Re: My definitions of Intelligence, Consciousness, Mathematics and Universal Values

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Jan 25 2006 - 20:10:09 MST


Another, related point came up in a private email exchanged with Marc.

I said previously that I think it's better to think of formal systems
as modeling the universe rather than as being the universe.

On the other hand, taking the "patternist philosophy" I've proposed in
my various cognitive science books, we may also view the universe as a
kind of formal system comprised of a set of propositions about

A formal system consists of a set of axioms....

OTOH, in my "pattern theory" a process F is a pattern in G if

* F produces G
* F is simpler than G

So I suppose you could interpret each evaluation "F is a pattern in G"
as an axiom stating "F produces G and F is simpler than G"

In this sense, any set of patterns may be considered as a formal system.

I would argue that, for any consistent simplicity-evaluation-measure,
the universal pattern set is a consistent formal system; but of course
inconsistent simplicity-evaluation-measures will lead to inconsistent
formal systems.

Whether it is useful to think about the whole universe as a formal
system in this sense, I have no idea.... It's not my usual way of

-- Ben G

p.s. META: If one of the list owners/snipers wants to rule this
discussion of metaphysical philosophy as too off-topic for SL4, that's
fine with me.

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