# Opinions on the fundamental nature of reality.

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### #35 Qfwfq

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 01:38 AM

One can not "prove" an axiom!

No Dick, I didn't say it could, I'm simply groping in the dark. I'm still stumped on C and D, I'll just try pondering those paragraphs in your last post for another while.
Let'em sink in...

First, the common scientific paradigm is chock full of assumptions and until an error somewhere in those assumptions is demonstrably wrong, the scientific community believes they are correct.

That isn't the modern view at all, much as some people still have the verificationist habit. Popper certainly didn't think that way.

The existence of elements is not what is either verified or falsified in any scientific work. Explanations (quite often known as theories) are verified or falsified!

The way to falsify a "theory" is to find a counterexample i. e. by falsifying some prediction. According to the falsificationist doctrine, each verification of a prediction is a non-falsification of it, not a verification of it. According to Popper, there is no such thing as verification of a theory, only of single instances.

Now verification of a theoretical prediction is usually taken as evidence that the elements which make up that theory are correct, but it cannot be taken as proof. Likewise, falsification of a theoretical prediction is usually taken as evidence that some element of that explanation is false but the scientists may pick the wrong one.

?

As far as I can see, "they" don't pick one, they try to figure out what's wrong. Maybe different people try different ideas.

No, it is your interpretation of what I am saying that keeps changing.

Goodness, I have supplied examples of you saying A and then denying A, or having said it. Try to be patient with us nerds, if our interpretation of what you say keeps changing.

Here I agree with you 100% I am indeed dealing with the wrong audience. The problem is that the right audience does not exist. This is the fundamental of the fundamental and runs counter to everything anyone believes.

The right audience doesn't exist?
Our strenuous efforts are all for naught?

### #36 Doctordick

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 09:56 PM

I've been following this discussion for a time now and I have restrained my comments because, at the present, I'm still trying to get the full understanding necessary to effectively debate the issue with you.

So far, my comments have been almost entirely to Qfwfq as he is one of the few people around here who seems to have the background to understand the details of my discovery; however, that wasn't the discussion I had in mind when I started this thread. The paper being currently discussed is nothing more or less than a line by line deduction of my fundamental equation. (But I supose that is only in my eyes.)

As I said, it is an analytical truth: i.e., the equation is absolutely correct under the definition of psi given and that definition is exactly in accordance with my definition of "an explanation". There is nothing in there to be debated. Either each step in the deduction is valid or there is a specific error. Baring an error in that deduction, the conclusion is that any explanation of anything can be expressed by psi and that psi must obey the equation I deduce. So long as everyone denies that fact, there is really nothing worth discussing.

Qfwfq keeps trying to give me the impression that he is following the deduction but his comments only make sense from the perspective that he is trying to interpret what the elements of the deduction can be related to in his current paradigm. We can't get through the one thing I thought he was qualified to analyze. In fact, as he does not even approach the dialog in terms of the steps of that deduction, I have no idea as to where he is losing the thread. With regard to that issue, there is no one more knowledgeable than yourself.

Until I get a better grasp, I'll have to defer to them to continue this discovery.

I think that what you mean by "a better grasp" is a comprehension of the new paradigm I am presenting. The problem is that accepting that fundamental equation as a necessary base to any explanation is the first step in comprehending the paradigm. I certainly don't expect those of you who haven't enough confidence in your logic to be the first to accept my deduction as valid (even if I managed to convince you of each individual step). But I did have hopes of convincing Qfwfq.

I have faith that it will soak in eventually

The problem here is that I suspect you mean that, eventually, your intuition will agree that the deduction is correct and that I do not expect to occur as the consequences of that equation are so far reaching that they could not possibly be recognized intuitively. What I am putting forth is an analytical attack on the whole magila. It is only when one begins to look at the solutions (possible explanations of information) in detail that the consequences become alive and one achieves that recognition, "Oh, I know what that is!"

As one discovers solutions and applies names to them, more and more of the creations of your intuition show up. For example "an object" is best defined as a collection of elements whose behavior with one another on an internal elemental level is of no real consequence to it's interaction with the rest of the significant elements in the explanation at the time scale of interest: i.e., the idea of an object is a very valuable concept. The definition I just gave is in complete accordance with what is ordinarily called a physical object and information satisfying that definition exists in most common explanations of anything. It turns out that "objects" must approximately obey Newtonian mechanics. Well, physically we knew that but did you know that objects in other explanations also have to obey the same rules? I know you have heard of the "momentum" of a commodities price change but can you express exactly what such a thing should mean in analytical terms?

