• Enrique
    657
    CEMI (Conscious Electromagnetic Information) theory claims that synchronous neuron firing generates strong electromagnetic fields which build up such that even further neurons are activated via an amplifying feedback loop. Upon reaching a sufficiently robust level within relatively large regions of the brain, EM fields can graduate to CEMI fields, integrating brain matter into the substance of fully conscious awareness. The originator of this theory seems to imply that this EM field's radiation plays a pivotal role in producing qualitative experience within the brain's matter, and this radiation differs considerably depending on the quantity and kind of neurons which are firing in synchrony, giving rise to the large variety in percepts observed

    The following is my similar "coherence field" theory: the binding mechanism closely associated with radiation amongst the brain's EM field varies primarily with respect to the amount of synchronous electrical potential involved in generating it, more indirectly due to the particular structure of neurons which produce it. This EM field is the result of relatively uniform types of electrical gradient mediated by ion channels etc., integrating brain matter in consort with the field's radiative properties. The brain's diverse subjectivity stems from the way atoms in biochemical pathways superposition with each other and with radiation to form percepts such as sights, sounds, scents, etc. This may actually consist in dual binding mechanisms: EM field phase locking between neural networks as induced somewhat remotely by fluctuating electric charges, like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and superposition between EM radiation and biochemical arrays which produces percepts by wave and wavicle blending. A hypothesis is that the many nodes of superposed photonic and atomic fields, as waves of conventional matter, are capable of responding to further types of field phenomena, more or less nonlocal in causation, which have not yet been substantially characterized by science.

    Both of these theories might have an aspect of the truth. Perhaps consciousness consists in gradations of more or less CEMI-type fields depending on brain region, with high-level CEMI awareness centered in particular (though perhaps somewhat roving) places within the brain, so that for instance the ability of the brain to register hyperconscious mental images is a separate process from inducement of the fully attentive optical field, while each having distinctive CEMI-like properties, though the binding capacity of action potential-induced electromagnetism, radiation, etc. viewed in its entirety exists by way of a relatively simple duality of mechanisms responsible for consciousness' stability in the presence of fluctuating stimuli, uniting neural networks, radiative/biomolecular fields and coherence fields in general as a perceptual mind.

    So the field of consciousness is somewhat particularized into peak awareness in line with CEMI theory, though not enough for even human agents to introspect the mind with a huge amount of resolution, but this of course can vary between individuals. Electromagnetism and EM radiation participate in coordinating and binding diverse percepts (specially adapted arrays of superposition amongst entanglement) and neural networks within a single matrix of mind, the integrated "will" and "what it is like" to experience existence, because the brain's coherence field is rather functionally homogeneous and economical in its fundamental mechanisms of synthesis. I would claim that due to similarities between the tissues and cells of many species, there is probably a "what it is like" to be an insect, maybe even a bacterium, especially in the presence of relatively strong electromagnetic forces from even external origins. Lower introspective resolution does not imply a lack of perception and feeling, and higher introspective resolution can readily cooccur with some perceptual deficits. I suppose this is contra the perspective of materialistic determinism or "objectification" commonly directed towards animals or the disabled.

    Maybe neuron function specifically can be differentiated into more, less, and majority non-CEMI processes, yet all nonetheless synchronized and bound together within a relatively stable electromagnetic matrix. Are CEMI mechanisms an especially accentuated instance of less self-aware but likewise conscious EM and radiative field effects operating globally within the brain? This would explain the serial (nonparallel) processing characteristic of full awareness, as a relatively localized and disjuncted interruption of the brain's global field by sufficiently strong, "CEMI" fields, the radiation of which destructively interferes with radiation that surrounds them. An interesting inquiry would be as to where unmistakably CEMI-level fields are located within the brain. Could the CEMI centers be wherever fMRI indicates blood flow is particularly concentrated, or even more localized than that? Do sources of EM radiation, including those of CEMI fields, bypass neurons somewhat and interact directly, maybe as a sort of nested, morphing pattern?

    The issue of how certain quantumlike mechanisms such as superpositions within molecules might avoid thermodynamic decoherence is a pertinent matter in this context. Maybe some combination of cytoskeletal fibers, membranes, and specially adapted biochemical pathways that perhaps resemble photosynthetic reaction center complexes in their quantum flexibility might explain it. Is superposition much more pervasive than conventional atomic theory suggests, perhaps even a property consonant in some measure with the fundamental structure of solutions despite heat entropy, with postulated biochemical pathway involvement in the constitution of qualitative percepts being distinguished by degree more than kind?

    Provided superposition is common in the brain and elsewhere, the quantity of possible mechanisms available to perception is staggering. This could probably be a new scientific "field". What do you think?
  • Enrique
    657
    In case that wasn't entirely clear:

    a. the strong EM field of the brain is a global substrate largely responsible for integrating cognition
    b. biochemical pathways blend or "superposition" into the EM radiation of this field to participate in forming percepts
    c. CEMI fields are a primary source of full conscious awareness as especially synchronized neural networks, and the ultraconcentrated radiative/biochemical blending within this type of field generates the perceptual substance of intentional attentiveness or "will", whether visual, verbal etc.
  • Aleksander
    4
    1) If that theory was true, shouldn't the omnipresent nowadays devices generating EMs be able to visibly alter our feeling of consciousness?
    2) Can we on the basis of that theory make any new statements regarding free will?
  • Enrique
    657
    1) If that theory was true, shouldn't the omnipresent nowadays devices generating EMs be able to visibly alter our feeling of consciousness?
    2) Can we on the basis of that theory make any new statements regarding free will?
    Aleksander

    1) The frequencies of electronic devices are too high to affect low frequency brain waves. Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been proven to alter or disrupt thought patterns, memories etc.

