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Physics Of The Non-Physical

quantum mechanics relativity fundamentals physics cosmology non-locality particle wave duality dark matter dark energy

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#35 Farming guy

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 07:01 AM

It appears that these are the questions John wants you to ask, Hazel.  I suspect his response is along the lines of:  "Consciousness can't be "measured" in any literal sense."  Therefore, it won't be considered a "physical" thing.  But it is nonetheless "real." 

 

This is an argument against physical monism, i.e., the stance that there is no mind/body dualism, but rather that everything that exists (i.e., is "real") is "physical."  The talk about EM waves "becoming" physical is really just designed to show that things can exist even if we have never discovered, measured, and "explained" them.  

 

Therefore "science," if it wants to deal with and explain "reality," shouldn't simply disregard consciousness and ignore it on the grounds that  if it can't be measured, then science can't deal with it.

Semantics.  Most people think of "things" as objects, and thought as a process.  Activity can be measured and observed, but it is not an object, therefore it's not a "thing".


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#36 hazelm

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 07:23 AM

Semantics.  Most people think of "things" as objects, and thought as a process.  Activity can be measured and observed, but it is not an object, therefore it's not a "thing".

Semantics, cause of all the stirring.  Do we make too much of it?  I think so but ... to do it again:

 

Nouns are words that name people, places or things.  "I have a thought."   "Thought" is a noun, as any dictionary will confirm.  "Thought is not a name of a person.  Nor is it a name of a place.  Hence, it must be the name of a thing.

 

Which reminds me.  I've not gotten to Oxford yet.  Oxford, my British language bible.  Meanwhile, carry on.  :-)


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#37 Moronium

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 08:11 AM

Nouns are words that name people, places or things.  

 

 

There is a distinction between abstract and concrete nouns:

 

Abstract nouns are words that name things that are not concrete. Your five physical senses cannot detect an abstract noun – you can’t see it, smell it, taste it, hear it, or touch it. In essence, an abstract noun is a quality, a concept, an idea, or maybe even an event  Something that is abstract exists only in the mind, while something that is concrete can be interacted with in a physical way....The line separating abstract nouns from concrete nouns is often quite blurry. For example, many abstract noun lists include the word laughter, but others leave it out, as it’s something that can be heard, seen, and physically felt.

 

http://www.gingersof...abstract-nouns/

 

If you want to claim that, since abstract nouns exist "only in the mind," they are not "real things," and therefore have no "real existence," then you are proving far too much if you're also claiming to take a 'scientific approach."  "Scientific theory" is itself an abstract noun.  All theories are chock-full of abstract concepts.  If none of these are "real," then neither is science. 

 

Even to say they "exist only in the mind" presupposes the existence of a "thing" called mind and the actual existence of abstract nouns.  For that matter, the term "existence" is merely an abstract noun.  Ya aint gunna get far if you ban abstract nouns from any form of existence and/or "reality."


Edited by Moronium, 27 May 2018 - 08:20 AM.


#38 Moronium

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 08:24 AM

 Most people think of "things" as objects...

 

Like only "concrete nouns" are really "things," ya mean?

 

Activity can be measured and observed, but it is not an object, therefore it's not a "thing".

 

 

 

I agree.  That's the irony of Exchem saying that "mind" is not a thing, while implying that "activity" is.

 

For Descartes, and Cartesians in general, the "mind" was never a "physical thing."  Saying it's not "physical" does not in any way contradict what they themselves claim.

 

To deny that "mind" exists on the ground that it is not a physical thing is merely to assert a metaphysical ontology of monism.  Of course it's not the only possible monism. Solipsists claim that only "mind' exists, and that any notion of "objective reality" is just an illusion.


Edited by Moronium, 27 May 2018 - 08:42 AM.


#39 hazelm

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 08:35 AM

There is a distinction between abstract and concrete nouns:

 

 

http://www.gingersof...abstract-nouns/

 

If you want to claim that, since abstract nouns exist "only in the mind," they are not "real things," and therefore have no "real existence," then you are proving far too much if you're also claiming to take a 'scientific approach."  "Scientific theory" is itself an abstract noun.  All theories are chock-full of abstract concepts.  If none of these are "real," then neither is science. 

 

Even to say they "exist only in the mind" presupposes the existence of a "thing" called mind and the actual existence of abstract nouns.  For that matter, the term "existence" is merely an abstract noun.  Ya aint gunna get far if you ban abstract nouns from any form of existence and/or "reality."

I don't think I claimed any such thing and, yes, abstract and concrete nouns are simply an extension of what I said.  Nouns name persons, places or things, the latter breaking down into concrete or abstract.

 

Happy now?  :spin:



#40 Moronium

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 08:48 AM

I don't think I claimed any such thing...

 

I don't think you did either, Hazel.  I was referring to Exchem, not you.  You obviously have a much more nuanced grasp of the issues than he does, if you ask me.


Edited by Moronium, 27 May 2018 - 08:54 AM.


#41 Moronium

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 09:02 AM

There are many people who are predisposed to see all of "reality" in terms of a materialistic, deterministic, mechanistic reductionism.  For them, the most complex thought can be reduced to, and explained by, material particles acting in accordance with strict causal laws of "nature." 

 

But the problem with viewing consciousness as the product of a robotic process is that the view is virtually self-refuting.

 

If all of my thoughts are indeed just the product of pre-determined mechanical process, then why should I put any credence in my own conclusion that I'm just a programmed robot?  If that's the case, then I was just programmed to think that. It was predestined, at the instant of the big bang, that I would think that.  I have no choice about it. Such a conclusion would NOT be the product of any independent rational analysis.


