1Z wrote:

 > 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
> "nows"
> just as , in a world consisting of every possible picture, there will
> be pictures containing pictures-within-a-picture.

This is a big topic difficult to do justice to. Essentially IMO it
means indexical 1st-person limitations on knowledge arising both from
behavioural capability and information instantiated as a virtual
world-model. Those are the limits of what we can know within a discrete
indexical location, or time capsule. I'm sure we've both had the
experience of re-perusing various treatments of the alternatives
without necessarily being completely persuaded either way, but I for
one have accomodated my intuitions to this fairly successfully. There's
a brief discussion of this in 'not the roadmap' with Bruno and Colin
which addresses these issues from the perspective of the 'gestalt'. The
points discussed all seem paradoxical from the pov of a classical
'nameable 1st person' in a dynamic 'tensed' situation, and this is IMO
a powerful strike against this position.

BTW, I have a question for you re 'intrinsically dynamic' views of
reality. It has always seemed to me that this view commits one to a
sort of continual annihilation of each state by the succeeding one. So
both 'past states' and 'future states' are 'radically absent'. My
question is: what is left to be 'present'? Recent developments in
string theory (M-theory) picture time in terms of a 'cinematographic'
view of Planck-time segments. If these are all that exist at any given
'point in time', then haven't we as-near-as-dammit banished the
universe from substantial existence? After all, 'structure' when
decomposed is in fact extraordinarily dense action - energy IOW. In the
'salami-slicer' model, aren't we left with the grin but without the
cat?

It seems to me also that our subjective experience of 'the specious
present' entails the compresent existence of Vast numbers of such
temporal quanta - say one to one 1/2 seconds-worth. Again, if we try to
imagine our experience in the face of the razor of dynamic time, does
it seem anything like this? Have you an alternative presentation of a
dynamic model that resolves these issues?

> 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.

Substrate/ differentiation is also a global/ local distinction.
Locality is manufactured out of information and its manner of
propagation. The global/ local contrast is inherently dynamic. Don't
expect dynamism to reduce to primitive 'dynamic atoms'. It emerges from
the tension between two contrastable states.

> So the argument is:

> 1) David is a person.
> 2) Because David is a person, some parts of David are conscious, and
> others unconscious.
> 3) Some parts of the universe are conscious, and others unconcisous.
> 4) Therefore the universe is a person, too.

4) should read: therefore the universe manifests personhood in macro as
David does in micro.  'Indexical David' is a lens through which the
conscious/ unconscious personhood of the universe concentrates a
particular perspective.

 1) Persons aren't irreducible

Persons are defined and delimited by the intersection of structure and
substrate. Or in dynamic language, persons are substrate behaving
personally. Neither element is dispensible. It depends what you mean by
reducible. A substrate that adopts personal indexicality in this way,
that claims 'I am indexical David', is something I 'take personally'.

> 2) Qualia aren't structural.

Qualia are the instantiated experience of persons defined indexically.
They are the appearance of the substrate behaving personally. They are
the analogic instantiation of information. Information is derived from
their mutual relations, and these relations are structural/
behavioural. They are the carriers of the metaphoric 'aboutness' of
substrate-as-meaning. The meaning they express is 'like this!' From
these origins all 'what it's like' is synthesised through structure/
behaviour/ process.

> 3) There needs to be some sort of Hard Problem
> attached to peronhhod to justify the manoeuvre of making the
> 1st-pesoanl
> primary. If a person is just a particualr structure, or a 1st person
> statement is
> just a  statement made by a person, that is not the case.

The HP is not hard or a problem if qualia are understood to be the
substrate's unmediated, reflexive, self-referential, self-revelation of
its internal structure/ behaviour.  Each of these adjectives is
non-dual in its intent. Even if the limitations of language create the
artefact of an apparent dualism in the notion of 'self-reference', this
is a linguistic mirage. We're talking equivalence, not 'property'.

BTW I don't mean by this that we will ever 'understand' why qualia have
any 'absolute' as opposed to relative appearance.  This is in principle
unanswerable.

> 4) Strenuous avoidance of dualism. Not all dualisms have the problems
> of Cartesian dualism. There are dualisms within physicalism.

As soon as we allow 'dual ontology' we let in the notion of mediation
between two realities, and an unstoppable regression of mediating
processes.

> 5) How the apparent duality between the Easy problem and the Hard
> Problem
> emerges, if not from some other dualism.

The only 'duality' is substrate/ differentiation, or whole/ part. I've
said before that though substrate is implied by differentiation, the
reverse is not true. So we must posit a 'primitive' notion of
differentiation or else no consequent structure or process theory is
possible. From this 'primitive duality' all other apparent dualities
arise. I know this puzzles you and perhaps you think it's nonsense. But
the 'subjective/ objective' duality arises directly from it by the
construction of the world-as-information (virtual) within the
world-as-appearance (situated). The pervasive but illusory independence
of these 'realms' creates the apparent ontic duality, but both are
artefacts of substrate/ differentiation.

David

> 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
> subjective future.
>
>
> > 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
> "nows"
> 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
> others unconscious.
> 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
> "synthesise"
>
> > 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
> communicated.
>
> > 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
> > preference?
>
> 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
> 1st-pesoanl
> primary. If a person is just a particualr structure, or a 1st person
> statement is
> 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
> Problem
> 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?)
> > 
> > David


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