No Dick, I didn't say it could, I'm simply groping in the dark.

Just where did you get the idea an assertion is automatically an axiom?

I'm still stumped on C and D, I'll just try pondering those paragraphs in your last post for another while.
Let'em sink in...

I have no idea what your problem is; unless you are looking for intuitive confirmation that the deduction is valid. C is the valid information upon which the explanation is based and D is the imagined information upon which the explanation is based. Together, they are "the information upon which the explanation is based". What is your problem? Why do you need more than that? Certainly you can't ask how to separate the two as, if you could separate the two, you would know exactly what is correct in your explanation and you certainly can't believe you know that.

The way to falsify a "theory" is to find a counterexample i. e. by falsifying some prediction.

Isn't that what I said? I have been hammering on the idea that the predictions are the issue here from the word go. The explanation, by my definition, provides provides one with expectations: i.e., makes predictions. It isn't the fundamental elements of the theory which are either verified or falsified, it is the prediction which is verified or falsified.

According to the falsificationist doctrine, each verification of a prediction is a non-falsification of it, not a verification of it. According to Popper, there is no such thing as verification of a theory, only of single instances.

The explanation gave the wrong expectations is a false prediction! And you can certainly verify that the results are consistent with your expectations if they are. The explanation works fine until problems crop up in expectations.

As far as I can see, "they" don't pick one, they try to figure out what's wrong. Maybe different people try different ideas.

And exactly what is that, if it isn't "picking an an element in the explanation" which might be wrong?

Our strenuous efforts are all for naught?

Well, I would say that a great percentage of your efforts are for naught. You keep bringing more to the table than should be there and in doing so you bury the essential details of the deduction in issues which really have no bearing as of yet. Now I am also guilty here because I am drawn in to trying to show you the problems in your paradigm and how I see them from my paradigm and we really shouldn't be worrying about that. Particularly when I get sloppy, which I sometimes do because I don't hold the issues you bring up as having very high priority.

Have fun -- Dick

### #37 Jehu

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 03:24 PM

Doctordick,

Have carefully studied your paper "A Universal Analytical Model of Explanation Itself" I would like to offer the following remarks;

Regarding your defining an explanation as “a method of obtaining expectations from given known information”. I would argue first that you have not made the case that there is indeed any need to deviate from the conventional prescribed definition: “the act of making (something) clear or intelligible with detailed information”. I say this because, no one has as yet put forward any example that is not adequately accounted for within the scope of the commonly held definition, nor have you demonstrated why this definition is, in your opinion, inadequate, while it is found to be quite sufficient for the vast majority of English speakers. Furthermore, I would argue that to diverge so far from the common meaning of a term would undermine the fundamental nature of language, for the meaning of any useful term is determined by its common usage.

Let me offer the following explanation. As you are aware, verbal designations such as “explanation” do not convey information, for as you say, “all the information is [already] known”. What the designation does, in fact, is provide a perceptible (public) pointer to that which is essentially a private entity, the concept. However, the concept that a speaker has in mind when he or she employs a designation is not necessarily identical with the concept that is brought to mind by a listener who hears the designation, for concepts evolve out of our previous personal experiences with respect to the given designation. In other words, we each develop our own personal mental structure with which we associate any given designation. It is for this reason, that if we are to communicate clearly, we must prescribe a precise meaning to every designation, by public convention, and then codify these meanings in dictionaries and lexicons.

When someone requests an explanation, they are merely indicating that they cannot associate a comprehensive and coherent mental structure with the given designation (thing), be it a simple designation such as “an explanation” or a more complex designation such as “the nature of a rainbow”. Now, in order to render the given designation (or rather its associated concept) clear and intelligible, one must resort to the use more fundamental designations which point the listener’s mind to simpler concepts that are already in attendance. The listener is then able to amalgamate these elemental concepts into a single structure, possessing a higher informational complexity, and having done so, will now assert that they now know what the given designation means. However, the only expectation that I can discern from the process, is the listener’s expectation that they will be supplied with the appropriate set of subsidiary concepts (or rather their designations) that are needed to create a comprehensive and coherent mental structure of their own.

