On 9/20/05, [EMAIL PROTECTED] <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
OK, you said All comments welcome.  You asked for it.

First, there's a lot to read here, so I assumed you were presenting the
basic gist of your ideas in the first few paragraphs, and so I have a
few comments about those paragraphs.

I commend you for trying to explain values as part of the framework.
I've whinced before when I've read some thought experiments on this
list that depended on accepting the existence of such ideas as good and
bad.  I believe in the existence of good and bad, but one needs to
support his/her belief in good and bad and not take them as a given.

It seems that your limitation of reality to meaningful existence is
actually rejecting Mathematical Platonism.  Why is consciousness
required to make a mathematical truth real?  I thought that you are
trying to deal with all of existence, not just meaningful existence,
since your theory tries to explain "how the most fundamental properties
of existence facts fit together into a unified metaphysical framework."
And yet here you limit existence to what we can perceive.

>> The core assumption is that existence without perception is
meaningless. Reality requires not only raw data but something to
*interpret* that data, to supply meaning to it. This can only be done
by consciousness of *some* kind. If something was hypothesized to exist
that could in no way directly or indirectly affect the conscious
perceptions of *any* possible observer, then in what sense could it be
said to exist at all? Even if it could be successfully argued that it
did have some kind of abstract philosophical existence, it could never
have any possible value to sentient minds. For the purposes of
understanding general intelligence, it suffices to define that which
exists as that which could directly or indirectly ( i.e. in principle)
affect the perceptions of *some* possible conscious observer.

So you've eliminated the whole realm of "unperceived reality" in the
superset of existence.  You've eliminated the motivation to bring
unperceived reality into the realm of perceived reality, since the
former does not exist.

Reading these metaphysical theories doesn't really impress me when I
realize that these theories really don't have anything new in them that
the ancient Greeks (for instance) didn't have.

Of course the big gap in all of these theories, which I believe will
never be filled, is the integration of consciousness (in general) into
physics.  Even if we integrate human consciousness into it (which I
don't think is going to happen), that doesn't cover the whole gammit of
what consciousness is in the whole universe.  Who knows, there's so
much we don't know about stars (and they are so big) that perhaps some
stars have consciousness of some kind that is outside of the definition
of how we would define it, but may be even more "enlightened" about the
universe, and yet we may never know.

Tom


What I wrote there may be misleading.

 

By 'perceivable' I don't necessarily mean 'perceived by humans', what I mean is 'perceivable *in principle* ( i.e. by some mind, somewhere in the universe).  Reality can only ever be understood from the perspective of a mind.  Therefore only things capable of (in principle) making a difference to perceived reality need to be taken into account when devising ultimate theories of metaphysics.

 

If you read what I wrote I made it pretty clear that I believe in a kind of mathematical Platonism.   My proposed noumenon (raw fabric) of reality was something I called 'Mathematico-Cognition' (a hybrid of mathematics and information processing).

 

I don't think the 'perceivable in principle' requirement contradicts mathematical Platonism.   What makes you think that mathematical objects aren't perceivable?  True, most *humans* can't perceive mathematical things, but that's probably just a limitation of the human mind.   I think that a mind sufficiently talented at math *could* in principle directly perceive mathematical objects.  Kurt Godel claimed that it was possible to directly perceive mathematical objects.   He even thought the mind was capable of directly perceiving infinite sets.



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