• Mark Nyquist
    I've used Universal Form (my term, don't think it exists elsewhere) a few times in a couple other threads. I think it's a good tool for philosophy.

    The idea is to formalize the relation of the physical brain to the subject matter we deal with.

    The basic form is,

    Brain; (what the brain supports)

    The notation semicolon, parentheses means such that the subject in the parentheses is supported by the physical brain state.

    I gave some examples and here is a compiled list:

    Brain; (thoughts, thinking)
    Brain; (ideas)
    Brain; (knowledge)
    Brain; (mental content)
    Brain; (subject matter)
    Brain; (concepts)
    Brain; (abstractions)
    Brain; (how to communicate)
    Brain; (mind)
    Brain; (consciousness)
    Brain; (information)
    Brain; (time perception)
    Brain; (memory)
    Brain; (planning)
    Brain; (visualizing)
    Brain; (language)
    Brain; (mathematics)
    Brain; (science)
    Brain; (philosophy)
    Brain; (sensing physical matter)
    Brain; (muscle control)
    Brain; (manipulating physical matter)
    Brain; (how to encode, decode physical matter)
    Brain; (non-physicals)
    Brain; (manipulating non-physicals)

    On and on.
    This form occurs often enough that we should expect it to be a universal form of our mental worlds.

    Is it clumsy and cumbersome? Yes, but by formalizing it we enforce some known structure that can help in troubleshooting philosophy problems.

    For example it's structure helps resolve the monism/dualism question. It clearly has two components but in a physicalism sense all is derived from physical matter.

    Time perseption can be built out using this form,

    Brain; (only the present exists physically)
    Brain; (past, present and future exist mentally)
    Brain; (only now exists)
    Brain; (time duration as a concept)

    As stand alone statements these would be paradoxes but in this universal form can be resolved.

    I covered it's application to psychosis symptoms on page 30 of the Best Arguments for Physicalism thread by frank. That's not part of this OP but it's something extra as background.

    It also puts the questions of information, consciousness and all the rest in a single category instead of separate subjects that words seem to enforce.
  • kudos
    Could be true if we change one minor parameter:

    I've used Universal Form (my term, don't think it exists elsewhere) a few times in a couple other threads. I think it's a good tool for materialistic philosophy.

    Otherwise you are essentially turning philosophy in general into science. They are not the same thing.
  • Mark Nyquist

    Take it any way that works for you.
    For me it gradually became useful as a general principle.
  • Lionino
    By the examples you gave, you simply put the word brain followed by an abstract thing. How is that helpful, since I don't even understand what it is trying to convey?
  • Mark Nyquist

    It looks like that to me too. Normally these are all things done with our brains but we don't formalize it. If we recognize the pattern we have a tool to troubleshoot new problems that have the same form.

    To make it useful try to think of how the words are intertwined as you use your brain and you start to see that 'what the brain supports' is common to all these words. More of a single function as it exists than the commonly defined words.

    I'm still working on a good ways to explain it.
    The examples given were things that came up in discussion like time perseption.
  • Lionino
    these are all thingsMark Nyquist

    What things?

    the patternMark Nyquist

    What pattern? That the thoughts that portray abstract concepts come from the brain?
  • Mark Nyquist

    The words in parentheses = these are all things.

    The pattern... Brain; (mental content as listed)

    I think I'm stating the obvious but it has its uses.
    Do you disagree?
  • Lionino
    Everybody knows things such as thought and emotion and planning happen in the brain. I don't see any use.
  • Corvus
    I gave some examples and here is a compiled list:

    Brain; (thoughts, thinking)
    Mark Nyquist
    It looks like a good name for a function in A.I. programming. You could write more details of procedure in the function specifying the variables, constants, inputs and outputs for the different external events fed into the function, and the procedures within the function could go through preset calculations and operations based on the set algorithms from the input and outputs from the hardware sensors in the AI agent.

    The functions can be called from various parts of the main program carrying out tasks for the different physical and mental events. When fully implemented, it would be an interesting project or demonstration how AI can simulate the brain functions for generating and interacting with the input and output from the external world, and for all those different mental events and operations.
  • Mark Nyquist

    I try to follow things like GPTChat.
    I tried chatbots a few years ago and GPTChat a month ago and there seems to be improvement.

