A river tells the water which way to go as a mark on the landscape — apokrisis
There are fundamental reasons why physics and biology require different levels of models, the most obvious one is that physical theory is described by rate-dependent dynamical laws that have no memory, while evolution depends, at least to some degree, on control of dynamics by rate-independent memory structures. — Pattee
The epistemic cut is the same distinction between hardware and software and, to some extent, as the distinction between mind and body. Its necessity makes itself apparent whenever we have to design a complex artifact, to analyse its functioning, or to explain it to an audience. Doing so without ever mentioning subject/object, controller/controlled/, meter/measure distinctions, though perhaps possible in principle, would be absurdly difficult and would not qualify as proper understanding. The epistemic cut is thus similar to what Daniel Dennett (him again!) calls 'the intentional stance', i.e. the attribution of purposeful intentions to the subjects of an action as a powerful method for compressing our descriptions'
Symbols have to be physical marks. — apokrisis
And the speculative metaphysical project that most interests me is pan-semiosis, where semiosis is generalised to the non-living or physico-chemical sphere. So even the Universe is explained in terms of a sign relation. — apokrisis
How are you defining habits exactly? Is that an actual theory with some mathematical structure or simply vague hand waving on your part?
(A Peircean definition for example does focus on triadic or hierarchical organisation - the maths of thermodynamic complexity. And it is a physicalist metaphysics in that it extends causation to formal and final cause by embracing the materiality of symbols, or sign relations. — apokrisis
What I mean is that we can, from sunyata, realize that to do good we shouldn't have an ulterior motive e.g. attaining nirvana or salvation etc. Simply be good. — TheMadFool
Simply be good. — TheMadFool
And yet it is within science that you find the best resources for also criticising that overly-reductionist viewpoint. — apokrisis
You can see why science as an institution does roll its eyes when you have jokers that can't show there is some effect in want of a theory, then invent theories anyway that apply no matter how the world behaves. — apokrisis
If they cannot be known via empirical means then how could we ever decide that they are "forces and fields"? We would be in the position of being unable to show that 'something', 'we know not what', exists. Of what use could that ever be for philosophical enquiry? — John
Morphic resonance is a process whereby self-organising systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. In its most general formulation, morphic resonance means that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits. The hypothesis of morphic resonance also leads to a radically new interpretation of memory storage in the brain and of biological inheritance. Memory need not be stored in material traces inside brains, which are more like TV receivers than video recorders, tuning into influences from the past. And biological inheritance need not all be coded in the genes, or in epigenetic modifications of the genes; much of it depends on morphic resonance from previous members of the species. Thus each individual inherits a collective memory from past members of the species, and also contributes to the collective memory, affecting other members of the species in the future.
do you believe Sheldrake's theory [of morphic resonance] has been experimentally validated? — apokrisis
sunyata philosophy everything is acceptable - a no-holds-barred game — TheMadFool
However, there has been a long standing claim in philosophy, notably popularized by Kant, but perhaps going back to Protagoras, that we can't escape our conceptual schemas. — Marchesk
Our modern cosmology... — Marchesk
a mature neuroscience will eliminate propositional content as an explanation for human cognition — Marchesk
If you walk into a room that is clean, neat and organized we automatically think of an organizer - the agency of order. — TheMadFool
The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God.
Madhyamaka has a mathematical counterpart, to wit ZERO sitting exactly in the middle between positive and negative numbers. And doesn't that resonate with sunyata? — TheMadFool
naturalism is up against transcendental discourses... — apokrisis
I never saw any general attempt at suppressing way out ideas so long as they were in some way "science" in being in at least some sense prospectively testable. — apokrisis
I was so offended by it, that I said that while it's wrong that books should be burned, in practice, if book burning were allowed, this book would be a candidate (...) I think it's dangerous that people should be allowed by our liberal societies to put that kind of nonsense into currency. It's unnecessary to introduce magic into the explanation of physical and biological phenomena when in fact there is every likelihood that the continuation of research as it is now practised will indeed fill all the gaps that Sheldrake draws attention to. You see, Sheldrake's is not a scientific theory. Sheldrake is putting forward magic instead of science, and that can be condemned, with exactly the language that the popes used to condemn Galileo, and for the same reasons: it is heresy.
that in turn brings me back towards some fairly "religious" sounding metaphysics. — apokrisis
Immanent naturalism is up against transcendental discourses that want to leave the window open to creators, miracles, dualism and other kinds of supernatural goings-on. — apokrisis
Of course I then agree that Dennett, Dawkins, the usual candidates, play a part in the great dichotomising cultural war of Enlightenment monadic materialism against Romanticism's dualising transcendence. So outside of the formal boundaries of science, you have this other big show going on as a folk metaphysical battle.
But I like to keep the two things separate. — apokrisis
As John points out, there is a difference between expecting the mystery to be cleared up in some radically different way (revelation? poetry?) and accepting that science - as the refined form of rational inquiry - is a finite exercise. — apokrisis
even these arch-reductionists would see themselves as being anti-occult explainers. So they don't pathologically fear "a mystery" - your suggestion of some personal foible. They quite sensibly oppose "unnecessary mystification" — apokrisis
IN SPEAKING OF THE FEAR OF RELIGION, I don't mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions and religious institutions, in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeper—namely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and, naturally, hope that I'm right in my belief. It's that I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that.
My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time. One of the tendencies it supports is the [End Page 160] ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about life, including everything about the human mind. Darwin enabled modern secular culture to heave a great collective sigh of relief, by apparently providing a way to eliminate purpose, meaning, and design as fundamental features of the world.
This is not to say that there are not (in-finite) aspects of mind, matter and life that will never be understood; either scientifically or philosophically, simply in virtue of the limitations of finite intellects. — John