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
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
the programme will in genreal not explore every branch. yet the
branches are part of the programme. A branch of an if-then statement
not executed on a particular run of a programme will constitute a
a situation that could have happened but didn't. Without
cannot tell which programme (algorithm) a process is implementing
two algorithms could be have the same execution path but different
> > > > > 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
> If time is continuous then in a linear universe movement is the
> result of a series of static frames of infinitesimal duration.
> There is no room for movement within
> a frame in either case -
There is room within an infinitessimal frame. dx/dt is not necessarily
> that is what defines it as a frame - but the series of frames creates the
> effect of movement.
> Stathis Papaioannou
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