• apokrisis
    3.8k
    I'm stifling a yawn. How could your replies become so anodyne so fast?
  • Agustino
    11k
    I'm stifling a yawn. How could your replies become so anodyne so fast?
    2
    apokrisis
    Oh? So my remarks regarding your philosophy's incapacity to reach the level of ontology isn't something you disagree with? Fine. I never knew you had such small ambitions ;)
  • Agustino
    11k
    To clarify this, as I said before, I hold no issue with you if you want to tell us that vagueness exists at the level of the model or the map. But I do have an issue if you want to claim that vagueness is ontological, and exists at the level of the terrain, not just of the map.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    But I do have an issue if you want to claim that vagueness is ontological, and exists at the level of the terrain, not just of the mAgustino

    Well you would have to make that argument then. So far you have only told me about your own map of the territory. And that turned out to have separated togethernesses.
  • Agustino
    11k
    Well you would have to make that argument then. So far you have only told me about your own map of the territory. And that turned out to have separated togethernesses.apokrisis
    Well, I will make an argument once you explain to me how you go from the vagueness in the map to vagueness in the territory. I'm looking to see how you derive your ontological vagueness at this point. We've arrived at there being some vagueness in the map. How do we go from this epistemological vagueness to the ontological one? This may be a more productive route given the way none of the other routes have worked with you so far.

    As for the argument you want - I've already made the argument you're looking for, namely that vagueness in the territory is contradictory and impossible. That is because any sort of potentiality always presupposes an actuality which is prior to it. You've gone over this with MU in this thread, and with me in another older thread a few weeks ago. There cannot be any primordial chaos, infinite potential, vagueness and the like - some minimal degree of order and act are always required.

    Now, what problems do you have with that argument (and with how it was expressed starting with Aristotle)? By means of what would an infinite potential, in the absence of act, actualise itself? In concrete terms, why would there be any sort of fluctuation in the first place if there is a necessarily inert vagueness in the first place? If there is a fluctuation it seems to me like there is some act already. A fluctuation isn't a potency. And please don't answer me with "Why wouldn't there be a fluctuation, what's there to stop it?" -_- . Because if you answer that way, I will ask why a fluctuation and not something else, what's there to stop it?
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    I will make an argument once you explain to me how you go from the vagueness in the map to vagueness in the territory.Agustino

    The usual way. Measurement.

    For instance, engineers are always telling me that my definite models of reality turn out not to fit the world in vague ways. Quantum wavefunctions still need to be collapsed. Chaos turns out to forget its initial conditions. The way the maps keep failing look to be trying to tell me something deep about the essential spontaneity of the territory.
  • Agustino
    11k
    For instance, engineers are always telling me that my definite models of reality turn out not to fit the world in vague ways. Quantum wavefunctions still need to be collapsed. Chaos turns out to forget its initial conditions. The way the maps keep failing look to be trying to tell me something deep about the essential spontaneity of the territory.apokrisis
    Aha! Exactly. Now we're getting onto something. So the phenomenon is very similar to this.

    When we're attempting to apply our models to reality at the smallest scales possible (and wherever behaviour is non-linear and chaotic) we notice that we're unable to predict what will happen, even though the phenomena - according to our laws - are entirely determinate.

    So our models do not fit the world, in all sorts of "spontaneous" and unpredictable, vague ways. So from this fact, to your conclusion, there are still some steps required. Namely, you have to show us how we go from this fact of being unable to model certain aspects of reality concretely, to there being a vagueness in reality. Clearly there is a vagueness in the models - they provide vague answers, which differ spontaneously and in unpredictable, vague ways from reality.

    But just like in the case of the coastline paradox, you cannot extend the mathematical conception of space - where space, for example, is infinitely divisible, and hence it becomes impossible to determine the length of some fractals whose limit diverges to infinity when you attempt to calculate it using the mathematical methods we have at our disposal today - you cannot extend this mathematical conception to real space. That's an unwarranted assumption, and it would be wise to suspect the mathematical model to be responsible for the vagueness and not reality. Reality is not vague, but it's not vague in a way that we cannot know.

