RE: On the subjective experience of consciousness

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Apr 04 2004 - 16:09:33 MDT


I place significantly more overall confidence in modern physics theories
than in folk psychology, but I don't place absolute confidence in

Remember, "physics" is a dynamic entity. It's never been true so far in
history that "Physics research programme X" always wins -- eventually X
loses and Y takes its place, at least in some important regards. And
given the inconsistency between the main research programmes dominating
physics today, it's clear that the history of revolutions in physics is
not over yet.

So, I accept your probabilistic view of the universe, but I apply this
view also to balancing between physics and other approaches to
understanding. In general, for any given phenomenon, I think the
physics explanation has a much larger probability of being correct than
the folk-psychology explanation. But since physics is not absolutely
correct, this is only a probabilistic judgment -- there may well be
exceptions, and aspects of conscious experience may well be among them.

-- Ben G

> Ben Goertzel wrote:
> >
> > So, following up my previous comment: the so-called
> 'paradox' is not
> > really a puzzling aspect of the universe, rather it's an indication
> > that two useful vocabularies we've developed for talking about the
> > world
> >
> > * physics
> > * introspective folk psychology
> >
> > are apparently "incommensurable" (in the sense of philosophy of
> > science
> > -- meaning there is no reasonably straightforward way to translate
> > between their vocabularies)
> Physics wins.
> Physics always wins.

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