Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

StrictlyLogical

Regulars
  • Content Count

    2119
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    118

Everything posted by StrictlyLogical

  1. I was not going to do this but just one more. If there were only two entities, I would say the distances between them are a relationship.... it is a specific distance at any one time but we also know at various times they can be at other distances and in general they could be at any distance but there must exist some distance relationship between them. That relationship is absolute in its existence but can potentially be any number of possibilities. What we happen to define and conceive of as space includes the particular relationships as well as all the possible ones. In other words, the way we think about space includes both the absolute particular relationship of the now: the distance they have between them now, and the potential distance relationships they could have in future as well as the previous distance relationships they had in the past. It should be noted that the distance between these two entities is a single relational existent which changes, not an infinity of relationship existents which rapidly pop into and out of existence. Consider space to be just as much of a construct as our concept of time. [In fact space as a concept is all wrapped up with time because things move in space over time... spatial relationships change] Things change and move and we conceive of time to understand and predict how these changes and movements occur. Time is defined and conceived of as including the past, present, and future. The events of the past existed .... they do not exist... but things of the now have a causal relationship with the past, they are a direct result via causality or simply continuity ... of things in the past... likewise things of the now have a relationship to things of the future ... the events of which do not exist now, but for which potentialities do exist (because of the relationship of now to the future). The sliver of now exists, the past does not exist... it existed, the future does not exist now, it will exist... so does time exist? Yes. Does our concept of time include potentialities... and things that are no more? Yes.
  2. Now space is a conditional existent? In any case the “there” is not the “what” that is there... A is A. Moreover for the “Location (x,y,z,t)” to exist, and exist BECAUSE of “whatever is there” it cannot BE the “whatever is there” anymore than it can be the cause of its own existence. A is A Imho rather than a conditional existent, it is an absolute and relational existent. If we disagree at this point I see no way to reach agreement, which is unfortunate because I usually agree with you. Anyway, it was fun!
  3. The article seems to state that energy “exists” (I’ll use the term loosely) every where. That implies energy or matter fields or something existing everywhere. The energy, those fields or that something which are everywhere, are not the “wheres” at which they are. E(x,y,z,t) M(x,y,z,t) or any quantity Q(x,y,z,t) at any location in spacetime (x,y,z,t) IS not the location of (x,y,z,t)... it is something AT the location (x,y,z,t)
  4. Entities are in Space-time relationships... whatever attributes or entities are observed anywhere, they are in those Space-time relationships, they are not Space-time itself.
  5. Are you saying “space” is filled with something and therefore not empty? or Are you saying space is filled with itself? or Are you saying there is no space to fill to begin with? or Are you saying there is space, you can’t fill it, but there is always something in it? You used the word “empty”, what is the meaning of the concept to which the word ( as you use it) refers? If you merely said that there are electric fields permeating throughout all of space, that would seem true. You seem to be saying something else. You base you conclusion that space is not “empty” because of the permeability and permitivity of what... compared to what?
  6. What would a measurement of a "there" consist in? It could not consist in measuring things "there", because you would be measuring THINGS which happen to BE "there", and you would not be directly measuring the THERE. You could not measure some "attribute" or "property", since "attributes" and "properties" are attributes and properties of THINGs, and don't want to measure things that happen to be there, you want to measure the sheer "there". Here comes the difficult part, if there is a measurable thing that IS THE THERE, where is it AT? Is the "there" a thing AT the "there" .. i.e. is it AT itself? What kind of thing can be AT itself and what does that mean? If not "being there" but "being THE THERE", where is it? Nowhere? Where is the nowhere? But you want to measure a THERE so it must be a WHAT... and a WHAT always is SOMEWHERE... A philosophically coherent conception of "space" as a measurable thing rather than a measurable relationship is something I have yet to see.