    2) Free will exists to the extent that CEMI fields as the cause of our intentional cognitions are active agents in brain function and behavior, integrating neural networks to produce a more widely and densely distributed synchronization that is our fully aware consciousness, with superposition between biochemical pathways and EM radiation forming the percepts of these fields.
  • Enrique
    657
    To clarify my point about free will, humans are not free in the sense of "I'm floating in a vacuum, liberated from all causation except my own!", but in this theory volition is initiated by EM fields within the brain, in particular as the CEMI fields, such that events proceed in a different manner in the absence of our willing. I would claim that human freeness is our volition as a real cause, a determining factor, and is not pure independence.
  • T Clark
    7.1k


    I'll just provide my usual commentary on your theories about consciousness and then leave you alone. CEMI is an unsupported, far-fetched theory of the origins of consciousness. As far as I can tell "coherence field theory" is just another name for your attempts to use the so-called "weirdness" of quantum mechanics to explain consciousness with no scientific basis. This is not science, it's pseudo-science.
  • Enrique
    657
    I'll just provide my usual commentary on your theories about consciousness and then leave you alone. CEMI is an unsupported, far-fetched theory of the origins of consciousness. As far as I can tell "coherence field theory" is just another name for your attempts to use the so-called "weirdness" of quantum mechanics to explain consciousness with no scientific basis. This is not science, it's pseudo-science.T Clark

    From my reading, it seems that CEMI theory is supported by lots of evidence, and a model based on axon/dendrite connections alone is obviously incapable of solving the binding problem, whereas CEMI theory easily does. "Far-fetched" isn't even pseudoscientific.

    I didn't say that "weirdness" proves quantum mechanics is involved with consciousness. I said that superpositions amongst entangled molecules, producing quantum fields in specially adapted, emergent biochemical pathways, blend with EM radiation to constitute the perceptual mind. That's not pseudoscience: trillions of atoms have been simultaneously entangled in experiments, and the de Broglie wavelengths of some molecules are compatible with the idea that various degrees of superposition between atoms undoubtedly occur, even to the limited extent suggested by conventional atomic theory.
  • Enrique
    657
    Neurons evince dendritic potentials in addition to axon potentials, and each soma (cell body) is attached to numerous dendrites. Could amplification of a radiative/biochemical/EM field to CEMI levels be the result of large exponential increase in the quantity of activated dendrite potentials as wired-together neurons synapse synchronously? Do processes within axons and cell bodies also somehow participate in more or less conscious EM fields?

    Does a feeling of consciously "straining" result from CEMI fields maxing out their capacity to activate dendritic potentials and perhaps further neuronal biochemistry, a sort of smoothly wavelike swelling that strives to bring more of the unconscious into the sphere of full conscious awareness, rather than a crisply particularate phenomenon?
  • Enrique
    657
    Some evidence that CEMI fields are orchestrated by the limbic system:

    The limbic system is the oldest portion of the brain distinctive to more highly developed vertebrates, suggesting that this might be the hub of stream of consciousness (qualitatively robust images, sounds etc.).

    Structures of the limbic system are densely packed together in the core of the brain, making massive amounts of synesthesia possible due to both close proximities and also numerous white matter connections to various distant grey matter regions with their more saturating (less impeded by myelin) CEMI-type radiative/biochemical/EM fields, so that rats smelling in stereo, dogs generating mental images in association with smells, humans visualizing sounds etc. are not difficult to account for.

    If the limbic system is the locus of stream of consciousness, it is core to qualitative perception in addition to its role in processing and routing sensory or motor signals, and its location at the center of the brain would maximally protect this essential role in subjectivity from damage.

    The inquiry might then be into what regions, primarily within grey matter, participate in producing stream of intentional consciousness via CEMI fields, also how these most substantially CEMI regions are connected and thus coordinated. For instance, the dorsal and ventral visual pathways could be integrated by action potentials of equivalent duration running both ways between them such that CEMI field properties of vision in these separate portions of the brain may, in conjunction with grey matter fields of the limbic system and additional coherence field phenomena, generate a synchronous, perhaps largely permeating field array. Research along these lines could enable science to solve the binding problem.
  • Enrique
    657
    Does any scientific evidence exist yet for a hyperspace field that might be involved in processes of quantum entanglement, integrating with brain tissue and the environment generally to produce a nonlocal causation of percepts?

    Could wormholes, rather than a warping of spacetime, be a direct route connecting regions of hyperspace, an in fact common occurrence induced by moderately to highly concentrated energy sources such as brains etc.?
  • Santiago
    27
    I think, this process is taking place everywhere and by everything even beyond our initial cuadrimensional frame. However the brain seems to be a place is concentrating lots of it in a really small place, nothing else. Nevertheless everywhere and everything is articulating those electromagnetisms.
  • Enrique
    657
    Basic physics behind the field theory of consciousness:

    Atoms, comprised of subatomic particles and their quantized arrangements, have electric charge.

    The movement of charged particles produces electromagnetic fields.

