On Sun, Sep 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:
>>> >> I have noticed a disturbing trend, the use of the word "emergent" as a
>>> >> excuse for not thinking.
>> > Sometimes that might be the case. Here, it's context. Free will is a
>> > human concept.
> That is incorrect,"free will" is not a human concept, "free will" is a human
I agree that "free will" is an ill-defined concept. There are many
interesting ill-defined concepts. This is usually a symptom that
there's something fundamental that we are missing, because these ideas
don't spring out of nowhere. Free will is related to the issue of
determinism -- could a very powerful computer precisely predict my
future behaviour? And if not, is there an "I" that has ultimate
control over my decisions? In that case, what is this "I"? You surely
have asked these things yourself, even if you pretend you did not for
the sake of argument.
>"Moo" is a bovine noise. And when somebody says something is
> emergent, unless they give at least a hint of how it emerges and why, all
> they're really pointing out is the limitations common words have in uncommon
> situations; we usually don't encounter just one water molecule and the usual
> understanding of the word "wet" works fine until we get to that level.
Ok, unless they give a hint of how it emerges and why. I can agree with that.
Otherwise, emergence is an explanatory tool _because_ it hand-waves
details. If our brains were not limited, we would not need
explanation. We could just look at the totality of reality for exactly
what it is. It would be like explaining the number 1. There would be
nothing to explain. Explanation is how to know more without having to
> John K Clark
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