On 9/20/05, Pete Carlton <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

On Sep 19, 2005, at 1:00 AM, Marc Geddes wrote:

> 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 space.
> 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 .
> Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Here's my thought -- isn't it the case that we know enough about how
brains work today that, at the very least, it is a huge overstatement
to refer to the first two types as "different fundamental kinds"?  In
other words, I will claim that type 2 is actually nothing more than a
subset of type 1, occurring in particular circumstances.  What
evidence goes against this view?


I didn't mean to imply substance dualism.  Of course I agree that higher level concepts like mind are completely dependent on lower level physics.  A 'mental cause' is not something separate from physical causes.   But this does not mean that the higher level kind of causality is *not real* Just because the high level kind of causality (mental causation) is completely *dependent* on lower level physics, doesn't mean that the mental kind of causality is necessarily completely *reducible* to lower level physics.   In dealing with mental concepts, I think one is dealing with a higher level of description which for full explanation requires the positing of new properties not completely reducible to low level physics.   Again though, I'm not suggesting that mental concepts are separate from physical concepts. 


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THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,  
  For, put them side by side,  
The one the other will include  
  With ease, and you beside.

-Emily Dickinson

'The brain is wider than the sky'

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