David Nyman wrote:
> 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. 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', and this is IMO a powerful strike
> against this position.
I have no idea what a 'classical nameable 1st person' is suppose to
> 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.
It doesn't. The present does need a special status, but
its status can be unerwritten by its being the most
recent existing moment, not by its
being the only existing moment.
> 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'tf we as-near-as-dammit banished the
> universe from substantial existence?
A small time-slice is not an infinitessimal time-slice,
an infinitessimal time-slice is not a zero time-slice.
You "near as dammit" is not supported by maths,
indeed it is opposed by maths.
> After all, 'structure' when
> decomposed is in fact extraordinarily dense action - energy IOW.
Is it ? what is dense about a photon sailing thorough empty space for
amillion years ?
> In the
> 'salami-slicer' model, aren't we left the grin without the cat?
I don't think so.
> It seems to me also that our subjective experience of 'the specious
> present' entails the compresent existence of Vast numbers of such
> temporal atoms - say one to one 1/2 seconds-worth.
Or maybe it means that time isn't so atomic in the first place,
Or maybe it means that the specious present is based on
nothing more mysterious than physical latencies in our
ultra-parallel, but rather slow, brain.
> 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?
I think I have offered two models:
1) dynamic time is not necessarily salami-sliced time
2) even so, salami sliced time can be a smeared-out time-capsule.
There are no restrictions on what a time-capsule can contain.
if it can contain "memories" of harry Potter siutations, it
can certainly contain memories of a blurry, specious present.
> > 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.
Then everything else is inherently dynamic, presumably.
> 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.
Errmm, yes. But the problem is the basic argument is invalid.
it is like saying "salt is white" "sugar is white", "therefore, salt is
> 1) Persons aren't irreducible
> Persons are defined and delimited by the intersection of structure and
Isn't everything else as well ?
> Or in dynamic language, persons are substrate behaving
> personally. Neither element is dispensible. It depends what you mean by
It depends on what your grounds are for making first-personness
> 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.
All of the experience ? Where does the redness/squareness contrast [*]
And what is experience anyway ?
> They are the appearance of the substrate behaving personally.
What is appearance ?
> They are
> the analogic instantiation of information. Information is derived from
> their mutual relations, and these relations are structural/
What are the relata ?
> 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 if qualia are understood to be the substrate's
> unmediated, reflexive, self-referential, self-revelation of its
> internal structure/ behaviour.
So why do qualia seem non-structural ?
> Each of the advectives I have used 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
> > 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'
Dual property ontology ? Dual substance ontology ?
> we let in the notion of mediation
> between two realities, and an unstoppable regression of mediating
uh-huh. So haow does that affect the duality of
electricity and magnetism ? Or of fermion and boson ?
> > 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, it
> doesn't necessitate its existence; indeed its origin is paradoxical in
> causal logic. 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.
Which is a dualism...
[ * ]
Colours and Shapes: Exactly What Qualifies as a Quale ?
Because qualia are so often used to argue against physicalism (or at
least physical communicability), it is often assumed that they
must be mysterious by definition. However Lewis's original definition
pins qualia to the way external objects appear, and it least s
ome of those features are throughly unmysterious,such as the shapes of
objects. A red square seems to divide into a mysterious redness
and an unmysterious squareness. This does not by itself remove any of
the problems associated with qualia; the problem is that some
qualia are mysterious. not that some are not.. There is another,
corresponding issue; not all mysterious, mental contents are the
appearances of external objects. There a re "phenomenal feels" attached
to emotions, sensations and so on. Indeed, we often use the
perceived qualaities of objects as metaphors for them -- sharp pains,
warm or cool feelings towards another person, and so on.
The main effect of this issue on the argument is to hinder the
physicalist project of reducing qualia to the phsycally-defined
properties of external objects, since in the case of internal
sensations and emotional feelings, there are not suitable external
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