  7. Yes .. but not in the way you think. I have stated that space is not a something which in turn is occupied by a nothing. Your next statement is incorrect in my opinion. It is true that nothing cannot be anywhere... but it is also true that every "there" can happen not to have anything. The error I think, is your premise that each "there" requires occupation, and your consequent distaste for its "occupation" with a "nothing". It is TRUE that a "nothing" cannot OCCUPY anything. BUT it is not true that every "there" needs to be occupied. Thinking of space as a relationship completely solves the conceptual and aesthetic issue... The "there" defined as two meters to the left of the top of the basketball, WAS a relationship fulfilled by the golfball (say two days ago) but since you removed the golfball, the atmosphere filled that relationship, until two hours ago you removed the atmosphere (using a cold bell jar to evacuate as much air as possible and then cause the remaining gases to condense at near absolute zero...), after turning off the lights, every few milliseconds, a cosmic ray, or an atom from the very sparse vapor pressure in the bell will occupied the relationship of "there" i.e. two meters to the left of the top of the basketball, at other specific times nothing else in the universe happened to have that relationship with the top of the basketball, better put, each and every other thing in the universe had relationships to the top of the basketball which were other than "there"... there being no more things in the universe ... we conclude there are more "theres" than there are things. Be assured, the "there" will be occupied when and if a next entity happens to have that relationship with the top of the basketball... so it makes sense to conceive of the "there" always, at some times as a potential relationship and at other times as an actual one.
  8. Your concept of "medium" cannot form the basis for the concept "space" if your concept "medium" already relies upon (perhaps subconsciously) your preconceived notions of space. A medium after all, is something which is homogeneous and "occupies" space... eventually this reduces to space occupying itself and space is space, neither of which is particularly helpful in your endeavor. Yes "outside of space" is an anti-concept, yes, but this does not imply that everything is technically IN space. No thing can be without any spatial relationship whatever to any other thing. The terms "outside of" or "inside of" space are somewhat misleading, since space is a relationship. In a sense "A outside of B" and "A inside of B" are applicable only to existents A and B, and "outside" and "inside" are themselves spatial relationships. That said. common usage, of spaces in spaces is completely analogous to saying distances are greater or smaller or that a length of one thing could not span the entirety of the length of another thing so one "distance" could "fit inside" another... but "distance" as such does not fit in or occupy anything. Spaces, volumes, areas, distances, and positions designate existing or possible relationships between things. Space in multiple dimensions is a consequence of the three degrees of freedom of distance between things. Distance is a vector quantity, it has an x component, a y component and a z component. A square foot is a quantity in mathematics as is volume. They are no more measurements of *stuff* or a quantity of stuff, than distance between any two things is a measure of a "length" of *stuff*. We speak of how "much" distance, or there being "more" distance between things, but that does not imply "more stuff" of any kind. It merely designates a relationship whose magnitude varies. A two dimensional relationship (or a relationship with two degrees of freedom) and a three dimensional relationship (or a relationship with three degrees of freedom) also can be measured and magnitudes measured and assigned, but there is no "stuff" involved. Between you and the door you can say the distance is equivalent to 20 feet, which also means 20 1 foot rulers could span the distance. Now a stuff like water can occupy a 1-foot cube because of the constraints on the spatial relationships of the atoms and molecules, imposed by the forces of the electron shells, covalent bonds, etc create. They to not pass through one another, nor the walls of a container, so a certain amount (number or mass) of water molecules occupy a measured space of say a cubic foot. A pool in your back yard might be defined as having a volume of 2000 cubic feet, which also means 2000 units of 1 cubic foot of water could "fill" the pool. The relationships between all of the material composing the walls of the pool are such that they span 2000 cubic feet. There is no dichotomy between distance and space. ?? If reality wasn't what it is... it would not be reality... Consider the imaginary case of two particles which can have a relationship distance... if they have attributes, like mass or electric charge, they will attract and maybe repulse each other... these forces depend upon the distance, so the forces felt by them change as the distance changes... nothing observed about these two particles requires the concept of some medium... distance fully suffices.
