The Second Apocalypse

Miscellaneous Chatter => Philosophy & Science => Topic started by: sciborg2 on October 27, 2018, 07:26:54 pm

Title: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on October 27, 2018, 07:26:54 pm
Indeterminism, as described in philosophy/science texts, suggests things happen for no reason at all or at best prior factors cause an inexplicable event that is probabilistic without further explanation being possible. (This assumes that indeterminism is part of nature & not just an expression of causal ignorance of course.)

But while it's obvious indeterminism is nonsensical, determinism actually contains the same arbitrariness hidden under brute assertions. The logical argument for determinism is that things happen for a reason, and that an event A can be accounted for by some set of necessary/sufficient prior events (a.1, a.2,...., a.N).

Yet the way to find out what set of prior events accounts for A requires back tracking from A and continually reducing the elements of the set until the removal of some event a.X in the set of all priors (a.1, a.2,...., a.Infinity) results in A not occurring.

But what ensures A should always be the result? Why doesn't some event B sometimes end up as the result instead of A? The usual explanation seems to be that there are brute facts that are called "natural laws". Yet why don't the "laws" change? What keeps them in place? "Meta-laws"?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TLEILAXU on October 27, 2018, 07:36:21 pm
But while it's obvious indeterminism is nonsensical
Why is this obvious?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on October 27, 2018, 07:41:55 pm
Why is this obvious?

How can something happen for no reason at all? Maybe nonsensical if the wrong word, but while I can understand inner/final causation I cannot fathom how something can happen without any cause.

Perhaps it's the distinction Aristotle makes between efficient causation (billiard ball type causality) and final causation (the unit's internal movement toward a goal)?

I know William James wrote about this, how indeterminism is just inner-cause but need to dig around to find the quote again...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TLEILAXU on October 27, 2018, 08:08:57 pm
Why is this obvious?

How can something happen for no reason at all? Maybe nonsensical if the wrong word, but while I can understand inner/final causation I cannot fathom how something can happen without any cause.

Perhaps it's the distinction Aristotle makes between efficient causation (billiard ball type causality) and final causation (the unit's internal movement toward a goal)?

I know William James wrote about this, how indeterminism is just inner-cause but need to dig around to find the quote again...
Not sure I understand the final causation thing, but I don't see why things necessarily need a reason. In fact, isn't reason in some sense just kind of a man made heuristic? God might not need it...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on October 27, 2018, 10:05:48 pm
Why is this obvious?

How can something happen for no reason at all? Maybe nonsensical if the wrong word, but while I can understand inner/final causation I cannot fathom how something can happen without any cause.

Perhaps it's the distinction Aristotle makes between efficient causation (billiard ball type causality) and final causation (the unit's internal movement toward a goal)?

I know William James wrote about this, how indeterminism is just inner-cause but need to dig around to find the quote again...
Not sure I understand the final causation thing, but I don't see why things necessarily need a reason. In fact, isn't reason in some sense just kind of a man made heuristic? God might not need it...

Well God as Prime Mover would be the reason in a theistic metaphysics.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TaoHorror on October 29, 2018, 02:59:27 am
I think "without reason" in this case meaning things "just happen" and impossible to discover/discern source - not reason as aim/drive/motivation. Atoms moving truly randomly is nonsensical as it's movement is the resolution of forces, so the other forces are the reason it's moving in the direction it currently does. I don't know much about indeterminism, but if it's more than there's a limit to what we can determine, beyond making source indeterminable due to our limitations as in "it just happens", then it's nonsense.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on October 29, 2018, 12:30:15 pm
Well, for me, I have a hard time imagining what comes between the chain of cause and effect.  At the macro-level, I don't think there really is anything there.  But there is the possibility of some "indeterminacy" at the quantum level, if I understand it correctly.

The question then is how much does quantum indeterminacy influence macro-level determincy?  The answer can't really be zero, or a hundred, percent though so it must be some murky amount in-between.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on October 29, 2018, 07:15:16 pm
I don't think there is any reason for macro-level consistency, which I'd hold is different than determinism since we lack an explanation for why quantum level effects aren't seen across the macro-world. That's made worse by, if I understand the science, there are macro-level superpositions observed.

Regarding forces, it makes me think of something Feynman said in his lectures, that attempting to define "force" results in a circular reasoning. IIRC - don't have the books - the problem is we conjecture forces from measurement then say forces are what gave us the measurements.

I believe there seems to also be a new philosophical appreciation for the arbitrariness that must underlie physics, AFAICTell that is what Meillassoux means when he speaks of "Hyper Chaos"....also Hyper Chaos just sounds cool  8)
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TLEILAXU on October 31, 2018, 06:42:35 pm
Well, for me, I have a hard time imagining what comes between the chain of cause and effect.  At the macro-level, I don't think there really is anything there.  But there is the possibility of some "indeterminacy" at the quantum level, if I understand it correctly.

The question then is how much does quantum indeterminacy influence macro-level determincy?  The answer can't really be zero, or a hundred, percent though so it must be some murky amount in-between.
I think it has to be 100%. Imagine something macro scale like a mutation caused by radiation. This can give an observable macro scale phenotype but it's caused by a stochastic quantum event, i.e. a particle breaking a chemical bond in DNA somewhere.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TaoHorror on October 31, 2018, 07:12:03 pm
Well, for me, I have a hard time imagining what comes between the chain of cause and effect.  At the macro-level, I don't think there really is anything there.  But there is the possibility of some "indeterminacy" at the quantum level, if I understand it correctly.

The question then is how much does quantum indeterminacy influence macro-level determincy?  The answer can't really be zero, or a hundred, percent though so it must be some murky amount in-between.
I think it has to be 100%. Imagine something macro scale like a mutation caused by radiation. This can give an observable macro scale phenotype but it's caused by a stochastic quantum event, i.e. a particle breaking a chemical bond in DNA somewhere.

TL, I love it, but I'm not as well versed in this science as you are - can you explain it in layman's terms so I can understand your example better?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TLEILAXU on October 31, 2018, 07:22:54 pm
Well, for me, I have a hard time imagining what comes between the chain of cause and effect.  At the macro-level, I don't think there really is anything there.  But there is the possibility of some "indeterminacy" at the quantum level, if I understand it correctly.

The question then is how much does quantum indeterminacy influence macro-level determincy?  The answer can't really be zero, or a hundred, percent though so it must be some murky amount in-between.
I think it has to be 100%. Imagine something macro scale like a mutation caused by radiation. This can give an observable macro scale phenotype but it's caused by a stochastic quantum event, i.e. a particle breaking a chemical bond in DNA somewhere.

TL, I love it, but I'm not as well versed in this science as you are - can you explain it in layman's terms so I can understand your example better?
A chemical bond breaking would be a quantum event right? So my point is just that these events can influence macroscale phenomena, i.e. the transition doesn't go away, everything is quantum, it's just that at different scales things we see some things and others not so much. Like, gravity. It's the weakest of all forces by far, we only really see it at big scales, but it doesn't mean that it's not there at small scales.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on October 31, 2018, 07:35:38 pm
Well, for me, I have a hard time imagining what comes between the chain of cause and effect.  At the macro-level, I don't think there really is anything there.  But there is the possibility of some "indeterminacy" at the quantum level, if I understand it correctly.

The question then is how much does quantum indeterminacy influence macro-level determincy?  The answer can't really be zero, or a hundred, percent though so it must be some murky amount in-between.
I think it has to be 100%. Imagine something macro scale like a mutation caused by radiation. This can give an observable macro scale phenotype but it's caused by a stochastic quantum event, i.e. a particle breaking a chemical bond in DNA somewhere.

TL, I love it, but I'm not as well versed in this science as you are - can you explain it in layman's terms so I can understand your example better?
A chemical bond breaking would be a quantum event right? So my point is just that these events can influence macroscale phenomena, i.e. the transition doesn't go away, everything is quantum, it's just that at different scales things we see some things and others not so much. Like, gravity. It's the weakest of all forces by far, we only really see it at big scales, but it doesn't mean that it's not there at small scales.

