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  1. @Grames I think I get what you're saying I just want to affirm a couple things. I noticed you stated "proof of induction." I think you might have made a typo here. What I was referring to was Peikoff's "inductive proof of causality." My understanding is (or was) that Peikoff was not "proving induction," he was using induction to induce (prove) causality. This was my previous understanding of what was happening. And now from you I'm understanding that it was not a proof of causality but a nifty horizontal integration of "identity" and "causality." Is this an accurate understanding of what you are saying? And one more thing, you mentioned "not applicable to axioms and first level concepts." So that's exactly what I was wondering about horizontally integrating "identity" with "causality." If the way that you horizontally integrate concepts is by vertically integrating to something in common, I was just saying you can't do that with "identity" and "causality" because you can't get beneath them. So I was thinking that there is no way to horizontally integrate "causality" and "identity" but again you're saying that in that older lecture I referred to about induction, peikoff presents another way to horizontally integrate "causality" and "identity," that doesnt involve vertical integration to something in common, right?
  2. @Grames If they are horizontally related through some other concepts that are hierarchically prior to both, how can causality and identity be horizontally relatable? What concept is there that is "hierarchically prior" to identity? I thought identity was the most fundamental concept anyone can form. There shouldn't be anything hierarchically prior to "identity" right?
  3. @Grames I was not aware that Peikoff changed his mind about this. This is causing me to have a few questions that I was hoping to get some answers to. Is Peikoff basically saying that his inductive proof of causality that he goes over in a course called "An Inductive Approach to Philosophy" is wrong? He mentions in the lecture that it essentially involves 3 concepts: entities, identity, and action i.e. entities with identities acting in a particular kind of way in accordance with their identities. What is wrong with this understanding? What is improper about this understanding of causality? Did Peikoff ever mention what his reason was for later rejecting the proof that he himself gave? And lastly, I suspect my understanding of "horizontal integration" is not up to par so could you explain what "horizontal integration" is? Maybe give an example of it and how it differs from "vertical integration?"
  4. And I already mentioned the ability to create new life does not imply that you can indefinitely extend a given life. The idea that you can "apply" that ability to indefinitely extend a given life is flawed.
  5. You missed the part where I told you about the arrow-of-time, non-equilibrium nature of living beings. Replacement of anything cannot happen instantaneously, whether its living or non-living. At every single instantaneous moment of your existence, your internal energy states are being taken from an ordered non-equilibrium state to a disorded equilibrium state until an equilibrium configuration is reached. As soon as a moment passes, your fundamental life generating/life sustaining processes are already busy bringing you closer to equilibrium in your next moment of existence. This is where the nature of all non-equilbrium processes comes in effect and it differentiates you at one moment from you at every other moment of your existence. This fundamentally disallows a certain amount of any kind of repair/replacement. Remember I mentioned your example with the muscles and food. The food doesnt just become waste, the muscles themselves change during every moment of your existence in accordance with the irreversible, non-equilbirum processes they have to undergo.
  6. Nothing that I have argued is refuted by the ability of life to create NEW INDIVIDUAL SYSTEMS. Entropy based on internal energy state configuration and the necessary life-sustaining irreversible processes that continuously cause it to rise over time are defined ONLY FOR AN INDIVIDUAL ENTITY/SYSTEM. During the creation process of a NEW INDIVIDUAL, those continuous, irreversible processes have not yet been set in motion inside the new individual. It is a new, separate system with it's own, different identity which is getting all of its initial energy states built up and constructed during its creation process as all of its atoms/molecules get assembled. It doesnt detract from anything I've argued. A living individual with a mind can be conceptually identified as a quasi-stable non-equilibrium open thermodynamic system which needs to undergo continuous irreversible processes to continue to exist. Those irreversible processes by their very nature eventually doom an individual living entity to death by aging or cancer, like Masel said. In order to stay alive, the living entity's internal energy states have to continue to get closer and closer to an equilibrium configuration (increasing the number of equivalent microstates that correspond to an individual organism's momentary macrostate) over time, per the irreversible processes that cause that. At the individual entity level, that continuous approach to an equilibrium energy state configuration eventually manifests itself as aging damage or cancer, per the irreversible processes that cause that. Self-generating/self-sustaining the life of a given individual entity and creating a new, separate individual entity are two different processes which should not be conflated. The ability to create new individual entities does not serve as evidence for the possibility of a given individual's indefinite life. It is an impossibility.
