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 anything transcendental
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 Chalmers seems to have overlooked the critical importance of the transcendental.

As a result, Kant gave this argument against materialism and empiricism:


"Kant proposed a "Copernican Revolution-in-reverse", saying that:

Up to now it has been assumed that all our cognition must conform to the 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 cognition[transcendental idealism]."

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 knowledge).

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, above self-consciousness.

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. Thanks God! - 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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