Great example, much better stated than my attempt. <<insert appropriate emoji>>
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on October 31, 2018, 07:40:31 pm
I think it has to be 100%. Imagine something macro scale like a mutation caused by radiation. This can give an observable macro scale phenotype but it's caused by a stochastic quantum event, i.e. a particle breaking a chemical bond in DNA somewhere.

Well, that example is well and good, because it's very clear how one change in this case leads to a replication error, that can then be evident when extrapolated out.

However, when there are 100 billion neurons, or so, it is less clear that "chance" is what determines the outcome 100% of the time.  If it the case then that the quantum indeterminacy is the only thing governing our actions, how do we survive?  Surely the blind indeterminate quantum effects are agnostic to hunger, so how could we ever know to take actions necessary to survive?  Or how could we ever predict anything, if all cause is indeterminate?  I just don't see how 100% is realistic in most cases here.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TLEILAXU on October 31, 2018, 07:54:00 pm
I think it has to be 100%. Imagine something macro scale like a mutation caused by radiation. This can give an observable macro scale phenotype but it's caused by a stochastic quantum event, i.e. a particle breaking a chemical bond in DNA somewhere.

Well, that example is well and good, because it's very clear how one change in this case leads to a replication error, that can then be evident when extrapolated out.

However, when there are 100 billion neurons, or so, it is less clear that "chance" is what determines the outcome 100% of the time.  If it the case then that the quantum indeterminacy is the only thing governing our actions, how do we survive?  Surely the blind indeterminate quantum effects are agnostic to hunger, so how could we ever know to take actions necessary to survive?  Or how could we ever predict anything, if all cause is indeterminate?  I just don't see how 100% is realistic in most cases here.
I'm so out my depth but I'll try my best  8) I think at it's core it's just a statistical thing, i.e. on average every x will be doing y. On average this particular receptor is in this conformation etc.

Quote
Surely the blind indeterminate quantum effects are agnostic to hunger, so how could we ever know to take actions necessary to survive?
I view it more like as a huge clusterfuck of chemical reactions that happen because the universe is trying to maximize entropy. Of course the how and whys of how exactly this happens is too complex for me, but in my view the fundamental answer to everything is entropy.

On a tangent, one of my favorite pop-sci related objects regarding this subject is this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Untoik6c_gs
It makes me feel things inside, particularly the line at 3:16
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on October 31, 2018, 08:37:50 pm
I'm so out my depth but I'll try my best  8) I think at it's core it's just a statistical thing, i.e. on average every x will be doing y. On average this particular receptor is in this conformation etc.

Well, I am not a mathematician at all and don't aspire to be one, really.  But doesn't this undermine your point that indeterminacy drives 100% of actions, if we are instead governed by weights of averages?  So then things are determinate, on average, yes?

I view it more like as a huge clusterfuck of chemical reactions that happen because the universe is trying to maximize entropy. Of course the how and whys of how exactly this happens is too complex for me, but in my view the fundamental answer to everything is entropy.

OK, but that doesn't explain our human desire to avert, prevent, and directly reverse entropy?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TLEILAXU on October 31, 2018, 09:15:05 pm
I'm so out my depth but I'll try my best  8) I think at it's core it's just a statistical thing, i.e. on average every x will be doing y. On average this particular receptor is in this conformation etc.

Well, I am not a mathematician at all and don't aspire to be one, really.  But doesn't this undermine your point that indeterminacy drives 100% of actions, if we are instead governed by weights of averages?  So then things are determinate, on average, yes?
Maybe I misunderstood what you meant with indeterminacy, but yeah, except that you can also sample extreme values.

I view it more like as a huge clusterfuck of chemical reactions that happen because the universe is trying to maximize entropy. Of course the how and whys of how exactly this happens is too complex for me, but in my view the fundamental answer to everything is entropy.

OK, but that doesn't explain our human desire to avert, prevent, and directly reverse entropy?
I don't think so. Hell, try do it and see what happens, entropy will probably increase as a result!
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on October 31, 2018, 09:27:47 pm
Well, I am not a mathematician at all and don't aspire to be one, really.  But doesn't this undermine your point that indeterminacy drives 100% of actions, if we are instead governed by weights of averages?  So then things are determinate, on average, yes?

But to say things are determinate, on average, is to say they are not determinate at all? I think everyone agrees there is consistency in our reality, otherwise there wouldn't be much technology around (though Tech is our imposition of machine causation).
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on October 31, 2018, 09:36:02 pm
But to say things are determinate, on average, is to say they are not determinate at all? I think everyone agrees there is consistency in our reality, otherwise there wouldn't be much technology around (though Tech is our imposition of machine causation).

Well, yeah, but I was refuting the idea that quantum indeterminacy could account for 100% of things that happen.  Maybe it's less than that, but I don't think it can plausibly be 100%, if I understand it correctly, because, like you say, machines work.  I guess then we can ask to what degree are we machines?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on October 31, 2018, 09:54:47 pm
Well, yeah, but I was refuting the idea that quantum indeterminacy could account for 100% of things that happen.  Maybe it's less than that, but I don't think it can plausibly be 100%, if I understand it correctly, because, like you say, machines work.  I guess then we can ask to what degree are we machines?

I guess it depends on what we feel is meant by indeterminancy. Randomness can include stability, just stability that can collapse at any moment. I believe is is what Hyper Chaos is meant to signify, that our observed stability in the Real  is something we are, metaphysically, Lucky to have.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TLEILAXU on October 31, 2018, 09:57:40 pm
Well, yeah, but I was refuting the idea that quantum indeterminacy could account for 100% of things that happen.  Maybe it's less than that, but I don't think it can plausibly be 100%, if I understand it correctly, because, like you say, machines work.  I guess then we can ask to what degree are we machines?

I guess it depends on what we feel is meant by indeterminancy. Randomness can include stability, just stability that can collapse at any moment. I believe is is what Hyper Chaos is meant to signify, that our observed stability in the Real  is something we are, metaphysically, Lucky to have.
Yeah. Like imagine you're sampling from a normal distribution. Most of the values will be reasonable close to the mean (depending on the variance ofc but whatever), but occasionally you'll sample some extreme points.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on November 01, 2018, 08:49:01 pm
While I am aesthetically down with Hyper Chaos (logically I'm not sure of its basis), I do wonder what it makes of Mathematics and Logic.

It at least feels, to me somedays, that the Transcendental Universals describe things that are real but not physical or even spatio-temporal. There's a sense of the Eternal Order to them that even an Idealist philosophy would need to explain (they are not just thought formss like other thought forms).

Could Math/Logic Universals exist in some Platonic sense, or rather Aristotilean in that the World of the Forms is co-extant with the formless Hyper Chaotic matter and thus orders it? This is the line Aquinas and his descendants like Feser seem to take, insofar as I can grasp Scholastic Philosophy...

Maybe I'm taking us too far into the D&D Manual of the Planes here...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on November 01, 2018, 09:32:57 pm
Maybe I'm taking us too far into the D&D Manual of the Planes here...

I fear you have sort of lost me, but not in the D&D book, but in the philosophy ones preceding this...

Could Math/Logic Universals exist in some Platonic sense, or rather Aristotilean in that the World of the Forms is co-extant with the formless Hyper Chaotic matter and thus orders it? This is the line Aquinas and his descendants like Feser seem to take, insofar as I can grasp Scholastic Philosophy...

Could it be, if I am understanding your aim correctly, that Math (and maybe logic) are essentially like The Cubits of our universe,  Basically, that which "conditions" the universe?  Or at least conditions our understanding?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on November 01, 2018, 09:44:55 pm
Maybe I'm taking us too far into the D&D Manual of the Planes here...

I fear you have sort of lost me, but not in the D&D book, but in the philosophy ones preceding this...

Could Math/Logic Universals exist in some Platonic sense, or rather Aristotilean in that the World of the Forms is co-extant with the formless Hyper Chaotic matter and thus orders it? This is the line Aquinas and his descendants like Feser seem to take, insofar as I can grasp Scholastic Philosophy...

