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Thread: The world is not made of tiny things according to physics, so why does metaphysics claim it is?

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    Machine is not a bad metaphor for universe. The problem is when metaphors become taken for reality.

    All emotions boil down to brain chemistry and those pesky atoms amd molcules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juma View Post
    Eh... the world DO behave different on different scales.
    So that isnt wrong.
    Objects are creations of our human minds so, yes. The world does not consist of objects.
    When you say that objects are creations of our human minds, I find that immediately objectionable, so much so that I instinctively think of what the mistake is you're making, but I've also approached it from a different angle, to try and determine what truth it is you do indeed see and dismiss your articulation of what you say as simply being in error.

    Through it all, I still can't quite latch on to what would drive the persistency of such a notion. Wouldn't cucumbers on a vine still be cucumbers on a vine? Why not? They wouldn't be CALLED cumcumbers without minds. They wouldn't be OBSERVED without minds.. Does that somehow factor into this? There are no PERCEPTIONS of cucumbers without minds.

    I can't help but wonder what it is you would be saying if you weren't saying it the way you are. Does the word "object" bring something to the table here?

    The world does not consist of objects, you say--that too! Oh my! Is there some peculiar interpretation? Are there any objects in the world? To me, it's beyond any realistic sense to think not, so I can't help but think there's an underlying driving source for such a statement.

    I've tried to be careful with labels, but the more I immerse myself in the intracies of what drives odd positions, the more I think people deviate from naive realism, the more convoluted things become.

    Why dispute it? Newfound information that science brings us should be interpreted, not always in denial fashion but just in a different light. The moment we deny the existence of Vulcan is not a moment to reject Newtonian physics. It's better to become aware of the scope to which statements apply.

    Of course there are objects independent of the human mind. Science doesn't teach us otherswise. If interpretations of scientific findings were as rigorous as scientific experiments, views of oddity would be less (much less) prevalent.

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    The brain does not create external objects, it creates mental, subjective representations of objects and what they are doing, an internal 4D map of the external world, including one's physical and mental self. There is something like ten different interpretation of QM, some probabilistic, some deterministic....but what the ultimate nature of the physical world is, nobody knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Juma View Post
    Eh... the world DO behave different on different scales.
    So that isnt wrong.
    Objects are creations of our human minds so, yes. The world does not consist of objects.
    When you say that objects are creations of our human minds, I find that immediately objectionable, so much so that I instinctively think of what the mistake is you're making, but I've also approached it from a different angle, to try and determine what truth it is you do indeed see and dismiss your articulation of what you say as simply being in error.

    Through it all, I still can't quite latch on to what would drive the persistency of such a notion. Wouldn't cucumbers on a vine still be cucumbers on a vine? Why not? They wouldn't be CALLED cumcumbers without minds. They wouldn't be OBSERVED without minds.. Does that somehow factor into this? There are no PERCEPTIONS of cucumbers without minds.

    I can't help but wonder what it is you would be saying if you weren't saying it the way you are. Does the word "object" bring something to the table here?

    The world does not consist of objects, you say--that too! Oh my! Is there some peculiar interpretation? Are there any objects in the world? To me, it's beyond any realistic sense to think not, so I can't help but think there's an underlying driving source for such a statement.

    I've tried to be careful with labels, but the more I immerse myself in the intracies of what drives odd positions, the more I think people deviate from naive realism, the more convoluted things become.

    Why dispute it? Newfound information that science brings us should be interpreted, not always in denial fashion but just in a different light. The moment we deny the existence of Vulcan is not a moment to reject Newtonian physics. It's better to become aware of the scope to which statements apply.

    Of course there are objects independent of the human mind. Science doesn't teach us otherswise. If interpretations of scientific findings were as rigorous as scientific experiments, views of oddity would be less (much less) prevalent.
    I do not deny that is something ”out there”. There must be something ”out there” to ensure the consitency of observation etc. What I say is that there are no objects out there. Objects are created by the mind to enable us to discerne important features of what we experience. Its a feature of our cogntion. They fit mostly very well to our experience so we doesnt realize what they are. The addition of haystacks are a simplistic example where they fail us.

    Or think of when a cliff happens to be formed like throne so you can sit in/on it and thus becomes a chair...

    Think of how you would like to design a robot that can handle the world around it: it needs to recognize distinct features, how will you represrnt the features?

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    Zen Hedonist Jobar's Avatar
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    Atoms, as Democritus posited them, were the tiniest possible constituents of matter. They were eternal, unchanging- structureless.

    Atoms as we understand them are not any of those things. And at least so far, we haven't managed to isolate anything that would qualify as a 'tiniest constituent'- although string theory posits strings as the smallest possible unit of matter, we're a long way from being able to generate the energies that would allow us to detect them. And it may turn out that strings are no more than patterns of energy- not matter at all, as our understanding would have it.