    Pretty good actually. You can have a conversation close to normal. Maybe better at answering math questions than most people.

    I asked GPTChat if it had time perseption and it answered....No I do not perspective time...
    That seems interesting as I thought it might.
    Maybe more advanced versions will.

    That's as close as I get to AI. Maybe something lacking (in a good way??) in AI is the all the nonsense we deal with in people.

    The time perseption thing is something people must have to function but computers wouldn't have any of the same needs as we do so...not sure... And being aware for people is unique to us, biology, physical environment, discomfort...

    Seems like AI will be more of an information machine that does that faster and better than we can.
  • Fire Ologist
    For example it's structure helps resolve the monism/dualism question. It clearly has two components but in a physicalism sense all is derived from physical matter.Mark Nyquist

    You said: "All is derived from physical matter." Physical matter here being the brain, in this form (for example): Brain; (non-physicals).

    Where "non-physicals" in this case are brain states that manipulate "all" or abstractions like "physical matter" (abstract here because you aren't talking about a particular physical thing, you are talking about "physical matter" itself, now abstracted as a non-physical in this example, and all of this activity is turned into a universal form as "Brain; (non-physicals)."

    Do I appear to get it?
  • Mark Nyquist

    It took me a while parsing all the words but I think you got my meaning...

    Just to make sure ...by universal form I mean such things as the long list I gave at the beginning. Each item conforms to universal form.

    The notation is an attempt to show how these items exist in physical reality.

    A birdseye view would give,

    Physical matter ........................As it exists


    Brain; (Physical matter)..........As brain state only

    So in troubleshooting you understand there are two options. Of course we really don't have a true birdseye view because we must do this with our brains.

    In the list I gave all the items are mental only, not physical objects so it takes some examination.

    If I messed that up ask again.
  • Mark Nyquist
    I can expand non-physical for you.

    Brain; (non-physical)

    Such things as,

    Brain; (the future)

    Because the future is a known non-physical.

    Doing math is manipulating non-physicals.
  • Fire Ologist
    So this conversation, between two brains, conveying the idea of Universal Form, is itself two instances of Brain; (insert appropriate mental/non-physical).
  • Mark Nyquist

    I can diagram it generally:

    My Brain; (the idea of Universal Form)--->My Brain, Muscles physically encoded to matter--->electronically transmitted physical signal (not information as commonly defined)--->Your Eyes, Brain; (decoded and received idea of Universal Form)

    My brain holds information in Universal Form and your brain holds information in Universal Form and we both know how to encode and decode by the English language so information is brain internal only. My version of things.
  • Mark Nyquist
    The subject of mathematical objects comes up here often and they fit well into Universal Form.

    So Brain; (what the brain supports)


    Brain; (mathematical objects)

    The subject of infinities has been covered and can be used as an example.

    A little better example is numbers that need to be discovered through mental process like pi or trigonometric ratios. They exist in no form prior the being 'extracted' using mental manipulation.
    Since the numbers are ultimately fixed in their form it becomes a process of a brain conforming to a number and not a brain creating a number.

    This is an easy application of Universal Form and should be the basis for a philosophy of mathematics.

    Since there is some math interest here I thought I'd cover that.

    I sometimes see the misperception that these objects have always existed. Without this basic form they actually do not exist.
  • Mark Nyquist
    Cataloging mathematical objects,

    Mathematical objects take the physical form of,

    Brain; (mathematical object)

    Some specific types discussed recently are:

    Brain; ( fixed mathematical object)
    Such as pi, i, e, √2, √3. Discovered by the process of precedence.

    Brain; (defined mathematical object)
    Such as defined sets.
    May exist or not exist as mathematical objects as derived from a definition.
    The Russell set is a non-existent mathematical object.
    A proposed defined mathematical object can be explored and determined to exist or not exist.

    Brain; (conceptual mathematical object)
    Such as concepts applied to the various ideas of infinity.

    These may or may not be extraneous in performing math operations but may be helpful in some cases. Again, this gives a physical basis for how mathematics exists physically and is built up from brain state.
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