On 19th September 2005 Marc Geddes writes:
Here's a speculation:
The model I'm working with for my theory seems to suggest 3 different
fundamental kinds of 'cause and effect'.
The first is physical causality - motion of physical objects through
The second is mental causality - agents making choices which effect agents
The third is what I call 'Multiverse causality', a sort of highly abtsract
'causality' close to the notion of logical consistency/consilience - that
which ensures that knowledge has a certain ordered 'structure' to it .
How does the second type differ from the first? Descartes thought there was
a difference, and a puzzle: how can the non-physical (i.e. the mental)
affect the physical? His solution was that that the two fundamentally
different domains - the mental and the physical - must somehow connect and
interact at the pineal gland. Of course, this conclusion is laughable, even
for a dualist.
The interaction of billiard balls is an archetypical example of what you
call "physical causality". Suppose it were shown that this interaction
implements a conscious computation, as the less immediately accessible but
(do you agree?) fundamentally similar interaction of atoms in the brain
implements a conscious computation. Does the billiard ball interaction then
transform from the first type to the second type, or both types, or what?
As for the third type of causality, could you give an example?
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