David Nyman wrote:
> 1Z wrote:
> On 8/13/06, 1Z <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > > but as I say, I can't help 'taking
> > > personally' the existent thing from which I and all persons are
> > > emanating. I think, imaginatvely, that if one pictures a 'block
> > > universe', Platonia, MW, or any non-process conception of reality, this
> > > is more intuitive,
> > I don't see why it should be. It does not conform to our
> > experience.
> > > because everything is 'just there' - superposed, as
> > > it were. So, sure there's a 'layer' at which the individual 1st-person
> > > 'emerges', but it's taking everything else 'working together' to
> > > manifest it. So in this sense, for me, it's all 'personal'. But maybe
> > > not for you.
> This business of what 'conforms to our experience' I think is fairly
> deep. I used to be adamant that, whether or not 'timeless' theories
> could be shown to be true or false on any other grounds, that they
> simply didn't 'conform to our experience'. I was, however, also
> suspicious of my own doubts: after all, we can't feel the earth moving,
> and everyone knows you need to keep pushing things or otherwise they
> grind to a halt. So I tried to go on an imaginative journey that might
> take me into this apparently static realm but nevertheless preserve
> something like 'what we experience'.
> In my mind's eye I placed myself in the various 'points of view' that
> 'timelessly' exist within these structures. What would I see? Well,
> whatever was manifested to me in virtue of 'my' local capabilities and
> the perceptual information available to this 'me'. Would these
> experiences be discrete, or would they be overlaid or 'smeared' with
> information from other perspectives? Well, it seemed to me that what is
> characteristic about our experience, what makes it seem 'sequential',
> is precisely what we *can no longer* or *can't yet* see, the
> information we *don't* have access to.
In dynamic theories of time , that is explained by
the fact that memory traces are laid down causally, and the
future doesn't causally influence the present, so there
are no traces of the future.
A static universe could be structured the same way, although
it would be coincidental.
An Everythingist universe can't be. Every possible time
capsule must be instantiated. There must be versions of
you who ar the same in every erespect except that hey remember their
> And so despite the 'superposed'
> existence of these other states, delimitations of access to information
> would act to make each capsule discrete.
What does "access to information" mean ? In a dynamic
universe, it means causality. In a Barbour-style universe
it means some "nows" coincidentally contain patterns representing other
just as , in a world consisting of every possible picture, there will
be pictures containing pictures-within-a-picture.
> All the capsules capable of it
> are 'conscious', but the localisation of information prevents there
> being a 'totalising' point of view.
what does the localisation of informatio mean ? What do
1's and -0's mean if they were not caused by anything ?
> The next puzzle for me was why any of this would 'feel' dynamic. This
> IMO is a subset of the qualia issue - i.e. why does anything feel
> anyhow? Now, given that the arena under consideration consists in a
> both a 'substrate' and the structures within it, it has both
> distributed and all-at-once aspects. Could it not be the the dynamic
> temporal 'feel' is the tension between these two? All dynamism derives
> from contrast,
That doesn't mean all contrast leads to dynamism !
You can get stasis out of dynamism by slowing things dwon to a halt;
it is still a paradox to get dynamism out of stasis.
> and this seems to offer it. Putting these elements
> together (over a period of time involving many 'thought voyages') has
> re-aligned my intuition to make the scenario seem more plausible, at
> least experientially.
> Finally we come to the question of all these 'mes'. They all exist, and
> they're all conscious (the ones that are, that is). What's different
> about the other parts of the structure? Why aren't *they* conscious?
> They're just organised differently, just like the parts *within*
> persons that aren't conscious (ever), or the part that just went to
> sleep, or died. So the whole structure, reflexively, *to itself*, is
> manifesting consciously, unconsciously, and no doubt every nuance in
> between and beyond. That's my capital-P Personal. I strongly suspect
> that you find this way of thinking uncongenial, which is absolutely
> fine by me. But I've tried to describe it as clearly as I can, and
> perhaps we can do no better than leave it at that.
So the argument is:
1) David is a person.
2) Because David is a person, some parts of David are conscious, and
3) Some parts of the universe are conscious, and others unconcisous.
4) Therefore the universe is a person, too.
> > That isn't at all clear to me - mainly because you
> > are nto makign the all-improtant distinction between
> > structures-structures and qualia-structures.
> The qualia-structures are the fact of *being* the differentiated
> substrate, and they manifest as 'feel', as distinct from 'possessing
> properties'. The structure-structures are the observed relations
> derived from these experiences, which also give us our relational or
> 'property' view of things.
> Why is it not possible that *being* a substrate differentiated in a
> particular way just *feels like* a particular existential/ experiential
> quality to the differentiated substrate in question?
I didn't say it was impossible. This is a confusion about
the meaning of "structure". I was only doubting that qualia
are structures of a non-fundamental, decomposable sort.
>I find the choice
> of vocabulary here almost impossible, because it's not the sort of
> thing we're used to trying to communicate. But we're trying to
> comprehend a sort of reflexivity, a 'seeming-to-itself'. How would you
> prefer to characterise it? Is it critical to your conception that
> qualia are individual irreducible 'feels' and are subjectively neither
> analysable or synthesisable even to the 'feeler'?
Qualia are what they seem. I still don't know what you mean by
> I feel that we're
> getting to the point here where the problem stems from interpreting our
> personal experience in characteristically different ways, and this may
> simply be irreconcilable. As you say:
> > I disagree. I can discern no structure *within* the taste
> > of lemon or the colour red. There are relations between
> > tastes, colours and so on, but they underdiefine the tastes
> > and colurs themselves.
> I agree about the underdefinition, but beyond this can one really
> debate something so personal as what one can 'discern'?
The HP rests on the very fact that such things cannot be communicated.
If they were just (structural) strcutures, they could be
> I can't think
> of any further argument to advance this here, so "Wovon man nicht
> sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen".
> At this stage, and attempting to recall our various points of
> departure, are you able to summarise what substantive areas of dispute
> may remain that do not boil down to imaginative or linguistic
1) Persons aren't irreducible
2) Qualia aren't structural.
3) There needs to be some sort of Hard Problem
attached to peronhhod to justify the manoeuvre of making the
primary. If a person is just a particualr structure, or a 1st person
just a statement made by a person, that is not the case.
4) Strenuous avoidance of dualism. Not all dualisms have the problems
of Cartesian dualism. There are dualisms within physicalism.
5) How the apparent duality between the Easy problem and the Hard
emerges, if not from some other dualism.
> I mean this genuinely, not rhetorically. I have discovered
> many points of agreement in thinking about your interesting
> presentation of your views, and your pointed questions to this juncture
> have been most helpful in getting me to formulate justifications with
> as much precision as I can. I'm only sorry I don't do better, but words
> often fail me (or do I fail them?)
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