Re[2]: A Universe of Consciousness.

From: Cliff Stabbert (
Date: Mon Jul 08 2002 - 05:16:09 MDT

Monday, July 8, 2002, 5:48:28 AM, Christian Szegedy wrote:

[re: Penrose]
CS> There is some mystical about self-consciousness (if you
CS> meditate about it a bit), there is some mystical about quantum
CS> mechanics (if you think abbout it a bit) and there is strong
CS> link between these two (phase reduction). I agree that the
CS> reasoning of Penrose is not convincing, because it is not
CS> founded. I've got the impression that he simply tries to find
CS> an explanation how these appearently related things (self-
CS> consciousness and QM) are really connected. Perhaps he is
CS> wrong in the details, but there is a good chance that he's got
CS> the correct overall intuition.

I mostly agree with Chalmers' criticism of Penrose's consciousness-
must-be-quantum argument (section 3) and of his Gödel-based argument
against AI (section 1). Not sure yet what I think about Chalmers'
opinions, in section 2, about Penrose's second, neglected Gödel-type
argument. See:

(I also dig his 1/2/3-C/P/N classification at the end of that paper).

CS> My point : It is not a correct to say that argument A must be wrong
CS> since it is similar to the wrong statement B (vitalism in your
CS> case). This leads to nowhere.

No, but you can argue whether statement P (consciousness is freaky,
man) and statement Q (quantum physics is, like, weird, dude) taken
together somehow prove or even constitute any kind of evidence for
hypothesis R (consciousness must be quantum).

To me, it reeks of the rhetorical technique Jacque Vallee has called
the "transitivity of strangeness": my evidence for strange fact 1 --
I've had contact with aliens -- is strange fact 2: watch me bend this
spoon with the Mind Power they taught me. This type of argument can
be surprisingly effective.


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