• Eugen
    Some think there's only matter. Others think there's only mind. There are also those who believe in the existence of both. Can there be more than these two things?
  • Marchesk
    Neutral Monism is the position that something which is neither mind nor matter gives rise to both. In my view, Tegmark's mathematical universe and Wheeler's It from Bit qualify. Math and information as the bedrock of reality doesn't seem like either mind or matter. But one could just as well say it's something beyond our comprehension. Maybe Kant's noumena.

    I also think that quantum fields are pretty far removed the normal stuff materialism was based on.

  • CallMeDirac
    It depends on what you mean by each, if matter has to be tangible the entire quantum reals is neither.
    If mind can only exist in thought then math and English are neither.
  • prothero
    I have become an advocate of the "process philosophy" view. That reality is a process, not an object, a becoming not a being. The fundamental units of reality are :actual occasions" (moments or droplets of experience) which have physical and experiential aspects. There are no independent static particles or objects with inherent properties only relationships and interactions (non conscious experience).
  • khaled
    First you must try to define them such that they don't end up being the same thing. I have failed at doing that.
  • prothero
    First you must try to define them such that they don't end up being the same thing. I have failed at doing thakhaled

    But the point is that in neutral monism (process variety) , they are the same thing, or at least inseparable aspects of the same thing, inherent aspects of the "actual occasions" which are the fundamental units of reality
  • khaled
    I was replying to the original post
  • Eugen
    I also believe that. Moreover, neutral monism does not solve anything, it just hide behind ''something''.
  • prothero
    I also believe that. Moreover, neutral monism does not solve anything, it just hide behind ''something''.Eugen

    There are many different varieties or kinds of neutral monism. At its heart neutral monism seeks to reject pure physicalism (eliminative materialism), pure idealism and a Descartes like dualism. It substitutes one fundamental kind of unit (constructive element) of nature which can explain both the physical and experiential aspects of reality that we are aware of. Russell, James and Mach are promoted some version of neutral monism.

    Panpsychism (which also comes in a variety of flavors and forms) is in most instances a type of neutral monism.
  • Outlander
    Can there be more than these two things?Eugen

    There in fact, is. Anti-matter. Though I've never seen it. Perhaps there must be anti-mind as well? :grin:

    Really though, depends on how we define the two. Is the mind- consciousness? Surely the brain is just another organ, undoubtedly made of matter. How could there be only mind? If all human beings were somehow wiped out, everything physical would just disappear? I think there's a sci-fi series episode like that.. and a few solipsistic posters who believe something along those lines.

    I suppose emotion, "will", concepts, and obviously thoughts are all mind. But are they?
  • Gnomon
    Neutral Monism is the position that something which is neither mind nor matter gives rise to both.Marchesk
    In my Enformationism thesis, that "underlying something" is mundane Information. But not just the uncertain (entropy) Information that Shannon made famous. It's a statistical ratio from 1 (certain), to 0 (uncertain) -- evaluated in terms of Probability percentages. Ironically, Information is also the opposite of destructive Entropy, it's the constructive agency we call "Energy". For humans, Information is Knowledge & Awareness. For me, it's a monism that unites the dualism of Mind & Matter.

    As you hinted, metaphysical Mathematical Information is defined in terms of ratios and relationships. But the ability to "see" those abstract relationships, and to interpret them as self-oriented Meaning, is rare in the universe. And that highly-evolved form of Information (Ideas; Concepts) seems to occur mostly in human Minds. But physicists have recently discovered that even malleable Matter and active Energy are merely various forms of intangible Information : the ability to cause changes in form; to enform. Hence, Evolution is an algorithm for enforming a world. And the human Mind is a late emergence in that process. Yet, it's all Information, all the way down to the Big Bang Singularity, which may have served as the DNA of the Organism we call "The World". :smile:

    Mathematical Metaphysics : http://shelf1.library.cmu.edu/HSS/2015/a1626190.pdf

    Information :
    * Claude Shannon quantified Information not as useful ideas, but as a mathematical ratio between meaningful order (1) and meaningless disorder (0); between knowledge (1) and ignorance (0). So, that meaningful mind-stuff exists in the limbo-land of statistics, producing effects on reality while having no sensory physical properties. We know it exists ideally, only by detecting its effects in the real world.
    * For humans, Information has the semantic quality of aboutness , that we interpret as meaning. In computer science though, Information is treated as meaningless, which makes its mathematical value more certain. It becomes meaningful only when a sentient Self interprets it as such.
    * When spelled with an “I”, Information is a noun, referring to data & things. When spelled with an “E”, Enformation is a verb, referring to energy and processes.


    Is information the only thing that exists? : https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23431191-500-inside-knowledge-is-information-the-only-thing-that-exists/

    Information as a basic property of the universe : A theory is proposed which considers information to be a basic property of the universe the way matter and energy are.
  • Eugen
    It seems to me that your theory has exactly the same issue as materialism: how can you create qualia, experiences, consciousness from ''mundane information''?
  • RogueAI
    I've always wondered that too.
  • Gnomon
    It seems to me that your theory has exactly the same issue as materialism: how can you create qualia, experiences, consciousness from ''mundane information''?Eugen
    I explain how in the Enformationism thesis, and hundreds of blog posts. Modern physics has now shown that both Matter & Energy are forms of mathematical Information (ratios; relationships). Moreover, long before Shannon's theory, Information has always been associated with the contents of Minds : Knowledge, Meaning, Ideas. So if everything in the world is a form of Information, then subjective concepts such as Qualia would have to be included. That is, unless you accept the notion of "Rational Soul", added to the animal body at conception, to create a human.

    Just as Quantum Theory was an update for Newtonian Physics, Enformationism is intended to be a 21st century update for Ancient Atomism (materialism) and Ancient Spiritualism (idealism). It serves the same functions, without contradicting modern science, and is also compatible with Sub-Quantum Physics, which superceded Atomism. Of course, the subjective (qualia) aspect is dependent on an un-provable Axiom : That this world is essentially an idea in a universal Mind. This notion combines Realism with Idealism. If you don't like PanPsychism, then how about PanInformationism? It's like Quantum theory, in that it includes Classical Physics, but goes beyond into some counter-intuitive terrain.

    I referred to it in the post above as "mundane Information" because it is an essential feature or factor or phenomenon of the real world, not just some airy-fairy noumenon. EnFormAction is neither Mind nor Matter, but the power to create both via Evolution. :smile:

    Information : the power to enform ; to create novel forms, including Platonic Ideas and Physical Things

    Factor : 1 : something that helps produce a result

    Information is Fundamental : https://bigthink.com/philip-perry/the-basis-of-the-universe-may-not-be-energy-or-matter-but-information

    EnFormAction : Intentional Causation. A proposed metaphysical law of the universe that causes random interactions between forces and particles to produce novel & stable arrangements of matter & energy. It's the creative power of Evolution -- the power to Enform; Logos; Change.
    ". . . endless forms most beautiful . . ." ___Darwin

    Enformationism thesis : http://enformationism.info/enformationism.info/
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