• OK, it's on.
  • Please note that many, many Email Addresses used for spam, are not accepted at registration. Select a respectable Free email.
  • See https://www.intpforum.com/threads/upgrade-at-10-am-gmt.27631/

Determinism the end of morality and free will?

Cognisant

Prolific Member
Local time
Today, 01:09
Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
8,596
For this thread I'm not interested in arguing whether or not reality is deterministic, the only "evidence" to the contrary is subatomic phenomena that nobody really understands which hardly proves anything.

What I'm interested in discussing is determinism as it applies to morality and free will because if everything is deterministic then anything anyone ever does is simply a natural outcome of their circumstances. Now practically that doesn't mean much, if someone turns out to be a serial killer because they weren't held enough as a child us knowing that doesn't change the fact that they have to be punished for their crimes, both to (in theory) rehabilitate them and to serve as an example to others.

But what if we had the technology to literally change someone's mind, to enable a team of psychiatrists to open up the patient and remove the neurosis like a team of surgeons removing a tumor, would it still be necessary to imprison the former serial killer indeed assuming the procedure wasn't voluntary and the patient isn't resisting the changes are they still the same person?

On the other hand wouldn't it be cruel not to use such technology? Does someone born into unfortunate circumstances and/or with an unfortunate predisposition to violence deserve to be punished for existing?
 

lightfire

Active Member
Local time
Today, 06:09
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
376
That's assuming all serial killers weren't held enough as children and in that case maybe all they needed was just a hug. But I think it's more complicated than that.

And what you said reminds me of how lobotomies were once performed on patients with supposed mental disorders. It was deemed barbaric and mostly discontinued.

If someone truly believes they need to kill several human beings for whatever reason they find as motivation, "fixing" them with technology isn't really tackling the issue of why they did it in the first place.
 

Serac

A menacing post slithers
Local time
Today, 12:09
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Messages
2,474
Location
Stockholm
That tumor example comes from a real-life case, I believe. I don't recall the details, but some guy committed murder and it was later revealed he had a brain tumor which affected his behavior.

Living in a society means giving up certain freedoms – e.g. the freedom to kill people at will. As long as one agrees, for example, that people shouldn't have that particular freedom, one tacitly agrees to suffer the consequences of committing such acts. Then the question becomes – what would you rather like: getting brain surgery which changes you as a person, or being put in prison? I guess that's a matter of consensus. I personally would prefer the brain surgery as long as it would result in a healthy, autonomous human being.

I also think such considerations can be done independently of any regard to determinism. Whether or not one believes in determinism, it's quite clear that people's psyche is affected by their environment, their experiences, upbringing, physiology, and so on.
 

Cognisant

Prolific Member
Local time
Today, 01:09
Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
8,596
Oh right I was building up to a point about how if we take a totally deterministic approach to ethics, treating crimes as illnesses to be cured or malfunctions to be fixed, that we are effectively denying the criminal their "free will".

They still have the freedom to act, just not to own their actions, I dunno for some reason I find the concept of a criminal frustrated by their inability to commit meaningful crimes fascinating.
 

Hadoblado

think again losers
Local time
Today, 21:39
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
5,490
This is already how I think about crime, and I believe it's the best way.

We don't have access to the pure deterministic mechanisms, but we do have empirical data on what follows what and we should do our best to create the environment most conducive to reducing crime.

Prison systems tend to really suck at their purpose, especially privatised ones. They're based on fundamentally unsound psychological principles, and waste resources at an astonishing rate.

I'm already 100% against imprisonment for the purpose of punishment. If we had the magical ability to prevent them from doing further crimes (and we used it), so long as people saw the deterministic mind control as a deterrent, there's no reason to keep them.

But rather than implementing this reactively, wouldn't we want to treat this disease proactively, before the crimes occur? AKA a society structured such that the mentally ill are cared for and crime is not incentivised.
 

Pizzabeak

Banned
Local time
Today, 04:09
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
2,668
If every man had one wife or partner, people all around the world in different continents would behave less retarded. Being freakin' stupid as heck like some or most people are, is why there's much strife already as it is. Dumb people can't control their anger, rage, envy, jealousy, and other qliphoth, sinful influences.
But rather than implementing this reactively, wouldn't we want to treat this disease proactively, before the crimes occur? AKA a society structured such that the mentally ill are cared for and crime is not incentivised.
Sure.
 

The Grey Man

Well-Known Member
Local time
Today, 07:09
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
633
Location
Canada
For this thread I'm not interested in arguing whether or not reality is deterministic, the only "evidence" to the contrary is subatomic phenomena that nobody really understands which hardly proves anything.
People make far too much fuss over supposed quantum indeterminacy. Ironically, the 'Schrödinger's cat' thought experiment proves, by analogy, that there is nothing mystical about the collapse of the wave function, simply because the collapse of the wave function is a theoretical postulate and not an observable event. I can't tell whether a cat in a box is alive or dead because I can't see into the box, just as we can't see into a quantum superposition. There is no empirically meaningful difference between these two cases. As Hume pointed out, experience teaches us merely that one event follows from another, not that it follows necessarily, though Kant twisted himself into an unseemly semantic pretzel trying to disprove this.

