• Banno
    8.9k
    That makes no sense to me; as in, your post is opaque.
  • Gnomon
    817
    ↪Gnomon
    That makes no sense to me; as in, your post is opaque.
    Banno
    That's OK. The new paradigm --- that all is Information --- is a radical departure from the conventional scientific worldview of Materialism, and the ancient worldview of Spiritualism. Like Quantum Theory it departs from classical doctrines on reality. It also shifts the meaning of many common terms, such as "space" & "substance". But it is an emerging theory among some prominent scientists.

    If my layman's Enformationism thesis is not your style, you may find the technical and academic approach of physicist Paul Davies and the Santa Fe Institute more to your liking. Davies is a very clear writer, and brings you along gradually to this new perspective on reality. But at first, even his upside-down physics may seem opaque. At Santa Fe think tank, they address fringe subjects, but stick as close as possible to conventional empirical science, while I am free to ad-lib and riff on related philosophical themes. I'm not beholden to any scientific or religious doctrine. :smile:


    Information and the Nature of Reality :From Physics To Metaphysics
    "Many scientists regard mass and energy as the primary currency of nature. In recent years, however, the concept of information has gained importance."
    Ed. by Paul Davies, & Henrik Gregersen

    The Matter Myth: Dramatic Discoveries that Challenge Our Understanding of Physical Reality
    by Paul Davies & John Gribbin

    Space and Time in the Modern Universe
    by Paul Davies

    From Matter to Life : Information and Causality
    Edited by Walker, Davies, and Ellis of Santa Fe Institute
    Note : mostly about information in living organisms
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    I agree with that argument too. Which is why I say the matter of origination can only be solved by adding a logic of vagueness to our metaphysical tool kit.

    Both formal and material cause have to arise in the same moment. They in fact must emerge as the two aspects of a shared symmetry breaking. And time (as spacetime) also emerges.
    apokrisis

    Again, you are ignoring the contradiction involved in "time emerges". Time must already be passing for anything to emerge, so time is necessarily prior to emergence. If space emerges, that's something different from time emerging. Time cannot emerge because that implies time is passing prior to time emerging, in order for this emergence to occur.

    Your idea that formal and material cause must arise together, is the cause of vagueness in your metaphysics. You are not properly distinguishing the active from the passive. When form (as actual, active) is seen as prior to material existence, vagueness succumbs to absolution. Now we have time passing, with active Forms, prior to any material existence. This is the separate realm of non-spatial existence, described by dualism. So it makes no sense to describe this world of immaterial Forms in the spatial terms of physical matter. This is why quantum physics is so inadequate for understanding first principles of ontology, they speculate into the immaterial realm, using empirically derived principles of physics drawn from observations of material existence. One cannot apply the principles of material existence to the immaterial realm, they are distinct. The immaterial is separate and distinct from the material in the very same way that the future is separate and distinct from the past. It is only by denying this separation that vagueness is allowed to enter your metaphysics.

    What we understand, in a mysticism based metaphysics, is that the entire material universe is created anew with each passing moment of time. This is a necessary conclusion derived from the nature of freewill. The freewill has the power to interfere with the continuity of material existence at any moment in time. This indicates that there is no necessary continuity of material existence between past and future. So all material existence must be created anew, from the Forms, at each moment of time. The human will, as final cause has the power to co-determine the material existence which will occur at each moment. The only vagueness is within the lack of understanding which the human mind has.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    Again, you are ignoring the contradiction involved in "time emerges". Time must already be passing for anything to emerge, so time is necessarily prior to emergence.Metaphysician Undercover

    If time is what is emergent, then it is necessary that nothing be happening before it gets started. The idea of "before" becomes the incoherent claim here.

    You presume time to be eternal. Thus there is always a "before". Hence time is proven to be eternal. Your argument is a simple tautology.

    A thermal model of time is about the emergence of a global asymmetry - an arrow of time pointed from the now towards the after - the present towards the future. So the past, the before, is a backwards projection. It is imagining the arrow reversed. And reversed to negative infinity.

    Yet the reality - according to science - is that time travel (in a backward direction) is unphysical. And the Big Bang was an origin point for a thermal arrow of time.

    Yes, we can still ask where the heat to drive that great spatial expansion and thus create an arrow of time, a gradient of change, could have come from. What was "before" that?

    But this is no longer a conventional notion of a temporal "before" anymore than it is a conventional notion of "what could have been hotter" than the Planck heat, or "shorter" than the Planck distance, or "slower" than the speed of light.

    Every such conventional notion fuses at the Planck scale - the scale of physical unification. The asymmetries are turned back into a single collective symmetry. There is no longer a before, a shorter, a hotter, a slower. All such definite coordinates are lost in the symmetry of a logical vagueness. That to which the principle of non-contradiction (PNC) now fails to apply.

    Before the PNC applied, there is a time when it didn't. That is the "before" here. :wink:

    You are not properly distinguishing the active from the passive.Metaphysician Undercover

    Another of the many co-ordinates that are erased if you wind back from their current state of divided asymmetry to recover their initial perfect symmetry. At which point the PNC fails to apply. The logic you want to argue with suddenly runs out of the road it felt it was travelling down.

    In the beginning, the active and the passive (along with the stable and the plastic, the necessary and the accidental, the global and the local, etc, etc) were a symmetrical unity. Both halves of the dichotomy had the same scale and so were indistinguishable as being different. The PNC might feel as though it ought to apply, but - being indistinguishable - it can't.

    It is only as they grow apart that a proper asymmetric distinction can develop. The passive part of nature is that which is less active. And vice versa. Taken to the limit, you get the passive part of nature as that with the least possible activity. Or the reciprocal relation where passive = 1/active. And vice versa. The active = 1/passive.

    The immaterial is separate and distinct from the material in the very same way that the future is separate and distinct from the past.Metaphysician Undercover

    That can only mean ... as a religious and unphysical belief.

    It is a claim of a theistic model. And a naturalistic model has become the one that has produced all the useful physics here.

    What we understand, in a mysticism based metaphysics, is that the entire material universe is created anew with each passing moment of time. This is a necessary conclusion derived from the nature of freewill. The freewill has the power to interfere with the continuity of material existence at any moment in timeMetaphysician Undercover

    Epicycles to explain away a metaphysics that is provenly unphysical. It feels like an explanation being expanded but it is a confusion being compounded.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    If time is what is emergent, then it is necessary that nothing be happening before it gets started. The idea of "before" becomes the incoherent claim hereapokrisis

    Right, and "emergent" implies that there is a time prior to, hence a "before" the thing emerges. That's exactly the problem with your claim that time emerges, it necessitate such incoherencies as a time before time, due to its contradictory nature.

    You presume time to be eternal. Thus there is always a "before". Hence time is proven to be eternal. Your argument is a simple tautology.apokrisis

    I never presumed time to be eternal. Why would you conclude that? I just argued that there is time prior to material existence.. How does that necessitate "time is eternal". I generally use "eternal" in the theological way, to indicate "outside time", so "eternal time" would be self-contradictory.

    A thermal model of time is about the emergence of a global asymmetry - an arrow of time pointed from the now towards the after - the present towards the future. So the past, the before, is a backwards projection. It is imagining the arrow reversed. And reversed to negative infinity.

