[time 424] Re: [time 417] The double-aspect ontology of David Chalmers

Matti Pitkanen (matpitka@pcu.helsinki.fi)
Fri, 2 Jul 1999 10:08:35 +0300 (EET DST)

Dear Matti,

     This is very good! :=) I will make my responses without too much
as I wish to be brief and give continuity to this discussion.

Matti Pitkanen wrote:

> On Wed, 30 Jun 1999, Stephen P. King wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I found an interesting quotable in david Chalmers' book The
> > Conscious Mind:
> >
> > "So the suggestion is that the information spaces required by
> > physics are themselves grounded in phenomenal or protophenomenal
> > properties. Each instantiation of such an information space is in fact
> > phenomenal (or protophenomenal) realization. Every time a feature such
> > as mass and charge is realized, there is an intrinsic property behind
> > it: a phenomenal or protophenomenal property, or a microphenomenal
> > property for short. We will have a set of basic microphenomenal
> > one for each fundamental physical property, and it is these spaces
> > will ground the information spaces that physics requires. The ultimate
> > differences are these microphenomenal differences.
> > Of course, this view again requires a variety of "outrageous"
> > panpsychism, but I have already argued that such a panpsychism is not
> > unreasonable as commonly supposed. Given that I have already suggested
> > that there may be phenomenal properties whenever there is information,
> > we might as well press these properties into service in a useful role.
> > The ontology that this leads us to might truly by called a
> > double-aspect ontology. Physics requires information states but cares
> > only about their relations, not their intrinsic nature; phenomenology
> > requires information states, but cares only about the intrinsic
> > This view postulates a single basic set of information states unifying
> > the two. We might say that internal aspects of these states are
> > phenomenal, and the external aspects are physical. Or as a slogan:
> > Experience is information from the inside; physics is information from
> > the outside."
> 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
> outside. Why no only single huge conscious experience representing all
> possible information about Universe meaning drowning into details as
> *duality* would suggest?

"Why and how universe decomposes into several regions having inside and

1) The Universe U as an actually infinite totality it All that Exists,
(not in the limit of an infinity which defines a potential infinity as
these define mere subsets of U). It is neither matter nor information in
it-self. It is All inclusive, there is Nothing that it is not.

Agree with this and suggests that infinite primes
and resulting generalization of real numbers and p-adic s
would provide realization for this hierarchy.

2) U admits all possible decompositions relative to any indexing
(lexicographic or otherwise) by any subset of itself. In other words, the
Whole can be divided into as many parts as the dividing part can count.
This is related to the usual ideas implicit in set theory but we are
talking about dynamical systems that "become" not static "beings". This
distinction is well defined by Hitoshi's definition of "scattering" vs.
"bound" states of local quantum systems (LSs), considered as well modeling
the subsets of U. Thus subsets of U are seem as evolving systems in that
their information content and physical complexity is not constant. This
idea is clearly modeled by Peter's SIMs and MIMs.


3) The subsets of U have by definition "insides' and "outsides" given
by the basic notions of n-ary set membership. We can easily see that the
classical binary membership functions are special cases of n-ary set


4) See Hitoshi's discussions of the decomposition properties of LSs both
in his papers and on the Time List!

5) The p-adic relations are implicated in the hierarchical ordering that
the "inside" and "outside" entail iff we can show a non-Archimedean

"Why no[t] only [a] single huge conscious experience representing all
possible information about [the] Universe mean[s] ... drowning into
details as *duality* would suggest?"

    To posit a single huge conscious experience for U implies tacitly a
subject-object dichotomy, thus does not eliminate duality.

Yes. I intended to say that its is dualism, which leads to this. Only
single conscious experience containing all information about entire
The set of "all possible information" describing U is not knowable by a
single consciousness since it is obvious that this set is not uniquely
enumerable by a subset of U.
Put another way, there exists more than one disjoint convex (?) partially
ordered set of information, since the order in which the bits of
information is essential to the 'meaning' of the information. Information
that is not "about something other than itself" is not information. We can
not posit U as being conscious since it is ALL and as such can not have
it-self as an object.

This is quite delicate and interesting argument. But couldn't it also
be used against dualism.

There is interesting parallel to newest ideas of TGD inspired theory
of consciousness about which I told in separate posting.

a) Selfs as sub-Universes able to stay unentangled under the action of U.

Unentangled subsystems are effectively sub-Universes with respect to
strong NMP and selfs, "continuous streams of cs", are identified as
unentangled sub-Universes able to remain unentangled under the action of
informational time development operator U. This makes sense in
p-adic context but not in real context since the probabability
of remaing precisely unentangled is vanishinly small.

b) Summation hypothesis.

Unentangled subsystem has experience of self
superposed with conscious experiences of its subsystems performing quantum
jumps. Thus one has filtered hierarchy of consciousness. ...,
neurons,...., brain,.. me,.. society, ...mother Gaia,... and at the
highest level there is God, which besides having self experience,
experiences the sum of the experiences of all its subsystems performing
quantum jumps. I think that this scenerario avoids the indexing problem.

