Brent,

Another example of your somewhat non-standard "definition 2" usage:

> First of all I think epistemology precedes ontology.  We first get
> knowledge of some facts and then we create an ontology as part
> of a theory to explain these facts.



On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 11:56 PM, Rex Allen<rexallen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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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