    Yet the reality - according to science - is that time travel (in a backward direction) is unphysical. And the Big Bang was an origin point for a thermal arrow of time.

    Yes, we can still ask where the heat to drive that great spatial expansion and thus create an arrow of time, a gradient of change, could have come from. What was "before" that?

    But this is no longer a conventional notion of a temporal "before" anymore than it is a conventional notion of "what could have been hotter" than the Planck heat, or "shorter" than the Planck distance, or "slower" than the speed of light.
    apokrisis

    This is why theologians need the term "eternal" to refer to what is outside of time. The scientific community hijacks and restricts the use of "time" to conform to their empirical observations, i.e. they define time in relation to the material world. This leaves absolutely no way of talking about what is prior to the material world, because that creates the apparent contradiction of "before time". So the theologians use "eternal" to refer to outside of time, when "time" becomes defined in this scientistic way.

    Every such conventional notion fuses at the Planck scale - the scale of physical unification. The asymmetries are turned back into a single collective symmetry. There is no longer a before, a shorter, a hotter, a slower. All such definite coordinates are lost in the symmetry of a logical vagueness. That to which the principle of non-contradiction (PNC) now fails to apply.

    Before the PNC applied, there is a time when it didn't. That is the "before" here.
    apokrisis

    This is only the case from your scientistic perspective. If we ditch that scientism, and adopt some properly formulated metaphysical principles, as the theologians do, we can get out of that trap of having to assume that the PNC does not apply.

    So for example, when you say "Every such conventional notion fuses at the Planck scale", you are restricting "conventional" to refer only to the understanding of time employed by the scientific community. All other ways of understanding time are excluded by your bias, as unconventional. So when the theologians demonstrate a way of avoiding such violation of the PNC by showing that we need to allow for activity which is outside of time (eternal actuality) when "time" is defined that scientistic way, your bias inclines you to dismiss it as unconventional, and an appeal to the supernatural.

    The "Planck scale" only represents the level at which empirical observation becomes impossible. All you need to do is to accept the reality that there is activity which is impossible to observe empirically, to get beyond this self-imposed restriction. It is a self-imposed restriction, because you are restricting your reality (actual existence) to that which can be empirically observed. Once you open your mind to the truth that there is reality (actual existence) beyond that which can be observed empirically, this "Planck scale" restriction can be seen as unwarranted. And, the vagueness caused by that misconception of time can be properly dealt with through the application of logical principles such as the PNC. The inclination, or urge to violate the PNC is derived from the vagueness produced by that misconception of time. By denying the PNC you strip yourself of the capacity to understand what lies beyond what is empirically observable. It's a self-defeating metaphysics which you propose.

    It is a claim of a theistic model. And a naturalistic model has become the one that has produced all the useful physics here.apokrisis

    That a model is useful does not necessitate the conclusion that it provides a true representation. Thales predicted a solar eclipse with an untrue model of the planetary motions. That the models produced by physics have encountered problems which incline you to say that the PNC is violated beyond the Planck scale, is clear evidence that they are untrue models, regardless of their predictive capacity. It's self-defeating to simply assert that reality is illogical beyond this level, so simply forget about trying to understand it. How could a reality which is illogical in its base level (the unobservable Planck level) produce a logically ordered upper level? Such a metaphysics is completely incoherent.

    Epicycles to explain away a metaphysics that is provenly unphysical. It feels like an explanation being expanded but it is a confusion being compounded.apokrisis

    Evidence of your bias. If it's "unphysical", reject it. But all your metaphysics of "perfect symmetry" is equally "unphysical", so you're really just hypocritical. .
  • jorndoe
    1k
    Paul Davies goes a wee bit overboard on occasion, . Jus'sayin. :)
    Besides, whereas the Information thing (capitalized) is interesting enough to pursue as such of course, to paraphrase Gamez, it's just another sample "all-embracing monstrous metaphysical vision" when taken wholesale.
  • Gnomon
    817
    Paul Davies goes a wee bit overboard on occasion,jorndoe
    By "overboard" do you mean he goes beyond current materialist doctrine into speculations on quantum queerness? If so, I agree. And I find it to make a lot of sense, at least as far as Quantum theory can make sense.

    it's just another sample "all-embracing monstrous metaphysical vision" when taken wholesale.jorndoe
    I take it that you don't approve of Scientific Speculation and Metaphysical Philosophy? Davies doesn't ask you to take what he says "wholesale". You are expected to take a scientific analytical approach, up to the point where Reductive analysis bogs down in Holistic metaphysics, such as Quantum Entanglement. QE doesn't "make sense", but it does seem to be a fact of physics. So Davies uses Information theory to peer into the mists of murk beyond classical Newtonian physics. :smile:
  • jorndoe
    1k
    , regarding Davies, I meant a tad over the top, immoderate, a bit much, on occasion (but certainly not throughout).
    Regarding the Information thing (paraphrasing Gamez), by wholesale I meant thorough all-embracing hypostatization, but that wasn't about Davies.
    Everyone already know these pitfalls, but, hey, I'm all for speculation as much as the next person over. (y) (not that it's about me)
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    . The scientific community hijacks and restricts the use of "time" to conform to their empirical observations, i.e. they define time in relation to the material world.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, we can consider this a contest between pragmatic naturalism and dogmatic theism if you like. One holds consequences here in the real world. The other not so much.
  • Gnomon
    817
    Regarding the Information thing (paraphrasing Gamez), by wholesale I meant thorough all-embracing hypostatization, but that wasn't about Davies.jorndoe
    Hypostatization is the fallacy of Reification : ascribing reality to abstractions. But recent neurological studies are finding that what we humans take for reality is actually a figment of our imagination : an abstraction. Cognitive Psychologist Donald Hoffman has produced a novel theory of perception that sounds a lot like the ancient Buddhist teaching of Maya (illusion). If you are not familiar with that notion, the book review linked below will give you a brief glimpse from a non-Buddhist perspective. But, if you have any interest in cutting-edge Information theory and Consciousness science, I recommend that you read the book for yourself. :cool:

    The Case Against Reality : http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page21.html
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    Yes, we can consider this a contest between pragmatic naturalism and dogmatic theism if you like. One holds consequences here in the real world. The other not so much.apokrisis

    I'd prefer to frame it as the contest between pragmatic naturalism and the quest for truth. Your approach is, who cares if this naturalist metaphysics leads us into contradiction, so long as we adhere to naturalism at all costs. My approach is, if it leads to contradiction there's a problem with it, let's look at other proposals.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    Your approach is, who cares if this naturalist metaphysics leads us into contradiction...Metaphysician Undercover

    It only contradicts some assumptions you take as axiomatic to your theism. The PNC is a case in point. A belief in some Newtonian and non-thermal model of time being another.

    It is good that your theism is constrained by the attempt at a self-justifying metaphysics - a rational logical structure. And I agree that conventional scientific metaphysics - being overly reductionist - fails palpably to have this kind of causal closure.

    But that is why pragmatism – particular in the Peircean sense - is the royal route to "truth". It combines that causal closure of the formal metaphysical model with the empirical checks that are needed to be able to say the resulting metaphysical model indeed predicts the world as we can observe or measure it.

