal set of quantum physical operators is meant to
> be sufficient to distinguish states. This state labelling
> leads to the statefunction which are the eigenfunctions
> of the operators but the is no single statefunction for all
> the operators must commute as in a classical state of coherence.

    This noncomutativity is my point in my ordering problem and the
NP-Completeness involved in time. :=)

> The two fundamental schools of zen are Rinzai and Soto which
> teach in complementary ways. The student is bounced back
> and forth between these as the teacher determines s/he needs
> to balance his attitude. The student becomes "coherent" bouncing
> back and forth between these dual mirrors. "Enlightenment"
> becomes a subjective state of coherence when all subjective
> dualisms are "resolved". Here "resolved" has the same sense
> as understanding the "Heisenberg Microscope" in terms of
> the resolution of uncertainties.

    The successive absorption and emissions "winnow" away the chaff of fuzziness
that entanglement causes! The causal/logical connections are weakened by the

> That the Fourier uncertainty is purely mathematical suggests
> an even greater subjective application for the HUP principles.
> It's not a just physical law but a subjective-objective law that
> mediates the mind-body duality problem.
> http://www.bestweb.net/~ca314159/GULLIVER.HTM

    The "physical laws" are complemented (duality) by the logical precedence
laws. Chalmers' original thought point toward this but did not go far enough. I
e-mailed him asking his thought on Pratt's paper. His responce was: "hi, i
haven't read that paper, i'm sorry to say." I hope he does read it... :)

> Fermions are more constrained than bosons. The formalisms
> which deal with bosons are much more "subjective"
> and have direct metaphors in ch'an/zen buddhism.
> A caged lion, like fermions, only lets you see the caged lion
> and not the wild lion but both are aspects of the lion.
> --
> http://www.bestweb.net/~ca314159/

    The relationship between boson and fermion statistics looks to me to be very
similar to that of Mind and Body, as Pratt defines them! I am willing to wager
big bucks that they are the same thing! The compressability and irrotatability
of information looks like the way boson can superpose and have strictly
orientable null surfaces (fractional spin), the Pauli exclusion and integer
valued spin of fermions and spin is the prototypical property of matter...

Onward to the Unknown!


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