On Aug 22, 11:55 pm, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> I accept that there is more than one way to describe reality, and I
> accept the concept of supervenience, but where I differ with you
> (stubbornly, perhaps) is over use of the word "fundamental". The base
> property seems to me more deserving of being called "fundamental" than
> the supervenient property. If you were to give concise instructions to
> a god who wanted to build a copy of our world you could skip all the
> information about values etc. confident in the knowledge that all this
> extra stuff would emerge as long as the correct physical information
> was conveyed; whereas the converse is not the case.
> [If the mental does not supervene on the physical this changes the
> particular example, but not the general point.]

Refer the brief definition of property dualism referenced by the link
Bruno gave:

Be careful to draw a distinction between 'substances' and
'properties'.  I accept that the underlying *substance* is likely
physical, but *properties* are what are super-imposed on the top of
the underlying substance.  The physical *substance* may be the base
level, but the physical *properties* aren't.  From the mere fact that
aesthetic properties are *composed of* physical substances, it does
not follow that aesthetic properties themselves are physical.  Nor
does it follow from the fact that physical substances are *neccessery*
for aesthetic properties,  that they are *sufficient* to fully specify
aesthetic properties.

Here's why:  Complete knowledge of the physical properties of your
brain cannot in fact enable you to deduce your aesthetic preferences
without additional *non-physical* assumptions.  That is because,as I
agreed with Bruno (see my previous post), all the explanatory power of
reason is *mathematical* in nature.  In short, in order for you to
know how a complete specification of your brain state was correlated
with your aesthetic preferences, you would have to use your own
*subjective experiences* as a calibrator in order to make the
correlation (ie When brain state X, I feel/experience Y).  And these
subjective experiences are not themsleves physical, but, as I have
explained again and again, *Mathematical* properties.


> They have to be in there somewhere, since it appears that a particular
> brain state is necessary and sufficient for a particular aesthetic
> preference. In the same way, cardiovascular system activity is
> necessary and sufficient for the circulation of the blood. The
> difference between the two cases is that with circulation it is
> obviously so but with mind it is not obviously so: we can imagine the
> appropriate brain activity without mind but not the appropriate
> cardiovascular activity without circulation. But maybe this is just a
> problem with our imagination!

Ah, but there is a difference!  In the example you gave, circulation
is *defined* by the specific physical characteristics of
cardiovascular activity.  But the mind is *not* defined by specific
physical characteristics of the brain (this is the error that
philosopher John Searle keep making).  In the example of circulation
you gave, you can take direct objective measurements of the physical
characteristics of cardiovascular activity.  But as Ray Kurzweil
pointed out in his book 'The Singularity Is Near', you cannot take
direct objective measurements of a mind.  That's because the workings
of a mind are not defined by any specific physical characteristics of
the system, but are *mathematical* properties ('patterns') as
explained by 'Functionalism'.  Further, these mathematical properties
are not just fictions (words we use to explain things better) but
appear to be dispensable to our explanations of reality.  These points
indicate a big and real difference between your example (circulation)
and mind/brain.

> I have to think about this further, but I have questions. As well as
> the initial point I made about what deserves to be called fundamental
> (perhaps a definition is called for?), I don't see why certain
> categories are irreducible. For example, chemistry (physical
> transformations) could be seen as a special case of what you call
> mechanics (laws of the actions of forces), chiefly the electrostatic
> force. Also, it would be helpful if you could describe the underlying
> motivation and history of the model, or refer me to previous posts if
> I've missed them.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou

Refer my model again:

The reason I don't think that categories in my model are reducible
across the *horizontal* axis is because of property dualism, as I have
explained.  The reason I don't that that the categories in my model
are reducible across the *vertical* axis is because of the difference
in levels of abstraction (this may indeed have something to do with
Russell's emergence).

For instance, for your question over the example you gave, the laws of
mechanics are wholly abstract,  Chemistry is at a lower level of
abstraction - additional information about physical processes (initial
boundary conditions) has to be plugged into the equations to get
useful predictions out.  You need Equations + Initial Conditions =
Useful Science.  The initial conditions are not deriable from the
equations themselves but are something external to it.  This shows
that when you switch between levels of abstraction there are extra
assumptions (ie Russell's emergence) and hence there is irreducibility
in categories of science.

As to me the providing an explanation of  'the underlying motivation
and history of my model', good idea, but be patient.  All will be
explained in time ;)

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