    The highly charged nature of ionic movement with its voltage differentials in the nervous system and brain gives rise to a strong electromagnetic field.

    These charges and strong electromagnetic fields participate in synchronizing neural networks with their photonic (radiative) waves and particles (standing waves).

    Radiative waves can superposition as in the visible spectrum, particles can superposition to a limited extent while they are atomically bonded or otherwise entangled, and radiative waves can superposition with particles.

    The motion of charged particles in neural networks creates standing wave oscillations (brain waves) coursing through this biochemical matter that take effect on a global scale within the nervous system.

    The emergent organization of particles and radiation within this highly charged, electromagnetically robust neuromaterial field is a main facet of perceptual consciousness. Brain wave readings via EEG are a measurable signature of this synthetic electromagnetic substance’s compositional contours at the macroscopic scale.

    This synthetic substance contributes toward generating qualitative percepts to the extent that its constituent matter superpositions while entangled in atomic bonds and additional electromagnetic superstructures, amounting to resonances between various combinations of particle and radiative quanta, etc.

    Studies have shown that ion channels and synaptic structures are sensitive to EM fields. This is the basic evidence so far in favor of CEMI field theory, which claims fully aware consciousness is associated with mechanisms that generate the brain's strongest, most concentrated EM field effects, synchronizing neural networks via a process of "phase locking".

    Additional field phenomena resembling quantum coherence in their integrating effects may add a further dimension to qualitative consciousness.

    EM complexes such as CEMI fields with their radiative and standing waves as well as coherence phenomena in general, including all properties of entanglement and superposition, can be subsumed with the term "coherence field".
  • Enrique
    657
    This might explain why the brain is composed of white and grey matter to begin with. Myelin that coats most axons is white to reflect as much light as possible, preventing attenuation of intensity as this light radiates and thus optimizing the mechanisms of percept generation. Grey matter (the rest of the neuron: cell body, dendrites, axon terminal, and perhaps matter internal to the axon) is darkened by structures which absorb light during radiative/biochemical binding.
  • Olivier5
    3.5k
    I must say, that looks promising. It would fit well with our intuitive sense of thought as fluid and flickering.
  • GraveItty
    387
    I'll just provide my usual commentary on your theories about consciousness and then leave you alone. CEMI is an unsupported, far-fetched theory of the origins of consciousness. As far as I can tell "coherence field theory" is just another name for your attempts to use the so-called "weirdness" of quantum mechanics to explain consciousness with no scientific basis. This is not science, it's pseudo-science.T Clark

    Science and pseudo-science are part of one and the same body: science. Calling something "pseudo", also in science, bears witness to a conformation to the standard. If you actually knew science, instead of following the gossip spread, like the gossip that calls this theory "pseudo" science, you would see it tries to approach consciousness indeed on basis of QM, but without you having actual knowledge of QM. I think it's this lack of knowledge that makes you say it's pseudo. And even if it was pseudo, then what? The pseudo of today is the standard tomorrow. The theory in the thread is one of the scientific theories among many. Calling it pseudo already at the start, without having looked in it (and I'm sure you haven't and are ignorant about its ingredients), only goes to show that you repeat gossip like a parrot, following the so-called expert opinion. Trying to beat it already at the start on the base of irrational underbelly feelings. So take your pick. Either shut up, or engage. I think the last is hard for you. Remains the former. Luckily you said to leave the @Enrique alone. I'm not sure what your motivation was to even comment. Besides providing an irrational and non-constructive commentary/critique. But if you wanna do so, who am I to stop you?
  • Varde
    140
    What is useful about CEMI theory? Will it produce new technologies? Have any tests been done on conscious specimen(Such as VR)?

    I think a field is too symmetrical a phenomenon whereas consc. Is more asymmetric.

    I also think consciousness is organically driven, and not atmos. It doesn't come from space.
  • Enrique
    657
    What is useful about CEMI theory? Will it produce new technologies?Varde

    In the lab, experimental computers programmed to evolve on their own have spontaneously adapted connections between logic gates that are mediated by supervening electromagnetic fields. Only a fraction of the logic gates developed to function via wiring connections. The inventor of CEMI field theory has suggested this as the basic template of the percept/brain interface's structure and evolution, speculating that complex computers of this kind will be conscious in a way comparable to human consciousness.

    Identifying mechanisms of percept formation, awareness and will of course has huge implications for physiology and medicine, in addition to the possibility that physics and chemistry will be revolutionized by modeling the material basis of qualia.
  • GraveItty
    387
    In the lab, experimental computers programmed to evolve on their ownEnrique

    Doesn't there lurk a contradiction here? How can something evolve on its own, while being programmed?

    have spontaneously adapted connections between logic gates that are mediated by supervening electromagnetic fields.Enrique

    What are supervening EM fields? I mean, what are their origins? If they, instead of the wiring, are the cause of circuitry change, what is the material motor that drives?

    Is the same going on in the brain, according to CEMI? If so, then what is the material generator that gives rise to the EM fields that drive neuronal circuitry change?

    I think a field is too symmetrical a phenomenon whereas consc. Is more asymmetric.Varde

    A real or virtual photon field can be as asymmetrical as the matter that produces them.
  • Enrique
    657
    What are supervening EM fields? I mean, what are their origins? If they, instead of the wiring, are the cause of circuitry change, what is the material motor that drives?