  9. 1. and 2. seem reasonable. More basic than the Standard Model’s 17-or-so ‘indivisibles’, standard GR+QFT identifies really only two ‘fundamental ingredients’ (forgive me Boydstun if I'm interpreting things over-simplistically here): 1. Mass-energy (absolute existent) + 2. Spacetime (relative existent) This here seems correct. Although your division into "relative" versus "absolute" is a little odd to my mind. All of existence is absolute. The distance between A and B absolutely IS.... it just is not something separable in any way from A and B. Spacetime is not "separable" in any way from the entities in existence, as entities relationships in space and time are not "dispensable" in any conceivable way. The spacetime relationships exist always between entities because no entity is outside of space or time and every entity has a spacetime relationship with every other entity. So 1 is out. Existence is not a "dichotomy", spacetime is not a "part" of existence anymore than an attribute or property of an existent is an independent "part" of existence rather than some "aspect" of the existent. (these sorts of things are conserved among entities and can be exchanged between them etc., but they still are "of" entities at any one time). Things are, and the things collectively possess relationships (special kinds of attributes or properties of composites). So 2 is not really coherent 3. Yes, I have to go with 3. And No, I do not believe that 1. is how we perceive of things at all. ................... Hypothetical exercise, in the way of story telling, to convey a sense of something: Suppose just for a moment that irrespective of what we think, believe, or feel, the universe were such that utterly separate fundamentally DIFFERENT stuffs existed. Say "protomatter", and "negamatter". The universe was such that these could be converted one into another, and the quantities such as energy and mass would be conserved, but these were the only two stuffs, no third stuff existed. At ant one time, the stuffs are only what they are, and not what they are not. Consider this as absolute metaphysical fact. No imagine, a person sitting in a nice warm and comfortable room spending hours upon hours meditating upon existence, and finds this "dichotomy" of stuffs to be distasteful. The person proposes that the universe "really" is made of a third stuff, which is everywhere, literally making up or filling the nothing which is observed as the temporary absence of specific spatial relationships among the protomatter or negamatter, (whenever particular spatial relationships between the protomatter and negamatter which previously were "occupied" are now unoccupied e.g. C was 2 meters beside B but now "currently no entity X" satisfies the relationship of 2 meters beside B"). Moreover, this third stuff, (call it mono-fundamento-matter) has three states of "existence", one where it behaves like "protomatter", another when it behaves as "negamatter" and yet a third (dormant state) when it behaves as if it did not exist at all, but has a potential to become protomatter or negamatter. This person reframes the equations which are used to describe known processes and behaviors of protomatter and negamatter to apply to the various states of mono-fundmento-matter. Because we actually observe those things which actually exist behaving in the way they do and actually observe the absence of anything in the spaces where there are no things behaving or existing, this brilliant person has described the universe in a way which is consistent with what we observe, simply by introducing the third "unifying" stuff, mono-fundamento-matter. The errors here are the reification of nothing with something, and the erroneous unification of two stuffs as "merely" two "states" of a singular monolithic stuff. Observe, this kind of error, can ALWAYS be embraced in the absence of something like Occam's or Rand's razor, no matter what the actual absolute metaphysical reality of the universe. In the example case here, two metaphysically real and distinct stuffs along with the fact that the INFINITE number of possible spatial relationships are not ALWAYS filled... is transformed into a complete fantasy which is nonetheless consistent with observation... and merely requires the mathematical patchwork of all the math regarding what IS known, and what IS consistent with reality as it actually is. We can go farther, instead of just unifying the two stuffs and the nothing, one can unify everything in existence and not in existence, everywhere and always into merely a single thing (for fun lets call it EXTENZ) which has as its properties and attributes all the observed entities and relationships, properties, attributes, actions and events, that are were or ever will be, as the mere localized expression of EXISTENZ's infinite potentiality... we are all not separate things and there are no separate events... metaphorically... all that IS are but bumps on the back of the great whale which we are too puny to see.... illusory of the oneness the sheer unity of it all. The kind of error here, is that "the one stuff running though it all" is simply NOT OBSERVED AS RUNNING through it all... if the universe were metaphysically different and exhibited some common thread existing metaphysically running through it all, there might be some observation providing a reason to make the above type of proposal, but absent an observed perceivable reason in reality, "beauty or taste" simply is no way to guide scientific knowledge, and if anything it threatens the kind of errors above. Here concepts are multiplied by "desire", clearly being multiplied beyond necessity,and violating Rand's razor, as well as crossing well into "the arbitrary"... complete unmitigated and unjustified fantasy.
