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OfflinetrendalM
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The circular explanation
    #3948231 - 03/21/05 11:59 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

I picked up a book the other day called "The Emergence of Everything", which deals with complexity in the universe as an emergent phenomena of the universe itself.

I'd like to know what some of you think about the following passage:

Quote:


In science we start with the immediately given, the sense data that are of course the contents of minds. From these sense data that are shapes, colors, sounds, feels, and meter readings, we develop theoretical constructs such as solid objects, atoms, electrons, and probability waves. The constructs, as Kant points out, are not the incompletely knowable "thing in itself", but deal with the contents of our minds. Science starts with the mind, both the perceiver of sensations and the postulator of constructs. Science also assumes a community of minds who can agree on the sense data and the verifiability of consequences of the constructs. Regardless of one's philosophical position, science begins with the mind and is a public activity. Constructs have a hierarchy from quarks to atoms to molecules to organisms. The contemporary position of most neurobiologists is to try to go up the hierarchy from atoms to minds to understand the emergence of mind in terms of the underlying members of the hierarchy.

This of course presents an epistemic circle. One starts with the mind as the primitive and goes around the circle of constructs in an effort to explain mind. I have no trouble with this circularity, but it comes as a surprise to many scientists. It is an epistemology that somehow accords with the emergence view of the evolving universe, or at least our part of it.

In terms of this view, one can understand materialists or naive realists as individuals who believe that the constructs of particles are more real than the midns that constructed them. Idealists in the philosophical sense are individuals who believe that the minds are more real than the hierarchy of things that constitute the world out there, the things in themselves. I find both views much less enlightening than accepting the circle as the ontological sequel of this type of epistemology. It recognizes the existence of the world out there without requiring people, but also recognizes that the kind of knowledge we have of that world is not independant of us, and we will never have God's knowledge of the thing in itself.

Harold Morowitz, "The Emergence of Everything", p.8-9





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And every line believed
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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The circular explanation [Re: trendal]
    #3948243 - 03/21/05 12:06 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

very clever rabbit
Quote:

and we will never have God's knowledge of the thing in itself.




would he be referring to the construct of God in the scientist's mind or the God "out there" that does not require people.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: The circular explanation [Re: trendal]
    #3948352 - 03/21/05 12:33 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

I think it would be much easier to understand if he simply asked, "If a tree drops in the woods with nobody around, does it still make a sound?"


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OfflineGomp
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Re: The circular explanation [Re: Seuss]
    #3948413 - 03/21/05 12:49 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

how is this circular? :P


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OfflineGomp
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Re: The circular explanation [Re: Seuss]
    #3948418 - 03/21/05 12:52 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Seuss said:
I think it would be much easier to understand if he simply asked, "If a tree drops in the woods with nobody around, does it still make a sound?"




would it still drop?


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OfflinetrendalM
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Re: The circular explanation [Re: Gomp]
    #3948424 - 03/21/05 12:53 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Mind creates the constructs of physics, then uses physics to create and explain the constructs of chemistry/biology, which then lead to an attempt to explain the mind.


--------------------
The story book's been read
And every line believed
Curriculum's been set
Logic is a threat
Reason searched and seized


BTC - 1KqrSHZ1C3NsQP4g3PkHhppBnhdgyXr6sB


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OfflineGomp
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Re: The circular explanation [Re: trendal]
    #3948449 - 03/21/05 01:01 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

srill not seeing the circularity.. :wink: :thumbup: my bad
I'm probably on thin ice, but..

kinda like, "mind" creates a image of the physical body, then uses that image to create and explain, that it is created.. which then leads to explaining what "mind" are?


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The circular explanation [Re: Gomp]
    #3948471 - 03/21/05 01:09 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

man understands science as ideation comprised of sharable mental constructs. such ideation is dependent on the kind of ideation that fits in the mind of man.

so science is strictly human and mental.


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Offlinethe_phoenix
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Re: The circular explanation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3948586 - 03/21/05 01:35 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Science is asking the wrong questions. Why prove our existence, that which is immediate and certain? It has been unable to find 100% solid foundation for this existence, because our foundation doesn't lie in our physical existence. So it has concluded that there is more out there than the physical. *claps* Yet it still tries to prove the physical in-and-of itself, using only physical proof. I exist because I exist...no need to prove that which is self evident. Science should focus on the true unkowns, making the circle into a spiral, allowing us to actually go somewhere.

"In science we start with the immediately given" [...] "shapes, colors, sounds, feels, and meter readings"

But aren't there more immediate immediates? What do shamans see in their visions? What have mystics told us for ages and how have they found it out? What can be gained from direct experience that cannot be substanciated with physical proof? Answering these questions will break us free from the circle.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: The circular explanation [Re: trendal]
    #3948754 - 03/21/05 02:10 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

For more information , please refer to the thread: "The circular explanation"...


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: The circular explanation [Re: Swami]
    #3948868 - 03/21/05 02:47 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Swami said:
For more information , please refer to the thread: "The circular explanation"...




:lol: Funny :thumbup:


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