Now, if I understand the intent of your paper, what you want to know is if the amalgamation of these subsidiary concepts into a single concept of a higher complexity, follows some “exact relationship”, that is to say, some law or first-principle. If so, this is not a point we need hypothesize over, for we can examine the question directly, by way of an example from deductive reasoning. Consider the premises P2, P3, and P4, along with their conclusion, P5.

P2 – Premise, An effect cannot arise without a cause.
P3 – Premise, An effect cannot arise solely out of a single cause to which it is identical.
P4 – Premise, An effect cannot arise solely out of a single cause to which it is not identical.

P5 – Conclusion, An effect cannot arise out of fewer than two causes.

In this example, we will see how the series of three premises, each comprising some quantity of information, may be amalgamated, and thereby give rise to the emergence of a conclusion, the information capacity of which, appears to exceed the sum of the information contained in its substantiating premises. To arrive at this conclusion, the force of reason must be able to unify the three substantial premises. Notice, however, that the premises P2 and P3, or P2 and P4, cannot be amalgamated, that is to say, the conclusion yields nothing more than the sum of the substantiating premises.

P2 – Premise, An effect cannot arise without a cause.
P3 – Premise, An effect cannot arise solely out of a single cause to which it is identical.

P7 – Conclusion, An effect cannot arise without a cause or solely out of a single cause to which it is identical.

P2 – Premise, An effect cannot arise without a cause.
P4 – Premise, An effect cannot arise solely out of a single cause to which it is not identical.

P8 – Conclusion, An effect cannot arise without a cause or solely out of a single cause to which it is not identical.

On the other hand, the premises P3 and P4, are able to yield a conclusion, the information content of which, appears to go beyond what is contained in the two premises.

P3 – Premise, An effect cannot arise solely out of a single cause to which it is identical.
P4 – Premise, An effect cannot arise solely out of a single cause to which it is not identical.

P6 – Conclusion, An effect cannot arise solely out of a single cause.

The reason for this is two-fold, (1) the two premises are interdependent in that they share a common element, “An effect cannot arise solely out of a single cause to which it is”, and (2) because the two premises contain elements that are complementary “identical” and “not identical”. By “complementary”, we mean that the two elements together comprise a distinguishable unit or whole, in this case, the set of all single causes.

Now, although the concluding proposition is merely a consolidation of the information contained in propositions of the its substantiating premises, the concluding proposition is more than the sum of its parts, for it eliminates an entire set of possibilities. Furthermore. having consolidated the information capacity of the premises P3 and P4, we find that we may now amalgamate the resulting conclusion P6 with the premise P2, to yield the original conclusion P5, for there are elements of P3 and P6 that now comprise a distinguishable unit, “the set of all possible numbers of causes that are fewer than two”.

P2 – Premise, An effect cannot arise without a cause.
P6 – Premise, An effect cannot arise solely out of a single cause.

P5 – Conclusion, An effect cannot arise out of fewer than two causes.

Consequently, we may assert that the law or relationship that you are looking for is a dyad, a two-fold entity that is both interdependent and complementary. Let us call it the “Principle of Interdependent Complementarity”, and I suggest to you that this is the “first principle” that you are seeking. Or have I perhaps missed the point entirely?

### #38 Doctordick

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 06:47 PM

Hi Jehu, given the time since my last post here, I had thought the thread was dead. It is nice to know that someone is still thinking about it.

Regarding your defining an explanation as “a method of obtaining expectations from given known information”. I would argue first that you have not made the case that there is indeed any need to deviate from the conventional prescribed definition: “the act of making (something) clear or intelligible with detailed information”.

My purpose was to shift the essence of the definition from the unclear concepts, "clear", "intelligible" and "detailed information". With that definition, the question arises, exactly how does one know that an explanation is clear or intelligible and exactly what does that "detailed information" consist of. Let me point out an interesting characteristic of communications and the syntactic components of used to enable communication in general. There are three major components to any communication.

There are symbols (words, letters, pictures, sounds, gestures, ascII code, Chinese characters, Egyptian hieroglyphs etc.) all are intermediaries in communications and, if they are to be understood, they must first be learned. Learning these symbols is exactly the same problem as is learning anything else. It should be recognized that the idea that one understands these symbols can no more be proved than one can prove any other theory. The assumption that the symbols are understood is only supported by the fact that, once we understand them, our interchanges via them make sense to us. That is, we no longer have to make adjustments to our understanding of them as we are no longer surprised by their usage.