  10. Others have answered the question regarding the products of crimes committed against real minors, photos and videos recording those actions, etc. The more difficult and perhaps interesting question is about fabricated imagery. We live in a world full of fabricated imagery, from photochopped images, to photorealistic computer generated images and videos (and even video games) and artwork by humans. We can make visually realistic presentations of almost anything a person can imagine, fantastic beasts, beastly acts, and grisly imagery included. What of fabricated imagery depicting criminal activity? Are paintings of beheadings, or rape or evisceration or child murder to be prohibited from the free market? Is it likely true that statistically speaking, a culture awash in such images of vice, excite and embolden those close to the edge of criminality? I would say to some degree, yes. Is it likely a bad thing for a person's psyche to indulge or immerse oneself in that imagery constantly? To that I would also say yes, and probably would avoid looking at that kind of stuff too often. Would outright restriction of all grisly crime filled imagery be an overreach violating freedom of expression? [EDIT: removed free speech... imagery technically is not speech] Yes, almost certainly. In the end there is a moral and legal fine line to determine. I'm not talking about a compromise, nor suggesting a "middle way" is best as you might hear in some bromide. I am suggesting that the actual imagery can be inimical to life (of a person directly) or can pose a risk (to crime) to a person living in a society full of it, if there are not some restrictions on it... but also that it can be a legitimate way of expressing repulsion in art, or presenting a story (Game of Thrones)... However, single images and or works solely for the purpose glorifying the criminal and for immersing a consumer in the dark ecstasy of crime, rape, murder or the like... or even for indulging them in the complete and utter wild fantasy that child like sex elves are in love with them... these start to become problematic. Defining the fine line... is intellectually interesting... if somewhat of a morally repugnant exercise.
  11. TV programs were shot with high quality tv cameras usually, which have inherent scan line limitations, not film. If recorded they had some format, line limitations. Anyway. Good luck.
  12. Hmmm What was the greatest NTSC video resolution studios used in the 70s and 80s?
  13. There may be better quality stuff out there, but you would be amazed at how audio and video can be processed/restored on a personal computer. Video example: https://www.neatvideo.com/examples#tv2 (and that's just noise reduction, color and contrast etc are very easily tweaked) I don't have this program but I have NeatImage and it is fantastic. Audio Example: https://www.magix.com/ca/music/sound-forge/sound-forge-audio-cleaning-lab/ I use the Audio Cleaning Lab to clean up noise form some old classical CDs and Cassette tape recordings, and I even used it to restore Leonard Peikoff's lectures for my own personal listening pleasure. It's a fantastic product but requires some work.
  14. My contribution, I see, has sent you in various directions unrelated to my purpose. 1. The importance of indivisibility was not scale... i.e. big versus small, much versus little... but to highlight undeniably what observation and perception have revealed... which imply (by necessity... and only by that necessity) the concepts to be formed. Electrons, have charge mass and spin etc. in observable related quantities... the mass of electrons cannot be observed in the absence of their charge... and the electric charge of electrons cannot be observed in the absence of their mass. Moreover, the charge of any quantity of electrons is observed to be equal to an integer number multiplied by some "unit charge" whereas the mass of any quantity of electrons is observed to be equal to that same integer number multiplied by some "unit mass". We have also smashed and probed electrons and singled them out... to the limit of our energy and scale of precision of testing (we are finite beings...) we have ever only observed indivisible individual units. There is a conceptual validity to what we have observed a countless number of times.... because all valid concepts ultimately find their foundation only in perception.... there are indivisible individual electrons, until we have good observational reasons to believe otherwise. It should be noted that the indivisibility of electrons is not a philosophical issue. It is a scientific question to which we have a presently correct (i.e. consistent with all of our knowledge) answer by observation. 2. Point particles... and continuum versus discrete...again these are not philosophical issues, but issues related to science and mathematics and whether existents in reality somehow resemble our mathematical constructs. It so happens we cannot discern from our probing, any "structure" in space, associated with the observed charge, spin, and mass of an electron, nor have we observed any discernible inconsistency in position of any of these with respect to any other. Points are mathematical abstract constructs designating only position within some field, ring, or mathematical space. So for electrons, "point-like" is not modest, its as close as you can get and literally is true of our observations about the electron... which technically cannot be "points". What is the philosophical consequence of whether a particle has a "spatial extension", considering that we know the only reason macroscopic entities "occupy" space, is due to the repulsion of their atoms electron shells? Moreover, we know their influence (gravity and electric charge) extends indefinitely albeit weaker with distance. Forgive the pun but what's the point in that debate? We have observation... the rest is unnecessary and pointless (again forgive me). As for the "continuum vs discrete" debate, I am unsure than modern science is afflicted with such a thing. I suspect it also is neither here nor there... If you detect ambivalence to armchair philosophizing about science, especially where the proposed discussion does not have its origin in scientific explanatory necessity due to some new observation or perception... (or unexplained inconsistency) it's because such an exercise is philosophically and conceptually improper. THAT I assume , should you pause to consider, you would understand is correct.