    So in a similar manner and by analogy, you wouldn't suspect reality to be responsible for the vagueness that is noticed by the lack of correspondence between your expectations - as given by the model - and the reality.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    There cannot be any primordial chaos, infinite potential, vagueness and the like - some minimal degree of order and act are always required.Agustino

    You mean like a fluctuation?

    If there is a fluctuation it seems to me like there is some act already.Agustino

    And a direction too. The degree of order is also minimal, remember.

    why would there be any sort of fluctuation in the first place if there is a necessarily inert vagueness in the first place?Agustino

    Why would inertness be necessary? The very fact something exists shows that by necessity it couldn't be.

    Of course vagueness doesn't even exist according to your own map of reality. You rely on God to kick things off. Or divine circular motion to swirl things about. Or something equally bizarre.
  • Agustino
    11k
    You mean like a fluctuation?apokrisis
    Surely it could be a fluctuation I do not care what it is for the purposes of this discussion, but it must be something actual, not an infinite potential, vagueness and the like.

    Why would inertness be necessary?apokrisis
    Because you want it to be an infinite potential, a vagueness where no act is present. If that's the case, then it is necessarily inert since it cannot actualise itself. Its chaos - as it were - prevents it from creating anything spontaneously, even a fluctuation. That's how chaotic it is.

    The very fact something exists shows that by necessity it couldn't be.apokrisis
    Yes, and this was Aristotle's argument to show the primacy of act over potency in his metaphysics.

    Of course vagueness doesn't even exist according to your own map of reality. You rely on God to kick things off. Or divine circular motion to swirl things about. Or something equally bizarre.apokrisis
    You can rely on the fluctuation, but you cannot rely on the infinite vagueness to account for the fluctuation. If you want, the fluctuation can be a brute fact in yours - that's not a problem within the constraints of this discussion. But you cannot rely on the infinite vagueness. So scratch that out. That's the mythological element. The beginning point is a fluctuation for you, as for science actually. Science cannot get beyond that assuming that there is even a beyond.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    Aha! Exactly. Now we're getting onto something. So the phenomenon is very similar to this.Agustino

    Sure. You get infinite outcomes if your model offers no lower bound cut-off to limit material contributions. So your example illustrates my points quite nicely. Our measurements coarse grain over fractal reality. We are happy to approximate in this fashion. And then even reality itself coarse grains. The possibility of contributions must be definitely truncated at some scale - like the Planck scale - to avoid an ultraviolet catastrophe. Vagueness is required at the base of things to prevent the disaster of infinite actualisation.

    Also how much do you understand fractals? Note how they arise from a seed dichotomy, a symmetry breaking or primal fluctuation. That is what the recursive equation with its log/log growth structure represents.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    Surely it could be a fluctuation I do not care what it is for the purposes of this discussion, but it must be something actual, not an infinite potential, vagueness and the like.Agustino

    As the first fluctuation, it would have as yet no context. History follows the act.

    So as I said before, the fluctuation is the birth of both material action and formal direction. But it takes longer for direction to seem firmly established as that requires a history of repetition.

    It seems the mistake you keep making is to forget I am arguing for the actualisation of a dichotomy - the birth of matter and form in a first substantial event. You just keep talking about the material half of the equation.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    Note the more subtle point about fractals. As a dichotomous growth process, they directly model this issue of convergence towards a limit that I stressed in earlier posts.

    Think about the implications of that for a theory of cosmic origination. It argues that a world that can arise from a symmetry breaking - a going in both its dichotomous directions freely - does in fact have its own natural asymptotic cut off point. The Planck scale Big Bang is not a problem but a prediction. Run a constantly diverging process back in time to recover its initial conditions and you must see it converging at a point at the beginning of time.

    This has in fact been argued as a theorem in relation to Linde's fractal spawning multiverse hypothesis. So if inflation happens to be true and our universe is only one of a potential infinity, the maths still says the history of the multiverse must converge at some point at the beginning of time. It is a truly general metaphysical result.