Could it be, if I am understanding your aim correctly, that Math (and maybe logic) are essentially like The Cubits of our universe,  Basically, that which "conditions" the universe?  Or at least conditions our understanding?

Where do you feel I lost you? Happy to provide links if there's anything that needs clarification, or even attempt to use my own words.

I don't have a definitive proposal in bringing up Math & Logic, just that while it doesn't seem beyond my imagination to consider Hyper Chaos (with reservation) I can't help but feel Universals from which we derive math & logic are more than mere artifacts/tools arising by sheer luck from the formless, lawless matter.

I could, however, see the existence of the Universals acting as lodestones bringing Order to Chaos. However none of this has good metaphysical reasoning, just a passing fancy I was thinking about that may have a nugget of something worthwhile.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on November 01, 2018, 10:06:39 pm
Where do you feel I lost you? Happy to provide links if there's anything that needs clarification, or even attempt to use my own words.

Well, unfortunately, I fear I am lost in the whole thing.  In the sense that all my googling and reading articles fails to operationalize exactly what it is you are aiming at.

For example, I can't fashion just what the idea of hyperchaos is.  The following deinition leaves me less clear than before I read it: "…the notion of Hyper-Chaos is the idea of a time so completely liberated from metaphysical necessity that nothing constrains it: neither becoming, nor the substratum. This hyper-chaotic time is able to create and destroy even becoming, producing without reason fixity or movement, repetition or creation."  I might just not be smart enough to be able to grasp the idea.

I can follow the idea of Transcendental Universals, like math and logic, as things real but not physically existent, however then I am lost again how that relates to Aquinas, as such.

I don't have a definitive proposal in bringing up Math & Logic, just that while it doesn't seem beyond my imagination to consider Hyper Chaos (with reservation) I can't help but feel Universals from which we derive math & logic are more than mere artifacts/tools arising by sheer luck from the formless, lawless matter.

I could, however, see the existence of the Universals acting as lodestones bringing Order to Chaos. However none of this has good metaphysical reasoning, just a passing fancy I was thinking about that may have a nugget of something worthwhile.

That's true, I certainly didn't reason them out in the least bit.  Mainly because I barely even understand what we are discussing, haha.  Although, perhaps it is hard to say that math, for example, is transcendental, when it could, plausibly, be the case that it exists only in our minds?  Or maybe not though.  I think my brain-meter might run out in this depth...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on November 02, 2018, 03:40:13 am
Where do you feel I lost you? Happy to provide links if there's anything that needs clarification, or even attempt to use my own words.

Well, unfortunately, I fear I am lost in the whole thing.  In the sense that all my googling and reading articles fails to operationalize exactly what it is you are aiming at.

For example, I can't fashion just what the idea of hyperchaos is.  The following deinition leaves me less clear than before I read it: "…the notion of Hyper-Chaos is the idea of a time so completely liberated from metaphysical necessity that nothing constrains it: neither becoming, nor the substratum. This hyper-chaotic time is able to create and destroy even becoming, producing without reason fixity or movement, repetition or creation."  I might just not be smart enough to be able to grasp the idea.

I can follow the idea of Transcendental Universals, like math and logic, as things real but not physically existent, however then I am lost again how that relates to Aquinas, as such.

That's true, I certainly didn't reason them out in the least bit.  Mainly because I barely even understand what we are discussing, haha.  Although, perhaps it is hard to say that math, for example, is transcendental, when it could, plausibly, be the case that it exists only in our minds?  Or maybe not though.  I think my brain-meter might run out in this depth...

Yeah I can imagine Hyper Chaos but I cannot logically conceive of it, though I'm not sure whether that's a flaw in my thinking or in the notion itself. I see it as the idea of substance without any natural laws, with all regularities we observe as simply a manifestation of luck.

Regarding the Universals, I was thinking that Plato had them in the World of the Forms while Aristotle had them in our world. I was thinking that perhaps just having these Platonic Math entities/objects/whatever co-extant with formless/lawless matter might impose order.

Regarding the Catholic Scholastics (who follow Aquinas, or at least Edward Feser does) they also see (if I read them right) objects and living things of the world as a largely inseparable relationship between the Form of an object or living things. This goes further than I do, in that they are proposing Forms beyond those that would be Platonic Math forms - so there's a Form for Triangles but also a Form for Humans. This is accepting there is a formless/lawless primal matter but it is (almost?) always encountered as ordered by a Form.

My reason for bringing up Forms - mathematical or otherwise - is that while I can imagine Hyper Chaos as it applies to Matter/Energy it would then seem to mean that our logical Universals are merely convenient, that rational thought is of a piece with irrational thought and our supposed distinguishing between the two is an artifact for the way Hyper Chaos is arbitrarily arranged. For me this seems impossible to conceive.

I hope this clears things up, apologies for my lack of explanation in prior posts!
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on November 02, 2018, 12:38:59 pm
Yeah I can imagine Hyper Chaos but I cannot logically conceive of it, though I'm not sure whether that's a flaw in my thinking or in the notion itself. I see it as the idea of substance without any natural laws, with all regularities we observe as simply a manifestation of luck.

I found this review (https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/after-finitude-an-essay-on-the-necessity-of-contingency/) of After Finitude to be helpful in trying to understand Meillassoux's concept.

Regarding the Universals, I was thinking that Plato had them in the World of the Forms while Aristotle had them in our world. I was thinking that perhaps just having these Platonic Math entities/objects/whatever co-extant with formless/lawless matter might impose order.

Regarding the Catholic Scholastics (who follow Aquinas, or at least Edward Feser does) they also see (if I read them right) objects and living things of the world as a largely inseparable relationship between the Form of an object or living things. This goes further than I do, in that they are proposing Forms beyond those that would be Platonic Math forms - so there's a Form for Triangles but also a Form for Humans. This is accepting there is a formless/lawless primal matter but it is (almost?) always encountered as ordered by a Form.

My reason for bringing up Forms - mathematical or otherwise - is that while I can imagine Hyper Chaos as it applies to Matter/Energy it would then seem to mean that our logical Universals are merely convenient, that rational thought is of a piece with irrational thought and our supposed distinguishing between the two is an artifact for the way Hyper Chaos is arbitrarily arranged. For me this seems impossible to conceive.

I hope this clears things up, apologies for my lack of explanation in prior posts!

I think what you might be after is in the link above though:
Quote
By claiming that physical laws are contingent, Meillassoux proposes in chapter 4 a speculative solution to Hume's problem of primary and secondary qualities. The author's treatment of what at first could have passed for an innocuous metaphysical non-problem is implemented in order to transform our outlook on unreason. A truly speculative solution to Hume's problem must conceive a world devoid of any physical necessity that, nevertheless, would still be compatible with the stability of its physical laws. Here contingency is the key concept that, insofar as it is extracted from Humean-Kantian necessitarianism and thus distinguished from chance, enables Meillassoux to explain how and why Cantor's transfinite number could constitute a condition for the stability of chaos. Here we find the transition from the primary absolute to the secondary or mathematically inflected absolute. The demonstration thus consists in implementing the ontological implications of the Zermelo-Cantorian axiomatic as stipulated by Alain Badiou in his Being and Event. This axiomatic enables Meillassoux to show that for those forms of aleatory reasoning to which Hume and Kant were subservient, what is a priori possible can only be conceived as a numerical totality, as a Whole. However, this totalization can no longer be guaranteed a priori, since Cantor's axiomatic rules out the possibility of maintaining that the conceivable can necessarily be totalized. Thus Cantor provides the tool for a mathematical way of distinguishing contingency from chance, and this tool is none other than the transfinite, which Meillassoux translates into an elegant and economical statement: "the (qualifiable) totality of the thinkable is unthinkable." (104) This means that in the absence of any certainty regarding the totalization of the possible, we should limit the scope of aleatory reasoning to objects of experience, rather than extending it to the very laws that rule our universe (as Kant illegitimately did in the Critique of Pure Reason), as if we knew that the these laws necessarily belong to some greater Whole.