  15. " action don't really "consist of" anything. What does running consist of?" Conceptually speaking, composites or complexities of any category consist of portions or parts of the same category... so a complex or high level action can consist of a number of subactions etc. until one gets to what one could call "atomic" or fundamental actions. So running can be a composite action consisting of bending a knee, raising a leg. extending the foot... etc. Mind not being a substance it would not consist of substances, but it could be a complex process/action (IMHO) consisting of subprocesses/subactions (recalling a memory, bringing a set of premises into focus, repeating the premises, weighing the implications, concentrating on one of the senses, etc.) Now, your statement (The mind (consciousness) is an action, and action don't really "consist of" anything) I think also implies (more importantly) that action does not consist of substances... which I totally agree with.
  16. I'll respect your holding off going into a full blown exploration. So I'll only remind you of this: Whenever you get around to it, whatever your conception of mental things, which consist of themselves, and do not have physical "components", recall that they are causally and necessarily linked to the natural world - their very existence, and their nature, i.e. their identity, is wholly dependent upon the natural world. Whatever concept you come up for mental things, it must be consistent with what we know about mental things' dependence upon the existence of a brain and the brain's function and configuration, as when either of these is interfered with or destroyed so also are mental things interfered with or destroyed. Moreover, mental things do not and cannot exist in any way independently of a functioning brain, and as such mental things exhibit a one way absolute metaphysical dependence upon the configuration and functioning of a natural material system. This undeniable one way absolute dependence has metaphysical philosophical consequences which should not be ignored during the full blown exploration. Good luck!
  17. Fine. What do these other “existents” consist of?
  18. That's a little bit of a loaded term... and it misconstrues the position you claim others have taken here.... (BTW are you proposing other "matter" exists in reality? Nonphysical or supernatural matter?) Your use of "physical" might imply some kind of restriction i.e. stuffs only subject to study by the science of physics... which is not the position any of us has presented. The brain is a natural system acting according to the nature of that system... and hence is physical biological and psychological all at once. Nothing exists outside of the reality and existence of the natural world, including you, and the fact that you are conscious.
  19. "How to understand why nationalism is considered a swear word today? On the face of it, this Wiki definition and explanation holds only positive assessments" Really? What about "promotion of the interests of a particular nation" ... why is the standard for this so called "National" interest? Recall, what is proper role of government? " the nation is the only rightful source of political power (popular sovereignty)."... what about individual sovereignty and individual rights? .. are they only GRANTED (permissions) from the all powerful and only rightful State? "aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, language, religion, politics, and belief in a shared singular history"... what has any of this to do with an individuals rights to pursue happiness and isn't it inimical to an individual for some collective overstructure to "build and maintain" something which may or may not have anything with what FOOD I like to EAT, which clothes I like to WEAR, what SONGS I like to SING, what STORIES I like to HEAR, what language I SPEAK, what GOD I believe in...or not... and what is a collective "singular history" when history is full of unique individuals living out their lives pursuing their values and the happiness that accompanies that pursuit? "to promote national unity or solidarity" ... who decides what that NATIONAL unity or NATIONAL solidarity looks like? Around WHAT particulars is that unity or solidarity promoted? What kind of sheep are the so called Government to mold ? Why is this not entirely subjective? "preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture" ... ?? ... tradition??? are you as an individual to live under the threat of force, government edict, according to the arbitrary standard of some "tradition"? ALL of THIS is positive??? How long have you been studying Objectivism??? HAVE YOU BEEN STUDYING OBJECTIVISM? A proper government possesses power based on delegation of individual sovereignty, and its only role would be the protection of individual rights, leaving its citizens free from interference to pursue their happiness and their values, free to pursue their individual interests, their unique identities, their individual cultures, individual tastes in foods, clothes, songs, stories, languages, their individual religions, and allowed to hold their own personal beliefs (freedom of thought). Initiation of force would not be permitted to anyone and the government would have the role of employing retaliatory force, against those who initiate it, according to objective laws. Moral people of principle do not adhere to some concept of "Nationalism" (as explained by Wikipedia).. it is something over and above free individuals and a legitimate proper government ONLY there to protect their rights. They have no need to and understand why they shouldn't. Nationalism bears much resemblance to Statism... and as far as I can tell, Nationalism is one of the many yellow brick roads (paved with good intentions) leading to Statism. EDIT: Nothing I state above detracts from the ethical and political legitimacy and necessity of a people within a particular geographical area having a proper government within that geographical area, to protect their individual rights. It merely identifies that "Nationalism" is not any kind of guide toward the implementation of that proper government.
