[FOM] The Lucas-Penrose Thesis

scerir scerir at libero.it
Sat Oct 7 10:32:12 EDT 2006

John McCarthy:
> [...]
> http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/consciousness.html 
> [...]
> Provided one has an adequate language to express what humans are
> conscious of and what robots should be made conscious of, the actual
> programming should be straightforward.  In particular, no exotic
> physics is relevant - not even ordinary quantum mechanics.  However,
> we still haven't enough of the right predicates for human-level
> consciousness.

Just to point out that human consciousness
became important in quantum mechanics
(since 1927, with Heisenberg, and then von Neumann,
London & Bauer, Wigner, and many more)
as a trick to solve the difficult problem
of quantum measurement. That is to say what
would cause, during a measurement, the selection
of a single quantum state (and the related single 
macroscopic outcome), from a linear superposition
of many different quantum states? Since human 
consciousness is a the end of the measurement chain, 
according to these physicists it was also a good 
candidate for the solution of the quantum measurement 
problem. Essentially human consciousness may introduce
some non-linearity. As somebody else noted - if I 
remember well, it was Einstein in person - also the pigs 
and the monkeys do perform quantum measurements. So 
it wouldn't be a privilege of the human consciousness
to 'collapse' a linear superposition of different quantum

Nevertheless it seems interesting to point out
this paper, by Albert, on quantum mechanical automata
sice it show (if I remember well) what would be
the consciousness of a quantum mechanical automaton,
especially during self-measurements, and related
Goedelian issues, and related difficulties to
report the outcomes of those self-measurements.

scerir (Serafino Cerulli-Irelli)

"There is, to be sure, a genuine problem in the phenomenon
of quantum measurement, but I will not discuss it here. It
concerns *introspective* systems, where subject = object so
that the basic conception of a single subject observing an
ensemble of objects must be modified."
- David Finkelstein
in "The Physics of Logic" (in "Paradigms and Paradoxes", 
ed. R. G. Colodny, 1971, Un. Pittsburgh, p. 60) 


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