But again, I am vastly out of my depth, so I might still be misunderstanding your point.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on November 02, 2018, 08:30:03 pm
Yeah I can imagine Hyper Chaos but I cannot logically conceive of it, though I'm not sure whether that's a flaw in my thinking or in the notion itself. I see it as the idea of substance without any natural laws, with all regularities we observe as simply a manifestation of luck.

I found this review (https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/after-finitude-an-essay-on-the-necessity-of-contingency/) of After Finitude to be helpful in trying to understand Meillassoux's concept.

Regarding the Universals, I was thinking that Plato had them in the World of the Forms while Aristotle had them in our world. I was thinking that perhaps just having these Platonic Math entities/objects/whatever co-extant with formless/lawless matter might impose order.

Regarding the Catholic Scholastics (who follow Aquinas, or at least Edward Feser does) they also see (if I read them right) objects and living things of the world as a largely inseparable relationship between the Form of an object or living things. This goes further than I do, in that they are proposing Forms beyond those that would be Platonic Math forms - so there's a Form for Triangles but also a Form for Humans. This is accepting there is a formless/lawless primal matter but it is (almost?) always encountered as ordered by a Form.

My reason for bringing up Forms - mathematical or otherwise - is that while I can imagine Hyper Chaos as it applies to Matter/Energy it would then seem to mean that our logical Universals are merely convenient, that rational thought is of a piece with irrational thought and our supposed distinguishing between the two is an artifact for the way Hyper Chaos is arbitrarily arranged. For me this seems impossible to conceive.

I hope this clears things up, apologies for my lack of explanation in prior posts!

I think what you might be after is in the link above though:
Quote
By claiming that physical laws are contingent, Meillassoux proposes in chapter 4 a speculative solution to Hume's problem of primary and secondary qualities. The author's treatment of what at first could have passed for an innocuous metaphysical non-problem is implemented in order to transform our outlook on unreason. A truly speculative solution to Hume's problem must conceive a world devoid of any physical necessity that, nevertheless, would still be compatible with the stability of its physical laws. Here contingency is the key concept that, insofar as it is extracted from Humean-Kantian necessitarianism and thus distinguished from chance, enables Meillassoux to explain how and why Cantor's transfinite number could constitute a condition for the stability of chaos. Here we find the transition from the primary absolute to the secondary or mathematically inflected absolute. The demonstration thus consists in implementing the ontological implications of the Zermelo-Cantorian axiomatic as stipulated by Alain Badiou in his Being and Event. This axiomatic enables Meillassoux to show that for those forms of aleatory reasoning to which Hume and Kant were subservient, what is a priori possible can only be conceived as a numerical totality, as a Whole. However, this totalization can no longer be guaranteed a priori, since Cantor's axiomatic rules out the possibility of maintaining that the conceivable can necessarily be totalized. Thus Cantor provides the tool for a mathematical way of distinguishing contingency from chance, and this tool is none other than the transfinite, which Meillassoux translates into an elegant and economical statement: "the (qualifiable) totality of the thinkable is unthinkable." (104) This means that in the absence of any certainty regarding the totalization of the possible, we should limit the scope of aleatory reasoning to objects of experience, rather than extending it to the very laws that rule our universe (as Kant illegitimately did in the Critique of Pure Reason), as if we knew that the these laws necessarily belong to some greater Whole.

But again, I am vastly out of my depth, so I might still be misunderstanding your point.

Thanks for the link! - Gonna have to read that over very carefully because this is stretching my brain as well.

Just to try and give an example of why Hyper Chaos and Logical Universals seem to so incompatible to me, here's two lines of thought:

A: All men are Mortal -> Socrates is a Man -> Socrates is Mortal.

B: All men are Mortal -> Kittens are cute -> Socrates is a Cat.

My guess is a good number of young children could see that statement B is, if not irrational, at least "silly". Older students could readily identity that A is rational, B is irrational.

But if all events precede not from any contingency on past events, and all that exists is reducible to the Lawless Matter, then the fact that A is "rational" and B "irrational" are just meaningless descriptors. Our reasoning isn't based on anything but the luck of chance. And not only is A not rational, but then all Logic is really lucky....and this goes into what feels absurd, that the edifice of Mathematics that has given us so much scientific insight and applicable technology is just luck.

(There's an issue with determinism with regard to logic as well, I believe it was C.S. Lewis who noted that thoughts based on collisions of atoms are also irrational. But we can at least conceive that deterministic processes push an engine of evolution that gives us rational thought.)
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on November 02, 2018, 09:11:13 pm
Thanks for the link! - Gonna have to read that over very carefully because this is stretching my brain as well.

Just to try and give an example of why Hyper Chaos and Logical Universals seem to so incompatible to me, here's two lines of thought:

A: All men are Mortal -> Socrates is a Man -> Socrates is Mortal.

B: All men are Mortal -> Kittens are cute -> Socrates is a Cat.

My guess is a good number of young children could see that statement B is, if not irrational, at least "silly". Older students could readily identity that A is rational, B is irrational.

But if all events precede not from any contingency on past events, and all that exists is reducible to the Lawless Matter, then the fact that A is "rational" and B "irrational" are just meaningless descriptors. Our reasoning isn't based on anything but the luck of chance. And not only is A not rational, but then all Logic is really lucky....and this goes into what feels absurd, that the edifice of Mathematics that has given us so much scientific insight and applicable technology is just luck.

(There's an issue with determinism with regard to logic as well, I believe it was C.S. Lewis who noted that thoughts based on collisions of atoms are also irrational. But we can at least conceive that deterministic processes push an engine of evolution that gives us rational thought.)

Well, I am so vast out of my depth that I cannot even fathom where the bottom is, let alone deign to think I could tread there.

However, I think that Meillassoux is saying, not that Hyper Chaos does define reality, but that it could, in effect, be what underlies all of reality.  That is, there could be a state of complete Absolute Arbitrariness, but what keeps us from that isn't just Correlation, it is just a facility for correlation.  So, at some point, things could simply just not correlate.  That they do isn't really luck, so much as it simple just is how things are, right now.

I can't know, definitively that in the next second, everything won't seem to be as it was.  But I can imagine that it likely would not happen, because the "consequence of facticity consists in asserting the actual contingency of the laws of nature" and "[t]he absolutization of facticity -- the idea according to which Meillassoux posits the absolute impossibility of a necessary being -- entails a shifting away from the principle of sufficient reason into an anhypothetical and absolute principle of unreason."

Does that make sense?  Because I am legitimately not sure I even understand what I think I might.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on November 06, 2018, 04:25:28 pm
Sci, I think you'd like this as well, SCIENCE FICTION AND XTRO-SCIENCE FICTION, by Q. Meillassoux (https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/voices.uchicago.edu/dist/8/644/files/2017/09/SCIENCE_FICTION_AND_EITRO%C2%B7SCIENCE_FICTION_Meillassoux_2015-138m7mw.pdf)
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on November 09, 2018, 06:58:45 pm
Sci, I think you'd like this as well, SCIENCE FICTION AND XTRO-SCIENCE FICTION, by Q. Meillassoux (https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/voices.uchicago.edu/dist/8/644/files/2017/09/SCIENCE_FICTION_AND_EITRO%C2%B7SCIENCE_FICTION_Meillassoux_2015-138m7mw.pdf)

Thanks - will give it a read, just been a bit busy!
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on November 09, 2018, 08:12:33 pm
Thanks - will give it a read, just been a bit busy!

Not a problem.  Been a bit swamped here too, but trying to wade through.  I found two other papers by him too, but not sure if I can refind those links.  I'll do what I can though.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on November 16, 2018, 07:58:26 pm
Thanks - will give it a read, just been a bit busy!

Not a problem.  Been a bit swamped here too, but trying to wade through.  I found two other papers by him too, but not sure if I can refind those links.  I'll do what I can though.