But what if we had the technology to literally change someone's mind, to enable a team of psychiatrists to open up the patient and remove the neurosis like a team of surgeons removing a tumor, would it still be necessary to imprison the former serial killer indeed assuming the procedure wasn't voluntary and the patient isn't resisting the changes are they still the same person?

On the other hand wouldn't it be cruel not to use such technology? Does someone born into unfortunate circumstances and/or with an unfortunate predisposition to violence deserve to be punished for existing?
When the state has the power to modify people from the top down, body and soul, to produce "correct" behaviour, dystopia has arrived. This is as dismal as science fiction gets. At this point, we can say that man is mere fuel for an organism of a higher order, as animals are to us and plants to animals.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

Active Member
Local time
Today, 12:09
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
193
For this thread I'm not interested in arguing whether or not reality is deterministic, the only "evidence" to the contrary is subatomic phenomena that nobody really understands which hardly proves anything.
People make far too much fuss over supposed quantum indeterminacy. Ironically, the 'Schrödinger's cat' thought experiment proves, by analogy, that there is nothing mystical about the collapse of the wave function, simply because the collapse of the wave function is a theoretical postulate and not an observable event. I can't tell whether a cat in a box is alive or dead because I can't see into the box, just as we can't see into a quantum superposition.
Indeterminancy has more to do with Bell Inequality violation. It follows from the experiment that there can no local hidden variables to pre-determine how a particle can act or interact. However, non-local hidden variables are still possible (which is still a deterministic case). Some finding non-locality implausible can commit to other forms of interpretations. It's a real epistemic-metaphysical mess out there. I avoid that area. Indeterminism doesn't really matter too much in the end anyway, unless it is The Will that controls the indeterminancy. But if the will controls and causes indeterminate event - then it cannot be in full control of the events it causes (otherwise it would deterministically follow the will). It may be the case, that the will itself is indeterministic, but then it follows that the will itself is not fully determined by anything or anyone. Indeterminism doesn't give any more freedom than determinism can. If determinism cannot give us any free will (compatibilism), nothing can.

As Hume pointed out, experience teaches us merely that one event follows from another, not that it follows necessarily, though Kant twisted himself into an unseemly semantic pretzel trying to disprove this.
Kant agrees with Hume that it cannot be derived from experience - that something necessarily follows something else. But Kant disagrees with Hume in that the idea of causation - 'that something necessarily follows something else' can be learned from experience itself (through habits and custom). Nothing remotely close to that idea exists in empirical reality, according to Kant - it's not mere chimera of experienced stuffs. Rather, the propensity to order cognized objects in terms of rules (causal and otherwise) lie a priori as conditions of cognition itself.
 

The Grey Man

Well-Known Member
Local time
Today, 07:09
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
633
Location
Canada
I agree that the correct conception of the freedom of the will is compatibilistic. Why do I do what I do? Why am I me and not someone else? When we ask these questions we become like a dog chasing its tail. In ordinary situations, that people act the way they do is a more important fact than why they do. This is 'marketplace morality.' The closest we can get to a why outside the marketplace is the principle of individuation, which I strongly doubt that we will ever be able to explain since it seems to be the essence of empirical reality itself.

Kant agrees with Hume that it cannot be derived from experience - that something necessarily follows something else. But Kant disagrees with Hume in that the idea of causation - 'that something necessarily follows something else' can be learned from experience itself (through habits and custom). Nothing remotely close to that idea exists in empirical reality, according to Kant - it's not mere chimera of experienced stuffs. Rather, the propensity to order cognized objects in terms of rules (causal and otherwise) lie a priori as conditions of cognition itself.
Kant successfully showed that the formal aspect of nature is subjective, that empirical reality is our ordering of the manifold impressions provided by the senses according to laws a priori. This, however, does not refute Humean skepticism regarding causality, because causal laws have both a formal and a material aspect. For every causal law, there is some thing, some sensation which follows another, not just an empty form, but Kant does not give any reason why any given sensation must be followed by another. The manifold, according to Kant, is simply "given." Why this manifold and not another? Why am I me and not someone else? It seems that both the freedom of the will and causal necessity are grounded in individuation.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

Active Member
Local time
Today, 12:09
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
193
I agree that the correct conception of the freedom of the will is compatibilistic.
I don't think this is necessarily the 'correct' conception. There is still a deep sense in which determinism does imply lack of any real freedom - or at least true moral responsibility. Philosophers try to associate 'reason' and action followed by 'reason' with freedom, but I find 'reason' to be quite tenuous once we leave pure logic and maths into the world of practical action. All reasons for actions seems to boil down to something beyond reach of reason. Very little is actually even visible to me regarding why I do what I do. I suspect, much of the 'reasoning' people do, those who think they do, are often artificial post-action. Now, of course, deliberation and complex planning do take place pre-action - but when it is all seen mechanically, the notion of freedom seems weak - it is still in a sense true, in case of determinism that the pre-natalistic chain of causes and actions have determined fully what you do and what not. You can do what you will, and your actions will have consequence over the future, but if determinism is true, neither did you really decided your own state of being which causes your action, nor did you decided your will and its patterns of movement. Sure, there are still senses, one can argue that freedom is compatible. "what more do you want than being a salient cause of actions, having the will to act, and having some reasons to do so?" - one may say. But it's all about which part you emphasize. Compatibilists would de-emphasize the incompatibilist's concern - as rather irrelevant, and emphasize on reason, 'local' (non-ultimate) responsibility and such. The two views aren't incompatible rather have different emphasis depending on different intuitions. In the end, it is more of a problem of language, connotations, and associated intuitions to the concepts, more than it is a problem of what actually is. I lean more closely towards impossibilism than anything though I acknowledge one can always choose a convention and a sense under which 'free will' can exist with determinism.
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

Active Member
Local time
Today, 12:09
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
193
Kant successfully showed that the formal aspect of nature is subjective, that empirical reality is our ordering of the manifold impressions provided by the senses according to laws a priori. This, however, does not refute Humean skepticism regarding causality, because causal laws have both a formal and a material aspect. For every causal law, there is some thing, some sensation which follows another, not just an empty form, but Kant does not give any reason why any given sensation must be followed by another
seems so.
 