    Your reaction to Peirce's relaxation of the PNC is telling. He makes the PNC an emergent limit whereas you cling to it as a brute fact. You need it as an input to construct your system. Peirce showed it to be a natural outcome of any kind of systematic development of a "rational cosmos".

    Sure, you can have an argument against that. But it has to be better than: "I don't like the challenge it creates for my necessary presumptions".
  • jorndoe
    1k
    , I'm vaguely familiar.
    Hoffman is just re-casting age-old idealism (mental monism) in the image of a couple odd theses of his.
    I suppose, if you really think this holds water, then you could put together a concise and short argument in a new opening post. (y)
    Keep in mind, if Hoffman wants to raise this stuff to science, then the requisite falsifiability criteria and such applies.
    (Can't promise ahead that I can participate much personally, but it seems a relevant topic for the forum.)
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    The PNC is a case in point.apokrisis

    Right, that's because without the PNC, there is no such thing as truth. That's why I frame it as a contest between pragmatic naturalism and the quest for truth.

    But that is why pragmatism – particular in the Peircean sense - is the royal route to "truth".apokrisis

    Perhaps you can explain to me how can know the truth about the nature of the universe, when you claim that its fundamentals violate the PNC.

    Your reaction to Peirce's relaxation of the PNC is telling. He makes the PNC an emergent limit whereas you cling to it as a brute fact.apokrisis

    Yes, you told me this already, to avoid the problem that "time is emergent" is contradictory, you simply assume that existence according to the PNC emerged at a later time than time emerged, therefore the contradiction of "time is emergent" is allowed, because this happened at a time when the PNC was not applicable.

    Sure, you can have an argument against that. But it has to be better than: "I don't like the challenge it creates for my necessary presumptions".apokrisis

    The only necessary presumption I've expressed is the PNC. I adhere to it because I believe that without it, knowing the truth is impossible. In a quest for truth, one must adhere to some criteria for judgement. If you can show me how knowing the truth is possible when the PNC is violated, then I might give up that necessary presumption.

    So, the PNC isn't "the" necessary presumption. A presumption is necessary as the criteria for judgement, and the PNC is the one which seems most fitting. But I'm open to other proposals. Do you have what you believe is a better criteria for judgement?
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    If you can show me how knowing the truth is possible when the PNC is violated, then I might give up that necessary presumption.Metaphysician Undercover

    The PNC is not about "truth". It is about "validity". Or indeed, merely about "computability".

    So let's take the deflationary tack here.

    The PNC could apply to a world of definite particulars - a mechanical realm of being. It just is the case (it is the ontological truth) that identity has this binary quality of having to be one thing and not its "other". If that is how we find reality, the PNC is a good metaphysical model. We might build in that strong presumption as a given.

    But it is quite reasonable to question the claim the world in fact is divided quite so crisply. Indeed, that is the very thing that quantum indeterminism has challenged in the most fundamental way. If two particles are entangled, there is no fact of the matter as to their individual identity. They happily embody contradictory identities - until the further thing of a wavefunction collapse. A thermal measurement.

    So right there is a canonical modern example of how reality is vague (a quantum potential in which identity is accepting of contradictions). But then - emergently - it can also evolve a binary crispness. The PNC now applies. A definite measurement one way, and not the "other", can be entered in the ledger of history.

    So a logic of vagueness, in which the PNC becomes an emergent feature of classical reality, has direct empirical proof now. Peirce was right in his willingness to question some ancient metaphysical "truths".

    The PNC remains a useful tool because we also know that wavefunctions do get collapsed. Well, that is if you can move past the no-collapse quantum interpretations and accept a thermal decoherence model of time itself. :wink:

    But anyway, wavefunctions do collapse and so the PNC does apply from a classical perspective. Yet we then need a logic of vagueness to account for how the PNC could emerge from a ground of being, a ground of quantum indeterminism, where it patently doesn't.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    The PNC is not about "truth". It is about "validity". Or indeed, merely about "computability".apokrisis

    That's incorrect. The three so-called fundamental laws of logic, the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, and the law of excluded middle, are guidelines for making judgements of truth and falsity. That's why they describe a binary system. The first, the law of identity establishes correspondence between the language being used and an identified object which is the substance. Notice that the thing identified is an object, consistent with Aristotle's "primary substance", not a logic subject, which would be "secondary substance". The identifier, the name, let's say "Socrates", is presumed to directly correspond with an object, and only that unique object, by the law of identity . Any faults in this correspondence relation will allow falsity. Further, the laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle, provide guidelines as to what we can truthfully say about any identified object. We can say that these two laws make propositions of "validity", but what they tell us is that when we cannot decide which of the two contradictory propositions ought to be accepted, we need to return to the object, as the primary substance, to make that judgement based in correspondence, or truth.

    If we replace the named object with a subject, secondary substance, suppose that "Socrates" refers to a subject rather than a named object, then our guidance is only validity. We are not dealing with correspondence, or truth, but validity alone, because we have removed the applicability of the law of identity which identifies an object We can make whatever predications we want of that subject, so long as they are valid, but we have nothing to substantiate these judgements, no object of correspondence, no means for truth, with only an imaginary subject.

    So the PNC may be used as a tool of validity, or it may be used as tool for truth, depending on the relationship you build between it and the law of identity. Of course it is well known that the three fundamental laws must be applied together, as a unit, so your removal of that law from its relationship to the others, to say that it is only about validity, is a false representation. Maintaining that the law of identity relates directly to an object in correspondence, as it is intended to, and maintaining the proper relation between the law of identity and the law of non-contradiction ensures that we apply the law of non-contradiction toward truth.

    But it is quite reasonable to question the claim the world in fact is divided quite so crisply.apokrisis

    This is a valid concern. It may be the case that the world is not actually arranged in such a way that the PNC applies. However, we have seen that the PNC is extremely useful, and applicable in a vast majority of cases. And, whenever it appears like the PNC does not apply we can assume that the descriptions we've made from observations are somewhat faulty, so that we can go back and revisit those descriptions until we find the appropriate ones in which the PNC is observed.

    If, whenever it appears like some aspect of the world is not arranged in such a way that the PNC applies, we simply assume that this is the way that aspect of the world is, and leave that aspect of the world as unintelligible, then we have no inspiration to revisit our observation based descriptions, to determine the instances when the descriptions were faulty. So it really provides no pragmatic service to us, to assume that the world might not be divided so crisply, unless we can find another way to make these aspects which appear as vague, intelligible. All we can do, is assume that the world really is arranged in such a crisp way, which makes it intelligible to us, despite the fact that our descriptions make it appear unintelligible. Then we can continue to seek the deficiencies in our observation based descriptions, which make it appear unintelligible. But to assume that it might really be unintelligible is nothing but counterproductive to these efforts.

    Indeed, that is the very thing that quantum indeterminism has challenged in the most fundamental way. If two particles are entangled, there is no fact of the matter as to their individual identity. They happily embody contradictory identities - until the further thing of a wavefunction collapse. A thermal measurement.apokrisis

    This is a good example. It demonstrates that we need to revisit those methods of observation, and keep doing so, until we find a way of description which makes this aspect of the world intelligible. To simply assume that this aspect of the world is unintelligible, (there is no truth) and therefore give up the effort is counterproductive.