Loved the paper - Meillassoux really gets to the heart of the problem. Randomness as Hyper Chaos is not some mish-mash of pre-Creation chaos with all substance being indeterminate. That suggests a Probablity Law that impinges on stability.

Since Hyper Chaos doesn't adhere even to Probability Laws, Everything can arise in seeming Orderly fashion and continue to work that way for trillions of years...or even Forever...

Also, found this interesting link about how Randomness Saves Relativity:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chadorzel/2015/08/11/how-quantum-randomness-saves-relativity/#26478bdd6f92
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on November 16, 2018, 08:22:04 pm
Loved the paper - Meillassoux really gets to the heart of the problem. Randomness as Hyper Chaos is not some mish-mash of pre-Creation chaos with all substance being indeterminate. That suggests a Probablity Law that impinges on stability.

Since Hyper Chaos doesn't adhere even to Probability Laws, Everything can arise in seeming Orderly fashion and continue to work that way for trillions of years...or even Forever...

Right, his point, seemed to me, to be that we have no real way of knowing if Laws will stand in the next moment only because they happened to have stood in the previous one.

Here are two more links:
http://www.uhimik.ru/download/31550.pdf
(The site is in Russian, but if you complete the captcha and hit the button, it will download.)

http://heavysideindustries.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Potentiality-and-Virtuality-Quentin-Meillasoux.pdf
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on November 18, 2018, 07:36:40 pm
Loved the paper - Meillassoux really gets to the heart of the problem. Randomness as Hyper Chaos is not some mish-mash of pre-Creation chaos with all substance being indeterminate. That suggests a Probablity Law that impinges on stability.

Since Hyper Chaos doesn't adhere even to Probability Laws, Everything can arise in seeming Orderly fashion and continue to work that way for trillions of years...or even Forever...

Right, his point, seemed to me, to be that we have no real way of knowing if Laws will stand in the next moment only because they happened to have stood in the previous one.

Here are two more links:
http://www.uhimik.ru/download/31550.pdf
(The site is in Russian, but if you complete the captcha and hit the button, it will download.)

http://heavysideindustries.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Potentiality-and-Virtuality-Quentin-Meillasoux.pdf

Meillasoux really digs into the heart of the problem, that the True Materialism would have to become rational by the extinguishing of Natural Laws.

I need to dig deeper into these links (can't get the Russian site to work for me) but I am still unsure about where he positions the Logical Universals necessary for the rational in this. Of course any reductionist account has to find a way to square this problem of how to account for the authority of logic, probably why I'm more on the Platonist's side here...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on November 19, 2018, 01:32:53 pm
Loved the paper - Meillassoux really gets to the heart of the problem. Randomness as Hyper Chaos is not some mish-mash of pre-Creation chaos with all substance being indeterminate. That suggests a Probablity Law that impinges on stability.

Since Hyper Chaos doesn't adhere even to Probability Laws, Everything can arise in seeming Orderly fashion and continue to work that way for trillions of years...or even Forever...

Right, his point, seemed to me, to be that we have no real way of knowing if Laws will stand in the next moment only because they happened to have stood in the previous one.

Here are two more links:
http://www.uhimik.ru/download/31550.pdf
(The site is in Russian, but if you complete the captcha and hit the button, it will download.)

http://heavysideindustries.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Potentiality-and-Virtuality-Quentin-Meillasoux.pdf

Meillasoux really digs into the heart of the problem, that the True Materialism would have to become rational by the extinguishing of Natural Laws.

I need to dig deeper into these links (can't get the Russian site to work for me) but I am still unsure about where he positions the Logical Universals necessary for the rational in this. Of course any reductionist account has to find a way to square this problem of how to account for the authority of logic, probably why I'm more on the Platonist's side here...

Does this link work for you? (http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=16088851242457186661)

I actually haven't been able to get time to really dig in to any of them.  I guess I superficially understood his point as being that there was no real way we could know why laws are laws, or that we can't know, for certain, that laws will continue to be laws?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on November 19, 2018, 08:14:13 pm
Loved the paper - Meillassoux really gets to the heart of the problem. Randomness as Hyper Chaos is not some mish-mash of pre-Creation chaos with all substance being indeterminate. That suggests a Probablity Law that impinges on stability.

Since Hyper Chaos doesn't adhere even to Probability Laws, Everything can arise in seeming Orderly fashion and continue to work that way for trillions of years...or even Forever...

Right, his point, seemed to me, to be that we have no real way of knowing if Laws will stand in the next moment only because they happened to have stood in the previous one.

Here are two more links:
http://www.uhimik.ru/download/31550.pdf
(The site is in Russian, but if you complete the captcha and hit the button, it will download.)

http://heavysideindustries.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Potentiality-and-Virtuality-Quentin-Meillasoux.pdf

Meillasoux really digs into the heart of the problem, that the True Materialism would have to become rational by the extinguishing of Natural Laws.

I need to dig deeper into these links (can't get the Russian site to work for me) but I am still unsure about where he positions the Logical Universals necessary for the rational in this. Of course any reductionist account has to find a way to square this problem of how to account for the authority of logic, probably why I'm more on the Platonist's side here...

Does this link work for you? (http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=16088851242457186661)

I actually haven't been able to get time to really dig in to any of them.  I guess I superficially understood his point as being that there was no real way we could know why laws are laws, or that we can't know, for certain, that laws will continue to be laws?

Works - thanks!

Yeah I think the jist of the idea is the Laws could stop working at any time. I actually heard this in a talk on scientific wonder from a physics professor whose name I can't recall...the talk was on Scientific Wonder and the professor was at Stanford at the time (2013-ish)...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on December 24, 2018, 10:31:43 am
It's late and I have been drinking so forgive me if we talked about this but regarding Mathematics as the foundation stone of Order wanted to post the famous (i think?) essay by Wigner:

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences (https://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/~v1ranick/papers/wigner.pdf)

Quote
THERE IS A story about two friends...One of them became a statistician and was working on population trends. He showed a reprint to his former classmate...

..."And what is this symbol here?"

"Oh," said the statistician, "this is pi."

"What is that?"

"The ratio of the circumference of the circle to its diameter."

"Well, now you are pushing your joke too far," said the classmate, "surely the population has nothing to do with the circumference of the circle."

 Naturally, we are inclined to smile about the simplicity of the classmate's approach. Nevertheless, when I heard this story, I had to admit to an eerie feeling because, surely, the reaction of the classmate betrayed only plain common sense...
 -- Wigner, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TaoHorror on December 24, 2018, 03:06:52 pm
It's late and I have been drinking so forgive me if we talked about this but regarding Mathematics as the foundation stone of Order wanted to post the famous (i think?) essay by Wigner:

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences (https://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/~v1ranick/papers/wigner.pdf)

Quote
THERE IS A story about two friends...One of them became a statistician and was working on population trends. He showed a reprint to his former classmate...

..."And what is this symbol here?"

"Oh," said the statistician, "this is pi."

"What is that?"

"The ratio of the circumference of the circle to its diameter."

"Well, now you are pushing your joke too far," said the classmate, "surely the population has nothing to do with the circumference of the circle."

 Naturally, we are inclined to smile about the simplicity of the classmate's approach. Nevertheless, when I heard this story, I had to admit to an eerie feeling because, surely, the reaction of the classmate betrayed only plain common sense...
 -- Wigner, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

Is Wigner agreeing Pi has nothing to do with population analysis/trends? Because to me it does ... his "eerie" feeling is what's throwing me, I'm not sure what he's concluding about the story. Is he concerned/wondering how much science we rely on was not developed with "common sense" and is more faulty than we may realize or is he saying "common sense" is a concerning chasm between scientists and the rest of us, psychological phenomenon over simple ignorance. At risk of completely missing his point, I say there's a difference between admitting ignorance ( "I don't know" ) and empowering ignorance ( "That doesn't make sense, so it's not true", "That makes sense, so it's true" ).
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TLEILAXU on December 24, 2018, 03:56:07 pm
My eyes hurt too much to read the whole thing, but from that quote what I interpret is that normies are stupid and that 'common sense' is some arbitrary bullshit  :-*
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on December 24, 2018, 06:45:05 pm
It's late and I have been drinking so forgive me if we talked about this but regarding Mathematics as the foundation stone of Order wanted to post the famous (i think?) essay by Wigner:

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences (https://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/~v1ranick/papers/wigner.pdf)

Quote
THERE IS A story about two friends...One of them became a statistician and was working on population trends. He showed a reprint to his former classmate...