There are concepts (mental images together with the connections associated with those ideas). Concepts are totally internal to each of us. They are private in the sense that we can not directly deliver a concept in our head to another mind. We can name them via symbols and, if we have a sufficiently large collection of concepts already named via symbols and reasonably well understood, we can perhaps communicate the concept we have in mind to another. However, this other is required to learn that concept. But it must be recognized that the fact that a concept has been communicated is an assumption. Again, this assumption is supported only by the fact that, once the concept is understood, usage of the symbol we have attached to that concept no longer surprises us in our communications.

Finally, semantics generally includes a referent (real world object). This is supposed to be the actual thing being referred to. However, it must be recognized that it also is assumed. It is an element of our experiences and needs to be learned. If a particular experience is repeated often enough, we will mentally develop a concept of that experience (we will learn it). That concept will include relationships with other experiences and, if the concept continues to be consistent with our experiences we will assume it is a referent to a real thing and not an illusion. Once again, the only support is the fact that we are no longer surprised by the experiences associated with that referent. We “know” that experience and can recognize it.

Lack of surprise is the thread through all these learned components. It is exactly that lack of surprise which is the key to our assumption that a specific thing is "clear". Likewise, it is "intelligible" if our expectations are in alignment with the information available to us. Finally, the "detailed information" is more accurately covered by the phrase "given known information" as that phrase includes both the detailed information ordinarily seen as necessary to the explanation and all other information ordinarily presumed to be known by the person learning the explanation.

I say this because, no one has as yet put forward any example that is not adequately accounted for within the scope of the commonly held definition, nor have you demonstrated why this definition is, in your opinion, inadequate, while it is found to be quite sufficient for the vast majority of English speakers.

As you must realize at this point, the only real difference between my definition and yours is a question of exactness.

Furthermore, I would argue that to diverge so far from the common meaning of a term would undermine the fundamental nature of language, for the meaning of any useful term is determined by its common usage.

If you hold that my definition is not in perfect alignment with the common usage, you must either give me an example of an explanation which yields no expectations or you must give me a chain of thought which yields expectations which cannot (under the common usage of the term) be thought of as an explanation.

Let me offer the following explanation. ... However, the only expectation that I can discern from the process, is the listener’s expectation that they will be supplied with the appropriate set of subsidiary concepts (or rather their designations) that are needed to create a comprehensive and coherent mental structure of their own.

I am afraid this section of your post is unclear. In particular, I do not understand your statement "'explanation' do not convey information" or, "for as you say, 'all the information is [already] known'". I do not remember saying any such thing.

Now, if I understand the intent of your paper, what you want to know is if the amalgamation of these subsidiary concepts into a single concept of a higher complexity, follows some “exact relationship”, that is to say, some law or first-principle. ... Or have I perhaps missed the point entirely?

My guess would be that you have missed the point entirely. The only conclusion I can currently reach with regard to your analysis is that you do not understand what I am deducing in that paper. Might I suggest that we go through the deduction step by step, pointing out, step by step, exactly what is meant by each statement as they arise. Perhaps, if we were to follow that approach, you might get a better idea of exactly what is being developed there. In other words, I think the only way to comprehend what is being deduced is to follow the deduction.

Looking to hear from you -- Dick

### #39 Jehu

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 03:57 PM

My purpose was to shift the essence of the definition from the unclear concepts, "clear", "intelligible" and "detailed information". With that definition, the question arises, exactly how does one know that an explanation is clear or intelligible and exactly what does that "detailed information" consist of.

I must say, I am very perplexed by you response, for we have not yet established that there is in fact any problem with conventional definition of the term, “ explanation”, and you now inform me that the terms “clear”, “intelligible”, and “detailed information”, are also problematic. Now, normally I would direct to the conventional definitions of the problem terms, but I suspect that you will find fault in those subsidiary concepts which comprise these definitions as well.

As you must realize at this point, the only real difference between my definition and yours is a question of exactness.

If by the term, “exactness”, you mean “preciseness”, I suppose it would depend upon which definition you take to be more correct, yours, or the conventionally prescribed one.

If you hold that my definition is not in perfect alignment with the common usage, you must either give me an example of an explanation which yields no expectations or you must give me a chain of thought which yields expectations which cannot (under the common usage of the term) be thought of as an explanation.