  7. @StrictlyLogical Instead of “entropic” I should have been more precise and used the word “irreversible.” The irreversible processes that have to occur in living entities in order for living entities to continue to exist do result in an internal energy state configuration change from non-equilibrium to equilibrium that manifests as decay/damage/deterioration. It isn’t like the ideal engines we learned about in school, the ones with no internal rireversibilities. We made simplifying assumptions in school that allowed us to show that something like a diamond engine can be thermally and mechanically loaded and then it can be allowed to cool and then afterward its entropy can maybe be equal to what it was before it was loaded, only the environment is different. In real life it isn’t like that. In reality, that thermal and mechanical loading is irreversibly transferred throughout that engine and that process is producing internal energy state configuration changes in that engine. The bonds between all of its atoms are weakening over time as the engine’s internal energy disperses. Eventually, after enough loading, that engine would suffer what is called “widespread fatigue damage” and break down. Widespread fatigue damage/decay/deterioration is a manifestation of an entity’s entropy increase from irreversible changes in its internal energy state configuration. It is a result of irreversible processes occurring in the entity. It’s not wrong to classify damage/decay/deterioration as a source of entropy. In an atomic/molecular context, entropy unsurprisingly is defined differently from how it’s defined macroscopically. At the atomic level, entropy is quantified by the number of equivalent energy microstates that characterize an entity’s macrostate. Basically, this means the number of ways that energy can be distributed throughout a system in a particular macroscopic state. A damaged/decayed/deteriorated entity which is closer to an equilibrium energy state configuration has a lot more ways that its internal energy can be distributed than an undamaged/undecayed/undeteriorated entity, i.e. a higher entropy. So strictly speaking, entropy itself may not necessitate damage, decay, or deterioration, but the irreversible processes that result in damage, decay, or deterioration (which are a source of entropy) do necessitate it. And in living entities, those irreversible processes have to continuously happen in order for you to exist from one moment to the next and all throughout your life. In your example about muscles, it’s not just the food that becomes waste, the muscles themselves are changing over time in accordance with the irreversible processes they continuously have to undergo. Even cell division is an example of an irreversible process that disperses a living entity’s energy. Uncontrollable cell division, like cancer, is a little different from damage/decay/deterioration, but it also irreversibly changes a living entity’s energy state from non-equilibrium to equilibrium. I came across an article that quoted an evolutionary biology professor named Joanna Masel. She said this about aging and cancer: So even a renewed cell is not necessarily a good thing. And Nasif Nahle strongly emphasizes that living systems are not isolated systems. He conceptualizes them as quasi-stable non-equilibrium open thermodynamic systems and he conceptualizes death as equilibrium. And I’m not sure about this being a philosophical or technical issue but the philosophical significance I would attribute to it is this: It is in the identity of the continuous irreversible processes that living beings have to undergo to change their energy state configuration from a non-equilibrium energy state configuration to an equilibrium energy state configuration over time.
  8. It may have repaired an injury or something like that but the fact remains that a living being is still older than it was after it healed than it was before it healed. In order to sustain its life, it went through irreversible, entropic processes that drove its healing but still resulted in an overall energy state configuration closer to equilibrium.
  9. You cannot apply the same argument to a messy room because a room does not need to go through continuous entropic processes in order to continue to exist. It is not an oversimplification. And even during the process of creating a new human being, that human being does not exist yet during that creation process, so that concept would not apply. It's only after the human's continuous, entropic, and self-sustaining processes start that that concept would apply. I don't know if this is something that is "in principle" like you said. There is a biologist whose name is Nasif Nahle and he explains this alot better than I could. He applies inductive first followed by deductive scientific methods in his work. He discusses the conception of man (and all other living beings) as quasi-stable non-equilibrium systems. These are systems that continuously increase their entropy up to a maximum value in order to stay in existence.
  10. @StrictlyLogical I agree with what you said about life being a natural process and I do agree what you said about repairs not being possible if no energy is available. But what I'm saying is "deterioration" itself can be conceptualized as a bodily high entropy state and a "repair" can be conceptualized as a lowering of that entropy. And what i'm saying is because a living human body's basic function essentially and continuously increases entropy (to make you change over time in the first place, i.e. arrow of time), a certain amount of that entropy cannot be lowered (repaired) even if you had energy available. You can repair excessive/unnecessary high entropy such as an injury or hunger. What you can't repair (even if you had available energy) is the entropy associated with how long you've been in existence. What I think is interesting is that overall bodily entropy (which continuously increases over time) can serve as an objective indicator of how long a particular living individual with a mind has been in existence.
