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Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
    Materialism is a metaphysical position that requires an argument to justify its acceptance. Again, a profession of belief in a metaphysical position is not an argument. A methodology is not a metaphysical position; that is why theists can consistently be practicing scientists, ie they can subscribe to methodological naturalism, while not subscribing to metaphysical naturalism.
    I would add: Physicalism (Materialism) based on objective verifiable evidence and causal closure concerning the nature of our physical existence is supported by Methodological Naturalism, and the link of interwoven circumstances of cause and effect events within the possible limits of outcomes.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
      No, you don't need metaphysics to do the things you cite, because those things only require a methodological commitment. The problem is that you are making a metaphysical commitment when you say that you are a physicalist and that physicalism requires no arguments to justify it.
      The scientific method is warranted by ‘metaphysical naturalism’ and its correlate of ‘methodological naturalism’; this is universally accepted. And the scientific method postulates hypotheses, deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments or empirical observations based on those predictions.

      The predicted scientific hypothesis regarding 'consciousness' as a purely physical activity of the brain has been shown to be true. Several decades of empirical scientific evidence have discredited the intuitive understanding of the mind-body relationship and have found that our thoughts are physical, neurophysiological events.
      “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Tassman View Post
        The scientific method is warranted by ‘metaphysical naturalism’ and its correlate of ‘methodological naturalism’; this is universally accepted. And the scientific method postulates hypotheses, deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments or empirical observations based on those predictions.

        The predicted scientific hypothesis regarding 'consciousness' as a purely physical activity of the brain has been shown to be true. Several decades of empirical scientific evidence have discredited the intuitive understanding of the mind-body relationship and have found that our thoughts are physical, neurophysiological events.
        Once again, scientific method is warranted by methodological naturalism. Metaphysical naturalism is not required for instrumental, methodological success. A metaphysical thesis requires a metaphysical argument for its justification.

        We have gone over the issue concerning mental events many times. I can conclude only two things:

        You are either intellectually incapable or ideologically unwilling to grasp the point I've made again and again. And to be clear: I am not asking you to agree with my point; only to make some indication that you have comprehended it, which you have, up to now, made no indication of.

        With that, I leave this thread to you.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
          Once again, scientific method is warranted by methodological naturalism. Metaphysical naturalism is not required for instrumental, methodological success. A metaphysical thesis requires a metaphysical argument for its justification.

          We have gone over the issue concerning mental events many times. I can conclude only two things:

          You are either intellectually incapable or ideologically unwilling to grasp the point I've made again and again. And to be clear: I am not asking you to agree with my point; only to make some indication that you have comprehended it, which you have, up to now, made no indication of.

          With that, I leave this thread to you.
          I believe everybody has comprehended it. The problem is that it is not objectively supportable outside the scientific perspective. Alternative explanations represent a philosophical/theological perspective

          I believe in God, and I believe the nature of consciousness, and human 'thought and intellect' and the chains causes and reasons can be understood through science and neuro chemistry with out any alternative explanation'
          Last edited by shunyadragon; 06-03-2020, 06:42 PM.
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
            Once again, scientific method is warranted by methodological naturalism. Metaphysical naturalism is not required for instrumental, methodological success. A metaphysical thesis requires a metaphysical argument for its justification.
            We’ve already been through this: “In response to the charge that methodological naturalism in science logically requires the a priori adoption of a naturalistic metaphysics, I examine the question whether methodological naturalism entails philosophical (ontological or metaphysical) naturalism. I conclude that the relationship between methodological and philosophical naturalism, while not one of logical entailment, is the only reasonable metaphysical conclusion…”

            https://infidels.org/library/modern/...aturalism.html

            I am not asking you to agree with my point; only to make some indication that you have comprehended it,
            We have ALL comprehended it - as was stated above. Your problem is that whilst scientific methodology has the ability to empirically examine its predictions and arrive at objective conclusions, metaphysical solutions do not have that ability. They merely have competing academic arguments with which to make their case.
            “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Tassman View Post
              We’ve already been through this: “In response to the charge that methodological naturalism in science logically requires the a priori adoption of a naturalistic metaphysics, I examine the question whether methodological naturalism entails philosophical (ontological or metaphysical) naturalism. I conclude that the relationship between methodological and philosophical naturalism, while not one of logical entailment, is the only reasonable metaphysical conclusion…”

              https://infidels.org/library/modern/...aturalism.html
              It says right there in your quote: "while not one of logical entailment..." And the article you link to is a lengthy philosophical argument defending the position of why the author thinks it's the only reasonable metaphysical conclusion. Recall that you said that it requires no philosophical argument? Was Newton unreasonable? Or Einstein? Or any of the other tens of thousands of distinguished and highly successful scientists who did not embrace metaphysical naturalism or physicalism?