    Another way to illustrate this is how we derive the constant of growth itself - e. Run growth backwards and it must converge on some unit 1 process that started doing the growing. Thus what begins things has no actual size. It is always just 1 - the bare potential of whatever fluctuation got things started. So a definite growth constant emerges without needing any starting point more definite than a fleeting one-ness.

    So from a variety of mathematical arguments we find that any tale of infinitely diverging processes tells us conversely also the tale of a convergence to some necessary cut-off limit. Run history backwards and we must arrive at a common point.
  • Agustino
    11k
    As the first fluctuation, it would have as yet no context. History follows the act.apokrisis
    Okay, no disagreement there.

    It seems the mistake you keep making is to forget I am arguing for the actualisation of a dichotomy - the birth of matter and form in a first substantial event. You just keep talking about the material half of the equation.apokrisis
    It's difficult to make sense of what you're trying to say here because you're using words differently from Aristotle it seems to me. Matter is inert, it is form which is act, and actualises. So form is imposed on the inert matter (which is potential), and this form would be the fluctuation. But note that form must be independent to and prior to matter.

    You get infinite outcomes if your model offers no lower bound cut-off to limit material contributions.apokrisis
    Right, so then the mathematical concept of space as infinitely divisible isn't how real space actually is. It's important to see this.

    Our measurements coarse grain over fractal reality. We are happy to approximate in this fashion. And then even reality itself coarse grains. The possibility of contributions must be definitely truncated at some scale - like the Planck scale - to avoid an ultraviolet catastrophe.apokrisis
    Yeah, so reality eliminates all those infinities that are inherent in our mathematical models. Our initial predictions that blackbodies would emit infinite amounts of UV were based on the mistake in our mathematical model of assuming an infinite continuity going all the way down, while the truth is that things are cut off at one point, they become discrete.

    Vagueness is required at the base of things to prevent the disaster of infinite actualisation.apokrisis
    I don't follow this.

    Also how much do you understand fractals? Note how they arise from a seed dichotomy, a symmetry breaking or primal fluctuation. That is what the recursive equation with its log/log growth structure represents.apokrisis
    Well that's a metaphorical way to put it regarding the "primal fluctuation". They do arise from a symmetry breaking, or rather that the process of constructing a fractal involves a symmetry breaking. Regarding the recursive eq, are you talking about fractal dimensionality? As in log(number copies)/log(scale factor)?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.9k
    But another example of the vagueness/PNC~generality/LEM dichotomy which is basic to his logic is the triangle. A triangle is a general concept that forms a continuum limit - a global constraint - that then can't be exhausted by its particular instances. An infinite variety of particular triangles can be embraced by the general notion of a triangle.

    So the LEM does not apply to this generality as a triangle can, in genus~species fashion, be equilateral, isosceles, or scalene. Of course the triangle must be a three-sided polygon, but that is talking of a still higher level generality of which it now partakes as a definite particular.
    apokrisis

    OK, so the concept of a triangle is "a plane figure with three sides and angles". Let me see if I can figure out how the LEM does not apply here. You say that any particular triangle, must be one of a number of different types of triangles. Where does the LEM not apply? It doesn't make sense to say that the concept of triangle in general must be a particular type of triangle, just like it doesn't make sense to say that the concept of animal, in general must be a particular type of animal. So it's just a case of categorical separation. It doesn't make sense to attribute a species to the genus, that's a category error, not a failure of the LEM. If we insist that the concept of colour must be either red or not red, and find that this is impossible, it is not that the LEM does not apply, it is a simple category mistake.

