Lee Corbin wrote:
> > I meant that your perceptions have physiological causes
> > because your brain is a part of an obviously successful
> > survival machine designed by evolution.
> Sure, but all of this is compatible with an idealist philosophy where
> reality is made up of nothing but observer-moments at the most
> level--something like the "naturalistic panpsychism" discussed on that
> webpage I mentioned.
The disagreement I have with what you have written
is that I do *not* see observer-moments as the most
fundamental entities. It's just so much *clearer*
to me to see them arising only after 13.7 billion
years or so (locally) and that they obtain *only* as
a result of physical processes.
Ok, but even if you don't agree with this speculation about observer-moments
being the most fundamental entities, criticizing this speculation on the
basis of it being anti-realist seems misguided. Also, as I said, my idea is
that *all* possible causal patterns qualify as "observer-moments", not just
complex ones like ours. And I don't disagree that complex observer-moments
are generally the result of a long process of evolution in the physical
universe, it's just that I think at a most fundamental level the "physical
universe" would be reducible to an enormous pattern of causal relationships
which can be broken down into the relationships between a lot of
sub-patterns, each of which is an observer-moment. The idea that physics
should ultimately be explainable in terms of nothing more than causal
relationships between events, and that higher-order concepts like
"particles" and "spacetime" would emerge from this level of explanation, is
an idea that some approaches to quantum gravity seem to favor, like loop
quantum gravity--it's at least not out of the question that a final
"physical" ToE would be about nothing more than causal relationships between
events. If so, it would just be a different "interpretation" of this theory
to say that each sub-network in this universal causal network would be an
observer-moment of some kind, and my "meta-physical" speculation would be
that you could *start* by looking at all possible finite causal networks and
finding a unique measure on them, and the appearance of the huge causal
network we call the "physical universe" could be derived from the
relationships between all the sub-patterns implied by this unique measure.
Obviously I don't expect you to agree with this speculation, but I'm just
pointing out that it isn't anti-realist, nor does it contradict your
statement about our particular type of consciousness being the result of a
long process of evolution.
When in the laboratory we examine the concepts mice
have of the world, we can easily see their limitations.
What would we think of mice who attempted to found all
of reality on "mouse observer moments"?
Since there is nothing specifically human about my idea of
"observer-moments" this analogy doesn't really work.