              This is from a Wikipedia article on Naturalism:
              According to Stephen Jay Gould, "You cannot go to a rocky outcrop and observe either the constancy of nature's laws or the working of unknown processes. It works the other way around. You first assume these propositions and "then you go to the outcrop of rock."[10][11] "The assumption of spatial and temporal invariance of natural laws is by no means unique to geology since it amounts to a warrant for inductive inference which, as Bacon showed nearly four hundred years ago, is the basic mode of reasoning in empirical science. Without assuming this spatial and temporal invariance, we have no basis for extrapolating from the known to the unknown and, therefore, no way of reaching general conclusions from a finite number of observations. (Since the assumption is itself vindicated by induction, it can in no way "prove" the validity of induction—an endeavor virtually abandoned after Hume demonstrated its futility two centuries ago)."[12] Gould also notes that natural processes such as Lyell's "uniformity of process" are an assumption: "As such, it is another a priori assumption shared by all scientists and not a statement about the empirical world."[13] Such assumptions across time and space are needed for scientists to extrapolate into the unobservable past, according to G.G. Simpson: "Uniformity is an unprovable postulate justified, or indeed required, on two grounds. First, nothing in our incomplete but extensive knowledge of history disagrees with it. Second, only with this postulate is a rational interpretation of history possible, and we are justified in seeking—as scientists we must seek—such a rational interpretation."[14] and according to R. Hooykaas: "The principle of uniformity is not a law, not a rule established after comparison of facts, but a principle, preceding the observation of facts ... It is the logical principle of parsimony of causes and of economy of scientific notions. By explaining past changes by analogy with present phenomena, a limit is set to conjecture, for there is only one way in which two things are equal, but there are an infinity of ways in which they could be supposed different."[15]


              We have ALL comprehended it - as was stated above. Your problem is that whilst scientific methodology has the ability to empirically examine its predictions and arrive at objective conclusions, metaphysical solutions do not have that ability. They merely have competing academic arguments with which to make their case.
              No, I'm afraid you have not. You betray your lack of understanding with your phrase "metaphysical solutions". This misconstruction goes to the heart of your ongoing, perhaps willful?, ignorance that has plagued this exchange from the outset. You have it fixed in your head that this is a matter of two competing empirical hypotheses, yours, which is science-based, and mine which is mired in medieval superstition. Perhaps conversation at this level of abstraction is not your strong-suit. You've never had a clue what I've been talking about, but more importantly, you've never cared to trouble yourself to try to find out because you're so certain you have the answers. I've said it before, but with that, I do leave the thread to you.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
                Recall that you said that it requires no philosophical argument?
                What I actually said was that philosophy was the glue that held science together but that it cannot, as a discipline, generate new truths about nature. It can only expose and reformulate the truths contained in our models, theories and laws of the natural world as obtained via science in an effort to better understand them.

                This is from a Wikipedia article on Naturalism:
                In short (regarding your lengthy quote from Stephen Jay Gould et al) scientists arrive at models and theories via (among other processes) 'induction'. And while (as Gould says) ‘induction’ cannot "prove" its own validity, multiple empirical testing can assume that its conclusions are true – to the extent that science can put a man on the moon; metaphysics cannot. We may not be able to prove that the ‘speed of light in vacuum’ or the ‘gravitational constant’ (or the other physical laws and constants of the universe) are true. But sufficient testing can allow science to act as though they were true and, on this basis, develop a reliable understanding of how the physical universe functions – including the thoughts and consciousness consequent upon the physical activity of the brain.