    Is the same going on in the brain, according to CEMI? If so, then what is the material generator that gives rise to the EM fields that drive neuronal circuitry change?
    GraveItty

    The rather simplistic computer chip (a hundred or so logic gates) was designed to evolve its structure through an open-ended process of a few thousand iterations (I can't remember what the computational task was intended to be). Only thirty some logic gates turned out to function through direct connections, while the rest were recruited by an electromagnetic field emergent from overall electron flow. The chip evolved itself to be mostly parallel processing integrated primarily by an electromagnetic field, and the author of the paper which describes the experiment proposed that this is the basic mechanism of consciousness, except that in brains the electromagnetic field is generated by ion rather than electron flow.

    The theory is that ion flow produces a supervenient EM field which neural networks have evolved for responding to, but in a much more complex way than the experimental computer chip. Research on neurons in vitro has proven that action potential propagation can be very sensitive to electromagnetic fields via ion channels, and at this stage these membrane channels are the most likely candidate for structures that mediate EM/cellular interactions.

    If photonic radiation within the EM field binds with biochemistry to create nodes of superposition, this might partially account for the "what it is like to be" aspect of matter waves.
  • Enrique
    657
    For the physics savvy who are knowledgeable about EM radiation, what are the factors that determine how quickly the intensity of this radiation dissipates as it travels? How would this apply within the brain? @Kenosha Kid, I don't want to trouble you overly much, but I think based on recent posts in a different thread that you may be able to explain this to some degree. Perhaps you can teach me something along these lines or direct me to relevant resources.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3k
    Hi Enrique. It's an inverse square law. Take for example a pulse that spreads out spherically (you can extend to multiple pulses by summation or a continuous light source by integrating). The wavefront early on occupies a small surface area around the source. Later, it's further away so occupies a greater surface area. But the amount of light hasn't changed: it's just moved. So the intensity diminishes over time.
  • Enrique
    657
    The wavefront early on occupies a small surface area around the source. Later, it's further away so occupies a greater surface area. But the amount of light hasn't changed: it's just moved. So the intensity diminishes over time.Kenosha Kid

    Can you even roughly estimate the amount and range of EM radiation from a biochemical pathway in a neuron, for the sake of demonstration composed of fifty thousand atoms, and also an action potential (wave of ionic current) with a length of perhaps 1 cm, energy of 2.4*10^-7 Joules, and 14 volts per micrometer?

    I'm trying to get a sense for the scale and intensity at which radiation of the brain's EM field is in effect. Possibly I'm not considering the appropriate values, what do you think?

    How if at all would extremely strong voltage fluctuations, 14 million volts per meter in a neuron, four times the amount required to generate lightning, affect the behavior of atoms and radiation in the brain?
  • Kenosha Kid
    3k
    Not a clue, sorry. Event-related optical signal (EROS) scanning measure activity at the neuron level. Might be a good place to start. Problem is, most scanning techniques excite the brain in some way, rather than measure the EM radiation it naturally emits.
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    CEMI (Conscious Electromagnetic Information) theory claims that synchronous neuron firing generates strong electromagnetic fields which build up such that even further neurons are activated via an amplifying feedback loop.Enrique
    CEMI seems to be an adjunct to IIT (Integrated Information Theory). And it's similar in some ways to my own informal theory of Consciousness. Whereas, CEMI uses the metaphor of a physical electromagnetic field (EMF), I call it a metaphysical "Information Field". That's because, in my philosophical model, Information (EnFormAction ; causation) is prior-to physical reality. It's more like Energy in the sense of immeasurable (Potential) causation, than Matter as measurable stuff. Note : Energy is only measurable in its material effects, after the causal event.

    A somewhat more concrete metaphor is to compare an "Information Field" to a Quantum Field. Unlike an EMF, a QF is composed of Virtual Particles (continuous mathematical waves) that have the Potential to become Actual bits of measurable matter (photons). The "perturbation" that triggers the phase transition from Potential to Actual is the completion of an Information "feedback loop". That works like completing an electrical circuit from battery to machine and back again to the Source. As I mentioned, this is a meta-physical philosophical hypothesis instead of a physical scientific theory. But, even the various scientific theories must eventually deal with the mysterious Mental aspects of Consciousness & Information. :nerd:

    What is Information? :
    The Power to Enform
    http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page16.html
  • Enrique
    657


    The mental is a hard but, for some, inevitable subject to grapple with lol

    It is difficult for me to conceive of substantive causality as immaterial or lacking in matter (I'm more of a hylomorphism than ideal Forms guy), but posters at this forum seem to promote the idea that potential, some sort of latency, actually exists in a sense. This has led me to ponder what a physical field actually is and how it differs from the alleged informational substrate so popular with philosophers.

    Thinking about the brain's EM field, it is comprised of standing wave oscillations produced by synchronously moving ions with their electric charges, and flowing through neurons almost like a shock wave. So fluctuating electrical potential certainly causes energy transfer, but this is not distinct from the matter itself, it is instead an enigmatic property by which the matter acts remotely, within constraints, on what surrounds it as it moves.

    The brain is a unique structure because it is so densely packed with charge fluctuations, like I said fourteen MILLION volts per meter or four times the voltage required to generate lightning (but associated with tiny masses and thus modest wattage, why we don't spontaneously combust), that the remote effects of its ions result in an integrated field extending throughout the brain. This does not mean a perturbation at any single point affects every other point, but remote charges in one location influence remote charges in their vicinity, which influences energy flow in neighboring regions and at larger and larger scales until the emergent organization can be likened to a minitiature ocean of electric current, with brain waves as measured by EEG comparable to a gulf stream or the tides.