    So right there is a canonical modern example of how reality is vague (a quantum potential in which identity is accepting of contradictions).apokrisis

    No, it is not an example of how reality is vague. It is an example of how you are willing to give up on the quest for truth. Instead of researching all the observational premises, and theoretical principles employed, to determine the mistakes within, and correct them, so that this aspect of the world might become intelligible to us, you are completely uninspired to make that effort, and ready to sit in the corner whining "it can't be done", the world is simply unintelligible.

    So a logic of vagueness, in which the PNC becomes an emergent feature of classical reality, has direct empirical proof now.apokrisis

    Again, you are incorrect here. The fact that a certain aspect of the world appears to be unintelligible to us, does not prove that it is unintelligible absolutely. Unless you can prove that the methods employed are the only possible methods, or the best possible methods, you cannot claim "empirical proof" of such a thing. That's actually a ridiculous sort of claim. It's like a blind person claiming to another blind person, to have "direct empirical proof" that there is no such thing as colour. Deficiency in one's capacity to apprehend something does not prove that the thing cannot be apprehended.
  • Gnomon
    817
    Hoffman is just re-casting age-old idealism (mental monism) in the image of a couple odd theses of his.
    I suppose, if you really think this holds water, then you could put together a concise and short argument in a new opening post. (y)
    Keep in mind, if Hoffman wants to raise this stuff to science, then the requisite falsifiability criteria and such applies.
    jorndoe
    Yes. Idealism is an ancient philosophical worldview that never went away. To me, Hoffman's theory seems to be an update of Kant's Transcendental Idealism. However, Hoffman calls it Model Dependent Realism. I suspect that the notion of "transcendence" does not fit your worldview. So you may dismiss Hoffman as an occultist, but he is an MIT educated occultist.

    I'm not a credentialed cognitive scientist, so I'll let Hoffman make his own argument. Obviously, Idealism is not compatible with the current dominant doctrine of Materialism. But Quantum Theory has already undermined the foundation of that ancient hypothesis. I presented my concise & short "argument" in the blog post linked above.

    Do you know of any cognitive or psychological theory that is empirically falsifiable? Mind studies are not "hard" sciences, so their theories are essentially philosophical. Only time will tell if Hoffman's provocative theory gains credibility among his peers in cognitive science. At this time, his theory is "challenging leading scientific theories", so you would expect that many of his peers are skeptical. But his theory has been enthusiastically received by several prominent cognitive scientists, including Steven Pinker. :cool:

    Quotes :

    "SHORTLISTED FOR THE PHYSICS WORLD BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019 : A groundbreaking examination of human perception, reality and the evolutionary schism between the two"
    https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/295/295303/the-case-against-reality/9780141983417.html

    Challenging leading scientific theories that claim that our senses report back objective reality, cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman argues that while we should take our perceptions seriously, we should not take them literally.

    "Don Hoffman . . . combines a deep understanding of the logic of perception, a gift for explaining it with simple displays that anyone can-quite literally-see, and a refreshing sense of wonder at the miracle of it all."--Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind Works
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    Further, the laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle, provide guidelines as to what we can truthfully say about any identified object.Metaphysician Undercover

    That is rather the point. Peirce was highlighting the presumption you have “truthfully” identified an object. Some concrete particular under the first law. And he was drawing out the logical implications of the corollary - the case when the principle of identity doesn’t apply.

    Perhaps a more scientific pair of definitions would be that anything is 'general' in so far as the principle of the excluded middle does not apply to it and is 'vague' in so far as the principle of contradiction does not apply to it.

    Thus, although it is true that "Any proposition you please, 'once you have determined its identity', is either true or false"; yet 'so long as it remains indeterminate and so without identity', it need neither be true that any proposition you please is true, nor that any proposition you please is false.

    So likewise, while it is false that "A proposition 'whose identity I have determined' is both true and false", yet until it is determinate, it may be true that a proposition is true and that a proposition is false.

    C.S. Peirce, 'Collected Papers', CP 5.448
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    Thus, although it is true that "Any proposition you please, 'once you have determined its identity', is either true or false"; yet 'so long as it remains indeterminate and so without identity', it need neither be true that any proposition you please is true, nor that any proposition you please is false.

    This is exactly what I was talking about. If you take the laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle out of context, remove them from their relationship with the law of identity, you no longer have anything to ground truth or falsity in, no substance. Without identity truth and falsity is not relevant.

    Therefore, in the quest for truth, the law of identity is of the utmost importance. We seek to apply the law of identity, and this brings the other laws to bear fruit in relation to truth and falsity.

    That is rather the point. Peirce was highlighting the presumption you have “truthfully” identified an object. Some concrete particular under the first law. And he was drawing out the logical implications of the corollary - the case when the principle of identity doesn’t apply.apokrisis

    When we are seeking truth, there is no such thing as "the case when the principle of identity doesn’t apply". If it appears to you, like the principle of identity cannot be applied, I would reply that you are not trying hard enough. Truth does not come easy, it requires effort.

    We can never simply assume that the law of identity has been truthfully applied, Peirce was correct in this, and it's the starting point for skepticism. So when the logic leads to vagueness or other absurdities, we need to revisit how the law of identity has, or has not, been applied in these cases. It makes no sense to conclude that the law of identity cannot be applied, because that just demonstrates a lack of effort.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    This is exactly what I was talking about. If you take the laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle out of context, remove them from their relationship with the law of identity, you no longer have anything to ground truth or falsity in, no substance. Without identity truth and falsity is not relevant.Metaphysician Undercover

    You are reading it backwards. A logical definition of vagueness (and generality) is what helps ground your desired "truth-telling" apparatus. It tells you the conditions under which the laws of thought will fail - ensuring you do what is needed to fix those holes.

    So you have to establish that you are dealing with a concrete case where a binary judgement can apply. The thing in question has to be that thing and no other thing. You can't simply presume it. You have to check it.

    But that is then why you need a pragmatic definition of "truth". One that has measurable consequences.

    Theism routinely by-passes that constraint on logicism. God becomes a concept so general that nothing is impossible of Him, a concept so vague that anything can be taken as evidence of Him.

    There is evil in the world? It's put there as a test. You recovered from your heart attack? It was the power of prayer. But your dead neighbour prayed too? God probably knew he was a paedo.

    You are treating the laws of thought as if they are Platonic abstractions. Peirce was concerned with rooting them in the reality of the world. And so defining when a rule does not apply is necessary to being able to define when it actually does.

    We can never simply assume that the law of identity has been truthfully applied, Peirce was correct in this, and it's the starting point for skepticism.Metaphysician Undercover

    Exactly. But having started skepticism going, we then need to rein it in appropriately. And that is what this is about.

    We want to avoid the two errors of credulity and unbounded skepticism. We want to be like scientists and say, as far as our model goes in terms of the measurements it suggests, the theory is probably true.

    Peirce also did critical work on probability theory so that exact numbers could be put on the relatively likelihood of something being false rather than true. His was a system of logic with methodological consequences.