                You have it fixed in your head that this is a matter of two competing empirical hypotheses, yours, which is science-based, and mine which is mired in medieval superstition.
                Interesting that this is the way you perceive the discussion given my only argument is that there is a total lack of evidence for thoughts and consciousness other than the physical activity of the brain. You want to argue that there is more, with talk of “sensations, intention, aboutness, etc.” But science is in a stronger position to arrive at factual knowledge about these things than the mere speculative conclusions of metaphysics, which has no tools at its disposal other than competing, unverified academic arguments to support its conclusions. Whereas, conversely, the cognitive sciences have many tools at their disposal - e.g. functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography et al with which to support their hypotheses.
                “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  What are you talking about? You can not logically justify the idea that the future will look like the past.
                  Agree.

                  You can only deal with probability.
                  I'm not sure you can even deal with probability until you make a brute assumption that the future will look like the past.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Donal Davidson started this and it's dependent on his anomolous monism. Reasons are final causes, not efficient causes. Davidson illicitly reified belief-desire states and called them reasons; the states can be subsumed under a law of nature, but their description (which is anomolous) can't be. Anscombe and C.S. Lewis are right here. Reasons aren't causes. They can't be. Unless you're a compatibilist, which I think is highly implausible.
                    Many and painful are the researches sometimes necessary to be made, for settling points of [this] kind. Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.
                    George Horne

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
                      No, the idea is determinism, that a person can't do something contrary to what the past determines that they do.
                      Not true, and groosely misrepresent the concept of determinism in nature.
                      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                      go with the flow the river knows . . .

                      Frank

                      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                        Okay, I get it.
                        What Jim B posted is a false notion of what determinism in science means. IT is not rigid mechanical determinism, and does not completely negate limited Free Will as in compatabilism. It is not a Mechanistic Neutonian Determinism. The universe is not a 'mechanical clock.'
                        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                        go with the flow the river knows . . .

                        Frank

                        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                          What Jim B posted is a false notion of what determinism in science means. IT is not rigid mechanical determinism, and does not completely negate limited Free Will as in compatabilism. It is not a Mechanistic Neutonian Determinism. The universe is not a 'mechanical clock.'
                          Then in what sense is it determinism?

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by JimL View Post
                            Then in what sense is it determinism?
                            There are different types of 'Determinism.' You are describing what I call it Hard Philosophical Determinism described as follows:

                            [cite-https://www.google.com/search?q=determinism+definition&oq=Determinism&aqs =chrome.1.0l8.10953j1j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8]

                            the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will. Some philosophers have taken determinism to imply that individual human beings have no free will and cannot be held morally responsible for their actions. [/cite]

                            I prefer Karl Poppers view of determinism:

                            Source: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/


                            In this century, Karl Popper (1982) defined determinism in terms of predictability also, in his book The Open Universe.

                            Laplace probably had God in mind as the powerful intelligence to whose gaze the whole future is open. If not, he should have: 19th and 20th century mathematical studies showed convincingly that neither a finite, nor an infinite but embedded-in-the-world intelligence can have the computing power necessary to predict the actual future, in any world remotely like ours. But even if our aim is only to predict a well-defined subsystem of the world, for a limited period of time, this may be impossible for any reasonable finite agent embedded in the world, as many studies of chaos (sensitive dependence on initial conditions) show. Conversely, certain parts of the world could be highly predictable, in some senses, without the world being deterministic. When it comes to predictability of future events by humans or other finite agents in the world, then, predictability and determinism are simply not logically connected at all.

                            The equation of “determinism”with “predictability” is therefore a façon de parler that at best makes vivid what is at stake in determinism: our fears about our own status as free agents in the world. In Laplace's story, a sufficiently bright demon who knew how things stood in the world 100 years before my birth could predict every action, every emotion, every belief in the course of my life. Were she then to watch me live through it, she might smile condescendingly, as one who watches a marionette dance to the tugs of strings that it knows nothing about. We can't stand the thought that we are (in some sense) marionettes. Nor does it matter whether any demon (or even God) can, or cares to, actually predict what we will do: the existence of the strings of physical necessity, linked to far-past states of the world and determining our current every move, is what alarms us. Whether such alarm is actually warranted is a question well outside the scope of this article (see Hoefer (2002a), Ismael (2016) and the entries on free will and incompatibilist theories of freedom). But a clear understanding of what determinism is, and how we might be able to decide its truth or falsity, is surely a useful starting point for any attempt to grapple with this issue.