JansenDowel

Active Member
Local time
Tomorrow, 01:09
Joined
Sep 7, 2014
Messages
240
Location
New Zealand
For this thread I'm not interested in arguing whether or not reality is deterministic, the only "evidence" to the contrary is subatomic phenomena that nobody really understands which hardly proves anything.

What I'm interested in discussing is determinism as it applies to morality and free will because if everything is deterministic then anything anyone ever does is simply a natural outcome of their circumstances. Now practically that doesn't mean much, if someone turns out to be a serial killer because they weren't held enough as a child us knowing that doesn't change the fact that they have to be punished for their crimes, both to (in theory) rehabilitate them and to serve as an example to others.

But what if we had the technology to literally change someone's mind, to enable a team of psychiatrists to open up the patient and remove the neurosis like a team of surgeons removing a tumor, would it still be necessary to imprison the former serial killer indeed assuming the procedure wasn't voluntary and the patient isn't resisting the changes are they still the same person?

On the other hand wouldn't it be cruel not to use such technology? Does someone born into unfortunate circumstances and/or with an unfortunate predisposition to violence deserve to be punished for existing?
I don't understand this digression about determinism? Our best explanations of reality tell us that free will exists, therefore we aught to treat it as such..

Punishment is not rehabilitation, so no. Unless your goal is to seek revenge -- which is neither productive nor helpful for anything other than 'hurt feelings' -- punishment is just a waste of everyones money and time.
 

Animekitty

I am all of my perception (666)
Local time
Today, 05:09
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
6,447
Location
subjective
as an infp, I highly dislike this thread
who I am is separate from how I became so

it's like saying colors do not exist because we are in a deterministic reality.
crime is no perpetuating some action, it is the motive, the intention. the relationships.
what are my true colors? (as it is said: come let us reason together)
people have layers, they are complex, they make judgments.
responsibility is paramount because I always consider the consequences of my action.
impairment is not the same as the nonexistence of a concience.
look into the eyes of a child - they have what most know as a soul

the true enemy is Medusa
the rejected self
you need to hold your own self accountable
get right with God and all. only you can do it. become it. live life free.
 

Animekitty

I am all of my perception (666)
Local time
Today, 05:09
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
6,447
Location
subjective
What I am saying is that determinism does not negate the existence of the individual's agency. I am who I am. I know myself. I am not a leaf in the wind. my existence is known to me. I exist. I make what I will of it. I mature further every day.

Self is Self
I see the future the present and the past as God does.
 

JansenDowel

Active Member
Local time
Tomorrow, 01:09
Joined
Sep 7, 2014
Messages
240
Location
New Zealand
What I am saying is that determinism does not negate the existence of the individual's agency. I am who I am. I know myself. I am not a leaf in the wind. my existence is known to me. I exist. I make what I will of it. I mature further every day.

Self is Self
I see the future the present and the past as God does.
I think you're taking this way too personally. This discussion just sounds like a bunch of college students having a discussion about philosophy over lunch.

This whole area has already been thoroughly explored and I believe the consensus is that "emergent" phenomena actually exist.
 

Animekitty

I am all of my perception (666)
Local time
Today, 05:09
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
6,447
Location
subjective
looking at it that way (emergent)
who is to say it's not top down rather than bottom up
entanglement quantum unity

ego has a physical container but I would not say it's gone when the brain is
 

JansenDowel

Active Member
Local time
Tomorrow, 01:09
Joined
Sep 7, 2014
Messages
240
Location
New Zealand
looking at it that way (emergent)
who is to say it's not top down rather than bottom up
entanglement quantum unity

ego has a physical container but I would not say it's gone when the brain is
Personally, I think both are absolutely terrible explanations. "Bottom up" tries to reduce all of reality to a basic set of components, and build up from there. These components are usually derived from theories in particle physics. The problem, however, is that these theories in particle physics were only created to explain a limited set of phenomena. They were never created to explain all of reality. Perhaps you know the saying, "if it explains everything, then it explains nothing at all". Top-down has exactly the same problem, but in the opposite direction.

Its a good idea to avoid trying to explain all of reality with a single theory. You'll botch the job completely and look like a fool.
 

Animekitty

I am all of my perception (666)
Local time
Today, 05:09
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
6,447
Location
subjective
just an idea:
wave collapse offers a semi-deterministic realty.
configuration over a state space can be selected rather than predestined.
past and future can be indeterminant until choice happens.
 