While there is and element of expectation associated with the requesting of an explanation, there is (to my knowledge) no reference to any element of expectation to be found in any dictionary or lexicon regarding the term, “explanation”, nor any other closely related term. What’s more, given that it is you who have departed from the accepted definition of the term, the burden of proof lies clearly on your shoulders.

I am afraid this section of your post is unclear. In particular, I do not understand your statement "'explanation' do not convey information" or, "for as you say, 'all the information is [already] known'". I do not remember saying any such thing.

Forgive me, for I was under the impression that you already understood that there is no actual conveyance of information from one person to another, but only the appearance of such. This fact is implicit in the proposition that concepts are private entities, and as such, are not accessible to outside agents. However, if you wish to maintain that there is some conveyance of information which takes place between the one offering the explanation and the recipient, I would ask you of what sort of stuff is the information comprised (if not conceptual), and by what sort of mechanism is it conveyed. Furthermore, I would submit that there is a fully rational explanation for the apparent increase in the recipient’s knowledge (information).

The explanatory process begins with the “explainer’s” performing an analysis of the concept that is to be explained, so as to reduce it to those subsidiary concepts (meanings and/or associations) which comprise it. This analysis must be carried out to whatever level of simplicity is necessary to bring the subsidiary concepts within the scope of the concepts that are already fully understood by the recipient. Having completed the analysis to the appropriate level, the explainer then points the recipient to the appropriate (but already attendant) concepts by means of conventionally prescribed signs. At this point, the recipient utilizes the indicated concepts (their own) to synthesize increasingly more complex concepts, and continues to synthesize until they have constructed the concept that was to be explained. From this point on, the recipient will claim to know the concept, for they will now be able to associate the sign in question, with its prescribed meaning or association (the subsidiary concepts).

The law which governs the analysis or synthesis of concepts is clearly the law of deductive reasoning, and it is as a result of the recipients own reasoning that the apparent increase in information takes place, and there is nothing whatsoever that is conveyed from another. This is evident in the fact that there can occur no entity in a deductive conclusion that is not already present in its substantiating premises.

Now, with regard to our having any measure of certainty as to whether the recipient understands an explanation, such certainty is directly proportional to how closely our definitions of the various signs conform to the conventionally prescribed standard, for only then can be certain that we associate the same concept with the same sign, and even then we cannot be completely certain, for there is always a personal or private component to our concepts.

I hope that I have made my point more clearly.

Regards Jehu

### #40 Jehu

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 04:57 PM

Has anyone ever noticed that the world appears to be populated by only five kinds of things, these being: mentation, sensations, material objects, properties, and activities. Furthermore, have you noticed that the latter three (objects, properties, and activities) are taken by many to be real and existent, while the first two (mentation and sensation) are taken to be merely epiphenomena associated with the latter three. This I find to be extremely perplexing in that only sensation and mentation are actually given to the mind “immediately” by the senses, while objects, properties, and activities are posited, and so require the mediation of thought. There is, for example, nothing in a single instance of perception to indicate that the sensations one is experiencing originate anywhere but in the mind itself. It is only but way of the intervention of thought, that the notion of an external causal object comes into play, and it is only because of our having posited an external object that we must now posit the existence of properties and activities. Nevertheless, we take that which we could not possibly know without the intervention of mentation and sensation to be real and existent, while denying the same ontological status to mentation and sensation themselves. Does this appear rational to you?

What’s more, I have always been fascinated by the apparent correlation between these five kinds of things, and the five elements of the ancient wisdom traditions, not to mention the five elements of modern physics. In the wisdom traditions, it is said the world (everything) is comprised of five fundamental elements; spirit, water, earth, fire, and air, and although the individual elements may vary from one tradition to another, they all share similar qualities and characteristics. Spirit, for example has an ethereal, insubstantial, non-obstructive or spatial quality, water, a fluid shifting quality, etc. When all three sets of elements are place in the appropriate positions, the correlation is remarkable.

Kinds of Things: sensations, mentation, objects, properties, activities
The Five Elements spirit , water , earth , fire , air (wind)
Physical Elements space , time , matter , energy , motion/change.

I guess what I am asking is, could these three sets be merely different representations of the fundamental elements of reality? If so, the implications are incredible.

Any thoughts on either of these front?

Regards Jehu

### #41 Doctordick

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 07:38 AM

Any thoughts on either of these front?

