On Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 4:37 AM, Quentin Anciaux <allco...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2011/10/16 Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
>> On 16 Oct 2011, at 04:22, Terren Suydam wrote (answering Craig):
>> Exactly. I think that it can be better understood as a phenomenon
>> which is not only an emergent property of ensembles of neurons, but
>> granular properties in the moment of an individual entity's behavior
>> over time. It has to go both ways otherwise there could be no reason
>> or mechanism for us to care about anything.
>> What do you mean by "going both ways"?  Causality really does not
>> cross levels. All we can say is that higher levels emerge
>> from/supervene on lower levels. If that gives you problems in seeing
>> how we could have a phenomenological experience of will, then that is
>> a failure of imagination on your part. Unless, you can come up with a
>> principled argument as to why, for one, "there could be no reason or
>> mechanism for us to care about anything," and for another, how
>> causality can "go both ways".  Rhetoric won't do. I need detailed
>> arguments.
>> and
>> On 11 Oct 2011, at 14:45, Stathis Papaioannou wrote (answering Craig):
>> Your solution seems to be to hide in a cave of pre-scientific
>> incuriousity. Content to let our entire lives as we experience them
>> natively to be sequestered in a never-never land that is neither
>> physical nor spiritual. Your assumptions paint conscious subjects as
>> epiphenomenal non-objects, orphaned from reason, science, or any
>> possibility of understanding.
>> Further, they deny their own self-invalidation without justification,
>> so that somehow these thoughts of exclusively deterministic
>> epistemology are themselves immune from their own critical purview. It
>> is to say that all thought is 'simply' neurology - except this
>> thought. This is the one special magic thought which disqualifies all
>> others. It is a philosophy that appeals to many, for obvious reasons,
>> as it provides the sense of certainty and safety which we crave. The
>> truth is that is thought is 'simply' the mirror image of new age
>> religiosity, but owing more of it's spirit to the Inquisition.
>> I really can't understand your emotional objection to the idea that
>> consciousness may be epiphenomenal and supervenient on mechanistic
>> processes. It doesn't worry me or affect my behaviour; why should it?
>> If consciousness is an epiphenomena, and given that the physical laws will
>> be explains in term of coherent appearances in machine's consciousness
>> (dreams), eventually both consciousness and matter are epiphenomena.
>> As s rebuttal to Craig non-comp stance and ex-nihilo spontaneous will
>> causation, the argument is valid. But the phrasing is dubious. Better to use
>> "phenomenological" instead of epiphenomena, I think.
>> And, I would say, against Terren, that causality can cross level of
>> explanation, even if I agree that there is some unaccessible low level,
>> which is just the arithmetical law, when assuming comp. But a universal
>> machine can emulate a cyclic "causal" relationships, like a universe can
>> emulate someone taking an aspirin to act on its brain, and an aspirin can
>> indeed act on the brain, which at some high level is a cross level
>> relationship, even if at a more lower level, all this is completely
>> deterministic. We need this because high level explanation are unavoidable
>> (the comp theory force an explanation of both mind and matter in term of
>> higher epistemological level).
>> I think it is important. The materialist eliminativists do that confusion
>> so that consciousness becomes a mere epiphenomena, which is the purgatory
>> before elimination. With comp this would eliminate both mind and matter,
>> with only the numbers remaining. The moral is that high level phenomena are
>> what is important, and can have local role. That is what gives free-will a
>> genuine sense in the compatibilistic determinist frame. It is also what
>> gives consciousness (phenomenological bet on a reality) a genuine power,
>> like a relative self-speeding up.
>> Low level phenomena (like quantum wave or arithmetic) can account for a
>> high level phenomenon, but usually cannot 'explained' it in any reasonable
>> sense of the terms. Nobody will explain a murder by a quantum field.
>> Already, nobody will explain deep blue strategy by invoking the computer's
>> gate running deep blue programs.
> That's what I wanted to explain to craig... when you run a program on a
> computer... the low level of the computer (the transistors of the cpu) are
> constraint by the program, it is the high level (the program) that "drives"
> the physical states of the CPU.
>> Explanation will be phenomenologically explains by higher order
>> phenomenological facts, and sometimes invoking genuine cross level
>> causation. Like, he did the murder but is not guilty, he just became mad due
>> to a brain tumor, said the lawyer. The judge answered: he is guilty of
>> irresponsibility because he got got a brain tumor by attempting to suicide
>> by drinking radioactive materials.
>> Only from God's point of view, everything is deterministic, and from that
>> view, consciousness is, well, just absent. But from the internal views there
>> will be real solid material appearances and real conscious experiences.
>> Of course, this is only vocabulary. Actually such loops and cross level
>> "causality" are well explained by computer sciences, and so we don't need to
>> postulate 'material mind' to make the mind acting on matter, and producing
>> things like symphony, Mona Lisa and atomic bombs. Biology is full of such
>> kind of loop.
>> Bruno

Suppose I decide to arrange three stones in a triangle. Do the stones
"create" the triangle (upward causation), or does the triangle
"constrain" the stones (downward causation)?

Stathis Papaioannou

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