• T Clark
    2.8k
    Let me if I can summarize the discussion. Matter is made of parts which each part has a set of properties. For example electron has, charge, mass, spin, position and motion. The properties of the system however is a function of its parts' properties. There is always an observable which is defined as average of properties of parts. Let me give you an example: Think of pressure that a gas exerts to the wall of container. Pressure is an observable. It is related to average force which atoms/molecules of gas exert to the wall of container. That is true for any other observable such as density, average velocity, temperature, and more complex things such as conductivity in more complex system such as superconductor, etc. In all these physical examples an observable in macro scale is expressed in term of average properties of the parts. There is no such a thing as emergence in physics.bahman

    I don't have any problem with the examples you provide, except they are not examples of emergence. They are examples of statistical mechanics. Those are completely different things.

    Also, forgive me for being a nitpicker, but temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles, not force. I recognize that doesn't affect the point you're trying to make.
  • bahman
    530
    For what regards consciousness which is a side topic one can argue that it is impossible to measure it.
    — bahman

    The smallest measurement possible is a token of presence : if you can't measure something, you either haven't defined it well enough for measurement, or there is nothing at all there to measure.
    Akanthinos

    It is not about being small or large. Consciousness is a first person phenomena so you cannot measure it from third person view. All which you can observe is motion of electrons if consciousness is really related to motion of electron which in my opinion it doesn't have any relation.

    We were discussion whether electron for example is conscious. He answered yes. Then I question how a unique consciousness is possible when all parts of your body are conscious separately?
    — bahman

    Then my answer still holds, despite not being about electrons. A unique consciousness is possible through the passive synthesis of our inputs, when it is acheived. If it is not, and perhaps it is the normal state of affairs for certain living beings, then you truly have multiple consciousness related to different body parts in a single organism. There is nothing a priori wrong with this, and there is no deep philosophical connection to make with this, except perhaps in regards to the fact that, seemingly, most living beings do unify their experiential data into a single "stream of consciousness".
    Akanthinos

    The question is how a unified subjective experience is possible when each part experience different thing. You are not providing an answer to that.

    Well, this thread was about emergence. I argue that it is impossible.
    — bahman

    I've already shown you why your, let's say, your meriology doesn't represent O'Connors type of causal asynchronous emergence, but it doesn't represent the standard supervenience account of emergence either.
    Akanthinos

    I am not claiming that emergence of any kind is possible. I am claiming that any property of a system is a function of properties of system's parts. There is nothing extra. I would be happy to know an example rather than consciousness.

    In your account, all properties are defined en bloc, at once, with no regards to dynamic relations. In the standard supervenience account, it becomes necessary to define further subsets of Pi, where each of those subsets may also be attributed properties. The relational properties of those subsets are seen, by virtue of their structural peculiarity, as equally primitive as those properties we generally would define as primitives. Since the effects described are not technically the result of causal relationships, but of relationships betweens sets of causally entangled properties, they are additionnally often not described as 'causal' events, but rather as 'synchronous' events.Akanthinos

    Dynamic is important and I included it as a property of parts.
  • bahman
    530
    I don't have any problem with the examples you provide, except they are not examples of emergence. They are examples of statistical mechanics. Those are completely different things.T Clark

    Can you give me an example, except than consciousness, of a property of a system that is not function of properties of system's parts?

    Also, forgive me for being a nitpicker, but temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles, not force. I recognize that doesn't affect the point you're trying to make.T Clark

    I am aware of that and I didn't say that temperature is related to force.
  • T Clark
    2.8k
    Can you give me an example, except than consciousness, of a property of a system that is not function of properties of system's parts?bahman

    The other example I gave was life.

    I am aware of that and I didn't say that temperature is related to force.bahman

    You're right.
  • aporiap
    63
    Dynamic is important and I included it as a property of parts.

    This idea is problematic, relations are not intrinsic properties of parts.