    It makes no sense to conclude that the law of identity cannot be applied, because that just demonstrates a lack of effort.Metaphysician Undercover

    Again, yes. And what does that effort look like?

    (Reveal: Pragmatism rather than theism!)
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    You are reading it backwards.apokrisis

    Oh here we go, I see everything you do as backward, and see what I do as backward.

    A logical definition of vagueness (and generality) is what helps ground your desired "truth-telling" apparatus. It tells you the conditions under which the laws of thought will fail - ensuring you do what is needed to fix those holes.apokrisis

    This is not true. We cannot ground truth in a definition. Your definition could be random fantasy. So you would end up with a coherent logical system without any correspondence with reality. That's why Aristotle introduced "substance", to ground logic in reality.

    So you have to establish that you are dealing with a concrete case where a binary judgement can apply. The thing in question has to be that thing and no other thing. You can't simply presume it. You have to check it.apokrisis

    This is why we cannot begin with a definition. A definition consists of words. The words used must refer to something. So we must establish what the words refer to (identity) first, prior to proceeding to a definition. This is demonstrated by Platonic dialectic. You, and Peirce, have it backward. "Vagueness" represents the unidentified, what we have no words to describe. So you think that instead of analyzing "the vague", apprehending and identifying its various aspects, such that we can bring it out of its current appearance as vagueness, into a crisp clear understanding through the process of identifying its parts, we ought to just define "vague" as identifying something unintelligible.

    Notice that you and Peirce, by claiming that vagueness is a real aspect of the universe, have actually proceeded in the way that I have described. You have identified something, and named it "vagueness". The problem though, is that you want to assign to this identified thing, the property of being inconsistent with the laws of logic. That is how we know it is an untruthful way to proceed. What it indicates is that you have not properly identified and described the thing which you call "vagueness".

    And what does that effort look like?apokrisis

    I've been describing this effort. It is to provide real coherent and truthful descriptions, rather than the lazy way of saying "it's vague" and cannot be described in an intelligible way. The difference between your way and the theistic way, is that theism maintains that God is supremely intelligible, despite the fact that the human intellect cannot very well grasp Him. This is the opposite to your approach which says that vagueness inheres within the thing, making the thing impossible for any intellect to apprehend. Do you see why your approach is backward?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k

    Thanks for the reference, it's a good read. You might understand, from what I wrote, that I do not disagree that it is possible to treat the LNC and LEM in the way that Peirce does. However, as I explained, he does this by divorcing these laws from the primary law, the law of identity. Determinateness is a function of identity. So it is by removing the need for an identified particular allows for Peirce's categories of the general, and the vague, in the first place. It is only in this context that these categories make any sense. Without an identified particular object, what Aristotle called "primary substance", the LNC and LEM are bound only by inductive principles, which are based in probability. Probability is not consistent with the three laws, when maintained as three, because identity of an object gives us determinateness. It is only by removing this determinate object, that we are forced to resort to general principles instead. But the general principles are produced from induction, which gives us probability instead of determinateness.

    Further, the author of your referred article, Robert Lane, explains how Peirce allows that the term of predication might be defined in a multitude of ways. This is why I argued that reference must be prior to definition. If Bob Dole is the identified object, and we say "Bob Dole's hair is red", then the colour of Bob Dole's hair tells us what "red" is. This is the importance of having an identified object, substance, which provides an example of what the term of predication means, rather than having to rely on a definition, and the sophistry involved in different interpretations of the same word.

    Notice how Robert Lane provides no indication, throughout that article, as to how Peirce shows any respect whatsoever to the law of identity in his discussion of the LNC and LEM.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    Probability is not consistent with the three laws, when maintained as three, because identity of an object gives us determinateness.Metaphysician Undercover

    The conclusion I draw is that yes, we can't presume complete determinism. But nor do we then need to lapse into complete indeterminism.

    Pragmatisim is the middle path of constructing a theory of logic in which indeterminism is what gets constrained.

    As an ontology, that says reality is foundationally indeterminate, and yet emergently determinate. And the determinate aspect is not merely something passively existent (as often is taken to be the case with emergence - ie: supervenient or epiphenomenal). It is an active regulatory power. The power of emergent habit. The power of formal and final cause to really shape indeterminate potential into an actualised reality.

    So it is a logical system large enough to speak of the world we find ourselves in - complete with its indeterminant potentials and determining contraints.

    Further, the author of your referred article, Robert Lane, explains how Peirce allows that the term of predication might be defined in a multitude of ways.Metaphysician Undercover

    Again, I am taking the systems view of ontological reality. So the internalist approach that Peirce takes on this would be the feature, not the bug. I'm still digesting that aspect of Lane's argument, but that was one of the sharp ideas that grabbed me.

    Notice how Robert Lane provides no indication, throughout that article, as to how Peirce shows any respect whatsoever to the law of identity in his discussion of the LNC and LEM.Metaphysician Undercover

    There is equivocation here on Peirce's part because his logic of vagueness was a project still in progress.

    His early worked was couched in terms of Firstness - free fluctuations. But as we have discussed, a fluctuation already seems too concrete and individuated. Formal and final cause appear already to be playing a part by that point. A fluctuation has to be a fluctuation in something - or so it would seem.

    This is precisely the obvious hole in the vogue for accounts of the Big Bang as simply a rather large quantum fluctuation. Even if a quantum field is treated as the most abstract thing possible, the field seems to have to pre-date its fluctuation. Verbally at least, we remain trapped in the "prime mover" and "first efficient cause" maze you so enjoy.

    But he was recasting Firstness as Vagueness in later work. And we can see that in his making a triad of the potential, the actual and the general - as the mirror of the three stages of the laws of thought.

    A fluctuation is really a possibility. A spontaneous act, yet one that can be individuated in terms of the context it also reveals. We are nearly there in winding our way back to bootstrapping actuality.

    A step further is "potential" properly understood as a true vagueness. A fluctuation is a spontaneity that is not caused by "the past". It is called for by the finality of its own future - the world it starts to reveal. This is one of the things that smashes the conventional notion of time you prefer to employ.

    But anyway, when it come to the law of identity, it is enough for everyday logic that reality is already reasonably well individuated - at least in the ways that might interest us enough to speak about it. The law of identity can work even if any instance of individuation is merely a case of uncertainty being sufficiently constrained.

    However when we get to ontological questions about the machinery of creation, then this background to the laws of thought become relevant. The details of how things really work can no longer be brushed under the carpet, or shoved in a black box labelled "God".
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    The conclusion I draw is that yes, we can't presume complete determinism. But nor do we then need to lapse into complete indeterminism.

    Pragmatisim is the middle path of constructing a theory of logic in which indeterminism is what gets constrained.

    As an ontology, that says reality is foundationally indeterminate, and yet emergently determinate. And the determinate aspect is not merely something passively existent (as often is taken to be the case with emergence - ie: supervenient or epiphenomenal). It is an active regulatory power. The power of emergent habit. The power of formal and final cause to really shape indeterminate potential into an actualised reality.

    So it is a logical system large enough to speak of the world we find ourselves in - complete with its indeterminant potentials and determining contraints.
    apokrisis

    If we look at reality, as we know it, to find out what distinguishes or separates the determinate from the indeterminate, we see that the past is determinate, and the future indeterminate, with the present separating these two. So Aristotle assigned indeterminacy to future events, what may or may not be, and these future occurrences are not ruled by the LEM. His famous example, the sea battle tomorrow.

