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Attack and Redemption of Computational Theory of Mind

February 23, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
It is my claim that CTM has overlooked the necessity to describe the method, mechanism, or arithmetic principle by which computations are encountered.My hypothesis, drawn from both direct human experience as well as experience with technological devices, is that “everything which is counted must first be encountered”. Extending this dictum, I propose that

  •     1. There is nothing at all which cannot be reduced to an encounter*, and that encounters can be presented directly (phenomenally) or re-presented indirectly (physically or semiotically).
  •     2. That the nature of encounters can be described as aesthetic re-acquaintance, nested sensory-motive participation, or simply sense.**
  •     3. In consideration of 1, sense is understood in all cases to be pre-mechanical, pre-arithmetic, and inescapably fundamental.

My challenge then, is for CTM to provide a functional account of how numbers encounter each other, and how they came to be separated from the whole of arithmetic truth in the first place. We know that an actual machine must encounter data through physical input to a hardware substrate, but how does an ideal machine (e.g. Turing machine, Universal Machine or program) encounter data? How does it insulate itself from data which is not relevant to the machine?

Failing a satisfactory explanation of the fundamental mechanism behind computation, I conclude that:

  • 4. The logic which compels us to seek a computational or mechanical theory of mind is rooted in an expectation of functional necessity.
  • 5. This logic is directly contradicted by the absence of critical inquiry to the mechanisms which provide arithmetic function.
  • 6. CTM should be understood to be compromised by petito principii fallacy, as it begs its own question by feigning to explain macro level mental phenomena through brute inflation of its own micro level mental phenomena which is overlooked entirely within CTM.
  • 7. In consideration of 1-6, it must be seen that CTM is invalid, and should possibly be replaced by an approach which addresses the fallacy directly.

The next three points have to do with my own hypothesis (Multisense Realism), submitted here only for those who might ne interested.

  • 8. PIP (Primordial Identity Pansensitivity) offers a trans-theoretical explanation in which the capacity for sense encounters is the sole axiom.

PIP is the conjecture that sensitivity is the sole capability that is required for all phenomena. If we wanted to conceptualize a ‘unit’ of this pansensitivity, I suggest the aforementioned terms ‘aesthetic encounter’, ‘sensory-motive participation’, ‘re-acquaintance’, etc, or any other neologism which suggests a pre-monadic generator of pre-self and self-like perspectives.

My conjecture is that self is a type of symmetry within sense. There is no self except for self vs not-self. What is distributed by pansensitivity is not solipsism, but opportunities to modulate self-like symmetries. Selfhood is a particular form of sense distribution in which the symmetry between the absolute and the conditional is recapitulated twice. From the absolute perspective, the self becomes a branch toward isolated locality, while from the conditioned perspective, the self (the condition) stands in for the absolute.

  • 9. CTM can be rehabilitated, and all of its mathematical science can be redeemed by translating into PIP terms, which amounts to reversing the foundations of number theory so that they are sense-subordinate.

Here I am talking about turning the assumptions of mathematical theory on its head. Platonic forms, for instance, would be conceived of as superficial emblems of sense rather than profound and perfect absolutes. Sacred geometry, while imbued with numinous meaning locally to a self (as it reflects the symmetry to which it owes its elaboration), but from the absolute perspective, sacred geometry is akin to a test pattern – crystallized reflections of aesthetic depth, but containing no depths themselves.

  • 10. This effectively renders CTM a theory of mind-like simulation, rather than simulating macro level minds, however, mind-simulation proceeds from PIP as a perfectly viable cosmological inquiry, albeit from an impersonal, theoretical platform of sense.

All that I mean here is that because CTM trades in symbols of reflected sense-making rather than sense encounters, it doesn’t ever have a chance of capturing the important features of consciousness. It can, however, capture important features of how consciousness is distributed.

EDIT: Details added for clarity –

*Encounter can be thought of as ‘stimuli’, but need not include any information. It can be thought of as ‘qualia’ but it need not include any subject or object. The intention here is to reduce all phenomena to its absolute minimum – an opportunity for modes and motives for discernment to arise.

**This sounds jargony, for sure, but I’m inventing a precise vocabulary here, so as to avoid being misconstrued as a standard argument for what might be called ‘pseudo-subtance idealism’ (everything is made of energy, love, vibration, fields, etc) or information panpsychism (conscious experiences are produced by complex systems, functional states, etc).

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