JansenDowel

Active Member
Local time
Tomorrow, 01:09
Joined
Sep 7, 2014
Messages
240
Location
New Zealand
just an idea:
wave collapse offers a semi-deterministic realty.
configuration over a state space can be selected rather than predestined.
past and future can be indeterminant until choice happens.
I don't think you need to go that far though. If you say free will doesn't exist at all, then you must explain why it "appears" that we have it. Further, you must explain away ALL of the evidence that says we have it.

You could just say that free will doesn't exist. But this does not explain why it appears as though we have free will. Further, it does not explain why there is so much evidence that says it exists. So saying that free will doesn't exist can be summarily rejected.
You could just say the evidence is all wrong, but again, you would need to explain why. So this too can be summarily rejected.

The only option left is to say that our explanations of reality are incomplete. And that explains why we do not understand how free will and determinism can both be true simultaneously.
 

Animekitty

I am all of my perception (666)
Local time
Today, 05:09
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
6,447
Location
subjective
consciousness then is deterministic
but I reject this
consciousness influences matter indeterminately
so time cant play deterministic physics
time is not set in place, the past changes by the future
(future consciousness determines times arrow, not physics of the past)
 

JansenDowel

Active Member
Local time
Tomorrow, 01:09
Joined
Sep 7, 2014
Messages
240
Location
New Zealand
consciousness then is deterministic
but I reject this
consciousness influences matter indeterminately
so time cant play deterministic physics
time is not set in place, the past changes by the future
(future consciousness determines times arrow, not physics of the past)
No this doesn't mean consciousness is deterministic. Just because consciousness and determinism are compatible, doesn't mean consciousness IS deterministic.

As for the rest, I don't believe any of it. But that is irrelevant I suppose.
 

Animekitty

I am all of my perception (666)
Local time
Today, 05:09
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
6,447
Location
subjective
I was contending the only option left.
 

JansenDowel

Active Member
Local time
Tomorrow, 01:09
Joined
Sep 7, 2014
Messages
240
Location
New Zealand
I was contending the only option left.
Have you forgotten what I just finished saying? I just said that reductionism is silly. Bottom up is a terrible explanation. So of course the only option left doesn't imply that consciousness must be reduced to some kind of deterministic explanation.
 

Sandglass

Pixelated
Local time
Today, 04:09
Joined
Apr 20, 2017
Messages
35
If you agree with determinism, free will is merely a matter of semantics. You will think what you're going to think and do what you're going to do - you can't change that. One perspective is that having no ability to change your course of action means you have no free will. The other is that it doesn't matter; as long as you are able to define yourself in a way, you still choose, even if your actions are predictable. Whichever way you see it, it does not affect anything that actually happens and it is better to go into discussion not choosing a side.

As for morality, there is no objective morality. Your morality would be most useful as the code of ethics that leads to your goals being accomplished and the morality of a society which affects it's laws should be the code of ethics that leads to the highest collective goal accomplishing (including positive and negative goals).

These two concepts don't seem all that important to the subsequent prompt of technology that can change minds, assuming it obviously works. If you use the device on someone, there is no reason for punishment. Do you lock up machines that had bugs which got fixed? No, you test that they are fixed and if you are confident that they are, they go back to work. The main two purposes of punishment are to make someone regret their actions (which this immediately fixes) and to act as a deterrent. Being mind-wiped if you break the law seems like a pretty big deterrent.

This does bring up one extra issue, is forcing this procedure 'moral'? I'd argue not according to typical sentiments. If the procedure changes how your mind works to a large enough extent that you could never re-commit a crime, it seems more like it destroys the original person and leaves behind a new one. An option to undergo it voluntarily or face alternative consequences seems best. On a side not, this really reminds me of "A Clockwork Orange".
 

Animekitty

I am all of my perception (666)
Local time
Today, 05:09
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
6,447
Location
subjective
Freedom of the will or autonomy of will, what guides and directs the "will". Are all my decisions only limited to the forces outside of me? How is choice possible if I do not control what I have control over. Am I a robot? Predictable, manipulatable. Press the right buttons and get the response expected.

Will is an attractor state of the ego since the will is the control locus of self. The power of the will comes from the dynamics of the will to navigate a state space. To overcome hills and valleys. But is it free?

It is a many-body problem. Only a conscious being can recognize consciousness. Computers cannot manipulate Conscious beings. What they do is entirely recognizable.

At the core is a network that navigates to state space. It determines the trajectory that will be taken in the state space.

The essence of Consciousness is premeditation. I know what I am doing and I am doing it. The first action is the tipping point of the will. The initial condition for the followthrough. Choice begins randomly. It is not the process that follows. The process is consciousness because that is where the realization of one's ego arises. I know and that makes me responsible.

If I know, then I am in control. I may know more than you do putting me in more control.

I want to do something and I do it.
I know what I am doing and I keep going
I recognize theory of mind, I am Conscious.

my will allows me to move forward,
it pushes me and I can strengthen it.
it is my resolve. it is self-sustained.

the will is a flame that brightens as I feel its life within me.

the closest we come to freedom is autonomy.
The mental exists. People have minds.
Minds are more than utilitarian.
Boardings on spiritual.
Gnosis
 

Sandglass

Pixelated
Local time
Today, 04:09
Joined
Apr 20, 2017
Messages
35
I want to do something and I do it.
I know what I am doing and I keep going
I recognize theory of mind, I am Conscious.
Did you want to post that before or after I posted what I did? Whether or not you admit it, my post caused a reaction from you and your followup was the result. I doubt you would have commented if nothing was said. If I was ungodly smart I would be able to convince you to write a different response by using a different original post.

