Metaphysics

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Nice post! :smile:
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As to causation; it is axiomatic just because events cannot be understood non-causally.

Nicely put! Thank you for expressing it in that way, which I hadn't thought of. :up:
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mathematically speaking, consider " t " to be Plank time , wouldn't t/2 be shorter than that.

I think the Planck time is the time it takes for something travelling at the speed of light to traverse the Planck length. From this we reason that nothing can happen in a time less than the Planck time. I think I have that right, but I'm open to correction? :chin:
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@Janus, @T Clark, @Wayfarer: thanks all for your opinions on causality. Interesting ideas; food for further thought. [ I wish they'd come up in the topic I created a while ago, concerning the axiom of causation.] :up:
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I dont think science will have much of a problem with regards to the confusion behind the cause as scientists have some effective method of ruling out many causes to focus on the cause which is essential.

Are you saying that scientists simply filter out the lesser contributors to cause so that they can focus on just the one (even if it is the biggest one)? Ignoring and 'simplifying' reality in favour of calculability (if that's a word)? Perhaps I have misunderstood?
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How could one compare one model of the OR with any other.

My point (as it applies to these words) is that one can't.
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But if scientists can't approach the OR at all, then presumably he can't either. So why would any model be better than any other? How does he get a model of the OR?

My so-called model of OR is that we - all humans, past, present and future - know nothing of it, other than that it exists. Not really worthy of the term "model", is it? :wink: More of a non-model, really. It is simply an acknowledgement of our inability to obtain - by any means - Objective knowledge.

My point was that scientists definitely consider themselves to be finding out things about objective reality.

And my point is that they are mistaken if they believe they have discovered Objective knowledge. For simplicity, I'm ignoring the possibility that Objective knowledge is discovered unknowingly. For it is not then known by the discoverer to be Objective, nor can the discoverer demonstrate the correctness of her discovery to Objective standards.

If you cannot or will not accept this, then please answer this question: what means do scientists have to exercise Objective perception? It cannot be their own, human, perception, as we are easily able to demonstrate its (many) shortfalls. So what is this magical means that scientists have, to discover the undiscoverable?
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My so-called model of OR is that we - all humans, past, present and future - know nothing of it, other than that is exists. Not really worthy of the term "model", is it? :wink: More of a non-model, really. It is simply an acknowledgement of our inability to obtain - by any means - Objective knowledge.

I sympathize with this point of view.
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other people, causation, reality, other people's perception, those are all part of the OR.

In absolute terms, this is - must be - true. But if you are a brain in a vat, your connection to OR is less direct than you think it is. I challenge your assertion that these things are "all part of the OR". I do not assert that you are wrong, I assert that you have no way to demonstrate, to Objective standards, the knowledge you just claimed. Please explain how you have sufficient (and Objective) access to OR that you can justifiably make any claim about what is or is not part of OR. :chin:
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My personal approach is that OR is modeled by observing, perceiving, and measuring AR.

...and if you are a brain in a vat? Would you not then be modelling the 'reality' the vat-maintainers send to you? :chin:
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..and if you are a brain in a vat? Would you not then be modelling the 'reality' the vat-maintainers send to you? :chin:

I take it on faith that I’m not a brain in a vat or an AI in a simulation. It’s my opinion.
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Given that AR is the only 'reality' we have access to, we all must make some assumptions and move on. But I find, for reasons of mental hygiene, nothing more, that I'm happier admitting my own ignorance. Your opinion leads you differently, which I respect, by the way. But in the end: AR is ... whatever it is. OR is a mystery, except that it exists.
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This is over my head. I suspect I’m not the only one confused about it, though.

The sun is not the same sun as it was a trillionth of a second ago, although to us a semblance of the ‘sun’ remains.

There are, strictly speaking, no objects that are identical with themselves over time, and so the temporal sequence probably remains open.

Nature is then no longer seen as clockwork, but only as a ‘possibility gestalt’, the whole world occurring anew each moment; however, the deeper reality from which the world arises, in each case, acts as a unity in the sense of an indivisible ‘potentiality’, which can perhaps realize itself in many possible ways, it not being a strict sum of the partial states.

It appears to us, though, that the world consists of parts that have continued on from “a moment ago”, and thus still retain their identity in time; yet, matter likely only appears secondarily as a congealed potentiality, a congealed gestalt, as it were.

(Maybe)
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I think it would really help to study this question in terms of history rather than philosophy - or rather, through the perspective of the history of ideas.