    This alone would not be enough to make the supervenient EM field a functional factor, any more than a sort of rapid sloshing incidental to neuronal wiring, but it has been suggested by experiment that ion channels are responsive to EM fields (the remote effects of moving electric charges) via still poorly understood quantum properties of their chemistry (it has been proposed that the mechanism by which ions travel through channels is wavicle tunneling). Remotely active EM fields seem to be capable of impacting action potential propagation in such a finely grained way that responsiveness occurs on the scale of single ion channels.

    The global EM field flows like an ocean within the brain, and the membrane channels, regulating the spatial coordination of ion diffusion which generates this EM field, react to these emergent effects, making the net result a "phase locking" whereby ion channel activation is integrated with the EM field such that charge fluctuations form highly organized patterns on a relatively large scale. The originator of CEMI theory theorizes that the synchronization of neural networks via EM field/ion channel phase locking, once it has reached a sufficient level of integration, is the mechanism by which we exert conscious will, our intentional agency. Relatively global effects of this EM field, the main currents or tides so to speak, precisely are human willing.

    Synapses, more specifically the distributing of neurotransmitters and similar chemicals, can be regarded as mediating the temporal dimension of EM field/ion channel "tides", essentially functioning as a sort of extremely complex "moon" mechanism by causing energy flow to occur in recursive patterns on the various timescales of response to an environment: minutes, hours, days, months, years. Synapses integrate neural networks with the intricate biochemical pathways of individual neurons such that the electromagnetic will is pliant to overall chemistry in the body and selection pressures of an ecosystem. Human will, as an assortment of macroscopic EM fields along with related action potential synchronizations and synesthesia effects (verbal thoughts, visual imagining, logical reasoning, etc.), has real causation, but is simultaneously tempered by interpolated and surrounding chemistry.

    What I've been thinking and learning about recently is how the photonic radiation of EM fields might affect brain function, and I haven't really come to a conclusion yet, but as I've discussed in this thread, I suspect some sort of superposition mechanism blends radiation into atoms such that percepts result, what philosophy terms "qualia", the "what it is like to be" of experience.

    It might be that consciousness also consists of or is impacted by nonelectromagnetic fields which operate on even larger scales and participate in a much more nonlocal, remote causation. I think this is what philosophy is intuiting when it talks of entities such as the information field you describe. These fields still have to be composed of substance though, they can't be a pure immateriality or merely "possible" existent.

    Perhaps the following can be disputed, but I think information theory takes the notion of all actual and possible relations between components of a substance, the "potentiality", and seeks to establish this as in some sense an ontological foundation. Not impractical or invalid per se, for it manages to integrate the abstract modeling paradigm of modern science with a tradition of metaphysics stretching all the way back to the origins of Western philosophy in antiquity. But I think it is a minor error to identify metaphysical concepts with fields that transcend electromagnetism, because causes have to be a product of interacting substances and their properties, tangible in some way, rather than a mere abstraction of the relationships between them, which are really no more than a human concept.

    As the founder of CEMI theory describes, the brain contains 10^11 cells while the immune system contains 10^12 cells, and both are extremely integrated, by neuronal wiring and the blood stream respectively, so it can be claimed that the immune system is equivalently complex, but while strategically organized it is obviously not conscious. Charge fluctuations that create emergent EM fields, among additional properties, grant the brain consciousness, an outcome of unique substances the organ is composed of, not mere complexity.

    (By the way, a poster at this site informed me that "EMF" stands for electromotive force, not EM field. I was appreciative he pointed that out to me, so I'll relay it to you.)
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    It is difficult for me to conceive of substantive causality as immaterial or lacking in matter (I'm more of a hylomorphism than ideal Forms guy), but posters at this forum seem to promote the idea that potential, some sort of latency, actually exists in a sense. This has led me to ponder what a physical field actually is and how it differs from the alleged informational substrate so popular with philosophers.Enrique
    Part of the difficulty in conceiving of Causality is that we only observe it indirectly in its effects on Matter. Therefore, we typically discuss the Form (Potential) half of hylomophism in terms of the part we know via our physical senses (Actual). Even our metaphysical metaphors are borrowed from examples of the sensory stuff. That's because we only know invisible Forms (abstract pattern ; intentional design) by rational inference & intuitive imagination. But of course, unlike empirical Scientists, theoretical Philosophers have no technological sensory extensions, hence are limited to the use of their old-fashioned rational tools for investigation of metaphysical topics, like Being, Qualia, and Logic. Those immaterial ideas are off-limits to empirical study.

    Nevertheless, an old outdated Philosopher analyzed the general notion of Causality into four parts : 1> Formal (Potential or Conceptual) ; 2. Efficient (Energy ; Agency) ; 3> Material (Matter) ; and 4> Final (Purpose). The first & fourth causes are knowable only by philosophical reasoning, while the second & third are subject to empirical Scientific methods. Most modern philosophers have been taught to defer to scientists for knowledge of Reality. But they may forget that the philosophical tool of Reason is what ultimately makes sense of our physical sensations. Since primary (1) Causes are always potential, we can only infer them by rational inference from measurable changes in the stuff our senses are tuned to (2 & 3). Ironically. by following the methods of Empiricism, Philosophers may miss the implications of (4) intentional Purposes (i.e. reasons). Bumbling Nature is assumed to have no purposes, so any knowable & directional patterns must be accidental. And even reliable Energy is not viewed as purposeful Agency. That no-nonsense approach is good for Pragmatic Science, but it makes Theoretical Philosophy impotent to learn anything that is not obvious to the physical senses.