  11. @StrictlyLogical Well I agree. Although, I would be a little bit careful about the way you think about eating or breathing. The actions of eating and breathing are actions that are under your higher-level conscious control, more or less. Also, neither of those are necessary for a living being to exist from moment to moment. You can stop breathing for minutes and you can still exist throughout that entire temporal duration. I think the longest record someone held their breath was 22 minutes but that's beside the point. And eating you can stop for weeks and continue to exist. So there some differences in the nature of these actions and the actions that your living body continuously does from moment to moment and all throughout your entire life without your conscious control. It's these lower-level bodily metabolic and neural actions that drive your ability to choose to eat or breathe in the first place and it's these actions that are continuously operating and piling on more and more entropy (bringing the body from a non-equilibrium to an equilibrium state) and they can't be interfered with.
  12. @StrictlyLogical But there is always an inherent limit with all living beings. The living human body is a far from equilibrium thermodynamic system that actively undergoes a continuous progression from non-equilibrium energy state configuration (low entropy) to equilibrium energy state configuration (high entropy). This is a defining characteristic of all living things. It's the reason that you're able to actively change over time in the first place. There's a certain amount of irreversibility that cannot be reversed. A certain amount of that progression cannot be halted otherwise you wouldn't be alive in the first place.
  13. @StrictlyLogical Can you please clarify what you mean by "indefinite life" and why you say it is "possible?" The "slow transformation" would still have to be occurring like you said. "Slow" still implies a definite lifespan. The transformations would have to completely stop for it to be indefinite. Now maybe it can slowed down to the point that you'd still be around when the heat death of the universe comes about, but it still wouldn't be indefinite.
  14. @ StrictlyLogical No that is not at all what I am proposing. I am simply saying that if somebody makes a claim that contradicts an axiom (which we have validated by evidence plenty of times) that claim is not merely arbitrary but more importantly, it is a metaphysical impossibility. That's what I'm saying. I think it's important that we answer a few questions before we go any further if it wouldn't be too much trouble. 1. What does it mean to "prove" something? 2. What does it mean to "validate" something? I ask this because I'm not sure if "validate" means the same as "prove" and Objectivists use the word "validate" a lot. 3. Do you know something ONLY IF you prove it? The reason I ask this is because when we observe something we gain knowledge. We learn. We know stuff from observing stuff. But do we "prove" anything when we observe and gain knowledge from observation? I say no but I think the answer to this will depend on what it means to "prove" something? 4. Can claims be BOTH ARBITRARY AND self-contradictory (incoherent or self-refuting)? Arbitrary because they have no evidence to support them (definition of arbitrary) AND self-contradictory because they contradict themselves. There are statements that are arbitrary and your statement "nothing can leave behind evidence" is an arbitrary claim. I agree with you. But it also implies a metaphysical contradiction. "Nothing" by definition is a non-existent. There is no such thing as "nothing." To exist is to be and to be is to be something. "Nothing" is that which is not anything at all, which means it cannot DO ANYTHING AT ALL. It has no capabilities whatsoever including the capability to "leave behind" ANYTHING AT ALL, let alone evidence. This is why I say it also implies a contradiction. The act of making a claim requires you to mean something by the words that you state to make the claim. When you analyze the meaning behind the word "nothing" in your claim, you can show that that claim is ALSO self-contradictory. That's all I'm saying. @Veritas I agree with you about proofs having to pertain to reality. At this point, I am reluctant to take a position on your "Karl-in-the-room" example because I am not sure at this moment if any axioms get contradicted if we see an empty room but Karl is still inside the room. In order to apply the "proof of contradiction" that I mentioned to the Karl-In-The-Room example, the negative of Karl not being in the room would have to be assumed and, from that assumption, a metaphysical contradiction would have to be deduced. "Proof by contradiction" is mostly a mathematical technique and it applies mostly because math is a very delimited subject with pretty much every claim being reduced to an axiom. But this is not the case in everyday life, although it is the case for claims such as the one that StrictlyLogical proposed.
  15. What about the method of Proof By Contradiction? Assuming the opposite of a proposition is true and then demonstrating that such an assumption leads to a contradiction is a way to prove a negative. @StrictlyLogical I agree with you that any claim is made has to be based on SOME evidence. And that is exactly why whenever anyone makes any meaningful claim they are at the very least implicitly making an assertion that is NOT ARBITRARY on some level. And in those cases, if an any assertion made either implicitly or explicitly implies a contradiction, the claim can be dismissed as FALSE. Take for example your statement about the fact that a nonexistent thing CANNOT leave behind any evidence. How did you know that? What evidence do you have to support that claim that it CANNOT leave behind any evidence? You know because the opposite proposition implies a contradiction.
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