    If I understand Peirce correctly, he wants to take one step further, and say that the present, which separates the determinate past from the indeterminate future (LEM not applicable), is itself a "vague" division. So at this time, the present, the LNC does not apply. So we have a determinate past, an indeterminate future which can only be predicted through generalizations (LEM not applicable), and a present which violates the LNC.

    The present is the most difficult to apprehend. If the future is really indeterminate, as free will, and final cause indicate, and the past is really determinate, as the fact that we cannot change what has occurred indicates, then the present must exist as a time of transition between these two. This transition we can call "becoming". Becoming, as Aristotle demonstrated, is incompatible with the logical categories of being and not being. This is one reason why he was led to violate the LEM. But "incompatible with", means neither being nor not being, and he insisted that the LNC be maintained.

    Let's say that the present cannot be a crisp division between future and past, because this would deny the activity, becoming, which we observe to occur at the present. So the indeterminate world of the future cannot pass into the determined world of the past, at a crisp moment. Therefore we might need to assign vagueness to the present. But this vagueness is not a vagueness described by a violation of the LNC, it is described as an incompatibility with the LNC. This means that we cannot describe becoming, which occurs at the present, in the same bivalent logic of truth and falsity that we use to describe the static past, what has occurred, so it is more like a violation of the LEM. But if we look toward the future now, is it possible to say that the LNC is violated? Of the sea battle tomorrow for example, can we say that it is both true and false that it will occur. Suppose we take a many worlds interpretation of quantum physics, does this say that the sea battle both will and will not occur?

    A fluctuation has to be a fluctuation in something - or so it would seem.

    This is precisely the obvious hole in the vogue for accounts of the Big Bang as simply a rather large quantum fluctuation. Even if a quantum field is treated as the most abstract thing possible, the field seems to have to pre-date its fluctuation. Verbally at least, we remain trapped in the "prime mover" and "first efficient cause" maze you so enjoy.
    apokrisis

    This is the problem with wave theory. A wave needs a medium, and electromagnetism is understood by wave theory. Denying that there is a medium, and insisting that the activity is "wavelike" doesn't solve the problem.

    A step further is "potential" properly understood as a true vagueness. A fluctuation is a spontaneity that is not caused by "the past". It is called for by the finality of its own future - the world it starts to reveal. This is one of the things that smashes the conventional notion of time you prefer to employ.apokrisis

    This idea of firstness really doesn't make sense. Suppose there is a first moment in time. Prior to the first moment there would be infinite potential, because there is only future with not any past. There would be absolute indeterminateness, with no past whatsoever, to determine anything. That means absolute freedom. However, whatever it is that acts with such absolute freedom, and causes the passing of time to start, must act for some reason, and this is why we assign final cause to this first act. So the indeterminateness of the first potential is not absolute at all, it's just that we do not understand the final causes (intention) involved.

    However when we get to ontological questions about the machinery of creation, then this background to the laws of thought become relevant. The details of how things really work can no longer be brushed under the carpet, or shoved in a black box labelled "God".apokrisis

    Appealing to God is not to brush things under the carpet, but to realize the true nature of time, and how the first act must necessarily be an intentional act, final cause. Because when we look back to the point when all was future, and there was no past, (the first moment in time), we see that the acting thing must be capable of being completely in the future, and this is the nature of final cause. So as time passes, material existence can be determined according to the will of that being.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    If we look at reality, as we know it, to find out what distinguishes or separates the determinate from the indeterminate, we see that the past is determinate, and the future indeterminate, with the present separating these two.Metaphysician Undercover

    Or rather that the past is the determining context. The future is created by what then becomes determinate due to the application of these constraints. The present is the "now" where global historical constraints are acting on residual indeterminacy to fix it as some new actualised event. So the present is defined by the actualisation of a local potential via the limitations of global historical context.

    Or as quantum theory puts it, actuality is realised by the collapse of the wavefunction. A local potential and a global context are resolved to produce a result that is "determinate" and so now belonging to the generalised past, while pointing also towards a more specified future.

    Events remove possibilities from the world. And so shape more clearly the possibilities that remain.

    Time thus arises as the macroscale description of this directional flow. Potential becomes increasingly restricted or constrained over time as it realised in particular happenings. The business of change takes on an increasingly determinate character - even if there thus also has to be a residual indeterminancy to give this temporal trajectory something further to be determined by contextual acts of determination.

    If I understand Peirce correctly, he wants to take one step further, and say that the present, which separates the determinate past from the indeterminate future (LEM not applicable), is itself a "vague" division. So at this time, the present, the LNC does not apply. So we have a determinate past, an indeterminate future which can only be predicted through generalizations (LEM not applicable), and a present which violates the LNC.Metaphysician Undercover

    As I point out, you call it a separation. I am talking about it as an interaction.

    The present as an act of local actualisation has to emerge from the interaction of what is past (the development of some global contextual condition) and what is future (the indeterminancy still to be shaped - but not eliminated - by that process of actualisation).

    I wouldn't get too hung up on mapping this directly to the laws of thought. We normally imagine them to be Platonic abstractions that exist outside of physical reality. So they are framed in language that is a-temporal from the get-go. Verbal confusion is only to be expected.

    But vagueness would describe the state of things at the beginning of time because the indeterminism in the system is macro. There is no history of actualisation as yet, and so no determining context in play.

    However by the time you get halfway through the life of the Comos - as we are in the present era - then it has grown so large and cold that it is most of the way to having only a microscale indeterminacy. The potential has been so squeezed that you can only really see it at the quantum level of physical events.

    At the macroscale, the Cosmos is now getting close to the other end of its time - its classically fixed state of maximum possible global determinacy. It has arrived at what Peirce calls generality. (Or continuity, or synechism, etc).

    Don't worry. It all makes sense.

    Suppose we take a many worlds interpretation of quantum physics, does this say that the sea battle both will and will not occur?Metaphysician Undercover

    Yep. But who wants to go with the MWI?

    This is the problem with wave theory. A wave needs a medium, and electromagnetism is understood by wave theory. Denying that there is a medium, and insisting that the activity is "wavelike" doesn't solve the problem.Metaphysician Undercover

    Alternatively, this is pragmatism. Accepting that we can only model reality. And so what matters is that the model works. It can solve our practical problems.

    Appealing to God is not to brush things under the carpet, but to realize the true nature of time, and how the first act must necessarily be an intentional act, final cause.Metaphysician Undercover

    So can you lift the carpet and provide the detail of who is God and how He does these things? What first act did He perform with the Big Bang? What intent we can read into its unfolding symmetry breaking? How much choice did He have over the maths of the situation?

    These would all be good starting points to tell us what is better about your model of existence. Let's see if you can say something that is not either too vague or too general.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    Or rather that the past is the determining context. The future is created by what then becomes determinate due to the application of these constraints.apokrisis

    The problem here is that you do not account for the acting free will, final cause. It does not act according to these constraints, the determining context. It acts according to what is desired for the future. Yes it is constrained, but the primary objective is to bring about what is desired, regardless of constraints.