Not really! I was reading this old thread when I sort of realized how and why everyone completely misses the point I am addressing.

The very fact that we possess a mental image of reality implies that it is possible to construct a coherent rational model of the universe via nothing more than observations of a totally undefined collection of data. Remember, the data must be undefined if our senses are undefined. Since we have such an image, we must conclude that it is possible to construct one. In order to understand our view of the universe and discover the true nature of our presumptions, we must first comprehend the solution of that underlying problem. The only way we can hope to accomplish that result is to solve the problem directly, and that is what I have done.

In order to solve the problem of creating a mental image of reality, it is necessary to define a few important terms. The four terms I find especially significant are: “understanding”, “explanation”, “communication” and “language”. These are concepts which are almost absolutely required to even pose the problem to be solved. The underlying intuitive meanings of these terms are fairly clear: “understanding” generally implies one has an “explanation” and “an explanation” can not be seen as existing if “communication” is not possible. And, finally, communication can not exist without a “language”.

The issue is that two of these four concepts are absolutely essential to solving the problem of inventing a mental image of reality: i.e., the solution we are looking for is the “explanation” and a “language” is absolutely essential to any explanation. I have chosen to use these words as reference tags to be defined because the concepts of interest are quite analogous to the common understanding of those English words. I bring this up because the common understandings, generally achieved via experience and intuition, are simply not sufficiently precise to be used as a starting point.

The difficulty with common understandings is the fact that we have no way of assuring our intuition has made no assumptions. There must be no doubt whatsoever as to what is meant within the context of this analysis: i.e., everything must be structured such that absolutely all assumptions are avoided.

The only thing required of a language is that it be capable of representing the required information. In fact, the standard definition of the word “language” quite often includes something similar to the phrase, “communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols”. It is that word “arbitrary” which allows one to step across an otherwise implacable obstacle to true objective analysis.

That brings up the single most dangerous assumption made in all scientific inquires. It is a basic assumption in the entire scientific community that the “language” required to think about the problem being examined is a known thing. That assumption avoids a very important aspect of the solution we are looking for. What I am trying to point out here is that “language”, from a fundamental perspective, is part of the solution we are looking for and not a given part of the information one has to work with. It is part of the explanation and not actually part of the circumstances to be explained.

Just for the hard line doubters, may I point out that children manage to solve many problems related to their environment long before they learn any language.

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:25 AM

Jehu...please understand that DD has absolutely no interest in anything you say that deviates from his worldview, you may as well try to convince the guppy that is is better served to live in the desert.

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:30 AM

That brings up the single most dangerous assumption made in all scientific inquires. It is a basic assumption in the entire scientific community that the “language” required to think about the problem being examined is a known thing...What I am trying to point out here is that “language”, from a fundamental perspective, is part of the solution we are looking for and not a given part of the information one has to work with.

I am not aware of any scientist that holds the view that language is "a given part of the information one has to work with". A scientist is nothing more than a person who holds the view that knowledge obtained vis-a-vis science is 100% of the time uncertain. Language is used by a scientist to communicate uncertain knowledge, it is not in any way a given part of information.

### #44 Doctordick

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 03:29 PM

I have just read over this thread and think that perhaps I understand the communication problem I have been having and am making this post in order to perhaps generate some interest in the issue I was actually addressing.

I am not aware of any scientist that holds the view that language is "a given part of the information one has to work with". A scientist is nothing more than a person who holds the view that knowledge obtained vis-a-vis science is 100% of the time uncertain. Language is used by a scientist to communicate uncertain knowledge, it is not in any way a given part of information.

Stop and think about what you have just said.  Essentially you have asserted that you are aware of no scientist who holds that the language he uses constitutes any part of the information necessary to work with his thoughts.  I would strongly agree with you: it is an aspect of science totally ignored by all scientists.  In my opinion, that issue is exactly the central point of my work.  If you are going to insist on presuming that understanding the language plays no roll in scientific endeavors, you will never comprehend what I am talking about.

What I have discovered is the fact that ignoring the problem of understanding the language is the central issue of the scientific problem Arthur Eddington addressed in 1934.  In his publication, "New Pathways in Science" (Reprint by Cambridge University Press, New York, 2012) Eddington asserts that all theories require assumptions before any thought on the specific issue can begin.  In that presentation, he eventually comes to the conclusion that these assumptions can not be avoided and, for that reason, relegates them to the field of philosophy and of no interest to science.

