On 25 September 2013 21:49, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> You making up opinions for reductive materialists.  I don't know any who
> think money or love aren't real.  And in fact it's not at all clear what
> 'materialism' means, except in contrast to 'idealism'. It is physicists like
> Wheeler, Hawking, and Tegmark who have pointed out that physics consists of
> equations which have predictive power but they have different possible
> metaphysical interpretations.  So are fields real (Wald or Wilczek) or are
> particles real (Stenger or Klauber) or is it just relations (Mermin or
> Rovelli) or is it strings (Susskind or Preskill)?  Nobody cares - they just
> want a theory that works.

Sure, but aren't the examples you quote above aimed primarily at
deriving a physics and only secondarily at locating points-of-view and
their phenomena in terms of that physics (to the extent that this is
explicitly considered at all)? Well, maybe Wheeler was an exception to
that, but Hawking doesn't seem to be. In any case, it wasn't
distinguished theoreticians of science that I principally had in mind,
but rather figures in the wider culture (Dennett being a convenient
example) who tend to base their key arguments more simplistically on a
particular formulation of "bare physicalism". In "Consciousness
Explained" Dennett explicitly attempts to reduce all mental phenomena
to performances and asks rhetorically "what remains to be explained?"
It is the defects of the latter position that I was attempting to
critique.

> It's not agnosticism. It's avoiding fundamentalism.  It's an approach to
> knowledge that says start wherever you think you can make progress and work
> your way around.

Couldn't agree more.

David

On 9/25/2013 12:42 PM, David Nyman wrote:
>>
>> On 25 September 2013 19:42, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>>
>>> I'd say the standard riposte is that the "first person facts" (qualia?)
>>> are
>>> just inherent in the 3p model.  There is feeling that goes with certain
>>> kinds of information processing (e.g. creating a personal narrative).
>>> This
>>> is really implicit in Bruno's theory - that proving certain theorems in
>>> arithmetic necessarily entails qualia.
>>
>> Sure, but in my reply to Bruno I point out that whereas "information
>> processing" is an explicit theoretical aspect of comp, it has no
>> obvious role to play in reductive materialism. By the way, my critique
>> of "reductive materialism" isn't mean to imply a knock-down argument
>> against a future account of the first-person in terms of some final
>> physical theory. Rather my intention is to stress the often-overlooked
>> limitations of existing physical theory in this regard. What role is
>> "information processing" supposed to play if what exists is supposed
>> to be exhausted by some maximally-reduced material substrate? Is it
>> meant as a proxy for some underlying physical process? But then what
>> is this proxy supposed to consist of in addition to the process?
>>
>> As I remarked to Bruno, when one speaks of nations or sports teams (or
>> indeed universities, as Ryle famously pointed out, though apparently
>> without fully grasping the consequences) one has no difficulty
>> realising that all one is speaking of is human beings variously
>> arranged. I suppose one might call this reductive peopleism. But
>> apparently when one turns to "information processing" it is somehow
>> less clear that all one can be speaking of (according to reductive
>> materialism) is fundamental material entities variously arranged.
>>
>>> "Nature" is our model of reality.  We like to compute from "the bottom
>>> up"
>>> because it is usually easier to think of simpler things interacting to
>>> make
>>> more complicated things - but no always.
>>
>> Yes, of course. But ISTM that this is often understood as implying
>> more than merely an explanatory strategy; IOW that "bottom up" - or
>> really "bottom only" - is how things "really are", internal
>> contradictions be damned. However, I surmise that you are not in this
>> simplistic camp. But I would still be interested in an account of
>> "information processing" that appeals exclusively to third-personal
>> physical processes without begging the question of the distinctive
>> first-personal characteristics of any higher-order relational
>> phenomena thus adduced.
>>
>>>> If the foregoing point is fully taken on board, it should be apparent
>>>> that our fundamental motivation for ascribing any truly independent
>>>> "reality" to derivative or emergent phenomena is actually their
>>>> appearance in some first-personal narrative.
>>>
>>> But that's just taking 1p narratives as fundamental.
>>
>> Not so fast. It's taking them to be "real", not fundamental. My point
>> is that, according to reductive materialism, there is no motivation to
>> accept derivative or emergent phenomena as real in any sense, because
>> they are ever and always simply the underlying fundamentals tout court
>> (i.e. the people not the nation).
>
>
> You making up opinions for reductive materialists.  I don't know any who
> think money or love aren't real.  And in fact it's not at all clear what
> 'materialism' means, except in contrast to 'idealism'. It is physicists like
> Wheeler, Hawking, and Tegmark who have pointed out that physics consists of
> equations which have predictive power but they have different possible
> metaphysical interpretations.  So are fields real (Wald or Wilczek) or are
> particles real (Stenger or Klauber) or is it just relations (Mermin or
> Rovelli) or is it strings (Susskind or Preskill)?  Nobody cares - they just
> want a theory that works.
>
>
>> Of course, looking at things in this
>> way has the effect of making such emergent phenomena disappear from
>> view even more comprehensively than the Cheshire Cat, which also was
>> my point.
>>
>>> The advantage of
>>> looking at a circle of 'reductions'
>>>
>>> NUMBERS -> "MACHINE DREAMS" -> PHYSICAL -> HUMANS -> PHYSICS -> NUMBERS.
>>>
>>> is that it cautions one against this kind fundamentalism.  Shall we take
>>> perspectives as fundamental (Nietzsche), particles (Stenger), numbers
>>> (Bruno),...  In my view they are all models and one 'reduces' to a level
>>> you
>>> can understand or manipulate, which will be different in different
>>> circumstances.
>>
>> That's nicely agnostic, of course. Frankly, it about sums up my own
>> views most of the time. However, I appreciate Bruno's efforts to put
>> some flesh on the bones of one particular departure from agnosticism.
>
>
> It's not agnosticism. It's avoiding fundamentalism.  It's an approach to
> knowledge that says start wherever you think you can make progress and work
> your way around.
>
> Brent
>
>
>> And I still deprecate those of an airily reductive persuasion who
>> simply cannot see how they are doggedly assuming almost everything
>> they wish to explain.
>>
>> David
>
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Everything List" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
> email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
> To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
> Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list.
> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

-- 
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email 
to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Reply via email to