On 9/22/05, [EMAIL PROTECTED] <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> By 'perceivable' I don't necessarily mean 'perceived by humans', what
I mean is 'perceivable *in principle* ( i.e. by some mind, somewhere in
I admit my misunderstanding, and that you are talking about the
unperceivable rather than the unperceived, so the argument about
eliminating the motivation to discover does not apply, although it does
apply to those that reject the existence of an objective reality.
> Reality can only ever be understood from the perspective of a mind.
Are you willing to admit that you have to be agnostic (by definition!)
about the fact that there could be reality that can't be understood by
Yes. But only minds can perceive and comprehend reality. Only minds can value. The parts of reality that are beyond the comprehension of all possible minds cannot by definition be directly dealt with by any metaphysical theory. And what value could they possibly be to us? That's why I called my theory the 'Sentient Centered' theory. A mind is the most important thing in the universe because without mind there can be no value (values come from minds).
What I'm asking is: Why do you limit metaphysics, at the outset, to
being "for the purposes of understanding general intelligence?" On the
other hand, how do we know what "general" intelligence is if all we
have is our human understanding? Thus my example of conscious stars
which are enlightened about the universe in ways that don't even fit
into our mind's capability of understanding what enlightened can mean.
Only a general intelligence (a mind capable of fully reflective reasoning) can value things, perceive things and comprehend things. Therefore any metaphysical theory needs to deal with those aspects of reality that can in principle impinge on the mind of a general intelligence.
You make a good point about kinds of consciousness that may be beyond human understanding. But my theory does not attempt to provide a full explanation of what general intelligence is. It is simply meant to serve as a logical scaffolding to which new scientific and philosophical information would continue to be added. In order for the words 'intelligence' and 'consciousness' to have an unitary meaning, there would have to be *some* general properties that all possible minds had in common. A metaphysical theory intended to serve as a 'logical scaffolding' simply has to deal with these general properties.
> 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.
Is not there a difference between things that "(in principle)" can
never make a difference to perceived reality (i.e. unperceivable by
some logical contradiction to perceivability, but yet existing
somehow), and things that never will make a difference to perceived
reality because of the limitations of minds (in general)? I admit that
we can't include the former, but what about the latter?
The latter possibility would mean that there's an unbridgeable seperation between the thing in itself and a mind's conception of a thing aka Kant. It's a logical possibility of course but I note that many modern philosophers reject Kant's idea.
> 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.
What if the proof of Goldbach's Conjecture was such that it could not
be perceived by a mind? Doesn't our incomplete picture of the mind
allow for such a possibility?
I suppose so. But it seems unlikely to me. What does the word 'proof' *mean* if not that there are a series of logical connections each of which is capable of being comprehended (in principle) by *some* mind? Of course, there are likely proofs beyond human understanding but such proofs should not be beyond the understanding of *some* (in principle) sufficiently powerful mind.
> THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,
> For, put them side by side,
> The one the other will include
> With ease, and you beside.
In all of the history of humans' exploration of the universe, the
perpetual message that keeps coming back to us from the universe is
that the brain is not as wide as the sky. I think that trying to make
an "end run" around "everything" and starting with the doctrine that it
is, is not a new thing (even to the ancient Greeks), but it contradicts
*Given* that we want a metaphysical 'Theory Of Everything' (the name of this mailing list after all!) we must *assume* as a starting point that mind can comprehend reality. Our assumption could be wrong. That's why it's called a *theory* of everything ;)
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Science, Sci-Fi and Philosophy
THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.
'The brain is wider than the sky'