    It's possible that reality is fractal in nature- no matter how you manage to magnify its structure, there will always be further structure beneath what we see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juma View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Juma View Post
    Eh... the world DO behave different on different scales.
    So that isnt wrong.
    Objects are creations of our human minds so, yes. The world does not consist of objects.
    When you say that objects are creations of our human minds, I find that immediately objectionable, so much so that I instinctively think of what the mistake is you're making, but I've also approached it from a different angle, to try and determine what truth it is you do indeed see and dismiss your articulation of what you say as simply being in error.

    Through it all, I still can't quite latch on to what would drive the persistency of such a notion. Wouldn't cucumbers on a vine still be cucumbers on a vine? Why not? They wouldn't be CALLED cumcumbers without minds. They wouldn't be OBSERVED without minds.. Does that somehow factor into this? There are no PERCEPTIONS of cucumbers without minds.

    I can't help but wonder what it is you would be saying if you weren't saying it the way you are. Does the word "object" bring something to the table here?

    The world does not consist of objects, you say--that too! Oh my! Is there some peculiar interpretation? Are there any objects in the world? To me, it's beyond any realistic sense to think not, so I can't help but think there's an underlying driving source for such a statement.

    I've tried to be careful with labels, but the more I immerse myself in the intracies of what drives odd positions, the more I think people deviate from naive realism, the more convoluted things become.

    Why dispute it? Newfound information that science brings us should be interpreted, not always in denial fashion but just in a different light. The moment we deny the existence of Vulcan is not a moment to reject Newtonian physics. It's better to become aware of the scope to which statements apply.

    Of course there are objects independent of the human mind. Science doesn't teach us otherswise. If interpretations of scientific findings were as rigorous as scientific experiments, views of oddity would be less (much less) prevalent.
    I do not deny that is something ”out there”. There must be something ”out there” to ensure the consitency of observation etc. What I say is that there are no objects out there. Objects are created by the mind to enable us to discerne important features of what we experience. Its a feature of our cogntion. They fit mostly very well to our experience so we doesnt realize what they are. The addition of haystacks are a simplistic example where they fail us.

    Or think of when a cliff happens to be formed like throne so you can sit in/on it and thus becomes a chair...

    Think of how you would like to design a robot that can handle the world around it: it needs to recognize distinct features, how will you represrnt the features?


    Something out there that ensures consistency? Sounds like some form of Pantheism or belief in a higher power.

    The universe exists. Our brains create symbols and concepts to deal with observation. It is as simple as that.

    You are talking what I lump as New Age Mysticism. A mix of science and the mystical. Over here Deepak Chopra is a leading figure.

    It is also a Christian creationist argument. There must be something that bring order to the universe, and that is god.

    Goedel wrote that it might not be possible to design a human analog. He also said it might be possible to grow a human analog much as a child grows. Build a sophisticated neural net and send it to school in manner of speaking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Juma View Post

    I do not deny that is something ”out there”. There must be something ”out there” to ensure the consitency of observation etc. What I say is that there are no objects out there. Objects are created by the mind to enable us to discerne important features of what we experience. Its a feature of our cogntion. They fit mostly very well to our experience so we doesnt realize what they are. The addition of haystacks are a simplistic example where they fail us.

    Or think of when a cliff happens to be formed like throne so you can sit in/on it and thus becomes a chair...

    Think of how you would like to design a robot that can handle the world around it: it needs to recognize distinct features, how will you represrnt the features?


    Something out there that ensures consistency? Sounds like some form of Pantheism or belief in a higher power.

    The universe exists. Our brains create symbols and concepts to deal with observation. It is as simple as that.

    You are talking what I lump as New Age Mysticism. A mix of science and the mystical. Over here Deepak Chopra is a leading figure.

    It is also a Christian creationist argument. There must be something that bring order to the universe, and that is god.

    Goedel wrote that it might not be possible to design a human analog. He also said it might be possible to grow a human analog much as a child grows. Build a sophisticated neural net and send it to school in manner of speaking.
    what? why would you call this new age? there is no new age here at all. only pure science.

  8. Top | #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juma View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Juma View Post

    I do not deny that is something ”out there”. There must be something ”out there” to ensure the consitency of observation etc. What I say is that there are no objects out there. Objects are created by the mind to enable us to discerne important features of what we experience. Its a feature of our cogntion. They fit mostly very well to our experience so we doesnt realize what they are. The addition of haystacks are a simplistic example where they fail us.

    Or think of when a cliff happens to be formed like throne so you can sit in/on it and thus becomes a chair...

    Think of how you would like to design a robot that can handle the world around it: it needs to recognize distinct features, how will you represrnt the features?


    Something out there that ensures consistency? Sounds like some form of Pantheism or belief in a higher power.

    The universe exists. Our brains create symbols and concepts to deal with observation. It is as simple as that.

    You are talking what I lump as New Age Mysticism. A mix of science and the mystical. Over here Deepak Chopra is a leading figure.

    It is also a Christian creationist argument. There must be something that bring order to the universe, and that is god.