    Then vagueness is defined dichotomously to the general. Where generality allows you to say any particular triangle can be either scalene or isosceles, vagueness speaks to the indefinite case where there is as yet no triangle specified and so there is no fact of the matter as to whether it is scalene or isosceles. It is not a contradiction to say the potential triangle is both.apokrisis

    This I can't make any sense of. We have the concept of triangle. Your claim seems to be that if there is no particular triangle, then this particular triangle the potential triangle, may be both scalene and isosceles. I'm sorry to have to disappoint you, but yes, this is contradictory. Don't you see that you are saying that there is no particular triangle, then you say that this particular triangle, the potential triangle, which has already been denied, is both. Don't you see that to affirm something and deny it, both, is contradiction? To say that there is the potential for a triangle which is either isosceles or scalene, is not the same thing as saying that there is a potential triangle which is both. The latter affirms that there is a particular triangle, the potential triangle, which is both isosceles and scalene. And that's contradictory nonsense.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    It's difficult to make sense of what you're trying to say here because you're using words differently from Aristotle it seems to me.Agustino

    Well yes. I must have spent quite a few pages in this thread making it plain that my claim is that prime matter would be an active and not inert principle. Then the prime mover would not be an active principle in the normal sense of effective cause, just "active" in the sense of an emergent limiting constraint on free material action.

    There are quite a few difference I would have with a scholastic understanding of Aristotelean metaphysics. That was rather the point.

    Matter is inert, it is form which is act, and actualises. So form is imposed on the inert matter (which is potential), and this form would be the fluctuation. But note that form must be independent to and prior to matter.Agustino

    Now you are repeating what I have disputed. And I have provided the rationale for my position. So instead of just citing scholastic aristoteleanism to me, as if that could make a difference, just move on and consider my actual arguments.

    Right, so then the mathematical concept of space as infinitely divisible isn't how real space actually is. It's important to see this.Agustino

    It is also important to see that Peirce's mathematical conceptions are based on the duality of generality and vagueness. So you can both have a general continuum limit and also find that it has potential infinity in terms of its divisibility. In fact, you've got to have both.

    And funnily enough, real space is like that. Just look at how we have to have the duality of general relativity and quantum mechanics to account for it fully. One describes the global continuity of the constraints, the other, the local infinite potential, the inherent uncertainty that just keeps giving.

    Yeah, so reality eliminates all those infinities that are inherent in our mathematical models. Our initial predictions that blackbodies would emit infinite amounts of UV were based on the mistake in our mathematical model of assuming an infinite continuity going all the way down, while the truth is that things are cut off at one point, they become discrete.Agustino

    It amusing that you talk about this as some mathematical mistake.

    You are trying to paint yourself as the commonsense engineer that is never going to be fooled by these crazy theoretical types with their dreadful unrealistic mathematical models. And yet an engineer has a metaphysics. He believes in a world of clockwork Newtonian forces. That is the right maths. And on the whole it works because the universe - at the scale at which the engineer operates - is pretty much just "classical". There is no ontic vagueness to speak of.

    Of course, the beam will buckle unpredictably. An engineer has to know the practical limits of his classically-inspired mathematical tools. The engineer will say in theory, every micro-cause contributing to the failure of the beam could be modelled by sufficiently complex "non-linear" equations. The issue of coarse graining - the fact that eventually the engineer will insert himself into the modelling as the observer to decide when to just average over the events in each region of space - is brushed off as a necessary heuristic and not an epistemic embarrassment.

    Even proof that the model can't be computed in polynomial time won't dent the confidence of "a real engineer". Good enough is close enough. Which is why real world engineering projects fail so regularly.

    So forget your engineer's classically-inspired commonsense understanding of maths here. Peirce was after something much deeper, much more metaphysically sophisticated.

    Regarding the recursive eq, are you talking about fractal dimensionality? As in log(number copies)/log(scale factor)?Agustino

    Yes.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    You say that any particular triangle, must be one of a number of different types of triangles. Where does the LEM not apply?Metaphysician Undercover

    Of course the LEM applies to any particular triangle. It doesn't apply to the notion of the general triangle.

    It doesn't make sense to say that the concept of triangle in general must be a particular type of triangle,Metaphysician Undercover

    Exactly.

