[FOM] The Lucas-Penrose Thesis

Eray Ozkural examachine at gmail.com
Mon Oct 2 18:35:36 EDT 2006

On 10/2/06, Robbie Lindauer <robblin at thetip.org> wrote:
> Look carefully at what you're believing:
> According to the mechanist there IS  a formalism which is a person, BUT
> we can never present that formalism because if we did, we'd be able to
> produce the godel sentence for it, refuting the claim that it was what
> it was purported to be.

Your being able to produce the Godel sentence for a formal system
refutes nothing as such. It merely shows that you can produce the
Godel sentence for it. (more strongly I think there is no guarantee
that you can prove
anything interesting about this "formal system", or that you can produce
a G. sentence or a consistency statement about this formal system)

If the above sounds unsatisfactory, then let me mention this, if a mind A
is described correctly by a formal axiomatic system FA, and if a mind B
"produces" (you mean proves?) a G sentence G(FA), the only thing we
can conclude is that the G(FA) cannot be proven in A. It does not
contradict with the premise that the mind A is described fully by FA,

At any rate, it may be a fundamentally wrong view to say that there is
a formal theory that corresponds to a person. It might be better to say
that there is a program that corresponds to the primary (cognitive) function
of the brain.

I would, however, be interested in an argument that shows that we can
never formalize cognition. In many cases, people who believe in that, also
believe that the mind is not physical ("property dualism" is quite popular

> This is a clear case of of the "magic happens here" kind of science
> which (I thought) was rejected in the 1600's or so.

Actually, the arguments on the other side of the fence sound similar to
medieval theology. It can be found in the works
of contemporary philosophers such as David Chalmers, and
implausible speculations of Roger Penrose, which contain weird
claims about "quantum magic" as Prof. McCarthy refers to.


Eray Ozkural, PhD candidate.  Comp. Sci. Dept., Bilkent University, Ankara
ai-philosophy: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ai-philosophy

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