> b) Why conscious experiences seem to give so little information about
> the objective reality?.

    Simple, conscious experiences are only possible to be had by finite
systems, the evolutionary behavior of such can span an nonenumerable
number of almost disjoint experiences, but only one instance at a time,
this speaks to the irreducibility of experiences! The subtleties of
NP-Completeness of the computational aspect of this is the proof.

Yes. I would have agreed to large extend
for two days ago but now I have this filtered hierarchy of conscious
experiences(;-). But still I agree on essentials. But the point is: can
one indeed realize this in dualistic scenario?

    Think of the possible minimum distance routes that a traveling
can take, given N cities, such that she visits a given city only once. The
amount of computing resources needed to compute the route increases at an
exponential function of N. If we associate each city with an experience or
observations and the path joining them with a particular poset of
observations which constitute a given observer's experience to a solution
of the minimization problem, the needed computational resources rapidly
exceed the possible configurations of the physical realities that are
being observed.

Again these arguments can be seen as counter arguments against dualism
realized computationally.

    Thus we can not assume that these posets of observations exist a
priori in an experienciable sense. Yes, they "exist" in an ontological
sense as subsets of U, but they can not be said to be knowable prior to
the experience of them.
They might be considered as bound states?
    The notion that EPR espoused in their celebrated discussion with Bohr
that "If, without in any way disturbing a system, we can predict with
certainty (i.e., with probability equal to unity) the value of a physical
quantity, then there exists an element of physical reality corresponding
to this physical quantity." implicitly assumes that objects has finite
definite properties independent of an observation. This notion is severely
at odds with the facts of the Uncertainty Principle!


    We can consider the set of observations to be isomorphic with the set
of possible experiments that can be performed on an arbitrary quantum
system. The results of such experiments are not a priori knowable, one
must perform the experiment -make the observation - and the results are
definite only for the moment of the measurement.
One can also take into account the fact that realization of experiment
means quantum jump to universe in which experiment is realized actually:
that is the subsystem measured wins negentropy maximization race.

  In metaphorical terminology, we can say that "the Universe can only
experience it-self via the interactions of it's subsets"; there are an
infinity of such interactions possible and they can not be performed
simultaneously, since that would imply that all the interactions are not
sensitive to the order in which they are taken.

'Summation hypothesis' for conscious experiences actually
has quite similar content. Strong NMP says that the experience
of Universe, God experiences the sum of the experiences of subsystems and
strong NMP implies that the experiences of subsystems are the
most interesting, 'catchy', potential experiences. God is
the highest boss and good bosses are interested only on the

We know that the order in
which observations are made of a quantum system's canonically conjugate
aspects are sensitive to order, thus the NP-Complete problem of ordering
prevents all possible observations to occur simultaneously. The notion of
computational concurrence is implicit in this!

This argument supports the connection between TGD inspired theory
of cs and quantum computationalism. Informational time development
can be regarded as quantum computation lasting for infinite amount
of lightcone proper time (having nothing to do with psychological time)
and leading from initial state Psi_i to final state UPsi_i. Quantum jump
to Psi_f would pick up the result of one particular parallel quantum

Strong NMP says that only the most interesting aspects of the result
of computation are transformed to conscious information.
What is new that there would be this filtered hierarchy of conscious
experiences. What could it mean from the point of view of
computationalism? Every module of program is conscious in its own manner
and there is infinite hierarchy of modules/spacetime sheets
labelled by p-adic prime p?

    One of the consequences of the idea discussed here is that the prior
computational results are "available" to all of the systems involved in
the finite interactive computation.

Again 'summation of conscious experiences'! The experiences of
the members of species could indeed sum up to the experience of species
if the members of species form subsystem of a larger subsystem!
Ideal dogs and cats would exist! But how pure species experiences
could be possible?: visualizing in terms of spacetime sheets
 one would expect that subsystems containing only
the members of species, are rare. The ensemble of dogs might contain
also some cats and goldfishes.

After all, I do not know too much about how cognitive spacetime sheets
arrange themselves. Perhaps cognitive spacetime sheets of
cats could organized in their own nice folder and same for the
cognitive spacetime sheets of mice(;-)! Just as files in my computer
are arranged in their own folders!

I have proposed TGD based physical realization
for Sheldrake's ideas in 'TGD inspired theory of cs....':
in chapter 'TGD inspired theory of self-organiuzation'.
In chapter about exotic states of consciousness and entanglement, I
suggested that it might be really possible to experience the sorrow
of all mothers of dead soldiers. Perhaps summation of conscious
experiences could make this possible! Certainly God and even smaller
Gods in the hierachy would experience all this and much more!

