Hi Roger, and people,
On 05 Sep 2013, at 00:32, Roger Clough wrote:
Kant's disproof of materialism and empiricism
Materialists argue that in essence we are no more than our bodies.
Empiricists such as Hume ruled out the possible influence of
in our perception of objects.
But that position was disproven by Kant, for example in his
transcdendent deduction of
the role of the self in perception
in which cognitive science and philosophers such as Dennett and
seems to have overlooked the critical importance of the
As a result, Kant gave this argument against materialism and
"Kant proposed a "Copernican Revolution-in-reverse", saying that:
Up to now it has been assumed that all our cognition must conform to
objects [materialism and positivism] but ... let us once try whether
we do not get farther with the problems of
metaphysics by assuming that the objects must conform to our
The mechanist hypothesis, and the usual Occam razor go farer: the
physical reality becomes derivable from the "theology of
numbers" (itself entirely derived from addition + multiplication +
Church thesis + some common analytical definition of belief and
Kant is very good. No doubt. But we have progressed, and from that
perspective we are closer to Plato and Plotinus, and all those who
does not oppose mystic and rationalism.
But now we have a math problem: to derive explicitly the physical laws
from a precise theory of "number dreams". Physical realties are stable
computational sharable dreams. That sharability gives the first person
plural points of view.
With mechanism or computationalism, you have to add something magical
in the mind to attach it to some magical primitive matter.
Kant has gone far, but assuming computationalism, there is not much
choice than going much farer, as farer as Plato of the Parmenides, or
Plotinus or Proclus theology. Then computationalism gives the tools,
indeed theoretical computer science, to make this into an
experimentally testable theory. Up to now, it fits.
Kant is right: the why and how of the physical laws emerge from the
laws of cognition, which follows from comp + computer science and
logic, so we can indeed test such idea.
Some people are unable to doubt this *primitive* matter (in need of
Einstein conscious act of faith, as I realize reading Jammer's book on
Einstein & Religion), but perhaps the primitive belief has been
probably wired by evolution, in our probable stories (which explains
what it is hard to doubt it)).
Yet, "nature", our probable histories have given us an experience
which rises the doubt: the dream.
Here is a good exercise for the honest researcher on the fundamental.
Ask yourself every hour of the day "Am I dreaming or am I am awake?",
for a month (or more if necessary). During that time, write all your
dreams in a diary, and when going to sleep, keep attention to dreaming
and to that question again.
Now when awake, most people hardly doubt that they are awake, and see
dreams as fuzzy bizarre experience, hard to remember.
But the training above leads easily to a dream where the subject will
ask her/himself if she/he is awake, and she/will will usually either
conclude "of course I am awake", or induce a lucid dream.
The first case will make the point, as it illustrates that you can
dream that you are *sure* of being awake, and that is enough to learn
to doubt that an experiment or an experience can teach us a certainty,
In a sense, this go "against nature", as nature provided us a brain
wired for taking seriously the predator/prey measurement done, for
example, but computationalism saves the theology of numbers from
nihilism, by its high non triviality and its capacity of being tested,
by the constraints on the observable logics.
- I found my Max Jammer "Philosophy of QM", in the remaining box.
- Apology for sending this to both lists but it can clarify different
points made in the different list. I will try to avoid this.
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