Your actions are determined from your environment. From everything including your DNA, the food you ate, the weather, whether someone is talking to you, etc.. Whether you still choose is up to definitions and it doesn't change the reality of what happens.

The only thing you can really say about consciousness is that it appears to observe what happens. If our minds were unrestrained by their interactions, they would extend beyond the universe and anything would be possible.
 

Animekitty

I am all of my perception (666)
Local time
Today, 05:09
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
6,447
Location
subjective
There is one future, yes.
I will never escape my environment so I have one future.
My future from this point onward comes from my environment.
As a creature with a mind, I am capable of contemplating the nature of my own existence.
It is fortunate that I came into such being as to reflect on the reality of the soul.
 

Pizzabeak

Banned
Local time
Today, 04:09
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
2,668
People make far too much fuss over supposed quantum indeterminacy. Ironically, the 'Schrödinger's cat' thought experiment proves, by analogy, that there is nothing mystical about the collapse of the wave function, simply because the collapse of the wave function is a theoretical postulate and not an observable event. I can't tell whether a cat in a box is alive or dead because I can't see into the box, just as we can't see into a quantum superposition. There is no empirically meaningful difference between these two cases. As Hume pointed out, experience teaches us merely that one event follows from another, not that it follows necessarily, though Kant twisted himself into an unseemly semantic pretzel trying to disprove this.
It wasn’t a thought experiment, that was Einstein who was known for his. Schrödinger developed wave mechanics by taking what we knew from classical mechanics and applying the wave motions to electricity and molecules. The Schrödinger equation is a math equation, not an analogy. It never was mystical. The equation says all positions should be determined or determinable from your initial measurement. All looking at something does is observe it, which can determine the value of the waves. Heisenberg developed the same methods first a little earlier, although he used matrixes instead.
Hume just talked about the problem of induction, which is the future being like the past always. Through trial and error if a change is found, then you can begin to question past beliefs or methods. If you ask 200 girls out and all say no, why risk it even more? Once you notice that pattern is when you notice something may be going on. Kant seems to understand the gist of it when he said in order for weird things to exist, there must be a reason. To express an idea, based off anything, requires the reality of it. So, if it’s weird or something sounds weird, the reality of it can be bizarre. Even though you can’t prove it, you can say we don’t understand what builds worlds, so common sense loses to the ultimate reality every time.
 

The Grey Man

Well-Known Member
Local time
Today, 07:09
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
633
Location
Canada
The Schrödinger equation is a math equation, not an analogy. It never was mystical. The equation says all positions should be determined or determinable from your initial measurement. All looking at something does is observe it, which can determine the value of the waves.
"Nothing exists until it is measured." -Bohr

Can something exist that is not an object of empirical observation? According to Bohr, the answer is no, since it is observation (the reciprocal relationship between subject and object that has served as the backbone of most epistemological theories since Descartes) that confers upon a thing its very being. This is equivalent to Berkeley's old formula, esse est percipi. Philosophical interpretations of quantum physics are unknowingly retreading old ground because their champions are specialists in physics who aren't all well-versed in the history of philosophy.

I think that the key to understanding quantum physics is not Berkeleian subjective idealism, but Kantian transcendental idealism. The collapse of the wave function by an act of observation and, indeed, empirical observation in general, corresponds to the Kantian synthesis of the imagination, whereby diverse sense-impressions are combined into a single perception by the application by the application of a priori mental categories such as reciprocity and causality. For Kant as well as Bohr, the empirical world is Newtonian, but only because we are so constituted as to perceive the world as a community of Newtonian bodies (patches of a determinate sensory quality in space), which is why it is wrong to, as is sometimes done, assert that Kant's synthetic a priori was refuted by the discovery of phenomena that resist Newtonian explanation. It should surprise nobody that we are unable to see precisely how photons behave, since it is precisely by means of photons (or, more precisely, their interactions with our retinas inasmuch as they contribute sense-data to the mental synthesis) that we are able to see at all. Photons belong to the ontic substratum of perception and are, for this very reason, distinct from it. Light is not electromagnetic radiation any more than a school of fish is a fish.
 

ZenRaiden

One atom of me
Local time
Today, 12:09
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
697
Location
Between concrete walls
On the other hand wouldn't it be cruel not to use such technology? Does someone born into unfortunate circumstances and/or with an unfortunate predisposition to violence deserve to be punished for existing?
I dont understand what you are really saying. Are we really punishing people for any special reason? Isnt it just to preserve social functions?

Where does determinism come in?
 

