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Posted by Paul R. Martin on November 21, 2001 18:49:51 UTC

Hi Mark,

I like the way you think, but I especially like the fact that you do think. Too few people do.

When you and Harv talk about chess games, formal axiomatic systems, and inventions, it seems obvious that all these concepts are meaningless, and impossible in principle, in the absence of something like consciousness. These things are all what we commonly call mental constructs or mental concepts. It is hard for me to imagine how any of these things can exist without a mind.

So it seems to me that we have a cart-and-horse problem here. If we are to imagine how the universe came to be, it doesn't seem correct to assume that any of these concepts which require mind are involved if mind only arises much later as a result of the aggregation of suitably complex material structures (=brains, or cells or whatever you think might exhibit the first consciousness).

To keep the horse before the cart, it seems to me that you must either deny the primordial existence of these concepts, or you must admit the existence of a primordial mind in which these concepts exist. The latter makes the most sense to me.

>>>I would be obliged to substitute a few words; namely, "like [space-time] and [matter] that 'exist' we can imagine all sorts of [arrangements] that can be [realized] but all of them are human inventions.">I thought about how a complex web of neurons can give rise to a human mind>>Harv, what is your take on solipsism?

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