'History of ideas' sounds a rather generic description, but actually it refers to a specific academic sub-discipline. It is a field of research in history that deals with the expression, preservation, and change of human ideas over time.

So why it's important, is that it allows us to understand these ideas in a cultural and historical context. In particular, the fundamental shift that happened in Western thinking revolved around the 'scientific revolution', precipitated by, among others, Francis Bacon, Galileo, Newton, and Descartes. Viewed through that historical perspective, the huge change in Western thinking was precisely around the shift towards objective measurement as the basis of science. Earlier science had been based on inductive reasoning and intuition - not without its merits, but deficient in terms of dealing with actual facts.

Modern science emerged in the seventeenth century with two fundamental ideas: planned experiments (Francis Bacon) and the mathematical representation of relations among phenomena (Galileo). This basic experimental-mathematical epistemology evolved until, in the first half of the twentieth century, it took a stringent form involving (1) a mathematical theory constituting scientific knowledge, (2) a formal operational correspondence between the theory and quantitative empirical measurements, and (3) predictions of future measurements based on the theory. The “truth” (validity) of the theory is judged based on the concordance between the predictions and the observations. While the epistemological details are subtle and require expertise relating to experimental protocol, mathematical modeling, and statistical analysis, the general notion of scientific knowledge is expressed in these three requirements.

Science is neither rationalism nor empiricism. It includes both in a particular way. In demanding quantitative predictions of future experience, science requires formulation of mathematical models whose relations can be tested against future observations. Prediction is a product of reason, but reason grounded in the empirical. Hans Reichenbach summarizes the connection: “Observation informs us about the past and the present, reason foretells the future". 1
— E. R. Dougherty

And that's a major part of the context within which many of the debates on this forum take place. A lot of people (understandably, but incorrectly, in my view) assume that scientific method has superseded classical metaphysics and also undermined religion. But that doesn't see that whilst scientific method is powerful, indeed universal in scope in some respects, it often starts from basic assumptions about what constitutes 'evidence' and indeed what amounts to valid knowledge, that contain an implicit metaphysics - that of scientific realism and naturalism. And it's that attitude which emphasises (not to say 'worships') the notion of there being an Objective Reality, same for all observers, which science is painstakingly exposing, breakthrough by breakthrough, much like the chipping out of the fossilized remnants of a T. Rex from the jurassic layer in the Dakota badlands.

Whereas for some:

Nature is then no longer seen as clockwork, but only as a ‘possibility gestalt’, the whole world occurring anew each moment; however, the deeper reality from which the world arises, in each case, acts as a unity in the sense of an indivisible ‘potentiality’, which can perhaps realize itself in many possible ways, it not being a strict sum of the partial states.

which is actually much nearer the emerging understanding of 'systems theory' informed by biosemiotics and ecological perspectives, not so much built around 'atomic facts' as 'emergent patterns and networks'.
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With regards to a complicated system, l have found the following article whose link is below quite useful. From what l have understood partially is that, a deterministic system can be unpredictable because the uncertainty and the error in the initial measurement of the system will cause drastic change in the calculated outcome.
.... closer look reveals that determinism and predictability are very different notions. In
particular, in recent decades chaos theory has highlighted that deterministic systems can be
unpredictable in various different ways.

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I think the Planck time is the time it takes for something travelling at the speed of light to traverse the Planck length. From this we reason that nothing can happen in a time less than the Planck time. I think I have that right, but I'm open to correction
I think it is more like nothing can happen in less than plank time that has any meaning in the current theoretical framework of physics.
It depends on ones perspective in my opinion. If you regard the current theories of physics to being complete in explaining the universe, then plank time is the shortest time period. I think physics will have to develop a more complete theory which unites the macro world with the quantum world, so there is a possibility for time period being shorter than plank time. To be candid, the possibility is low.
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Are you saying that scientists simply filter out the lesser contributors to cause so that they can focus on just the one (even if it is the biggest one)? Ignoring and 'simplifying' reality in favour of calculability (if that's a word)? Perhaps I have misunderstood?
Yes, l think that was my point. For example when deriving a equation, say PV=nRT. Physicist will make certain assumptions which will simplify the model. Like these assumptions which can be false in certain cases.
– Gases are composed of very small molecules and their number of molecules is very large.
– These molecules are elastic.
– They are negligible size compare to their container.
– Their thermal motions are random.
-- The molecules do not attract/repel each other.
Sometimes the results are not precise as in case of actual molecules ( they occupy space, hence affecting the actual volume, they have attraction between molecules affecting the pressure ) and there we need ,Van der Waals corrected equations. Later on there was Maxwells correction too.
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Are you saying that scientists simply filter out the lesser contributors to cause so that they can focus on just the one (even if it is the biggest one)?