    Goedel wrote that it might not be possible to design a human analog. He also said it might be possible to grow a human analog much as a child grows. Build a sophisticated neural net and send it to school in manner of speaking.
    what? why would you call this new age? there is no new age here at all. only pure science.
    Your philosophical musing are not just science, like 'something out there that makes observation consistent'. Nothing inherently wrong with it, making an observation. We all have a non scientific paradigm of the universe in some form, Religious or otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Juma View Post
    what? why would you call this new age? there is no new age here at all. only pure science.
    Your philosophical musing are not just science, like 'something out there that makes observation consistent'. Nothing inherently wrong with it, making an observation. We all have a non scientific paradigm of the universe in some form, Religious or otherwise.
    ? Nothing religious here. We are making observations of a coherent reality. How could it then be woo to stuipulate such a reality?

  10. Top | #20
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    What is an object?

    According to Merriam Webster, an object is ,"something material that may be perceived by the senses." That seems to be a straight forward definition of the term. It's inline with traditionally held views. Remember, in its basic form, a definition is an explanation. It's an explanation of how words are used. More specifically in our context, a definition is an explanation of how fluent (not just anybody) speakers of a language (in our case, the English language) collectively (not individually) use (speak, write, or otherwise make use of) words. In most non-philosophical circles, it would generally be accepted to characterize a cup on the table, a plane in the sky, or a planet orbiting a star as an object. But, has science demonstrated otherwise?

    Before I delve into that, there's some oddities of language that needs to be addressed. Why? Because they can mislead the unwary. First, a story. A rich car lover set out to acquire one of every kind of car. Never mind my use of "kind;" that's a nightmare to discuss in another decade. He went about his daily tasks to finally complete his acquisition journey, and he put all the cars in a single building. He went on to say something more. He not only claimed to have one of every kind of vehicle in the building, but he also claimed that only cars were in the building. Upon inspection, it was noticed that there were no tables or desks. There were no chairs, no rugs ... not even a light fixture. But, off in the corner were some toy cars.

    Was the man correct? Supposing he had amassed one of every kind of car. Let's stipulate that. Does the inclusion of the toy cars have an impact on his other statement? I say, yes, most certainly. A toy car is not a kind of car; it's a kind of toy! But why (after trying so hard to include only cars) did he include toys? Language.

    We cannot always rely on the preceding word in a two-worded term as an indication of what follows. An inanimate object is a kind of object, but an imaginary object is not. A heavy object is, but an abstract object is not. Of course, (of course, of course, of course), whether an object is heavy is relative. I get that, but what I want to impress upon you is that if I reach out and touch an object that we deem heavy, I've touched an object (an actual object) just as surely as I had if I had touched a cup on the table. It's an object. An imaginary object is not an object. An abstract object is not an object.

    Before I appear to contradict myself, there is yet another road we need to go down. It's my hope that I won't be judged to have committed the etymological fallacy. Instead, I believe taking a stroll through its evolution that things might start coming together. To do that, I now switch from talking about objects but rather the word. It's an even keel word. It was never meant for anyone to think of a mental object as a kind of object. Consider the term, "immaterial." That, after all, is what we described 'objects' of the mind to be. And, many still do. NONE of this takes away from the scientific truths that speak of the physical processes of the brain--all of which are material. The point I'm trying to make is that "object" is a placeholder word for comparitve purposes, so while we may discuss things (be they in fact things at all) we're merely couching the distinctions propped up against the word without actually holding true that the subject matter are in fact objects.

    However, evolution of usage rears its head. We have spoken so long and so prolifically about mental objects, it's actually become apart of lexical usage--but (and this is a but of biblical proportions), ambiguity has arisen. It's now true (not false) that mental objects are objects, but in order to appreciate the significance of what I'm saying, it's very important not to think of mental objects as just another kind of object. That's the same underlying confusion so many have with the postulation of abstract objects--as if they are purportedly just another kind of object; they are not.

    In outline form, "objects" is not the umbrella under which various terms are a member. Well, at least not until it too took on a broader and more encompassing usage. This can be a tizzy. It becomes less overwhelming when the nastiness of same word ambiguity either uses words of different letters or incorporates numbers. Otherwise, I can say things and very much appear to contradict myself.

    One more stab at highlighting the complexity still amongst us. A mental object is not an object. With goggles on, that reads, a mental object2 is not an object1. An object1 is akin to the original definition. Object2 is akin to the term in a broader scope that includes non-objects of the first variety.

    When you speak of not denying things "out there," what's out there are objects. The number of, density of, movement of, and cohesive forces of (oh say, clusters of atoms) are the objects themselves. These things we name, but the name is wholly unimportant. What to a human is a cliff will not be called as such by nonhumans, but the arrangement of things out there that fit what we call a cliff is there only if it is; no understanding required. No perception needed. That which is there is there, and if we would call something an object, and if it's there, an object it is--unless we would be mistaken.

    Science is wonderful, but language is a minefield. We're prone to say the darnedest things. When you say objects are created by the mind, I deny that's true, but I might agree with every reason for why you say it's true. First, there are no objects in the mind--much like there are no unicorns in the imagination. Of course, going down this road is so bumpy--with neither of us mutually coming to terms with precisely what a mind is.

    So many things to say...

    Getting it to all come together one letter at a time isn't working out. I just don't have time for the computer.

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