                            Also . . .

                            2.4 Laws of nature

                            In the loose statement of determinism we are working from, metaphors such as “govern” and “under the sway of” are used to indicate the strong force being attributed to the laws of nature. Part of understanding determinism—and especially, whether and why it is metaphysically important—is getting clear about the status of the presumed laws of nature.

                            In the physical sciences, the assumption that there are fundamental, exceptionless laws of nature, and that they have some strong sort of modal force, usually goes unquestioned. Indeed, talk of laws “governing” and so on is so commonplace that it takes an effort of will to see it as metaphorical. We can characterize the usual assumptions about laws in this way: the laws of nature are assumed to be pushy explainers. They make things happen in certain ways , and by having this power, their existence lets us explain why things happen in certain ways. (For a defense of this perspective on laws, see Maudlin (2007)). Laws, we might say, are implicitly thought of as the cause of everything that happens. If the laws governing our world are deterministic, then in principle everything that happens can be explained as following from states of the world at earlier times. (Again, we note that even though the entailment typically works in the future→past direction also, we have trouble thinking of this as a legitimate explanatory entailment. In this respect also, we see that laws of nature are being implicitly treated as the causes of what happens: causation, intuitively, can only go past→future.)

                            © Copyright Original Source



                            There are other views of Determinism which are described here: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/
                            Last edited by shunyadragon; 08-29-2020, 04:57 PM.
                            Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                            Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                            But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                            go with the flow the river knows . . .

                            Frank

                            I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Popper wasn't a determinist.
                              Many and painful are the researches sometimes necessary to be made, for settling points of [this] kind. Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.
                              George Horne

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by mattbballman31 View Post
                                Popper wasn't a determinist.
                                Yes he was. Science, theories and hypothesis are not determinist in nature. They test the predictability and consistency of the determinism of nature, which is why theories and hypothesis are not 'proven,' but falsified.

                                Theory and reality

                                Popper, in the following, describes the relationship between a theory and the reality the theory is supposed to explain. In particular, not all properties of the theory, however successful, should be taken as a property of the world. I think that, however, it is not unreasonable to accept such inference, by default and until it is proven incorrect, as long as we do not claim this inference absolutely true.


                                Source: http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/oceanography/researchers/francois/RESEARCH/RESEARCH_NOTES/SCIENTIFIC_NOTES/a-case-for-indeterminism-by-Karl-Popper.html#:~:text=No%20theory%20is%20deterministic,-Given%20the%20principle&text=In%20particular%2C%20every%20theory%20based,to%20Popper%2C%20be%20called%20deterministic.&text=If%20the%20task%20demands%20that,the%20theory%20cannot%20be%20used.



                                “I see our scientific theories as human inventions–nets designed by us to catch the world. [...] What we aim at is truth: we test our theories in the hope of eliminating those which are not true. In this way we may succeed in improving our theories–even as instruments: in making nets which are better and better adapted to catch our fish, the real world. Yet they will never be perfect instruments for this purpose. They are rational nets of our own making, and should not be mistaken for a complete representation of the real world in all its aspects; not even if they are highly successful ; not even if they appear to yield excellent approximations to reality. If we keep clearly before our minds that our theories are our own work; that we are fallible; and that our theories reflect our fallibility, then we shall doubt whether general features of our theories, such as their simplicity, or their prima facie deterministic character, correspond to features of the real world. [...] The world, as we know it, is highly complex; and although it may possess structural aspects which are simple in some sense or other, the simplicity of some of our theories–which is of our own making–does not entail the intrinsic simplicity of the world. The situation with regard to determinism is similar. Newton’s theory, consisting of the law of inertia, the law of gravity, etc., may be true, or very approximately true, i.e., the world may be as the theory asserts it is. But there is no statement of determinism in this theory; the theory nowhere asserts that the world is determined; rather it is the theory itself which as that character which I called ‘prima facie deterministic’. Now the prima facie deterministic character of a theory is closely related to its simplicity; prima facie deterministic theories are comparatively easily testable, and the tests may be made more and more precise and severe. [...] At the same time, it seems no more justifiable to infer from their success that the world has an intrinsically deterministic character than to infer that the world is intrinsically simple.” [section 15]

                                © Copyright Original Source

                                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                                Frank

                                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                                Comment

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