What I have realized, and have been trying to communicate, is that the issue of assumptions actually begins in the learning of a language.  If the issue is introduced at that level, all assumptions and the possible consequences of those assumptions can be included: i.e., learning a language is essentially the process of making assumptions.  If one seriously takes that issue into account there is in fact a mechanism capable of handling the problem.

The problem is creating an exact representation of those embedded assumptions without defining what they are.

The solution resides in the arbitrariness of language itself.  (What I have been trying to present is a proof and not a theory.)

The first step of my proof is quite simple.  All communications require a language to communicate.  (As an aside, if one can not communicate an explanation, the existence of that explanation is of utterly no value.)  That language requires a representation of all concepts needed in that communication.

Step #1 - Since the number of required concepts is finite they can be listed in whatever language one wishes to use.  Having that list, one can then express absolutely any circumstance of interest in the form $(x_1,x_2,\cdots,x_n)$ where $x_i$ is nothing more than a numerical label referencing a concept in that list.

As an aside, note that step #1 makes no assumptions whatsoever as to what those concepts are.  This is the exact mechanism used to avoid making any assumptions.  As I said, the solution of Eddington's difficulty lies in the arbitrariness of language itself: i.e., the actual numerical labels used in the representation are totally immaterial so long as they are consistent within that established list.

Note further that the moment one gives a definition to one of those concepts in that list, that definition constitutes an assumption and disqualifies the representation.  Secondly, as any definition disqualifies the representation, the language required to express the explanation of interest must be deduced from the collection of known circumstances.  That requires the known circumstances to certainly exceed anything which can be written down in a single lifetime.

I bring up that final paragraph because most everyone reading these threads wants me to give them examples.  It should be clear that any example giving meaning to any $x_i$ violates the proof.  That being said, I will give an example.  The required list should include every concept expressed in anything currently published in in the language of interest.  And the collection of "known circumstances" should include every publication displaying any relationship expressed in that language of interest.

In essence, for any scientist, learning a language to be used constitutes an important part of the information necessary to work with his thoughts and learning that language requires making assumptions.  So, if you throw this step out, you return again to the underlying problem with no mechanism to solve the problem.

So, consider step #1.  If you can accept it as a reasonable opening step we can go on to step #2.  If you can not, then we have nothing to talk about.

Have fun -- Dick

Edited by Doctordick, 29 May 2014 - 03:32 PM.

### #45 Doctordick

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 02:26 PM

Apparently there is no one here who agrees with "step #1" of my previous post.

I am very curious as to what issue it is which everyone seems to find unacceptable.

The finite nature of the language elements or the fact that they can be listed.  Certainly one must admit that the total collection of published information within the grasp of humanity is not infinite! It is all written out somewhere (that is what published means).

Or perhaps you believe that learning a language bears no relevance to comprehending reality.

Someone please put some thought into that.

Thanks -- Dick

### #46 LaurieAG

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 05:28 AM

The finite nature of the language elements or the fact that they can be listed.  Certainly one must admit that the total collection of published information within the grasp of humanity is not infinite! It is all written out somewhere (that is what published means).

Or perhaps you believe that learning a language bears no relevance to comprehending reality.

Someone please put some thought into that.

Hi DD,

With the US, Australia and even the UK currently embroiled in political shenanigans what you say is also true for political bs and that definitely has nothing to do with relevance to the comprehension of reality. The eventual reality will not be anything like what they say it is as we only get to choose limited toppings for a magic pudding/**** sandwich regardless of who wins.

### #47 Doctordick

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 12:58 AM

Hi DD,

With the US, Australia and even the UK currently embroiled in political shenanigans what you say is also true for political bs and that definitely has nothing to do with relevance to the comprehension of reality. The eventual reality will not be anything like what they say it is as we only get to choose limited toppings for a magic pudding/**** sandwich regardless of who wins.

I have to agree with you! Very little deduced from what is asserted in any language has much to do with reality. On the other hand everything deduced in modern science is deduced from assertions about "reality" as seen by the educated people. Is their position a religion or a real deduction from the information available to them?

Exactly what is on your mind when you say, "The eventual reality will not be anything like what they say it is as we only get to choose limited toppings for a magic pudding/**** sandwich regardless of who wins." Are you proposing some necessity to believe what they say?