..."And what is this symbol here?"

"Oh," said the statistician, "this is pi."

"What is that?"

"The ratio of the circumference of the circle to its diameter."

"Well, now you are pushing your joke too far," said the classmate, "surely the population has nothing to do with the circumference of the circle."

 Naturally, we are inclined to smile about the simplicity of the classmate's approach. Nevertheless, when I heard this story, I had to admit to an eerie feeling because, surely, the reaction of the classmate betrayed only plain common sense...
 -- Wigner, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

Is Wigner agreeing Pi has nothing to do with population analysis/trends? Because to me it does ... his "eerie" feeling is what's throwing me, I'm not sure what he's concluding about the story. Is he concerned/wondering how much science we rely on was not developed with "common sense" and is more faulty than we may realize or is he saying "common sense" is a concerning chasm between scientists and the rest of us, psychological phenomenon over simple ignorance. At risk of completely missing his point, I say there's a difference between admitting ignorance ( "I don't know" ) and empowering ignorance ( "That doesn't make sense, so it's not true", "That makes sense, so it's true" ).

Ah no Pi does figure into calculation of certain probability equations, and Wigner is pointing out how odd that is when one thinks about it.

The essay then goes on to discuss a great deal of how mathematics finds use in science, to an arguably uncanny level. Why would reality be such that a variety of mathematical structures could be so useful in predictive strength for physical phenomenon?

Thus, for me, while it does seem correct that "Laws of Nature" have no power and are merely a symbol of regularities I also think it can't just be "Hyper Chaos" - mathematics suggests there is some deeper Order at work...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on December 24, 2018, 08:24:03 pm
My eyes hurt too much to read the whole thing, but from that quote what I interpret is that normies are stupid and that 'common sense' is some arbitrary bullshit  :-*

I don't know, if you told me before I took a class on statistics that Pi would figure into the Normal Distribution I'd feel a bit of wonder...OTOH when I was presented with this fact it didn't strike me in any way. Circles -> Curves -> Normal Probability Distribution Curve all seem to follow without any scent of the transcendental...

I have in the past wondered if Wigner is overstating the incredible-ness of the math-science relation, but in the face of Meillassoux's Hyper Chaos it does [seem] rather amazing that not only do we have a stable reality but this reality is intelligible to [largely hairless] monkeys who, as Chomsky put it, evolved to survive a particular ecological niche not solve mysteries of the universe.

Wigner gets into this a bit in the essay itself, noting 'it is not at all natural that "laws of nature" exist, much less that man is able to discover them'.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: TLEILAXU on December 25, 2018, 01:49:10 am
My eyes hurt too much to read the whole thing, but from that quote what I interpret is that normies are stupid and that 'common sense' is some arbitrary bullshit  :-*

I don't know, if you told me before I took a class on statistics that Pi would figure into the Normal Distribution I'd feel a bit of wonder...OTOH when I was presented with this fact it didn't strike me in any way. Circles -> Curves -> Normal Probability Distribution Curve all seem to follow without any scent of the transcendental...

I have in the past wondered if Wigner is overstating the incredible-ness of the math-science relation, but in the face of Meillassoux's Hyper Chaos it does [seem] rather amazing that not only do we have a stable reality but this reality is intelligible to [largely hairless] monkeys who, as Chomsky put it, evolved to survive a particular ecological niche not solve mysteries of the universe.

Wigner gets into this a bit in the essay itself, noting 'it is not at all natural that "laws of nature" exist, much less that man is able to discover them'.
I mean, I get what you mean, but on the other hand, what happens... happens. That particular niche selected for systems capable of complex computations, so here we are, doing complex computations.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on December 25, 2018, 09:27:57 pm
My eyes hurt too much to read the whole thing, but from that quote what I interpret is that normies are stupid and that 'common sense' is some arbitrary bullshit  :-*

I don't know, if you told me before I took a class on statistics that Pi would figure into the Normal Distribution I'd feel a bit of wonder...OTOH when I was presented with this fact it didn't strike me in any way. Circles -> Curves -> Normal Probability Distribution Curve all seem to follow without any scent of the transcendental...

I have in the past wondered if Wigner is overstating the incredible-ness of the math-science relation, but in the face of Meillassoux's Hyper Chaos it does [seem] rather amazing that not only do we have a stable reality but this reality is intelligible to [largely hairless] monkeys who, as Chomsky put it, evolved to survive a particular ecological niche not solve mysteries of the universe.

Wigner gets into this a bit in the essay itself, noting 'it is not at all natural that "laws of nature" exist, much less that man is able to discover them'.
I mean, I get what you mean, but on the other hand, what happens... happens. That particular niche selected for systems capable of complex computations, so here we are, doing complex computations.

I agree...sometimes.

It is simultaneously banal and wondrous. Heh.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on December 26, 2018, 08:47:57 pm
Springer publication released a book called Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection between Physics and Mathematics (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C1CDG5K/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb). At a glance it runs the opinions on this question, from it being entirely mundane to arguments for Platonic-Order/Hyper-Chaos like I mentioned earlier in the thread.

I believe all the essays are available here, but the above were selected by some group or other:

https://fqxi.org/community/forum/category/31424

Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on January 03, 2019, 09:40:35 pm
Looks like the physicist Aleksandar Mikovic beat me to the idea of Platonic Math providing some ordering of the Hyper Xaos:

Godel's Incompleteness Theorems and Platonic Metaphysics (https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1509/1509.02674.pdf)

Quote
A law of Nature can be easilly understood within a platonic metaphysics. It is a postulate in a mathematical theory we use to describe the Nature. On the other hand, explaining the laws of Nature within a materialistic metaphysics, is more complicated. If one accepts that the natural laws are different entities from space, time and matter, and are irreducible, then for a materialist it does not seem to be a problem to add a finite set of such objects to his ontology. In this case the natural laws are the postulates of a finite TOE. However, any TOE has to include the aritmethics, so that Goedel's theorems imply that there can not be a finite number of laws which completely explain the universe and one must introduce an infinite number of natural laws. This means that in addition to space, time and matter, one has to introduce an infinite number of other entities, which are not reducible to space, time and matter, and hence one is back at platonism.

In order to avoid introducing an infinite number of non-material entities in a materialistic metaphysics, one then has to give up the idea of a natural law as a mathematical concept (i.e. a postulate in a mathematical theory). Then the only explanation for a natural law in a materialistic metaphysics is that a natural law represents a regular pattern which appears in the fundamentaly chaotic motion of matter. This regularity appears at random and lasts for a very long time. In this case one accepts the view that at the fundamental level there is no order and the particle trajectories and field configurations are completely arbitrary. This doctrine is a logical possibility, but it is highly implausible. The standard example for this type of implausibility is to find a string of letters in a random sequence of letters which corresponds to a well-known novel; or to construct a functioning airplane by using a tornado passing through a junk yard. Also, if the natural laws are finite-duration random regularities, then the Earth can stop orbiting the Sun tomorrow, which means that our reality can disintegrate at any time in the future.

Another problem in a materialistic metaphysics is how an observer will recognize a natural law given that the ideas of order do not exist. This is also a problem in a platonic metaphysics, see [6], but it is a less severe problem, because the basic elements from which one can construct a solution already exist, see [2] for a possible solution.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on January 04, 2019, 08:27:46 pm
And Coleridge beat us both:

“Long indeed will man strive to satisfy the inward queries with the phrase, 'laws of nature'. But though the individual may rest content with the seeming metaphor, the race cannot. If a law of nature be a mere generalization, it is included...as an an act of the mind. But if it be other and more, and yet manifestable only in and to an intelligent spirit, it must in act and substance be itself {mental}; for things utterly heterogeneous can have no intercommunion.”
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on January 10, 2019, 10:31:53 pm
I know William James wrote about this, how indeterminism is just inner-cause but need to dig around to find the quote again...