    It doesn't make sense to attribute a species to the genus, that's a category error, not a failure of the LEM.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yep. The LEM fails to apply. It doesn't even make sense to think it could. It is definitional of generality that it doesn't.

    Your claim seems to be that if there is no particular triangle, then this particular triangle the potential triangle, may be both scalene and isosceles.Metaphysician Undercover

    Before a particular triangle has been drawn, it may be scalene or isosceles. That is the potential. And so while still just a potential, it is not contradictory to say this potential triangle is as much one as the other. That is, what it actually will be is right at this moment vague - as defined by the PNC not being applicable and any proposition that pretends otherwise being a logical failure.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.9k
    Of course the LEM applies to any particular triangle. It doesn't apply to the notion of the general triangle.apokrisis

    The laws of logic are rules of predication, how we attribute predicates to a subject. If your subject is the general notion of a triangle, the rules apply. The subject is identified as the triangle, by the law of identity, and the other two rules of predication apply.

    The LEM fails to apply. It doesn't even make sense to think it could. It is definitional of generality that it doesn't.apokrisis

    It is only when you define "generality" in the odd way which you do, as a potential particular, that the laws of logic might fail to apply. But this definition is a category mistake because there is a well respected categorical separation between the general and the particular, and you seem to define the general as a type of particular.

    You justify this denial of the categorical separation by claiming that the distinction between general and particular is relative only. The triangle is general in relation to isosceles but particular in relation to geometrical figure. But all you have here is relations of generalities. You have not identified a particular. The PNC and LEM rely on the law of identity, the identification of a subject. Until you ,move to identify a particular, it is a foregone conclusion that the laws of logic do not apply.

    So you can talk about your generalities all you want, and how the laws of logic are inapplicable to your talk about generalities, but this is just an epistemic failure on your part. It is a failure to identify a particular in order to move forward using the laws of logic. These claims you make about generalities have no ontological bearing, because there is no evidence that such unidentifiable generalities exist anywhere but in the indecisive human mind. And when you move to identify "generality" as a particular thing with ontological status, like apeiron, vagueness, or pure potential, we can apply the principles of logic, despite the fact that you do not want us to, and will not listen to our conclusions.

    Before a particular triangle has been drawn, it may be scalene or isosceles.apokrisis

    Don't you see this as nonsense? There is no triangle. It hasn't been drawn, it isn't even conceived of in the mind of a person who might draw it. Yet you say that it may be scalene or isosceles. That's nonsense, there is nothing there. If you instruct a person to draw a triangle, we might say that the person has these options, but that is not to say that there is a potential triangle which is both scalene and isosceles.

    And so while still just a potential, it is not contradictory to say this potential triangle is as much one as the other. That is, what it actually will be is right at this moment vague - as defined by the PNC not being applicable and any proposition that pretends otherwise being a logical failure.apokrisis

    That's nothing but irrational nonsense. You have identified the potential for a triangle, a person might draw a triangle. From here, you want to identify the triangle which might be drawn, and say that since it's not drawn yet, it's both isosceles and scalene. But that's nonsense, because the person might draw a square or a circle, or nothing at all.

    The triangle is identified as potential, and this means that its existence is contingent. If its existence is contingent, then it may or may not be. If there is reason to believe that the existence of the triangle will be necessitated (the person was instructed to draw a triangle), we can consider the possibilities. It may be isosceles, it may be scalene, etc.. But to say that there is an identified triangle, the "potential triangle", and it "is as much one as the other", is pure nonsense, because what is actually the case is that the probability for one triangle is equal to the probability for the other triangle.

