[FOM] The Lucas-Penrose Thesis

Steven Ericsson-Zenith steven at semeiosis.org
Mon Oct 2 15:44:05 EDT 2006

On Oct 2, 2006, at 10:20 AM, John McCarthy wrote:

> Don't forget Penrose's speculation in ENM that quantum gravity was
> involved in consciousnesss.

Penrose recognizes a problem that Turing also recognized in  
consciousness. Turing wrote:
"I do not wish to give the impression that I think there is no  
mystery about consciousness. There is, for instance, something of a  
paradox connected with any attempt to localize it. But I do not think  
these mysteries necessarily need to be solved before we can answer  
the question with which we are concerned in this paper." Computing  
Machinery and Intelligence, Alan Turing (1950)

I think Turing was wrong in his dismissal of the "paradox" here.  
However, it seems plausible for a physicist such as Penrose to  
explore the connection between the question of locality in  
consciousness and the observed non-locality in quantum observations.

The locality issue remains a fundamental question in solutions that  
use either constructive integration or constructive differentiation.  
Carnap preferred the latter approach, as do I. There is some question  
about how well Peirce and Kant defined this problem - they can be  
interpreted both ways - but appear to have preferred the integrative  
view [see Kant's "Pure Reason" and Peirce's "New List of Categories"].

Professor McCarthy will recognize constructive integration - it is  
the common methodology of symbolic systems -  but one can argue that  
it leads inevitably to dualism on this question since it relies on  

One might take a third approach and dismiss the locality issue. This  
would then require that one accounts for the physical latencies (that  
appear to be contradicted by the evidence [Libet et al.]) and the  
nature of the integrated illusion.

With respect,


Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith
Institute for Advanced Science & Engineering

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