Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Peter Jones writes:
>
> > > > > But the important point is that the temporal sequence does not itself 
> > > > > make a difference
> > > > > to subjective experience.
> > > >
> > > > We don't actually know that it is possible that
> > > > there might be some flicker effect.
> > >
> > > Not necessarily. I'm suggesting that the actual physical events are 
> > > *exactly* the same,
> > > just their order is different. If the world were created 5 minutes ago, 
> > > complete with
> > > fossils, ruins, false memories etc., you could not be aware of this on 
> > > the basis of any
> > > observation - by definition, otherwise the illusion would not be perfect. 
> > > This is of course
> > > no reason to believe that the world was created 5 minutes ago; but it 
> > > does mean that
> > > the absence of a sensation of having just flickered into existence is no 
> > > evidence *against*
> > > this theory.
> >
> > My original point stands. There is no evidence *for* the theory. If
> > the present
> > state is determined by more than a 0-width time slice preceding it,
> > then
> > a physical process cannot be arbitrarily sliced up.
>
> Your original point was that the continuous flow of consciousness is evidence 
> against a block
> universe. It is not, whether the time slices are of finite or infinitesimal 
> duration.

It is, because however you slice a dynamic sequence, you don't
remove the dynamism. You just get lots of little dynamic slices.

>I'm not sure
> what you mean by the last sentence either: are you suggesting that time is 
> quantised rather
> than continuous, and if so how is that evidence against a block universe?

No, I am suggesting that 0-width slices don't contain
enough information to predict future states in physics.

> > Computationalism does not help, because computationalism requries
> > counterfactuals.
>
> I don't see why it does, or why it makes any difference to the present 
> question if it does.


Computer programmes contain conditional (if-then) statements. A given
run of
the programme will in genreal not explore every branch. yet the
unexplored
branches are part of the programme. A branch of an if-then statement
that is
not executed on a particular run of a programme will constitute a
counterfactual,
a situation that could have happened but didn't. Without
counterfactuals you
cannot tell which programme (algorithm) a process is implementing
because
two algorithms could be have the same execution path but different
unexecuted branches.

> > > > > Would you say that it is in theory possible for the subjective
> > > > > passage of time to be as we know it if the blocks were not 
> > > > > infinitesimal, but lasted for
> > > > > a second, so that the whole ensemble of blocks lasted for a second?
> > > >
> > > > There is still duration within blocks
> > >
> > > Yes, and...
> > >
> > > > >  Then what if you
> > > > > make the blocks shorter in duration and larger in number, 
> > > > > progressively down to
> > > > > infinitely many blocks of infinitesimal duration: is there room for 
> > > > > dynamism in an
> > > > > infenitesimal interval?
> > > >
> > > > There are such things as infintiessimal velocities...
> > >
> > > So if there is room for movement in infinitesimal intervals (or through 
> > > combination of
> > > infinitesimal intervals) in a linear theory of time, why not with a block 
> > > universe?
> >
> > A block universe with movement is just as dynamic universe
> > (specifically,
> > a growing universe).
>
> The effect of movement would be the same in a block universe as in a linear 
> universe. If time
> is discrete then in a linear universe movement is the result of a series of 
> static frames of finite
> duration, like the frames in a film.

Finitism doesn't imply stasis. New frames could be popping into
existence
dynamically.

> If time is continuous then in a linear universe movement is the
> result of a series of static frames of infinitesimal duration.

Likewise.

> There is no room for movement within
> a frame in either case -

There is room within an infinitessimal frame. dx/dt is not necessarily
zero.

> that is what defines it as a frame - but the series of frames creates the
> effect of movement.
>
> Stathis Papaioannou
>
> _________________________________________________________________
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> ht


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