Here are the quotes:

What does determinism profess?  It professes that those parts of the universe already laid down absolutely appoint and decree what the other parts shall be.  The future has no ambiguous possibilities hidden in its womb;  the part we call the present is compatible with only one totality.  Any other future complement than the one fixed from eternity is impossible.  The whole is in each and every part, and welds it with the rest into an absolute unity, an iron block, in which there can be no equivocation or shadow of turning.

Indeterminism, on the contrary, says that the parts have a certain amount of loose play on one another, so that the laying down of one of them does not necessarily determine what the others shall be.  It admits that  possibilities  may  be  in  excess  of  actualities,  and  that  things  not yet revealed to our knowledge may really in themselves be ambiguous.

Of two alternative futures which we conceive, both may now be really possible; and the one become impossible only at the very moment when the other excludes it by becoming real itself.  Indeterminism thus denies the world to be one unbending unit of fact.  It says there is a certain ultimate pluralism in it.
—William James


Chance is a purely negative and relative term, giving us no information about that of which it is predicated, except that it happens to be disconnected with something else—not controlled, secured, or necessitated by other things in advance of its own actual presence.  What I say is  that  it tells us nothing about what a thing may  be in  itself to call  it  “chance.”   All  you  mean  by  calling  it  “chance”  is  that  this  is not guaranteed, that it may also fall out otherwise.  For the system of other things has no positive hold on the chance-thing.  Its origin is in a certain fashion negative:  it escapes, and says, Hands off! coming, when it comes, as a free gift, or not at all. This  negativeness,  however,  and  this  opacity  of  the  chance-thing when  thus  considered ab  extra,  or  from  the  point  of  view  of  previous things or distant things, do not preclude its having any amount of positiveness and luminosity from within, and at its own place and moment.

All that its chance-character asserts about it is that there is something in it really of its own, something that is not the unconditional property of  the  whole.   If  the  whole  wants  this  property,  the  whole  must  wait till  it  can  get  it,  if  it  be  a  matter  of  chance.   That  the  universe  may actually be a sort of joint-stock society of this sort, in which the sharers have  both limited liabilities and limited powers,  is  of course a simple and conceivable notion.
 —William James
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: Callan S. on January 11, 2019, 11:23:49 pm
But what ensures A should always be the result? Why doesn't some event B sometimes end up as the result instead of A? The usual explanation seems to be that there are brute facts that are called "natural laws". Yet why don't the "laws" change? What keeps them in place? "Meta-laws"?

LTTP, but: The actual practice of science is that it never proves anything - it only builds up evidence. It's men that decide to commit to a conclusion, which is somewhere that the angel that is science doth fear to tread. What gives the illusion of keeping the laws in place is human arrogance in treating our committing to an idea a 'natural law' and pitch it to each other as a definite fact, rather than a gamble (albeit a gamble based on a lot of evidence)
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on January 17, 2019, 08:11:00 pm
But what ensures A should always be the result? Why doesn't some event B sometimes end up as the result instead of A? The usual explanation seems to be that there are brute facts that are called "natural laws". Yet why don't the "laws" change? What keeps them in place? "Meta-laws"?

LTTP, but: The actual practice of science is that it never proves anything - it only builds up evidence. It's men that decide to commit to a conclusion, which is somewhere that the angel that is science doth fear to tread. What gives the illusion of keeping the laws in place is human arrogance in treating our committing to an idea a 'natural law' and pitch it to each other as a definite fact, rather than a gamble (albeit a gamble based on a lot of evidence)

Yeah this is how I see it, but this obscures mysteries that I think are a deeper problem for ontologies that presume some kind of bottom-up constituting of reality (so Monadism, Physicalism, Bottom Up Panpsychism).

If the Law is in Matter, rather than imposing Itself from the Outside...how is this harmony communicated between the bottom level entities?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on February 26, 2019, 04:23:17 am
Just thinking about this some more:

- Aren't the terms "determinism" and "random" drawn from our conception of probability. Determinism denotes 100% confidence in the subsequent event if the expected conditions are provided, whereas randomness distributes our confidence to varying values a Random Variable can take on. So nothing is in actuality determined or random, since this is the projection of a probability value born of external observation whereas causation concerns the motive power of the thing-in-itself.

- Let's say there is a unique event, a gray scale rainbow that also gives us hues of metallic sheen from "dark silver" to "dull light grey". Without successive appearances how would we even attempt to say whether the event was deterministic or random?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on February 26, 2019, 06:17:32 pm
- Let's say there is a unique event, a gray scale rainbow that also gives us hues of metallic sheen from "dark silver" to "dull light grey". Without successive appearances how would we even attempt to say whether the event was deterministic or random?

Isn't this sort of question the one Kant asked about Causality in response to Hume?  That is, the two events are only causally "bound" because of our mediating sense of space and time?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on February 27, 2019, 03:26:00 am
- Let's say there is a unique event, a gray scale rainbow that also gives us hues of metallic sheen from "dark silver" to "dull light grey". Without successive appearances how would we even attempt to say whether the event was deterministic or random?

Isn't this sort of question the one Kant asked about Causality in response to Hume?  That is, the two events are only causally "bound" because of our mediating sense of space and time?

Ah, can you quote the passage, I'm not that familiar with Kant. I was thinking more about assigning values to a Random Variable, or plotting a best fit function. This can't be done when you have one unique value.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on February 27, 2019, 01:07:18 pm
Ah, can you quote the passage, I'm not that familiar with Kant. I was thinking more about assigning values to a Random Variable, or plotting a best fit function. This can't be done when you have one unique value.

I find it nearly impossible to read Kant directly, I am in no way smart enough for that.

Here is Scruton on Kant though:
Quote
The parts of Hume’s philosophy that most disturbed him concerned the concept of causality. Hume had argued that there is no foundation for the belief in necessities in nature: necessity belongs to thought alone, and merely reflects the “relations of ideas.” It was this that led Kant to perceive that natural science rests on the belief that there are real necessities, so that Hume’s skepticism, far from being an academic exercise, threatened to undermine the foundations of scientific thought. Kant did indeed have a lasting quarrel with Leibniz, and with the Leibnizian system. But it was the sense that the problems of objectivity and of causal necessity are ultimately connected that led him toward the outlook of the Critique of Pure Reason. It was only then that he perceived what was really wrong with Leibniz, through his attempt to show what was really wrong with Hume. He came to think as follows.
Neither experience nor reason is alone able to provide knowledge. The first provides content without form, the second form without content. Only in their synthesis is knowledge possible; hence, there is no knowledge that does not bear the marks of reason and of experience together. Such knowledge is, however, genuine and objective. It transcends the point of view of the person who possesses it, and makes legitimate claims about an independent world. Nevertheless, it is impossible to know the world “as it is in itself,” independent of all perspective. Such an absolute conception of the object of knowledge is senseless, Kant argues, since it can be given only by employing concepts from which every element of meaning has been refined away. While I can know the world independently of my point of view on it, what I know (the world of “appearance”) bears the indelible marks of that point of view. Objects do not depend for their existence upon my perceiving them; but their nature is determined by the fact that they can be perceived. Objects are not Leibnizian monads, knowable only to the perspectiveless stance of “pure reason”; nor are they Humean “impressions,” features of my own experience. They are objective, but their character is given by the point of view through which they can be known. This is the point of view of “possible experience.” Kant tries to show that, properly understood, the idea of “experience” already carries the objective reference that Hume denied. Experience contains within itself the features of space, time, and causality. Hence, in describing my experience I am referring to an ordered perspective on an independent world.