  20. Agreed. As to information, isn’t that simply some physical existent exhibiting attributes, properties, eg patterns capable of “informing” a perceiver about something? A newspaper or a fingerprint are real existents capable of informing me respectively of world events and “who dunnit” by virtue of my notions of causation I take into account when I inspect either. Without a chain of causation leading from the referent directly to the configuration of the entity, neither could constitute actual information about the referent. So I guess I’m wondering about what in reality “semantic” versus “non semantic” anything could mean.
  21. I don't have a copy of the paper... why do you think he even goes there... I mean this all smacks as contradictory to Rand's effort to dispel the false dichotomies and firmly ground free will and consciousness in the real world rather than in some other dimension. Any insights or care to speculate?
  22. Does consciousness exist as an entity separate from the brain? As an entity separate from the identity (identity = existence) of the brain? As an entity separate from the attributes (entities are their attributes) and actions (processes) of the brain? What else is required to define the presence of a spirit or ghost?
  23. Are you talking about a spirit or some kind of ghost?
  24. Absolutely. Entities are their attributes and attributes ARE what define their actions and interactions (nothing else does). To ACE: It is also worth remembering that these attributes are found TOGETHER, and in only so many combinations.... which give rise to the identification of indivisible individual fundamental particles. Mass, electric charge, spin, are found in specific known combinations together whenever we "measure" fundamental particles. This should be given some philosophical weight... no matter how amorphous or continuous we might try to imagine the flexy universe of media-less waving mediums to be with its foreground and background unified into one monolithic consciousness... we still are faced with the stubborn presence of individual particles which are LITERALLY indivisible. We can try to say as much as we might... that "really" all the individual bits are just part of collective whole, a unity.... etc... this "whole" approach smacks of a motivation to find something which satisfies an esthetic desire or some human urge for "unification"... when so called science starts from such a desire rather than in response to perception and observation of reality... from a wish rather than in response to any observable necessitating explanation... ...it is sheer speculation and arbitrary... and warrants no further inquiry
  25. My example simply illustrates the absurdity of the concept "disembodied action". Mental actions are incredibly complex processes spread across various parts of the brain and across time - each is a complex process involving the various portions of the complex natural system which is your brain, it is not surprising we do not yet fully understand them nor can we presently fully explain them. IMHO It is much more straightforward and indeed trivial (based on Objectivist philosophical fundamentals) to conclude on the one hand that mental actions consist in complex actions of the complex system which is your brain... than to make the leap of faith required on the other hand, to conclude ANY disembodied action is possible (which has nothing to do with what we currently can or cannot observe or explain specifically with respect to the processes of the brain). In fact, all current evidence of disease, damage from trauma, neurosurgery, and the like, links each and every one of your examples "remembering, imagining, thinking, or dreaming" to processes of the brain... i.e. they are affected or cease when the complex processes of the brain are interfered with. This supports that mental "action" is what the brain does. In any case, my point was not about the very complicated question of HOW or WHY brains are conscious, but that embracing "disembodied action" is a grave philosophical error. Are you proposing that "disembodied action" is possible?
×
×
  • Create New...