Pizzabeak

Banned
Local time
Today, 04:09
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
2,668
Philosophical interpretations of quantum physics are unknowingly retreading old ground because their champions are specialists in physics who aren't all well-versed in the history of philosophy.
Sure. Although, any interpretation of quantum theory is going to be “philosophical”. Retreading old ground is all there really is now. The physics of tomorrow could always be different or allow us to do different stuff (space travel, VR). It’s finding new meaning in what’s there, and it’s only new insofar as you weren’t completely focused on it at the moment. Believe it or not, everything has been figured out since the dawn of time, big picture wise. It’s all been said before. The universe is a simulation according to that, and if you aren’t “reborn” when you die, then it isn’t, not in the traditional sense at least. Philosophy and science sort of go hand in hand. They aren’t “proving” philosophical ideas, it’s more so that boundaries appear to be dissolving. Take Plato’s Cave, and then science is just adding extra data to try and figure more of that out.
I think that the key to understanding quantum physics is not Berkeleian subjective idealism, but Kantian transcendental idealism. The collapse of the wave function by an act of observation and, indeed, empirical observation in general, corresponds to the Kantian synthesis of the imagination, whereby diverse sense-impressions are combined into a single perception by the application by the application of a priori mental categories such as reciprocity and causality.
I don’t think either of those need be a key to understanding quantum physics. Indeed, idealism is mostly just what’s in someone’s head. It’s as if that’s what true means, that just because it’s what they could come up with, must mean it’s true or valid, although that isn’t necessarily true. If something isn’t in an idealists head, for instance, to them it’s impossible for it to exist (so they place the burden of proof on the “accused”).
For Kant as well as Bohr, the empirical world is Newtonian, but only because we are so constituted as to perceive the world as a community of Newtonian bodies (patches of a determinate sensory quality in space), which is why it is wrong to, as is sometimes done, assert that Kant's synthetic a priori was refuted by the discovery of phenomena that resist Newtonian explanation. It should surprise nobody that we are unable to see precisely how photons behave, since it is precisely by means of photons (or, more precisely, their interactions with our retinas inasmuch as they contribute sense-data to the mental synthesis) that we are able to see at all. Photons belong to the ontic substratum of perception and are, for this very reason, distinct from it. Light is not electromagnetic radiation any more than a school of fish is a fish.
If Kant is considered some golden age of philosophy, circa 1780, even though his work wasn’t appreciated until the end of of his life, then that puts more things into context, considering quantum theory was developed circa 1926. They weren’t trying to prove any philosophy. Even though he agreed with Newton saying space is absolute, and Einstein later said it was relative, that wouldn’t disprove his idea besides it needing to, maybe, be updated or explained a little more. Bohr postulated his model of the atom after they noticed too many discrepancies using classical physics. It was based on the Newtonian solar system where planets revolve around the sun, so electrons revolve around the nucleus, however, that didn’t make sense based off the physics. Thus, he said, based off spectroscopic lines, that electrons can only move in discrete states, and not accelerate stably. It’s all just building a worldview to explain the world we live in, traditionally science “predicted” things, and so, that’s what it does. The Solvay Conference of 1926 was an attempt at “explaining everything”, as if they were tired of the lack of any utopia.
The relevance of Kant here is just his categorical imperative, “Whatever you do, consider what would happen if it became a universal law.”
As logic or a piece of reason, it makes sense, considering society. It’s a safeguard and attempt at maintaining civility. However, people will use it to their advantage to, basically, obtain more resources for their own use, mostly via manipulation. At the heart of things, it really isn’t true (since the actual existence, and universe, is an alternate reality where everyone else is enslaved, and I rule), although that’s harder to manifest in this reality.
Berkeley said there was no material substratum, and Kant held that the mind contains all. The universe could still operate on holographic principles, in which the whole is “contained within each pixel”, for stability.
Although, I think we can know or see how photons behave, unless you mean we can’t imagine the perspective of a photon, for instance in Einstein’s thought experiment of moving at the speed of light on a photon/light wave, so as to experience time dilation and the act seeming instant. We know some stuff about photons from Einstein’s photoelectric effect. True, we can only see because of light. Our ancestor fish that had three eyes, used the third one to see the surface of water, which also helped seeing any predator birds that might eat them. When they moved to land, the third eye wasn’t as necessary, so it receded into the head and became a (“the pineal”) gland, “regulating body temperature”. So, it is interesting that we must use light from the sun, a star, to see. Life will never develop on planets around blue stars because they emit mostly UV radiation, which causes cancer and will kill any microbes or “life” (as we do or don’t know it) attempting to develop and evolve. It goes into our eyeballs, through optic tracts into the visual projection area and, by all means, the superior colliculus as well.
EM radiation is another word for light, or vice versa. I think ultimately that synthetic propositions are, in a big picture sense, analytical propositions. It ultimately then has nothing really to do with metaphysical truths. A synthetic, a priori statement is really just an analytical one.
So everything isn’t “one”? I would only say that tongue in cheek wise, as a hippie/“New Age” idea to try and be vaguely funny, and if people thought I was serious, they didn’t get the joke. I don’t think everything is one or that everyone is equal, then. That “equal opportunity” stuff is just barbarism. I think we’re just approaching Wittgenstein and the picture theory of language, where words induce an image in someone’s head. Choosing your words is important, then, so as to manipulate the idea you want to communicate in another person’s mind. Unfortunately, people don’t listen, or care, and they just think about what they’ll think about anyway, for lack of trust and heavy skepticism, wherein not everyone has any business being that skeptical to begin with. It’s a trend. The only thing people are doing with their life is consuming, they aren’t thinking, just trying to look at as many things as possible before they die, I guess.
If you’re INTP try to imagine what it’s like being another type (not ISFJ, though). Take ESFP for instance. They. Do not. Think. They just look at stuff then get ideas. They don’t think. It’s easy to see how people make mistakes, though - I guess.
 