    As a quick example, the words 'Dog' and 'God' are composed of the same letters but form different words. The difference is in the relative position of each letter. If you decompose these words into letters, you don't conserve the relations between the parts and so you loose the properties intrinsic to the whole word (that it sounds like 'dog' vs 'god'; that it means 'dog' and not 'god'). You can make the same point with molecular systems -- e.g. constitutional isomers. These are compounds that are formed of the same atoms but with a different bonding pattern [e.g. 2OH vs H2O2; 1-propanol vs 2-propanol]. It's the bonding pattern in combination with the properties of the constituent atoms that determine the properties of the whole compound.

    Since the relations are unique to the whole and determine the whole's properties, you can make a case for a kind of 'soft' emergence:

    1) The properties of wholes are determined by the parts of a whole and their unique relations with each other [e.g. [behind(x, y); in front of(x, y)]:

    2) A system is reducible if all components are reducible

    3) Relations are not reducible

    Therefore by (1), (2), (3) the properties of wholes are not reducible.
  • Akanthinos
    653
    The question is how a unified subjective experience is possible when each part experience different thing. You are not providing an answer to that.bahman

    That question is essentially like wondering why is it that an entire car is capable of movement when that movement is entirely born out of motion of its parts. It is not terribly relevant philosophically. In General System terms, it marks the difference between an output of a part of the system, and an output of the system itself, that is all.

    Can you give me an example, except than consciousness, of a property of a system that is not function of properties of system's parts?bahman

    Urban traffic, movements in flock of birds, hell, even hashtags and retweets.
  • bahman
    530
    The other example I gave was life.T Clark

    Life simply is what you call statistical mechanic when you subtract consciousness from it. It doesn't think and it doesn't have any feeling either. You know that sperm follow the path toward egg because of distribution of chemical, etc.
  • bahman
    530
    This idea is problematic, relations are not intrinsic properties of parts.aporiap

    I just put them in the same package giving them a name. What you wishes?

    As a quick example, the words 'Dog' and 'God' are composed of the same letters but form different words. The difference is in the relative position of each letter. If you decompose these words into letters, you don't conserve the relations between the parts and so you loose the properties intrinsic to the whole word (that it sounds like 'dog' vs 'god'; that it means 'dog' and not 'god'). You can make the same point with molecular systems -- e.g. constitutional isomers. These are compounds that are formed of the same atoms but with a different bonding pattern [e.g. 2OH vs H2O2; 1-propanol vs 2-propanol]. It's the bonding pattern in combination with the properties of the constituent atoms that determine the properties of the whole compound.aporiap

    Yes, and there is no emergence up to here.

    Since the relations are unique to the whole and determine the whole's properties, you can make a case for a kind of 'soft' emergence:

    1) The properties of wholes are determined by the parts of a whole and their unique relations with each other [e.g. [behind(x, y); in front of(x, y)]:

    2) A system is reducible if all components are reducible

    3) Relations are not reducible

    Therefore by (1), (2), (3) the properties of wholes are not reducible.
    aporiap

    What do you mean with relations are not reducible?
  • bahman
    530
    The question is how a unified subjective experience is possible when each part experience different thing. You are not providing an answer to that.
    — bahman

    That question is essentially like wondering why is it that an entire car is capable of movement when that movement is entirely born out of motion of its parts. It is not terribly relevant philosophically. In General System terms, it marks the difference between an output of a part of the system, and an output of the system itself, that is all.
    Akanthinos

    No, the problem of emergence of a unique consciousness is different from example you gave.

    Can you give me an example, except than consciousness, of a property of a system that is not function of properties of system's parts?
    — bahman

    Urban traffic, movements in flock of birds, hell, even hashtags and retweets.
    Akanthinos

    Of course urban traffic is a function of number of cars and structure of road. We are dealing with conscious beings in movements in flock of birds...
  • Akanthinos
    653
    No, the problem of emergence of a unique consciousness is different from example you gave.bahman

    No, it's essentially the same. See, I too I'm allowed to disagree without arguments, and it doesn't move the conversation along anymore than you! Yeah! :confused:

    Of course urban traffic is a function of number of cars and structure of road.bahman

    The structure of a city isn't planned ahead in block, contrary to what peeps in Urban Dev might tell you. Modern cities have evolved from multiple neighbourhoods merging together, each with their own initial planning (or lack of planning), driving bylaws and specifications due to the make-up of the area. Traffic is an emerging feature from the interrelations of the properties of each of those categories.
12345Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.