On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 11:40 PM, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
>
> I think that's a misuse of "ontology".  When we discuss the atomic theory of
> matter the ontology is a set of elementary particles, including their 
> couplings
> and dynamics.


I think most of us are using "ontology" in the sense of definition 1,
below.  But you keep introducing the term in the sense of definition
2.  I'd noticed it before on David's previous "dream" thread.

Ontology

1. That department of the science of metaphysics which investigates
and explains the nature and essential properties and relations of all
beings, as such, or the principles and causes of being.

2. A systematic arrangement of all of the important categories of
objects or concepts which exist in some field of discourse, showing
the relations between them. When complete, an ontology is a
categorization of all of the concepts in some field of knowledge,
including the objects and all of the properties, relations, and
functions needed to define the objects and specify their actions. A
simplified ontology may contain only a hierarchical classification (a
taxonomy) showing the type subsumption relations between concepts in
the field of discourse. An ontology may be visualized as an abstract
graph with nodes and labeled arcs representing the objects and
relations. Note: The concepts included in an ontology and the
hierarchical ordering will be to a certain extent arbitrary, depending
upon the purpose for which the ontology is created. This arises from
the fact that objects are of varying importance for different
purposes, and different properties of objects may be chosen as the
criteria by which objects are classified. In addition, different
degrees of aggregation of concepts may be used, and distinctions of
importance for one purpose may be of no concern for a different
purpose.





On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 11:40 PM, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
>
> David Nyman wrote:
>> 2009/7/27 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>
>>
>>> That's a bit of a straw man you're refuting.  I've never heard anyone claim 
>>> that
>>> the mind is the brain.   The materialist claim is that the mind is what the
>>> brain does, i.e. the mind is a process.  That's implicit in COMP, the idea 
>>> that
>>> functionally identical units can substituted for parts of your brain 
>>> without any
>>> untoward effects.
>>
>> Yes indeed.  But what do we mean by a process in materialist ontology?
>>  To speak of what the brain 'does' is to refer to actual changes of
>> state of physical elements - at whatever arbitrary level you care to
>> define them - of the material object in question.  So now you have two
>> options: either the 'process' is just an added-on description of these
>> material changes of state, and hence redundant or imaginary in any
>> ontological sense, or else you are implicitly claiming a second -
>> non-material - ontological status for the mind-process so invoked. As
>> I said, it would be difficult to imagine two states of being more
>> different than minds and brains (i.e. this is the classic mind-body
>> dilemma).
>
> I think that's a misuse of "ontology".  When we discuss the atomic theory of
> matter the ontology is a set of elementary particles, including their 
> couplings
> and dynamics.  We then regard molecules and stars and planets, etc, as
> consisting of these things.  It is not legitimate to object, for example, that
> weather is *just* an added on description or else requires an addition to the
> ontology.  It's a description at a different level.  Similarly, material 
> changes
> in the brain may be described as mental events also.  Compare a computer 
> running
> some AI program.  The events have a description in terms of electrons and 
> gates
> and also in terms of decisions and computations.  That was pretty much 
> Bertrand
> Russell's theory of neutral monads - there's only one kind of thing but they 
> can
> be described in mental-causal terms or material-causal terms.
>
>>
>> This is the insight in Bruno's requirement of the COMP reversal of
>> physics and mind as described in step 8 of his SANE2004 paper.  It's
>> aim is to deal a knockdown blow to any facile intuition of the mind as
>> the computation (i.e. process) of a material brain, and IMO the
>> argument more than merits a direct riposte in that light.
>> Furthermore, in a platonic COMP, the question of the level of
>> substitution required to reproduce your mind is unprovable, and has to
>> be an act of faith in any 'doctor' who claims to know.
>
> The difficulty I have with COMP is in step 8, where some measure is invoked to
> make sense out of a computation that computes everything.  What is this 
> measure?
>  and what does it actually predict.  As I said before, an *everything*
> hypothesis is a cheap way to explain anything - unless you can explain why 
> this
> rather than that.  Bruno promises to be able to do that - so I'm waiting to 
> see.
>
> Brent
>
>
>>
>> AFAICS, until these 'under-the-carpet' issues are squarely faced, the
>> customary waving away of the brain-mind relation as a simplistic
>> functional identity remains pure materialist prejudice, and on the
>> basis of the above, flatly erroneous. To say the least, any such
>> relation is moot, absent a radically deeper insight into the mind-body
>> problem.
>>
>> David
>>
>>> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>>> On 26 Jul 2009, at 16:52, David Nyman wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Thanks to everyone who responded to my initial sally on dreams and
>>>>> machines.  Naturally I have arrogated the right to plagiarise your
>>>>> helpful comments in what follows, which is an aphoristic synthesis of
>>>>> my understanding of the main points that have emerged thus far.  I
>>>>> hope this will be helpful for future discussion.
>>>>>
>>>>> THE APHORISMS
>>>>>
>>>>> We do not see the mind, we see *through* the mind.
>>>>>
>>>>> What we see through the mind - its contents - is mind-stuff: dreams.
>>>>>
>>>>> Hence dream content - i.e. whatever is capable of being present to us
>>>>> - can't be our ontology - this would be circular (the eye can't see
>>>>> itself).
>>>>>
>>>>> So the brain (i.e. what the eye can see) can't be the mind; but the
>>>>> intuition remains that mind and brain might be correlated by some
>>>>> inclusive conception that would constitute our ontology: Kant's great
>>>>> insight stands.
>>> It's more than an intuition.  There's lots of evidence the mind and brain 
>>> are
>>> correlated: from getting drunk, concusions, neurosurgery, mrfi,...
>>>
>>>>> It is similarly obvious that 'identity' theories and the like are
>>>>> non-sense: it would indeed be hard to think of two descriptions less
>>>>> 'identical' than brain-descriptions and mind-descriptions: hence
>>>>> again, any such identification could only be via some singular
>>>>> correlative synthesis.
>>>>>
>>>>> Hence any claim that the mind is literally identical with, or
>>>>> 'inside', the brain can be shown to be false by the simple - if messy
>>>>> - expedient of a scalpel; or else can be unmasked as implicitly
>>>>> dualistic: i.e. the claim is really that 'inside' and 'outside' are
>>>>> not merely different descriptions, but different ontologies.
>>> That's a bit of a straw man you're refuting.  I've never heard anyone claim 
>>> that
>>> the mind is the brain.   The materialist claim is that the mind is what the
>>> brain does, i.e. the mind is a process.  That's implicit in COMP, the idea 
>>> that
>>> functionally identical units can substituted for parts of your brain 
>>> without any
>>> untoward effects.
>>>
>>> Brent
>>>
>>>
>>
>> >
>>
>
>
> >
>

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