[major edits] Even if our consciousness is an illusion (even in the sense Denett suggests), the mere fact we see some information flowing across the universe means there is at least something that creates the illusion. That something is real - even though it might be only as real as a hallucintion (it exists). And if we can make our thought constructs, we can work with this information that makes what we are.

The obvious problem here is that if we think about our minds being simulated, we cannot see into the logic of the "real" world (world outside the Matrix). That's because in our world, we know that we can simulate only logical things (nothing illogical exists=is real) but we cannot know this is right from the "real" world.

But clearly the mere fact that we can think about this concept of the "real" world means something in our logic system.

So let's assume the logic we know indeed governs this universe. From this fact we know that our thought constructs (what we think consciousness is) are real (/hallucination-real).

And if our thought constructs are real, than cogito ergo sum is real - our simple logic "if something exists, than it exists" (Hilbertian axiom a→a).

Doesn't it prove that if our logic system is true, than we exist?

I understand this might be an awfully broad question, so I'll be grateful for any references.

  • 1
    "existence of logic" ? Do you mean with "existence" the same thing that you mean with "Obama exists" ? If so, it is trivial: you assume that something exists in order to conclude that something exists. Or it is wrong: you assume that something (the logic) exists in roder to conclude that something other (the univers) exists. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Sep 6 '17 at 6:02
  • Seen from a different point of view, it seems a rephrasing of Descartes' cogito: "Logico, ergo sum". – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Sep 6 '17 at 9:17
  • If logic exists than something exists. No need for a longer argument. Now you just need to show that logic exists. – PeterJ Sep 6 '17 at 10:59
  • @MauroALLLEGRANZA Good point with Descartes. Well, I meant something else than logic but I don't think the existence of anything proves the existence of itself - that's why we can discuss the "existence" of consciousness. – Probably Sep 6 '17 at 11:02
  • @PeterJ Nothing in metaphysics is that easy. What I meant was "something physical", though. – Probably Sep 6 '17 at 12:05

Logical systems cannot define themselves, as Tarski and Gödel demonstrated. 'X=X', the classical law of identity, is actually a 0 information law as it is a tautology.

Are you embracing some notion of permanent existence? No single 'thing' has ever been observed to not decay, even protons and black holes disappear. Direct observation pushes one to accept, or at least infer, impermanence at every level. Observer dependence for accurate, though frame-dependent information leads to QM and the relational anatta that solves EPR (if we skip the preamble and head strait for https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/9609002.pdf, https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0604064.pdf and https://ia800400.us.archive.org/4/items/NagarjunaTheFundamentalWisdomOfTheMiddleWay/Nagarjuna%20-%20The%20Fundamental%20Wisdom%20Of%20The%20Middle%20Way.pdf)

Logic (and mathematics) is a tool for inference, useful as direct observation is not possible for every thing. It can model experience accurately, subject to having been built as an accurate linguistic description of the system it seeks to model.

  • Thank you for understanding my question but I think my model isn't inconsistent with Gödel. I'm not saying that we can prove logic, I'm saying that once we suppose logic is true (that's the axiom), we could say that what we see is "real" (in this definition even hallucinations are real). – Probably Sep 6 '17 at 12:26
  • But as I said, I couldnt express it with words - so thanks for helping me there - I'm gonna edit my question. – Probably Sep 6 '17 at 12:30
  • "So let's assume the logic we know indeed governs this universe." - there is a causality here that is questionable. Logic, therefore universe? Then you must answer what root the rules of logic come from! The universe is logical because the illogical - acausality, turning emptiness into things - requires Essence, Form, God, or some other philosophical notion of absolute delineation. However, the universe is a dynamic process of interrelations, where properties as well as objects are dependent on an observer for their conditioned existence.. – Ilya Grushevskiy Sep 6 '17 at 13:32
  • It's interesting because observer dependence leads to QM, whilst observer independence is arguably the antithesis of a scientific method built on the core ontology of observation/measurement. You say the universe is logical, but is it subject to one logical system or many? aeon.co/essays/… is an interesting take on Buddhist logic. I am not sure why an illogical existence would be any less real though - if 1+1=3 and I needed to feed my stomach, I'd still have to put up with the damn mess! – Ilya Grushevskiy Sep 6 '17 at 13:36
  • In a way, Meinong's Jungle - existent non-existents - gives us space for the illogical in this universe! – Ilya Grushevskiy Sep 6 '17 at 13:36

Does existence of logic imply something has to exist ?

We have to start from a reasonable view of what logic is: we may say that logic is the study of the properties of reasoning. Reasoning in turn is an activity of thought, in which conclusions are drawn inferentially from assumptions.

If so, logic is a human activity, and thus its "existence" presupposes the existence of the human mind and probably also the existence of human linguistic practices, like that of making arguments.

  • Well you assume that logic is a real thing (is not just empirically observed) and that would be for a longer discussion but I don't think you quite caught what I'm suggesting, that is, once we suppose logic is a real thing, we can rely on our consciousness. In other words, if we have logic as an axiom, Descartes was right. – Probably Sep 6 '17 at 12:29
  • But thanks for helping me formulate the question, I'm gonna edit it. – Probably Sep 6 '17 at 12:30

This sounds a lot like Cogito Ergo Sum, which you already mentioned. The thing is Cogito Ergo Sum is already supposed to prove your existence. It stands to reason that for a question to be asked (Do I exist) then there would have to be someone asking it. You can use this as evidence of the existence of a universe as well, as it it stands to reason something must exist, or there would be nothing to think the thoughts you have, or make the perceptions.

  • Well you can't really prove anything, that's why I put the axiom of logic there. When you consider that, cogito ergo sum is no solution since my primary problem was to study exactly that - putting logic as an axiom, instead of cogito ergo sum (as most of philosophy does). – Probably Sep 8 '17 at 15:00
  • @Probably My point is if there was nothing there would be no thought or questions, or observation, or opinions. Anything even if it is illusion is proof something exists, because everything is a thing and you wouldn't have anything in nothing. – Braydon Sep 8 '17 at 20:13
  • Oh yes, this is what I meant to express. I am still not sure about it, though and I can't really find any evidence to think so, even though it seems very natural. – Probably Sep 9 '17 at 11:57

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