Or can you comprehend that the use of language itself presents some very real limits on what can be regarded as true. That is what I am proposing and apparently there exists no one willing to even follow my logic. My question is, are you willing to think about the issue?

Thanks for your response -- Dick

### #48 LaurieAG

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 06:41 PM

I have to agree with you! Very little deduced from what is asserted in any language has much to do with reality. On the other hand everything deduced in modern science is deduced from assertions about "reality" as seen by the educated people. Is their position a religion or a real deduction from the information available to them?

Exactly what is on your mind when you say, "The eventual reality will not be anything like what they say it is as we only get to choose limited toppings for a magic pudding/**** sandwich regardless of who wins." Are you proposing some necessity to believe what they say?

Or can you comprehend that the use of language itself presents some very real limits on what can be regarded as true. That is what I am proposing and apparently there exists no one willing to even follow my logic. My question is, are you willing to think about the issue?

Thanks for your response -- Dick

Unfortunately many chose to believe and that's just human nature. It's probably just as important to consider what they don't say and how the omissions, of these often common positions, are deliberately ignored to high-lite trivial differences and make them the focus of their attention.

But then we get back to the old conundrum about how mind independent reality becomes mind dependent reality when a mind starts thinking about it leaving mind independent reality undefined outside the scope of a human mind. i.e. we cannot conceive of reality outside our minds despite the status quo remaining whether human minds think about them or not.

### #49 exchemist

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 04:24 AM

I have to agree with you! Very little deduced from what is asserted in any language has much to do with reality. On the other hand everything deduced in modern science is deduced from assertions about "reality" as seen by the educated people. Is their position a religion or a real deduction from the information available to them?

Exactly what is on your mind when you say, "The eventual reality will not be anything like what they say it is as we only get to choose limited toppings for a magic pudding/**** sandwich regardless of who wins." Are you proposing some necessity to believe what they say?

Or can you comprehend that the use of language itself presents some very real limits on what can be regarded as true. That is what I am proposing and apparently there exists no one willing to even follow my logic. My question is, are you willing to think about the issue?

Thanks for your response -- Dick

For me, one of the attractions of science is that it makes models of physical reality which are tested by objective observation. Asking what reality truly is is another thing and not a question science can deal with. My feeling is that our models probably approach "true" physical reality asymptotically: each being better than the last, but never perfect. However this is just my personal speculation.

Insofar as science can be said to be concerned with "truth", it is the truth only of the observations. Theories are only "provisionally true", as they always remain open to being invalidated, some day, by new observations that do not fit.

As far as the limitations of language go, yes of course there are difficulties with all communication, but that does not invalidate the models we make in science. They are validated empirically, by observation.

Edited by exchemist, 06 June 2016 - 04:25 AM.

### #50 Doctordick

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 01:21 PM

As far as the limitations of language go, yes of course there are difficulties with all communication, but that does not invalidate the models we make in science. They are validated empirically, by observation.

You totally miss the point. I am not saying anything about "difficulties with communications". What I am talking about are the subtle constraints imposed by the need of a language (and that would be "any language").

Can you not comprehend that the use of language itself presents a very real limit on what can be regarded as true? That is the issue I want to discuss and apparently no one exists who is even willing to consider that subject. My question is, are you willing to think about the issue? You have made no answer to that question at all!

Try thinking about my question -- Dick

### #51 exchemist

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 02:18 PM

You totally miss the point. I am not saying anything about "difficulties with communications". What I am talking about are the subtle constraints imposed by the need of a language (and that would be "any language").

Can you not comprehend that the use of language itself presents a very real limit on what can be regarded as true? That is the issue I want to discuss and apparently no one exists who is even willing to consider that subject. My question is, are you willing to think about the issue? You have made no answer to that question at all!

Try thinking about my question -- Dick

On the contrary, I have thought about it and that is exactly why I made the remarks I did about the the strictly provisional and cautious nature of any truth claims in science. In fact, it has been my experience that science generally avoids speaking about "truth". It talks about models, it talks about observations being "consistent with" theory, but it tends not to make any claims to truth as such.

I note that your overall tone seems to be one of regarding everyone but yourself as an idiot. This is generally a sign of someone who is unbalanced. I am prepared to engage in discussion with you, but would be grateful if you could try to be a little less dismissive of my attempts to grapple with whatever it is you are trying to say.

Edited by exchemist, 08 June 2016 - 10:37 AM.