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OfflineMalachi
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Registered: 06/19/02
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isn't functionality just a different kind of causality?
    #1734452 - 07/21/03 11:18 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

I sat in on a philosophy of mind class one day when they where discussing functionality and how deterministic it is, etc.

I was reading another thread about first causes, and I got to thinking: causality doesn't have to be sequentially inear, does it?

in other words, it seems like "functions" are just unnecessary semantical constructs, just backward cause and effect relationships. then I tried to remember using functions in math, but I really didn't pay any attention in algebra.... so does anyone know if functions actually serve some purpose distict from causality? is there a real difference?


--------------------
The ultimate meaning of our being can only be fulfilled in the paradoxical leap beyond the tragic-demonic frustration. It is a leap from our side, but it is the self-surrendering presence of the Ground of Being from the other side.
- Paul Tillich


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: Malachi]
    #1734510 - 07/21/03 11:54 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Cause and effect does proceed in a specific order.

cause--->effect

Functions are more of a dependance, and there is no specific "direction" that a function must flow in.

Just the first thing that popped into my mind  :wink:


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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OfflineMalachi
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Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 1,294
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: trendal]
    #1734528 - 07/21/03 12:03 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

so gassing up your car isn't an effect of your future trip? brushing your teeth before that date wasn't caused by expectation of a little smoochy smoochy?

"Functions are more of a dependance, and there is no specific "direction" that a function must flow in"

I was under the impression that functions are very deterministic, as things act according to the future. another example: what causes a tree to lose it's leaves? sure you could say the shortened days cause a chemical reaction which in turn causes the leaves fall, but why is this process dependent on the days getting shorter? cause the process in a function of winter and hibernation.


--------------------
The ultimate meaning of our being can only be fulfilled in the paradoxical leap beyond the tragic-demonic frustration. It is a leap from our side, but it is the self-surrendering presence of the Ground of Being from the other side.
- Paul Tillich


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OfflineSteevil
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Registered: 01/21/03
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: Malachi]
    #1734637 - 07/21/03 12:55 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Malachi said:
so gassing up your car isn't an effect of your future trip? brushing your teeth before that date wasn't caused by expectation of a little smoochy smoochy?




Not really. Those things are caused by a desire to have enough gas for the trip or minty fresh breath for a date. The act of going on a trip doesn't cause you to fill up the tank in the past.


--------------------
All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy ... he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: Steevil]
    #1734656 - 07/21/03 01:03 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Okay, it isn't as simple as going on a trip causes gas tank being filled. However, it is still cause and effect. Any action we go through is a reaction to something else. Even if we were divinly inspired, we still decided to follow that divine inspriation.
The actual cause and effect chart for filling up the gas tank to go on the trip would be much more advanced and complex, probably resembling a computer program code, and would be different for every person, because our thought processes are different. If you never knew that you had to fill up your gas tank for your car to run, than you wouldn't fill up the gas tank, and the desire to take the trip would not cause the gas tank to be filled; however, cause and effect is still in effect.
Every issue is a lot more complex than people think, but I'll learns ya though, I'll learns ya.
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineMalachi
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: fireworks_god]
    #1734661 - 07/21/03 01:05 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

but I'll learns ya though, I'll learns ya.




I know  :wink:


so my car example wasn't the best, but how about the tree one? that seems to make my point clearer.



--------------------
The ultimate meaning of our being can only be fulfilled in the paradoxical leap beyond the tragic-demonic frustration. It is a leap from our side, but it is the self-surrendering presence of the Ground of Being from the other side.
- Paul Tillich


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OfflineRhizoid
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: Malachi]
    #1734771 - 07/21/03 01:45 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

In mathematics a function is just a mapping from x to y, it doesn't have to have a purpose, or even an explicit description. A specific mathematical function can have a "function" of course, in the sense of being chosen with some specific intent in mind, but the two uses of the word function do not have the same meaning.

What you seem (to me) to be talking about is two other things: the first is backward causality: the gassing up of your car is caused by your future trip, through your intent earlier in time to go on that trip. It's like the anthropic principle: if you never actually get to go on that trip, the causality is no longer there.

The second is top-down causality: the fact that both events and shapes of things can be caused by higher-level processes, like the life cycles of a tree. Hardcore reductionists sometimes find this boring, but I have never understood why.


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OfflineMalachi
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Registered: 06/19/02
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: Rhizoid]
    #1734784 - 07/21/03 01:49 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

thanks, that clears things up. top down causality = what I heard called functionalism.


--------------------
The ultimate meaning of our being can only be fulfilled in the paradoxical leap beyond the tragic-demonic frustration. It is a leap from our side, but it is the self-surrendering presence of the Ground of Being from the other side.
- Paul Tillich


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OfflineRhizoid
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: Malachi]
    #1734808 - 07/21/03 02:02 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

I don't know if top-down causality is the "official" academic term. I saw Douglas Hofstadter use in a book and it stuck in my brain.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: Steevil]
    #1734913 - 07/21/03 02:47 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Steevil said:
Not really. Those things are caused by a desire to have enough gas for the trip or minty fresh breath for a date. The act of going on a trip doesn't cause you to fill up the tank in the past.




This is what my previous post was in reply to, to clear any confusion.
Your tree example? I don't know what you were trying to say, exactly, functions, determinism, etc. aren't my ballgame. I just knew what he was saying in his post (quoted above), and my knowledge of caue and effect clashed with that.
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: Malachi]
    #1735484 - 07/21/03 05:36 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

I see now what you mean.

Levels of abstraction play an all too important role  :wink:

You can nearly always find order by abstracting a complex system. Life is so complex that each level of abstraction brings on entirely new meaning and order.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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OfflinePyronate
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Registered: 07/06/03
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: trendal]
    #1735544 - 07/21/03 05:57 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

In both your gas example and date example, it's still a simple expression of classic causality; however, it is not the event itself that is the cause, but rather your anticipation of it.

In short, it is your expectation of needing gas for your trip causes you to fill up your car, rather than the trip itself.


--------------------
"It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom... keep that in mind at all times."

--Bill Hicks (RIP)


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OfflineMalachi
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Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 1,294
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Last seen: 7 years, 6 months
Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: Pyronate]
    #1735552 - 07/21/03 06:00 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

well what causes the expectation then? ultimately it is the trip.


--------------------
The ultimate meaning of our being can only be fulfilled in the paradoxical leap beyond the tragic-demonic frustration. It is a leap from our side, but it is the self-surrendering presence of the Ground of Being from the other side.
- Paul Tillich


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: isn't functionality just a different kind of causality? [Re: Malachi]
    #1735625 - 07/21/03 06:18 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

The meme has shed new light on functionality.  In studies of consciousness (and whatnot), function is guided in part by intention.  When disregarding sentience and random input (if you must argue this, please take it to a different thread), function is very much the chronological inverse of cause & effect.  But with the inclusion of randomness and/or intention into the equation, function is no longer a mere reversible reaction.

Again, I'm intentionally assuming determinism is false.  You cannot prove determinism true or false, so this is based on my own amorphous blob of a thought-matrix. :wink:  


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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