The Grey Man

Well-Known Member
Local time
Today, 07:09
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
633
Location
Canada
EM radiation is another word for light, or vice versa. I think ultimately that synthetic propositions are, in a big picture sense, analytical propositions. It ultimately then has nothing really to do with metaphysical truths. A synthetic, a priori statement is really just an analytical one.
The question of whether there are meaningful synthetic a priori propositions in addition to analytic a priori and synthetic a posteriori ones has been bothering me for a while. If not, then, we end up with the thesis of logical positivism: that those propositions alone are meaningful which refer to either logical consequence or empirical observation.

Hume said:
If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
How, then, does logical positivism categorize itself? Its thesis is not a fact of experience, nor is it a mathematical proof, so is it not without meaning according to its own criterion of meaning? Must Hume not commit his own work to the flames?

Hans Reichenbach is another philosopher who insisted that there was no "synthetic a priori," though, unlike Hume, he did so after Kant popularized the term. He said that the first principles of logic (e.g. Everything is identical to itself) were analytic because they are true only due to the definitions of the terms used to utter them. But what about the definitions themselves? Do we not assume certain primitive notions and relations in talking about the world, just as a mathematician does when he discusses a particular formal system? It seems to me that our knowledge does have first principles, and that these can be elucidated by abstractive reflection after the manner of Kant's transcendental deduction.
 

The Grey Man

Well-Known Member
Local time
Today, 07:09
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
633
Location
Canada
EM radiation is another word for light, or vice versa.
I have always taken Goethe's side against Newton in this controversy. Light is not electromagnetic radiation because the EM radiation is just part of the physical system that makes light possible. The other part is the visual apparatus of animals, which process the waves into something that they can use, something that informs them about their environment. Nor do I consider such a mechanistic explanation of light as a physical phenomenon to be an adequate description, for such phenomena presuppose light as a condition of possibility. We could not study the objective mechanisms of light if they were not illuminated by light itself, which is more to be found in the mind of a painter like van Gogh than in a scientific laboratory.
 

Pizzabeak

Banned
Local time
Today, 04:09
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
2,668
Then Schopenhauer could be a good place to start to bring Kant’s ideas into the modern world
 

The Grey Man

Well-Known Member
Local time
Today, 07:09
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
633
Location
Canada
Then Schopenhauer could be a good place to start to bring Kant’s ideas into the modern world
I was actually surprised by how much of Reichenbach's Rise of Scientific Philosophy I agreed with, given how impressed I was with Schopenhauer, who explicitly rejected the sort of scientific materialism advocated in that book. For example, Reichenbach's anti-cognitivist treatment of ethics is, I think, spot-on. He shares with Schopenhauer the belief that the axioms of morality, or moral imperatives, are grounded in the will and consequently are neither true nor false, though Schopenhauer thought that the will was substantial to the natural world, whereas Reichenbach thought that volition was an epiphenomenon of physical processes, so it's idealism vs. realism, Plato vs. Aristotle all over again. Maybe it really is all just retreading old ground, as you say.

I think the difference between Platonism and materialism is merely that one emphasizes the unity in all things, the other their multiplicity; the one spirit, the other matter. Our world, it seems, is a totality (to complete Kant's triad of categories of quantity) suspended between a theological One and a scientific Many. Perhaps Kant, Schopenhauer, and the process philosophy of Whitehead can help me describe the organicity of reality, but—then what? I would have a theory. So what?

Polonius said:
What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet said:
Words, words, words.
Yoka Daishi said:
The philosophers indeed are clever enough, but wanting in wisdom;
As to the others, they are either ignorant or puerile!
They take an empty fist as containing something real and the pointing finger as the object pointed at.
Because the finger is adhered to as though it were the Moon, all their efforts are lost.
Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Schopenhauer, and Whitehead all pointed at the moon, but we have no reason to believe that any of them got there, so on what account can I expect to? What must one do if he is to acquire knowledge of what is enclosed within the fist of all theory, of all appearances?

Meister Eckhart said:
If you want the kernel, you must break the shell.
Like every Platonist, I believe myself to be trapped within my own body and a prisoner of my own will, but am unable to conjure any clear and distinct image of my own freedom. I wonder if mere abstractive reflection will ever yield true wisdom if it is not accompanied by some sort of philosophical practice, though @DoIMustHaveAnUsername? says that philosophical reasoning can achieve an effect similar to that of mystical experience. This needs more thought...
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

Active Member
Local time
Today, 12:09
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
193
Then Schopenhauer could be a good place to start to bring Kant’s ideas into the modern world
I was actually surprised by how much of Reichenbach's Rise of Scientific Philosophy I agreed with, given how impressed I was with Schopenhauer, who explicitly rejected the sort of scientific materialism advocated in that book. For example, Reichenbach's anti-cognitivist treatment of ethics is, I think, spot-on. He shares with Schopenhauer the belief that the axioms of morality, or moral imperatives, are grounded in the will and consequently are neither true nor false, though Schopenhauer thought that the will was substantial to the natural world, whereas Reichenbach thought that volition was an epiphenomenon of physical processes, so it's idealism vs. realism, Plato vs. Aristotle all over again. Maybe it really is all just retreading old ground, as you say.