...

Yes, l think that was my point.

Doesn't that make causality a bit, er, indeterminate?
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People often connect determinism and causality but l think they are not that interlinked, we can have a indeterminate system ( if indeterminate system is a unpredictable system ) that is based on cause and effect relation.
Consider the example below , > represents cause.

A>B and B>C,D,E
C>F,G,H D>I,J K E>L,M,N
This system will be complicated as the cause and effect relations will grow exponentially. Let's say at a certain limit the computer cannot track the causes anymore and that will be quick. From that point onwards , we will have an unpredictable system but that which can be traced to a general cause.
For example it wont be correct to say whatever E causes will be caused by A. So we may approximate certain things. It will also be negligible since the systems will gradually become smaller or restricted under A.
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So causality often disappears in the complexity of reality? Yes, I can go with that. :up: Thus causality disappears in practice, but probably not in theory.
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I would go with that too . :smile:
What is your take on the free will debate ?
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That it disappears as causality does, when faced with the real world. In theory, it might be that things are deterministic (and it might not). In practice, I think it appears to us that we have free will.
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How would you explain free will and what does it mean to have a free will ?
Absolute freedom is absurd since everyone interacts with the sense data provided from the world.
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Those who believe that we do not have free will should have problems explaining something that doesn't exit according to them. Similarly those who believe in free will should have problems explaining cause and effect 's relation to freedom.
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Doesn't free will imply freedom to act, but expecting the world to act as it always does? I mean we can't avoid the way the world works just because, with our free will, we decided it should work in some other way. :smile: Is this what you're getting at?

An absolute freedom is absurd since everyone interacts with the sense data provided from the world.

Did I just cover that, in what I said above?
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What do you mean by " freedom " in freedom to act ? :wink: :wink:
mean we can't avoid the way the world works just because, with our free will, we decided it should work in some other way.
:ok: l agree that it works in only one way but what is that way ?

Did I just cover that, in what I said above?
I never implied that it was your stance, l was just going about an extreme form of determinism.
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What do you mean by " freedom " in freedom to act ?

The freedom to do as we wish, constrained only by the world, and the way it is, and the way it behaves. So long as we accept that we can't change the world (with some minor exceptions), we can act as we wish within that world.

l agree that it works in only one way but what is that way ?

The way it is. Just as Objective Reality is that which actually is, so the world, expressed in a rather less rigorous way, is what it is. It follows no laws, and acknowledges no constraints. It just is. So the way of the world is ... the way of the world. The way of the Tao, perhaps. :wink:
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The freedom to do as we wish, constrained only by the world, and the way it is, and the way it behaves. So long as we accept that we can't change the world (with some minor exceptions), we can act as we wish within that world.
Since we are constrained by the world, how does that interfere with our freedom ?
The way it is. Just as Objective Reality is that which actually is, so the world, expressed in a rather less rigorous way, is what it is. It follows no laws, and acknowledges no constraints. It just is. So the way of the world is ... the way of the world. The way of the Tao, perhaps. :wink:
Can you explain objective reality and subjective reality as a concept, l don't really know what's going on here. :grin:
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The world constrains us in that we cannot change most of it, so if we try, we will fail: constraint. It's just like saying we can explore anywhere there's air for us to breathe. :wink:

Objective Reality is the absolute reality; it is what is, and that's all there is to it. It's the view generally adopted by analytic philosophers, sciencists, and the like. It's daft because we cannot knowingly access Objective knowledge, but that's part of another discussion, not this one. :smile: I do not value "subjective reality" as a concept, although I don't deny it or anything....

Will that do? :smile:
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Objective Reality is the absolute reality; it is what is, and that's all there is to it. It's the view generally adopted by analytic philosophers, sciencists, and the like. It's daft because we cannot knowingly access Objective knowledge, but that's part of another discussion, not this one
This reminds me of the opening lines of tractatus logico philosophicus.

1. The world is all that is the case.

1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of things.

1.11 The world is determined by the facts, and by their being all the facts.

1.12 For the totality of facts determines what is the case, and also whatever is not the case.

1.13 The facts in logical space are the world.

1.2 The world divides into facts.

1.21 Each item can be the case or not the case while everything else remains the same.

2. What is the case—a fact—is the existence of states of affairs.

Is this view :up: or :down:
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