    Such aspects of Reality as Existence (Being) and Qualia (Concepts) are often taken for granted, and not subjected to the penetrating gaze of Rational Inference (induction from specific examples to a general conclusion). Specific things are physical & empirical. but general theories are metaphysical & hypothetical. Most of Einstein's contributions to science (Relativity) fall into the latter category, because the concept came before the confirming evidence. Likewise, philosophical scientists postulate "physical fields" to explain puzzling observations, such as the wave/particle nature of light. The answer given below, to your question of what a Field "actually is", provides contradictory or paradoxical examples : "indivisible particles" ; "invisible forces", and "empty space". But even those antithetical notions make sense in terms of post-Shannon Information Theory. Yet, Potential does not exist "actually", but only as the "latency" that Plato called Ideal Forms : the source of all Real things in the world. Hence, Potential is not "Substantive" but Abstract. And Fields are Mathematical (Rational), not Material (Physical). :nerd:

    Hylomorphism : every natural body consists of two intrinsic principles, one potential, namely, primary matter, and one actual, namely, substantial form.
    Note -- Ironically, Aristotle's "primary matter" is equivalent to Plato's "Form" ("Prime matter is matter with no substantial form of its own") . and his "form" is the substantial stuff we know as "Matter". Confusing, no?

    Metaphysical :
    Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility. Metaphysics is considered one of the four main branches of philosophy, along with epistemology, logic, and ethics.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics

    What are Quantum Fields made of? :
    Instead of continuous, solid objects, matter is composed of indivisible quantum particles, held together through invisible forces that act across empty space.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/11/17/ask-ethan-are-quantum-fields-real/?sh=1d77f1ef777a

    What is "alleged" Information? :
    The Power to Enform
    http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page16.html

    Abstract : 1.existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.
    Latent : (of a quality or state) existing but not yet developed or manifest; hidden or concealed.

    (By the way, a poster at this site informed me that "EMF" stands for electromotive force, not EM field. I was appreciative he pointed that out to me, so I'll relay it to you.)Enrique
    Yes, but I defined my abbreviation in the same post : EMF = ElectroMagnetic Field, as a parallel to CEMI.
  • Enrique
    657


    I think science supports the assertion that empty space does not exist. What was formerly thought of as devoid of substance has always turned out to contain something, whether radiation, interstellar dust, dark energy, even vacuum fluctuations which are actually more haphazard or "entropic" the emptier space is due to a lack of emergent organization (negentropy?) that can absorb this intrinsic energy by virtue of the distributing effect of relational (statistical) complexity.

    Rather than a background medium of physically actual empty space, what probably exists is layered fields composed of heterogeneous substance concentrations. Relatively dense locations of matter/energy such as particles are surrounded by a compositionally related field of substance that quickly becomes diffuse, and the more diffuse this field is the faster it can transmit energy through its breadth, exactly as decreasing resistance in a wire speeds the flow of current. Stray far enough from centers of mass and the causality is relatively instantaneous. This is the reason for huge speed differentials such as in bosonic compared to most fermionic electromagnetism (something I'm still in the process of learning about, so don't expect an expert opinion, you can find my preliminary thoughts in this thread: Fine Structure Constant, The Sequel), and of course the interaction of fields that have more widely discrepant composition makes the situation more complex and is less well understood, probably responsible for seemingly nonlocal effects such as quantum entanglement.

    Information theory can explain the statistical properties of any thus far conceivable system once it has been robustly observed and experimented with, but some sort of realist model has to obtain before the system can be truly mastered. So for instance probabilistic quantum mechanics is a powerful, extremely precise tool within its constraints, and certainly an improvement in many ways compared to classical physics, but barely scratches the surface of the quantumlike world. The more we can excavate through statistical randomness or mathematical structure in general and reach actual substance itself, the more potent knowledge will become.

    So I'm essentially claiming that fields are physical rather than purely mathematical entities.

    Bumbling Nature is assumed to have no purposes, so any knowable & directional patterns must be accidental. And even reliable Energy is not viewed as purposeful Agency. That no-nonsense approach is good for Pragmatic Science, but it makes Theoretical Philosophy impotent to learn anything that is not obvious to the physical senses.Gnomon

    Interesting idea and, as you say, a contrast with most modern thinking in the domains of science and technology. Perhaps you can clarify: what is the substance of reasoning/inference, how is it fundamentally abstract, and when intention is given causal precedence in your philosophy, is this perspectival, sort of a glorification of thought and meaning from reasoning's idiosyncratic point of view, or rather ontological, in essence as palpably fundamental as matter? How can purpose be as fundamental as its constituent substances?
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    I think science supports the assertion that empty space does not exist. . . . . So I'm essentially claiming that fields are physical rather than purely mathematical entities.Enrique
    Yes. But space only exists where there is matter to occupy it, and to provide the curvature we call "Gravity". For example, classical Newtonian physics could not explain how gravity could be "propagated" between bodies, since cause & effect always required some material to transmit the causation. Therefore, the notion of Aether was postulated as a medium for the transmission of forces across the emptiness.