    Therefore there is not an identified "potential triangle" which consists of all the contrary possibilities. There is the possibility for many different triangles, contrary triangles. Each potential triangle has features which are consistent with the laws of logic. So we can adequately describe the situation without the irrational nonsense which insists that the laws of logic do not apply. The situation of "potential triangle" is treated as the possibility for many different triangles, as well as other things, each consistent with the laws of logic. It is not treated as one triangle which has features which are inconsistent with the laws of logic. The latter is irrational nonsense, and there is no need for the claim that laws of logic do not apply.
  • Agustino
    11k
    Sorry Apo, been very busy, will try to get to your comments here in the next few hours.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    The laws of logic are rules of predication, how we attribute predicates to a subject. If your subject is the general notion of a triangle, the rules apply. The subject is identified as the triangle, by the law of identity, and the other two rules of predication apply.Metaphysician Undercover

    You are avoiding the point. Peirce is dealing with how the laws could even develop. You are talking about the laws as they would apply when the world has crisply developed, when everything is mostly a collection of objects, a settled state of affairs, a set of atomistic facts.

    So sure, generals can have universality predicated of them. They can be said to cover all instances of some class. They can themselves be regarded as particular subjects. That is what make sense once a world has developed and generals come to be crisply fixed within the context of some evolved state of affairs.

    The PNC and LEM rely on the law of identity, the identification of a subject. Until you ,move to identify a particular, it is a foregone conclusion that the laws of logic do not apply.Metaphysician Undercover

    Correct. Except now I'm talking about how crisp particularity itself could develop. It is hylomorphic substantial being. And it develops out of what it is not - vagueness and generality. Peirce's version of prime matter and prime mover.

    So the laws of thought don't apply until they start to do. That is what a developmental ontology is claiming. Peirce described the Cosmos as the universal growth of reasonableness. The lawfulness the laws encode are the product of evolution and self organisation.

    There is no point you just telling me you don't see the laws as a product of development. I already know that you just presume their natural existence. You have never inquired how the laws might come to be as the result of a larger ur-logical process.

    So why not set aside your predudices and actually consider an alternative metaphysics for once? Make a proper effort to understand Peirce rather than simply assert that existence exists and that's the end of it.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.9k
    You are avoiding the point. Peirce is dealing with how the laws could even develop. You are talking about the laws as they would apply when the world has crisply developed, when everything is mostly a collection of objects, a settled state of affairs, a set of atomistic facts.

    So sure, generals can have universality predicated of them. They can be said to cover all instances of some class. They can themselves be regarded as particular subjects. That is what make sense once a world has developed and generals come to be crisply fixed within the context of some evolved state of affairs.
    apokrisis

    The laws of logic were produced, and developed by human beings. They are human statements of how to proceed in logical process. Surely they have only existed in an evolved state of affairs. The claim that there was a time when the universe didn't consist of a collection of objects would need to be justified. The logical principles, and evidence which would be used to justify this claim would provide information as to whether this universe without particulars would consist of anything like what we call generalities. As discussed, the logical principles demonstrate that this is an irrational claim. If you have evidence, you should describe it, rather than repeating over and over again assertions about symmetry-breakings.

    So the laws of thought don't apply until they start to do. That is what a developmental ontology is claiming. Peirce described the Cosmos as the universal growth of reasonableness. The lawfulness the laws encode are the product of evolution and self organisation.apokrisis

    The laws of logic are only applied by human beings, who started to apply them a few thousand years ago, along with the development of language. If some human beings believe that there was a time when the universe existed, but its existence cannot be understood by the laws of logic, then the principles for this claim need to be demonstrated, because it appears to be an irrational claim when examined in relation to accepted ontological principles.

    There is no point you just telling me you don't see the laws as a product of development. I already know that you just presume their natural existence. You have never inquired how the laws might come to be as the result of a larger ur-logical process.

    So why not set aside your predudices and actually consider an alternative metaphysics for once? Make a proper effort to understand Peirce rather than simply assert that existence exists and that's the end of it.
    apokrisis

    I see the laws of logic for what they are, principles set down by human beings for the purpose of carrying out logical proceedings. There is no question of whether they are naturally occurring, that would be a very odd thought, because they are clearly artificial.

    As for making an effort to properly understand Peirce, you've referred me to some of his papers in the past, and I've determined some mistakes, one of which we are going over in this thread. So you should actually set aside some of your Peircean bias, to consider these problems in a reasonable way.
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