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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In the example with the billiard balls, there no reason why both kinds of causality cannot be equally valid properties of the system. There are simply two different interpretations of the system at work - one interpretation is in terms of function - changes in state - that we see as physical causality. The other interpretation is in terms of teleology - aims or ends - that we see as mental causality. Both valid.
It's very difficult for me to try to explain the third kind of 'causality', because I'm not yet totally clear on what it is myself. I suspect it's some kind of subtle pattern across the multiverse which can't be easily described in plain English.
Stephen Hawking proposed the notion of 'Imaginary Time', a kind of time existing 'at right angles' to ordinary physical time. This, I suspect, is equivalent to my proposed third kind of causality.
To get a handle on the idea, you have to realize I'm not talking about something which takes place in ordinary physical or mental time. It's better to think of it , in fact, as a static platonic property of the multiverse. It's what grants 'Existence' to a thing - how the existence of a thing is implied by the existence of other things. So this kind of causality is better thought of as an abstract *logical* relationship between things.
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