I think the difference between Platonism and materialism is merely that one emphasizes the unity in all things, the other their multiplicity; the one spirit, the other matter. Our world, it seems, is a totality (to complete Kant's triad of categories of quantity) suspended between a theological One and a scientific Many. Perhaps Kant, Schopenhauer, and the process philosophy of Whitehead can help me describe the organicity of reality, but—then what? I would have a theory. So what?

Polonius said:
What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet said:
Words, words, words.
Yoka Daishi said:
The philosophers indeed are clever enough, but wanting in wisdom;
As to the others, they are either ignorant or puerile!
They take an empty fist as containing something real and the pointing finger as the object pointed at.
Because the finger is adhered to as though it were the Moon, all their efforts are lost.
Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Schopenhauer, and Whitehead all pointed at the moon, but we have no reason to believe that any of them got there, so on what account can I expect to? What must one do if he is to acquire knowledge of what is enclosed within the fist of all theory, of all appearances?

Meister Eckhart said:
If you want the kernel, you must break the shell.
Like every Platonist, I believe myself to be trapped within my own body and a prisoner of my own will, but am unable to conjure any clear and distinct image of my own freedom. I wonder if mere abstractive reflection will ever yield true wisdom if it is not accompanied by some sort of philosophical practice, though @DoIMustHaveAnUsername? says that philosophical reasoning can achieve an effect similar to that of mystical experience. This needs more thought...
It may still be difficult or impossible to have transformative effects of properly cultivated mystical experiences through mere philosophical reasoning or reflection. I think one can get similar conceptual conclusions (to ideas induced by certain mystical experiences) through philosophical reasoning and that can have its own transformative effects but not to the same depth or intensity (on the contrary an idea derived from mystical experience may lack a rigorous philosophical support that can be used to persuade others - sometimes the conceptual support may not be possible - one have to directly 'taste' it, but sometimes there may be good supports). It may be possible there are certain mystical experiences that 'must be' experienced and reasoning would do no good at all, but I can't speak much from my experience. But any case, reasoning will have its limits, and true wisdom would require a form of practice of a way of life - or a certain way of mental activities to be - and more than reasoning or conceptual understanding at a conscious may be required to get there.


I am not sure if 'true wisdom' can be possible without any philosophical practice altogether. In a sense, with philosophy as loosely conceived as possible, it would be impossible or rather hard to not do philosophy.
 

Pizzabeak

Banned
Local time
Today, 04:09
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
2,668
Alfred North Whitehead’s process philosophy describes reality as it is. I made a mistake not reading him earlier, even though I was busy with other stuff. It’s not worth divulging your to-read list or anything, since people just exploit it. It changes everything we know about what we mean when we say things like the value of knowledge or information. Things changing or at least appearing to is just another variable to consider. Not too long ago, something happened where everyone is supposed to know everything now. I don’t think or believe everyone is equal.

People don’t learn something new everyday anymore, and you can’t ask questions anymore. Teachers used to say there are no such things as stupid questions. I’m a 90’s kid. Teachers could be teaching children differently these days and young parents express interest in putting their kids in a Montessori or Waldorf education.

Was it ever about “knowing everything”? Your girlfriend’s car can breakdown, and you try to change a tire. Then you can’t, and another man wanders by in a car who happens to have the right tool to change it, and he does. Does that mean he “deserves” to take your girl because he was able at that moment to “do” something you weren’t prepared for yet? That’s all just looking at the world through a dystopian lens.

People need to understand that. You could be an anarchist one minute, then loyal to the state the next? I grew up reading King Arthur stories. This power struggle and battle for a crown or some title is nothing new. It’s basically the Jesus myth. Does it mean Jesus deserves everything handed to him on a silver platter whether he was really black or not? That’s one interpretation. Einstein and the other physicists during the Solvay Conferences, perhaps, noticed something disturbing about life and reality. They wanted to put an end to it, by describing the laws of physics enough, which would hopefully enlighten the average citizen a little bit. That’s nearly “as far as I got”. All anything else does is make you a fun conversationalist because you’re well versed or read. Then again, that doesn’t mean your desires can be fulfilled at the press of a button, because some people will just say you talk too much or that silence is golden.

It became about the value of things so as to “prove” whether someone “deserves” something or not? There just simply isn’t a way currently to observe quantized or quantified values so as to determine a thing. With mass surveillance these days, it just seems like the photon is getting its position, let alone velocity, ever readily defined, for someone’s satisfaction. Consider seven deadly sins. I think it’s the klippah that predicts when things could or couldn’t have occurred. Knowing too much probably isn’t always favorable. Then again, maybe it is. That kind of stuff pretty much confirms if every guy had their way, they’d be the last man on earth with a select group of women. It’s all just an actions speak louder than words, you gotta see it to believe it mentality.

Sex, it appears to me, is the only weapon. Life is about reproducing, maybe I’m getting old, but that also doesn’t mean I want to start a family that fast without dating for a few years to see if we’re compatible. Some girls will take that to mean they’ll date around and sail the wild oats for a while before they feel like setting down, then pick out the guy with a decent amount of money who’ll seem like a good person to take care of their kids. Staying loyal monogamously shouldn’t be hard, to please your partner with staying power. It’s when hypothetically you’re polyamorous other people can see the opportunity to introduce many other things into the relationship, it becomes impossible to please everyone.
 
Top Bottom