Is it possible to mathematically model consciousness?

Mudassir Ali
Jan 31, 2020 07:22 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Jan 31, 2020 07:22 AM

Nope. No way. You might be able to build a neural net powerful enough to construct its own interlingua like Google Translate but there’s no possibility of modelling
Everything we have learned about neuroscience effectively belongs in the ‘third person’. We have constructed our theories of the neurological correlates of conscious behaviour by observing other things behaving. Why is this important? Well, it’s the same reason you can’t ‘see behind your own eyes’. In order to render some system in ‘objective’ terms you need to not be the system.

This is what makes the paradox of the applicability of mathematics so fascinating. Mathematics is purely abstract. To argue that there are natural numbers in a physical sense is to invoke nativism in information theory and innatism in perceptual psychology and ontology. Furthermore, to say ‘the Reals are real because I can count on my fingers’ is to miss the point that every anatomical structure in the universe (I am speaking about more than human anatomy here) exists within a fractal function of magnitude. Each finger is made up of phalanges, tissues, molecules, atoms and so forth. There is no lower limit (the Planck length is a necessity invoked by our numbers, not the universe [unless we subscribe to innatism]) and (by the same token) no upper limit. Every object in existence has its own G.O.D. as Hofstadter points out.

Therefore, if mathematics is abstract it does not belong in the physical universe – it is a virtual image of the universe that is itself a model created by consciousness. See where I’m going here? Can we use a virtual model to create a virtual model of the real thing that made the first model in the first place?

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