    The present is the "now" where global historical constraints are acting on residual indeterminacy to fix it as some new actualised event. So the present is defined by the actualisation of a local potential via the limitations of global historical context.apokrisis

    So this scenario is missing something, final cause. You have "global historic constraints", and you have "indeterminacy", but you neglect the free willing being who utilizes the indeterminacy amidst the constraints, to bring about the desired "new actualised events". That is the key point, that the new actualized event is not any random event, produced from the indeterminacy amidst the constraints, it is a final cause event, intended for some purpose.

    Potential becomes increasingly restricted or constrained over time as it realised in particular happenings.apokrisis

    This is a perspective dependent claim. "Potential" is a human conception which is perspective dependent. An apple hanging in the tree has potential energy due to the force of gravity. If it starts to fall it gains kinetic energy, but this is still potential, in the sense that it is the capacity to do work. And every time the energy is converted to a different form, it is still the same potential, according to conservation laws. The problem is that some forms of energy (potential) are harder for the human being to harness, and some might even appear to us, as impossible to harness. So we might say that potential (energy) becomes increasingly restricted, but this is a judgement based in the human perspective. Theories about entropy and heat death, only describe potential from the human perspective, the human capacity to harness energy.

    Events remove possibilities from the world. And so shape more clearly the possibilities that remain.apokrisis

    So this is not really correct. Events change the possibilities in the world. Any event can open up as many, or more new possibilities as it removes. In reality an event just changes the possibilities in the world. And since the possibilities in the world are countless at any given moment, it doesn't make sense to even think about numbering them, or if there is more possibilities at one moment than at another. The law of conservation of energy states that energy, the potential to do work, remains constant. Some energy might slip away from the human capacity to harness it, as entropy, but this is a perspective dependent description.

    Time thus arises as the macroscale description of this directional flow. Potential becomes increasingly restricted or constrained over time as it realised in particular happenings. The business of change takes on an increasingly determinate character - even if there thus also has to be a residual indeterminancy to give this temporal trajectory something further to be determined by contextual acts of determination.apokrisis

    Therefore, this is a faulty claim, created through the notion that the human perspective gives us the absolute. This is why the theological perspective is superior on this issue. It recognizes that claims such as the idea that potential is becoming increasing restricted, are simply a product of the human perspective. We have no idea of the potential available to a superior being like God, so such claims are not ontologically meaningful. For example, a culture living and thriving, in the designed conditions of a petri dish, (if it could think), would think that the available potential was running out, as it consumed the nutrients provided for it. But many other cultures could use the waste of that culture as potential for their activities. Such claims about potential becoming restricted are completely perspective dependent.

    The present as an act of local actualisation has to emerge from the interaction of what is past (the development of some global contextual condition) and what is future (the indeterminancy still to be shaped - but not eliminated - by that process of actualisation).apokrisis

    But at the first moment in time there is necessarily no past. Can you apprehend this? All your talk about the past which the present emerges from is nonsense, because there can be no past whatsoever until time starts passing, and at that moment the past begins to emerge. So the past is really what emerges. As soon as there is time, there is an emergent past, and the past continues to emerge so long as time keeps passing.

    Prior to this first moment of time, there can still be future, as the future is not determined by the passing of time, being prior to it. Thus if the past emerges it emerges from the future, because the future is prior to it. This is why the idea of infinite determinacy, or infinite potential, prior to the beginning of time, seems to make sense. It appears like prior to the first moment of time there is infinite potential because there is no past (constraints), and only future, therefore potential without constraint The reason why this doesn't really make sense is explained by the cosmological argument. If time hasn't started passing, and the potential is infinite, there would be nothing to make time start passing. So we would need to posit an act which would start time passing, and this actuality cannot come out of the infinite potential, because it's an actuality. The act which appears to be derived from potential, but is really an act (which appears to come out of the future), is the intentional act, final cause. So we assume that this is the type of act which orders time itself.

    But vagueness would describe the state of things at the beginning of time because the indeterminism in the system is macro. There is no history of actualisation as yet, and so no determining context in play.

    However by the time you get halfway through the life of the Comos - as we are in the present era - then it has grown so large and cold that it is most of the way to having only a microscale indeterminacy. The potential has been so squeezed that you can only really see it at the quantum level of physical events.

    At the macroscale, the Cosmos is now getting close to the other end of its time - its classically fixed state of maximum possible global determinacy. It has arrived at what Peirce calls generality. (Or continuity, or synechism, etc).

    Don't worry. It all makes sense.
    apokrisis

    Well, it makes sense, but it's completely a perspective dependent assessment of the situation which you offer so despite it making sense, it's not a good ontology. The human concept of potential is based in the human capacity to bring about change in the world. The human being, as a small, insignificant being in comparison to the universe as a whole, has a relatively small capacity to bring about change in the universe. So the human being assesses indeterminacy as being only in the microscale, the assessment of indeterminacy being directly related to the human capacity to produce change through intentional acts, final cause. A far more significant being, with a much greater capacity to bring about change through intentional, free will acts, would apprehend indeterminacy within what we call the macroscale. Your ontology is rather skewed, taking the human perspective as some sort of absolute.

    But who wants to go with the MWI?apokrisis

    That's the point, if denying the LNC gives us something like MWI, who wants that?

    Alternatively, this is pragmatism. Accepting that we can only model reality. And so what matters is that the model works. It can solve our practical problems.apokrisis

    As I've explained already, describing things on the basis of it works for some pragmatic purpose, is quite different from the quest for truth. Pragmaticism does not produce good metaphysics.

    So can you lift the carpet and provide the detail of who is God and how He does these things? What first act did He perform with the Big Bang? What intent we can read into its unfolding symmetry breaking? How much choice did He have over the maths of the situation?apokrisis

    The point is to apprehend that the first act is of the same sort of act as the intentional, freewill act, or final cause, such that we can move in the proper direction towards an understanding of it. To deny that it was this sort of act, and pretend that it was some type of random fluctuation or something like that, is to mislead ourselves, guide us in the wrong direction.
  • apokrisis
    4.7k
    The problem here is that you do not account for the acting free will, final cause. It does not act according to these constraints, the determining context. It acts according to what is desired for the future. Yes it is constrained, but the primary objective is to bring about what is desired, regardless of constraints.Metaphysician Undercover

    That is only a problem from your theistic presumptions. It is the basic inconsistency in theism or idealism that my version of physicalism resolves.

    Finality is not about "free will". It is about the inescapability of the emergence of natural law - global habits of regularity that arise directly from nature's efforts to instead attempt to head locally in every direction at once.

    You don't understand Peirce's metaphysics yet. But this is the guts of it.

    "Potential" is a human conception which is perspective dependent. An apple hanging in the tree has potential energy due to the force of gravity.Metaphysician Undercover

    Citing Newtonian mechanics here is odd given that it is indeed a highly technical and reductionist perspective on whatever "potential" might mean.

    Well I guess you need to match your theism with its "other" of scientism to avoid talking about physics in the holistic way I am doing. But clearly I don't accept your attempt to limit the concept of "potential" so strictly.