 We see a good discussion of this in Rupert
Sheldrake's books: A New Science of Life : The Hypothesis of Morphic
Resonance and The Presence of the Past : Morphic Resonance & the Habits of
Nature. (http://www.sheldrake.org/experiments/ ) This idea is discussed in my paper
http://members.home.net/stephenk1/Outlaw/forbiden.html . This notion is
implicit in the notion that "logical implication goes backwards" that
Pratt discusses in http://boole.stanford.edu/chuguide.html#ratmech Thus we
say "A causes B if and only if B* implies A*"; where A and B are the
physical configurations and A* and B* are the information structures
encoded. Also, Peter's hypothesis that secondary observers are the cause
of the irreducible randomness of quantum systems is related! :)

> c) How it is possible to have wrong information, make mistakes, in the
> framework of strict duality?

    A good question! "Wrong information" is synonymous with incomplete
information or noisy information.

I am not sure about this. For instance, in quantum jump the information
gain for some type of information can be negative. Disinformation is in
question. And if person lies deliberately can one say that he is only
producing noisy information?

We generalize Pratt's strict binary duality
(as explained in http://boole.stanford.edu/chuguide.html#ratmech ) to
show that the involution transformation is inexact for all Chu transforms
that involve incomplete and/or noisy information. We might be able to use
the Poisson brackets (?) to model how the Mind -> Body -> Mind (Body ->
Mind -> Body) involutions are not exact in the sense the the original is
recovered. The exact recovery of such can be considered as an algebraic
identity, related to a single fixed point. Upon generalizing the
involution transformation we see that the "greatest fixed point" that
Peter discusses appears as a natural consequence of the "inexact" duality
    This illustrates that the original Cartesian duality is just plain
wrong as Pratt points out. We have a dualism that is well know in the
mathematical world, only its usefulness in solving the Mind-Body
interaction problem has not be understood by philosophers.

The wrongness of Cartesian duality was what I was advocating.
And I believe in matter-mind division at the level of physics
in the sense that cognitive spacetime sheets form representations about
behaviour of material spacetime sheets.
Although I am sceptic about exact mind-body duality, the
idea about selfs as sub-universes able to stay unentangled suggests
approximate duality. The self experience would give objective
knowledge about state at the limit of stationarity (subsystem
is eigenstate of U, countepart of energy eigenstate).

But: paradoxically, all information measures vanish for these experiences,
there is only pure knowledge not expressible by bits. Perhaps Buddhists
are right: all information gains are actually measures for
how much illusions are reduced in quantum jump.
Actual knowledge is indescribable.


> d) Isn't consciousness is epiphenomenon? Is free will illusion?

    That is consciousness an epiphenomenon of? Even if free will is an
illusion, we must be able to explain the existence of the illusion!

Again the question was pointed against dualism. And I could have added
you questions to strengthen my counter argument.

 Since we are proposing that Logical entailment (implication) is dual to
physical causation and we are allowing to error to introduce inexactness
in the mappings, we generalize from strict onto isomorphism mappings to
fuzzy almost isomorphic mappings between instantiations of experience, or
more mathematically, from strict (invertible) Cauchy evolutions of
observables to non-Hausdorf Gelfand (?) evolutions (
) of observations. Thus the classical notion of causal determinism is seen
to be the illusion due to the smallness of the Planck constant and not
free will!

OK. This is possible view. But is there only single time development?
I decompose physical causation to
three separate causations. Absolute minimization of Kaehler action,
informational time development U and time development by quantum
jumps (strong NMP). Interesting question: How logical causation fits
in this picture? Association sequences represent implication
sequences A-->B-->.. consciously....?

> e) Doesn't this lead to panpsychism as Chalmers himself admits?

    Panpsychism, properly understood, is not necessarily a bad thing!


    We must consider exactly what we mean by "panpsychism"! The
identification of "soul or spirit" (as in the above reference) with a
poset of information is not too difficult nor "counterintuitive".

Agree with your view about pan-psychism properly
restricted: 'summation hypothesis' again! But unrestricted panpsychism,
would probably allow only all-knowing God and would not leave
no place for our limited conscious experiences. Am I right?

> The manner to save the day is to introduce quantum jump between
>objective realities and define conscious information as information

   But is it not necessary and sufficient that these "objective realities"
are not a priori to particular instantiations of observations? We have a
coinductive relationship (http://lex.ucsd.edu/links/demos/doc/coind.htm)
between the (finite) physical configurations of the LS (modeling
observers) and the (finite) information structure (? n-ary lattice
 (Boolean for n = 2) ?). The "information difference" is given relative to
the commonalties ( ? intersection ? ) between the posets. We should say we
have a shared "reality"
instead of postulating an "objective reality" for all possible observers!

[MP] There is perhaps some misunderstanding on either side. TGD
postulates that each quantum jump leads to unique final objective reality
'shared by the observers'. Subjective realities would form this filtered
hierarchy implied by 'summation hypothesis'.

By the way, about a concept of observer, about which I have been rather
sceptic. Sub-universes able to remain unentangled give precise
definition for observer==self. Self would be also what distinguishes
us from electrons. Electrons are not observers,
they have moment of consciousness only now and
then, they have no no self: this because they cannot remain unentangled
under the action of U.

Of course, subjective existence is still a discrete sequence of quantum
jumps and observer is not continuous stream of consciousness flowing in

> Best,
> MP

Onward to the Unknown,


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