On May 8, 4:22 pm, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
> > I have now given three clear-cut exmaples of a failure of
> > reductionism.
> > (1) Infinite Sets
> But there is no infinite set of anything.
Says who? The point is that infinite sets appear to be indispensible
to our explanations of reality. According to the Tegmark paper just
recently posted, math concepts map to physical concepts. We can infer
that there must be some physical concept which can be indentified with
an infinite set. And the existence of this physical thing would be a
violation of reductionism. To escape from the conclusion we either
have to deny that infinite sets are real, or else deny the one-to-one
match between the mathematical and physical world.
> >(2) The Laws of Physics and (3) Quantum Wave
> > Functions
> > It is established that all of these concepts are indispensible to our
> > explanations of reality and they are logically well defined and
> > supported. But none of these concepts can be reduced to any finite
> > set of empirical facts.
> That's because we invented them.
No, it's because reductionism is false. We invented the concepts, but
(as I mentioned in the previous post) for concepts which are useful
there has to be at least a *partial* match between the information
content of the concepts and the information content of reality.
Therefore we can infer general things about reality from knowledge of
this information content. Where informational content of our useful
concepts is not computable, this tells us that there do exist physical
things which also mimic this uncomputability (and hence reductionism
> QM isn't even a physical theory; it's just a set of principles for
> formulating physical theories; as classical mechanics was before it.
Exactly so! I agree. QM is really an abstract *high-level*
explanation of reality. This sounds strange, because the QM
description is usually thought of as the *low level* (basement level)
description fo reality, but it ain't. It's true that QM may be the
basement level in the sense of *accuracy* (best scientific model so
far), but *not* in the ontological sense. As you point out, in the
*ontological* sense it's really a sort of high-level *reality shell* -
an abstracted set of principles rather a complete physical principle
My reality theory is a three-level model of reality (as I mentioned
earlier in the thread). And QM is actually at the *highest* level of
explanation! This is the complete reverse of how QM is conventinally
thought of. It makes more sense of you think of the wave function of
the whole universe. Then you can how QM is actually the *highest
level* (most abstract) explanation of reality. Next level down are
functional systems. Then the lowest level is the particle level. All
three of these levels of description are equally valid. This is
somewhat similair to Bohm's two-level interpretation (wave function at
one level, particles the other level). Only I have inserted a third
level into the scheme. *Between* the QM wave level description (high
level) and the aprticle level description (low level) is where I think
the solution to the puzzle of consciousness may be found.
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