    Now though, the general assumption is that vacuum is never completely void : it always has "latent" energy, which is not Actual energy, but merely Potential energy. Yet, that not-quite-real substance is also called a "Quantum Field". But it's still mathematically defined in essentially the same way as Aether. So, for anyone without high-tech instruments, interstellar space appears to human senses as nothingness.

    Moreover, the hypothetical field of "zero point energy" can only be measured indirectly, because it is so close to Zero as to be essentially nothing. However, on a cosmic scale there must be enough of it to function as the Cosmic Constant (an unmeasured mathematical concept), which is relied upon to explain the expansion of the universe. So, the hypothetical notions of Aether, Vacuum Energy, and Quantum Fields are useful only for theoretical & mathematical purposes. And that's what I call "meta-physical" :nerd:


    What's the Energy Density of the Vacuum? :
    In quantum field theory we are neglecting gravity. This means we are free to add any constant whatsoever to our definition of energy density. As long as we are free to do this, we can't really say what the vacuum energy density "really is". In other words, if we only consider quantum field theory and not general relativity, the vacuum energy density is NOT DETERMINED.
    https://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/vacuum.html


    Perhaps you can clarify: what is the substance of reasoning/inference, how is it fundamentally abstract, and when intention is given causal precedence in your philosophy, . . .Enrique
    In my thesis, the "substance" of Reasoning is EnFormAction. That's not a scientific hypothesis, but a philosophical thesis, based on post-Shannon Information Theory. Shannon's "Information" was all-or-nothing (1 or 0), while mine is all-of-the-above (0 . . . 100%). It's both Matter & Mind. So, for me, Generic Information is the Aristotelian "Substance" (essence) of everything in our world.

    "Intention" is an inherently teleological (purposeful ; goal oriented) direction. And the universe is obviously moving not in just one direction, but in all directions. So, the power behind the expansion is literally Omnidirectional. But, since the ultimate goal of cosmic evolution is not apparent to us, most, but not all, scientists simply assume that there must be no purpose to it. Hence, the implication is that randomness rules. How then to explain the orderly patterns that science is built upon, and which are epitomized in the human Mind?

    However, a few pioneering scientists have inferred some kind of Intention, in order to explain the "array of puzzling scientific “coincidences”, such as the unique “initial conditions” and “fine-tuned constants” that seemed arbitrarily selected to produce a world with living & thinking creatures". That conclusion is typically known as "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle". So, there are plenty of philosophical reasons to agree with Aristotle, that an intentional First Cause was logically necessary to get what-we-now-call-evolution started. Evolution may be randomized (shuffled cards), yet the order of the suits (species) is NOT accidental, but due to "Causal Precedence". :joke:

    What is EnFormAction? :
    http://bothandblog2.enformationism.info/page29.html

    Information is Generic in the sense of generating all forms from a formless pool of possibility : the Platonic Forms.
    http://bothandblog2.enformationism.info/page29.html

    Intention :
    an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. · the end or object intended; purpose.
    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/intention

    The Anthropic Cosmological Principle :
    http://bothandblog7.enformationism.info/page10.html

    INTENTION AIMS AT A TARGET
    wise-intention-main.jpg
  • Enrique
    657


    Badass chick with bow and arrow, nice!

    Gravity waves traveling at the speed of light have been detected in outer space, so no aether necessary in that case: gravity propagates in a way similar to electromagnetic radiation. I think supradimensional aetherlike substances must exist, responsible for nonlocality, but their motions are probably also some kind of wavelike flow analogous to the radiation we have thus far measured. Dark energy supposedly spreads without dilution, so this might eventually explain the universe's expansion as the wavelike flow of a field.

    Einstein's thought experiments into relativity adopted the speed of light as a reference point, worked out implications for contexts that could not yet be observed, then derived a mathematical framework for modeling these imaginary implications which was eventually proven to more precisely approximate a broader scope of phenomena than Newtonian physics, thus expanding the applicability of geometrical reasoning. The theory of relativity was based partially on empirically obtained premises and was fundamentally conceptual, not ontological (I think claims to ontology have thus far always been fallacious). Its genius was that it gave astronomers a solid idea of how to precisely define such abstruse contexts, in a way that was so far ahead of its time, not its ontological accuracy (but perhaps someday ontology will be possible). So I align more with Kant than Plato or Aristotle in this regard.

    I would assert that all metaphysical reasoning, to the extent that it is intended to be true, does no more than work out the implications of premises which are more or less arbitrarily assumed to be true at the outset, even if this truth only exists in a conceptual universe such as the forms of abstract mathematics. In Einstein's case, the premises were based on previous observations of the physical world, Maxwell's theories of light and Planck's quantum hypothesis (mostly Einstein's actually) for instance.