Edited by Moronium, 27 May 2018 - 09:15 AM.


#42 hazelm

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 09:17 AM

I don't think you did either, Hazel.  I was referring to Exchem, not you.  You obviously have a much more nuanced grasp of the issues than he does, if you ask me.

No, you have the the two of us confused.  Exchemist knows his stuff.  I just have opinions.  Big difference.  Rarely do I disagree with exchemist.  Just happen to this time.

 

The fact is that we cannot really disagree with anyone until we understand how they are using their terms.  That is why I was chasing exchemist's meaning when he said "entity" because I saw it differently.    Still do. But now I understand what he is saying, whether I agree or not.  First step to harmony?



#43 Moronium

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 09:25 AM

No, you have the the two of us confused.  Exchemist knows his stuff.  I just have opinions.  Big difference. 

 

You're selling yourself short, Hazel.  By your own appraisal, you don't really understand physics.  I'll take you at your word about that.  However, formal physics is not everything.  Philosophically speaking, you're far ahead of him, in my opinion.  I base that on your comments, not just some "hunch."  One big advantage you have on him there is the very "uncertainty" that you entertain about your own thoughts and those of others.  You're not a dogmatist.   You have an open mind and an active curiosity.

 

Even when it comes to physics, you ask the "right" (i.e, intelligent) questions, given what you know, which displays an innate thoughtfulness, which, in turn, is an essential attribute for a "philosopher."

 

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”  (Bertrand Russell)  

 


Edited by Moronium, 27 May 2018 - 09:40 AM.


#44 A-wal

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 09:35 AM

No, you have the the two of us confused.  Exchemist knows his stuff.  I just have opinions.

Opinions are all anyone can offer on the subject of consciousness (though that doesn't make them all equally valid). I don't think any scientist with even the smallest shred of intellectual honesty would try claiming that the science consciousness is understood on any level.

 

To be fair to Exchemist, I don't think he's asserting his opinions as if scientifically verified.



#45 hazelm

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 10:52 AM

Opinions are all anyone can offer on the subject of consciousness (though that doesn't make them all equally valid). I don't think any scientist with even the smallest shred of intellectual honesty would try claiming that the science consciousness is understood on any level.

 

To be fair to Exchemist, I don't think he's asserting his opinions as if scientifically verified.

True.  Where consciousness is concerned, it is all still opinion.  That's why I spout mine for what it is worth - or not.  And, yes, exchemist knows his business.   As I said, my aim was to learn exactly what he meant by entity and thing.  Both were new ideas to me and I didn't want to contradict until we were on the same page.   I thought I knew what an entity is - a thing or an idea that exists.  IMO

 

I have a good book to read.  Be back anon.



#46 Farming guy

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 11:33 AM

 

 

To deny that "mind" exists on the ground that it is not a physical thing is merely to assert a metaphysical ontology of monism.  Of course it's not the only possible monism. Solipsists claim that only "mind' exists, and that any notion of "objective reality" is just an illusion.

Of course, even things that we think of as things are made up mostly of empty space. :spin:  A solid object is only solid because of the strong nuclear forces that bind them, so that everything we think of as a thing can also be described as physical processes, can they not?



#47 A-wal

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 11:49 AM

Of course, even things that we think of as things are made up mostly of empty space. :spin:  A solid object is only solid because of the strong nuclear forces that bind them, so that everything we think of as a thing can also be described as physical processes, can they not?

Speculation alert: I think if we were able to see quarks in detail we'd see (if they do exist, I think they've never actually been observed and are still just theoretical) that they're also made up of nearly 100% empty space, and so are whatever they're made of and so on. In the end matter is probably just trapped waves of energy imo.

 

This has turned into a really good thread. :) Makes a nice change.


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#48 Moronium

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 12:16 PM

Of course, even things that we think of as things are made up mostly of empty space. :spin:  A solid object is only solid because of the strong nuclear forces that bind them, so that everything we think of as a thing can also be described as physical processes, can they not?

 

All is in flux, as Heraclitus said, so sure.  We could also say space is a "thing" too, I suppose, and before ya know it, everything is one thing, like Parmenides said.

 

But, ya see, I know more better.  It's all strings, I tells ya!  Waving strings.



#49 hazelm

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 12:19 PM

I agree.  A very interesting thread.  Slightly off-topic but still bears on the book since it is about consciousness, does it not?

 

I wonder if part of the failure to make progress in identifying exactly what consciousness is is due to fear of jumping over into religion.  Any time we get into the non-physical, that little voice is in the background.  In Dr. Petrovic's book, I think he works hard to make sure we understand that by "spirituality" he does not mean any form of religion.  Perhaps he means  only that the non-physical is spiritual.  Consciousness is non-physical.  Spirituality is non-physical.

 

I am curious to learn how he relates this to  Physics, which he says he does.



#50 hazelm

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 12:23 PM

All is in flux, as Heraclitus said, so sure.  We could also say space is a "thing" too, I suppose, and before ya know it, everything is one thing, like Parmenides said.

 

But, ya see, I know more better.  It's all strings, I tells ya!  Waving strings.

I prefer the multivrse - one stacked atop or around another.  Maybe hiding in the Dark Matter.  I only object to the notion of identical me's in each.  Or, worse, little "anti-me''s".  :-(



#51 Moronium

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 12:27 PM

  I only object to the notion of identical me's in each.  

 

Really?  Me, I would like to have at least one clone, preferably a bunch.  That way I would always have an alibi, know what I'm sayin?


Edited by Moronium, 27 May 2018 - 12:28 PM.




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