    Theories about entropy and heat death, only describe potential from the human perspective, the human capacity to harness energy.Metaphysician Undercover

    An engineer might have that human concern. A cosmologist is more interested in how that technical language speaks to thermal gradients. It is not about a potential to do work (serve human finality). It is about a potential to roll down a "second law" entropic slope (and thus serve cosmic finality).

    But at the first moment in time there is necessarily no past. Can you apprehend this?Metaphysician Undercover

    It is you who think in atomistic moments to be strung like beads on a chain. So this is why you end up with the problem of either having to have a first moment, or an infinity of moments.

    My view is about effective scale. So at the beginning everything is the same "size" and so indistinct or vague. By the end scale is as polarised as it can get. The small is as small as possible, and the large as large as possible.

    In the Heat Death, the visible universe has reached its maximum extent due to the inherent limits of its holographic event horizons - technical jargon for the distance any light ray can reach before the ground under it is moving so fast that effectively it winds up standing still ... as is the case when you fall into a Black Hole.

    And it has also reached its minimum average energy density as every location within that spread of spacetime now has a temperature of 0 degrees K and so the only material action is a faint quantum rustle of virtual particles.

    So this is a very different conception of "time" than your Newtonian one. It is not a collection of instants - truncated or endless. It is instead a reality that is truncated at one end by symmetry - an absence of any concrete distinctions. And then truncated at the other by its opposite - a completely broken symmetry where energy density and spacetime are poles apart.

    Everywhere is cold. Everywhere is large. And it is all one great "moment" - a continuity - in that it is a single story of symmetry breaking, a single thermal history of development. It begins and ends for reasons internal to its own structure-creation. There is no "outside" against which its existence can be measured.

    Pragmaticism does not produce good metaphysics.Metaphysician Undercover

    It is the only test of bad metaphysical theories.
  • 180 Proof
    1.6k
    Pragmaticism does not produce good metaphysics.
    — Metaphysician Undercover

    It is the only test of bad metaphysical theories.
    apokrisis
    :clap: You do TPF, Peirce, Hartle-Hawking/Rovelli, et al proud, apo!
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.4k
    That is only a problem from your theistic presumptions. It is the basic inconsistency in theism or idealism that my version of physicalism resolves.apokrisis

    No, it's an observation. I did not grow up with any theistic assumptions, I didn't go to church, and was not indoctrinated. I studied philosophy in university, and found that the theological metaphysics is consistent with my observed experience, unlike your naturalist metaphysics.

    I don't know what "inconsistency" you are talking about. You have described the constraints of past time, and the "application of these constraints" toward the indeterminacy of the future. Do you not apprehend the necessity of a "being" which applies these constraints? Simply assuming constraints from the past, and indeterminacy in the future, does not provide the premises necessary to create an ordered, or organized existence, an object, which "applying these constraints" implies..

    Finality is not about "free will".apokrisis

    This demonstrates very clearly that you do not understand final cause, nor do you understand freewill. "Final cause" refers to the cause of an act carried out for a purpose, an intentional act. "Freewill" is derived from an understanding of final cause, in conjunction with the notion that the intentional act is not determined (caused) by past material existence.

    You don't understand Peirce's metaphysics yet. But this is the guts of it.apokrisis

    If Peirce's metaphysics states that final cause is not related to free will, then it's a misrepresentation. However, I think that Peirce had very little to say about either of these, and you are just projecting your misunderstanding of final cause and free will onto Peirce's metaphysics. The reality here is that Peirce's metaphysics, being pragmatic, does not account for freewill or final cause, it takes these for granted. So you present a twisted misunderstood representation of final cause, which you think would be consistent with Peirce's metaphysics, and propose it with the intent of making Peirce's metaphysics appear naturalistic..

    The issue is that final cause, being what is responsible for artificial things, is fundamentally inconsistent with naturalism. This is because of the classical dichotomy between natural and artificial. Naturalism pretends that it can explain artificial things by classing human beings as natural things, and claiming that artificial things "emerge", just like human beings "emerge", and insisting that to believe other wise is to "believe in the supernatural" which has bad connotations. But the fact of the matter is that the existence of artificial things is much more accurately described by the philosophy of final cause and freewill, and naturalism can only attempt to make itself consistent with final cause by misrepresenting final cause. So there is a deep chasm of separation between final cause as understood by classical philosophy and theology, and final cause as represented by naturalist metaphysicians like you. Of course, the real representation, the one which is consistent with observation, and true, is the classical representation.

    So at the beginning everything is the same "size" and so indistinct or vague.apokrisis

    Yes this is my point. You assume that things are unintelligible at the beginning, therefore we ought not even try to understand the beginning. The theological way assumes that the beginning is fundamentally, and supremely intelligible. The idea of physical or material existence being derived from the intelligible forms of the creator, explicitly indicates that whatever it is which is prior to the beginning of physical or material existence is fundamentally intelligible. You ought to be able to see why the theological way is much more appealing to anyone with a desire to know the truth about the beginning. If intelligibility is lost in vagueness at the beginning, as you suggest, then there is no point in attempting to understand the beginning, it is simply impossible. But, if the beginning of orderly existence (as we understand the universe to be), necessarily proceeds from an act of final cause, then we might be inspired to proceed toward understanding that act.

    In the Heat Depth, the visible universe has reached its maximum extent due to the inherent limits of its holographic event horizons - technical jargon for the distance any light ray can reach before the ground under it is moving so fast that effectively it winds up standing still ... as is the case when you fall into a Black Hole.

    And it has also reached its minimum average energy density as every location within that spread of spacetime now has a temperature of 0 degrees K and so the only material action is a faint quantum rustle of virtual particles.
    apokrisis

    As I explained, this is completely perspective dependent, and cannot be considered to be anything even remotely related to the truth.

    So this is a very different conception of "time" than your Newtonian one. It is not a collection of instants - truncated or endless.apokrisis

    My conception of time cannot be said to be Newtonian. I've read much of Newton's material and he doesn't even present a conception of time, just taking for granted what has come from before him. Furthermore, I never described any "collection of instants", nor did Newton rely on any such conception. Newton's three laws of motion clearly rely on time existing as a continuity. Continuous time, i.e. without the separation of instants, is what supports the concepts of mass, inertia, and velocity in Newton's laws.

    And the only representation of time which I offered is a separation between future and past. so you're just misrepresenting what I've proposed, in order to say that you are offering something different. You are offering something different though, without appealing to the misrepresentation. You offer a naturalistic metaphysics based in a conception of time which does not respect the substantial difference between past and future. That is the issue which modern physics faces, it does not respect the substantial difference between past and future. That there is a substantial difference between past and future is the most fundamental ontological principle, as it is the principle with the best empirical support.

    It is the only test of bad metaphysical theories.apokrisis

    Sure, pragmaticism might be the only test for metaphysical theories, but it has no business putting forth metaphysical theories itself. Look at the results you've described. Existing metaphysical theories lead to the conclusion that the beginning of the cosmos is not understood. Therefore the beginning of the cosmos cannot be understood. That's what you've described. The problem is that your pragmatism has not taken into account, and tried to understand the existence of itself pragmaticism, and such a venture leads us to final cause. So until you properly understand final cause, you cannot understand the failings of pragmaticism.
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