    I suppose pure mathematics is metaphysical in a sense, but I think its ultimate products are more appropriately identified as conceptual. A better way to categorize the metaphysical might be possible that avoids extrapolating premises beyond the contexts where they are justifiable or implicitly suggesting unwanted premises, in particular by refining the idea of purpose. Have you considered the psychology of metaphysics with your philosophy? I'd be interested to read your opinion about this topic considering how deeply you get into metaphysics. If you're talking about transcendent intention and purpose, you must have dabbled in some psychology of cosmic proportions!
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    Gravity waves traveling at the speed of light have been detected in outer space, so no aether necessary in that case: gravity propagates in a way similar to electromagnetic radiation.Enrique
    Yes. But even Einstein reluctantly (because of spooky "action at a distance" implications) used the term "aether" to describe the plastic properties of bendable space. In his Relativity model though, it was not pictured as a physical substance, but as an imaginary mathematical "field". Which, in my Information vocabulary, is a Meta-Physical concept instead of a Physical object or substance. The whole idea of curving nothingness was counter-intuitive then, and remains so today. Yet, the math is useful for predicting the behavior of Energy (EnFormAction). So scientists accept the model's utility, even though they don't understand its metaphysical implications. :cool:

    Aether theories :
    Albert Einstein sometimes used the word aether for the gravitational field within general relativity, but the only similarity of this relativistic aether concept with the classical aether models lies in the presence of physical properties in space, which can be identified through the mathematical concept of Geodesics. . . . . It is ironic that Einstein's most creative work, the general theory of relativity, should boil down to conceptualizing space as a medium when his original premise [in special relativity] was that no such medium existed. . . . The modern concept of the vacuum of space, confirmed every day by experiment, is a relativistic ether. But we do not call it this because it is taboo.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories
    Note -- Physicists use Mathematical Fields as imaginary models to represent invisible relationships between ideal points. Those models are physical only in the sense that they are used by Physicists to describe things that are not material objects : invisible relations (links) between things.

    HINT : THE GRID IS IMAGINARY, HENCE META-PHYSICAL
    1200px-Spacetime_lattice_analogy.svg.png

    I would assert that all metaphysical reasoning, to the extent that it is intended to be true, does no more than work out the implications of premises which are more or less arbitrarily assumed to be true at the outset,Enrique
    Yes. It's called "Deductive Reasoning". Which was used by ancient philosophers, long before they had compiled enough empirical evidence to satisfy modern scientific requirements. Einstein predicted that light would bend in a gravity field --- based on logical (not empirical) premises --- before the evidence was obtained. That's why I think of him as a Metaphysican instead of a Physicist. :nerd:

    Deductive reasoning, or deduction, is making an inference based on widely accepted facts or premises. ... Inductive reasoning, or induction, is making an inference based on an observation, often of a sample.
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/deduction-vs-induction-vs-abduction

    I suppose pure mathematics is metaphysical in a sense, but I think its ultimate products are more appropriately identified as conceptual.Enrique
    Yes. In my Enformationism thesis, Mathematics is both Conceptual and Metaphysical. But my definition of Meta-Physics is different from the typical dictionary entry. The key distinction that I make is between sensory "Perception" (eye ; neurons), and rational "Conception" (mind ; meaning). The latter is what Daniel Dennett derisively called "the Cartesian Theater"; where the Mind (homunculus) is the meta-physical (conceptual) observer of the Brain's physical perceptions. :joke:

    Meta-Physics :
    4. Physics refers to the things we perceive with the eye of the body. Meta-physics refers to the things we conceive with the eye of the mind. Meta-physics includes the properties, and qualities, and functions that make a thing what it is. Matter is just the clay from which a thing is made. Meta-physics is the design (form, purpose); physics is the product (shape, action). The act of creation brings an ideal design into actual existence. The design concept is the “formal” cause of the thing designed.

    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page14.html

    CARTESIAN THEATER
    Metaphysical fried egg as seen by imaginary Homunculus
    1200px-Cartesian_Theater.svg.png
  • Gnomon
    1.8k
    Have you considered the psychology of metaphysics with your philosophy? I'd be interested to read your opinion about this topic considering how deeply you get into metaphysics. If you're talking about transcendent intention and purpose, you must have dabbled in some psychology of cosmic proportions!Enrique
    Of course! What I call "Meta-Physics" IS Psychology, among other things. But It refers to how we Conceive of the world, instead merely how we Perceive it. Originally, the psychology of the Mind was limited to abstract Philosophy. Then Behaviorism, in order to avoid Metaphysical implications, focused attention only on the mechanics of Perception and Animation. But that approach left the "Hard Problem" of Consciousness untouched.

    From the times of Plato & Aristotle, the study of mental phenomena ("Information") was limited mostly to Philosophers. But, since Claude Shannon applied that Intellectual concept to Mechanical computers, many people have forgotten that the term originally applied only to the mysterious Metaphysical contents of Cartesian Minds.

    Now, since Information Theory has expanded our horizons, the boundaries of Psychology have invaded other fields of science. The "psychology of metaphysics" has evolved beyond the scope of Psychology into the realm of Cosmology. Here's a sampler of recent books, written mainly by scientists, who are not Psychologists, Their common denominator is a role for psychological & physical Information in all aspects of Reality :

    Incomplete Nature --- Terrence Deacon , Biologist (Aboutness)

    Reality Is Not What It Seems --- Carlo Rovelli , Physicist (Illusions)

    Information and the Nature of Reality --- Paul Davies, et al , Physicist (From Physics to Metaphysics)

    Worlds Hidden in Plain Sight --- David Krakauer, ed , (Complexity)

    From Matter to Life --- Paul Davies, et al , Cosmologist , (Information and Causality)

    So, if you too want to "dabble" in spooky mental meta-physics, I'm available to show you how "transcendent intention and purpose" can be found in the Metaphysical (Ideal) and the Physical (Real) World. If you know where to look. :smile:

    Note -- this thread may not be the appropriate place for such distractions.
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