Also:
Quote
The physical science of Kant’s day seemed to assume a priori the existence of universal causation, and of reciprocal interaction. It assumed that it must explain, not the existence of matter, but the changes undergone by it. It assumed the need for a law of conservation, according to which, in all changes, some fundamental quantity remains unaltered. It is just such assumptions, Kant thought, that had guided Newton in the formulation of his laws of motion. Kant therefore attempts, in deriving his principles, to establish the “validity of universal laws of nature as laws of the understanding” (F. 74), arguing further that all the fundamental laws of the new astronomy can be seen, on reflection, to rest on principles that are valid a priori (F. 83).
The attempt to uphold the Newtonian mechanics is mixed with an attack on Hume’s skepticism about causality. Kant tries to show that causal relations are necessary, both in the sense that it is necessary that objects enter into them (there is no event without a cause), and also in the sense that they are themselves a species of necessary connection.

But I think I misunderstood what your example was after.  If we can't place "difference over time" then certainly we can't say if something was deterministic or random, it just is as it is at a given time.  But I might again be misunderstanding what you are saying.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on February 27, 2019, 05:58:00 pm
Ah, can you quote the passage, I'm not that familiar with Kant. I was thinking more about assigning values to a Random Variable, or plotting a best fit function. This can't be done when you have one unique value.

I find it nearly impossible to read Kant directly, I am in no way smart enough for that.

Here is Scruton on Kant though:
Quote
The parts of Hume’s philosophy that most disturbed him concerned the concept of causality. Hume had argued that there is no foundation for the belief in necessities in nature: necessity belongs to thought alone, and merely reflects the “relations of ideas.” It was this that led Kant to perceive that natural science rests on the belief that there are real necessities, so that Hume’s skepticism, far from being an academic exercise, threatened to undermine the foundations of scientific thought. Kant did indeed have a lasting quarrel with Leibniz, and with the Leibnizian system. But it was the sense that the problems of objectivity and of causal necessity are ultimately connected that led him toward the outlook of the Critique of Pure Reason. It was only then that he perceived what was really wrong with Leibniz, through his attempt to show what was really wrong with Hume. He came to think as follows.
Neither experience nor reason is alone able to provide knowledge. The first provides content without form, the second form without content. Only in their synthesis is knowledge possible; hence, there is no knowledge that does not bear the marks of reason and of experience together. Such knowledge is, however, genuine and objective. It transcends the point of view of the person who possesses it, and makes legitimate claims about an independent world. Nevertheless, it is impossible to know the world “as it is in itself,” independent of all perspective. Such an absolute conception of the object of knowledge is senseless, Kant argues, since it can be given only by employing concepts from which every element of meaning has been refined away. While I can know the world independently of my point of view on it, what I know (the world of “appearance”) bears the indelible marks of that point of view. Objects do not depend for their existence upon my perceiving them; but their nature is determined by the fact that they can be perceived. Objects are not Leibnizian monads, knowable only to the perspectiveless stance of “pure reason”; nor are they Humean “impressions,” features of my own experience. They are objective, but their character is given by the point of view through which they can be known. This is the point of view of “possible experience.” Kant tries to show that, properly understood, the idea of “experience” already carries the objective reference that Hume denied. Experience contains within itself the features of space, time, and causality. Hence, in describing my experience I am referring to an ordered perspective on an independent world.

Also:
Quote
The physical science of Kant’s day seemed to assume a priori the existence of universal causation, and of reciprocal interaction. It assumed that it must explain, not the existence of matter, but the changes undergone by it. It assumed the need for a law of conservation, according to which, in all changes, some fundamental quantity remains unaltered. It is just such assumptions, Kant thought, that had guided Newton in the formulation of his laws of motion. Kant therefore attempts, in deriving his principles, to establish the “validity of universal laws of nature as laws of the understanding” (F. 74), arguing further that all the fundamental laws of the new astronomy can be seen, on reflection, to rest on principles that are valid a priori (F. 83).
The attempt to uphold the Newtonian mechanics is mixed with an attack on Hume’s skepticism about causality. Kant tries to show that causal relations are necessary, both in the sense that it is necessary that objects enter into them (there is no event without a cause), and also in the sense that they are themselves a species of necessary connection.

But I think I misunderstood what your example was after.  If we can't place "difference over time" then certainly we can't say if something was deterministic or random, it just is as it is at a given time.  But I might again be misunderstanding what you are saying.

Hmmmm....I think we are sorta getting toward the same picture. Kant seems to take faith in the regularity/reproducibility which leaves the Unique Event - which we will from here call Excession in honor of Iain M. Banks - outside of a proper causal picture.

It must enter into some causal relationships, which is how we can sense it and mark its existence at all, but the classification of this causal relation cannot be put into a determinate function nor assigned a random variable.

And going back to our discussion of "Hyperchaos" one might even say anything that can be modeled by a random variable is, in fact, a blending of Order & Chaos, and thus a blending of the concepts "determinisim" & "randomness". And none of that gives us understanding of the relata, b/c external modeling tells us nothing about cause just as modeling possible reappearances of the Excession mathematically won't tell us *why* it appears.

Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on February 27, 2019, 06:14:03 pm
Hmmmm....I think we are sorta getting toward the same picture. Kant seems to take faith in the regularity/reproducibility which leaves the Unique Event - which we will from here call Excession in honor of Iain M. Banks - outside of a proper causal picture.

It must enter into some causal relationships, which is how we can sense it and mark its existence at all, but the classification of this causal relation cannot be put into a determinate function nor assigned a random variable.

And going back to our discussion of "Hyperchaos" one might even say anything that can be modeled by a random variable is, in fact, a blending of Order & Chaos, and thus a blending of the concepts "determinisim" & "randomness". And none of that gives us understanding of the relata, b/c external modeling tells us nothing about cause just as modeling possible reappearances of the Excession mathematically won't tell us *why* it appears.

Hmm, in trying to understand this, I actually sort of maybe understand why, in Bakker-verse, the No-God cannot be apprehended.  It's facile to see why temporal beings, like Kellhus, don't have the temporal framework to do so.  But why Ajokli doesn't is a bit more of a mystery.  But the answer is the same, he perceives based off his own temporal-spatial paradigm, which seems to encompass "all of time" but doesn't.  In the "same way" that our temporal-spatial paradigm generally fails to account for all of 4D non-Euclidean space-time.

But on what you are actually saying, is that determinate or random designation are essentially not objective designations, but rather our perceptual-cognitive method for fitting phenomena into our spatial-temporal paradigm?

I fear that my shit-level ability in abstraction is holding us back here though.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on February 27, 2019, 07:41:51 pm
Hmmmm....I think we are sorta getting toward the same picture. Kant seems to take faith in the regularity/reproducibility which leaves the Unique Event - which we will from here call Excession in honor of Iain M. Banks - outside of a proper causal picture.

It must enter into some causal relationships, which is how we can sense it and mark its existence at all, but the classification of this causal relation cannot be put into a determinate function nor assigned a random variable.

And going back to our discussion of "Hyperchaos" one might even say anything that can be modeled by a random variable is, in fact, a blending of Order & Chaos, and thus a blending of the concepts "determinisim" & "randomness". And none of that gives us understanding of the relata, b/c external modeling tells us nothing about cause just as modeling possible reappearances of the Excession mathematically won't tell us *why* it appears.

Hmm, in trying to understand this, I actually sort of maybe understand why, in Bakker-verse, the No-God cannot be apprehended.  It's facile to see why temporal beings, like Kellhus, don't have the temporal framework to do so.  But why Ajokli doesn't is a bit more of a mystery.  But the answer is the same, he perceives based off his own temporal-spatial paradigm, which seems to encompass "all of time" but doesn't.  In the "same way" that our temporal-spatial paradigm generally fails to account for all of 4D non-Euclidean space-time.

But on what you are actually saying, is that determinate or random designation are essentially not objective designations, but rather our perceptual-cognitive method for fitting phenomena into our spatial-temporal paradigm?

I fear that my shit-level ability in abstraction is holding us back here though.

Nah you got it. That is what I'm saying, we are mistakenly reifying our probability assessments onto the event sequences happening in the Actual.

And so when someone asks "What is neither deterministic nor random?" it's asking "What is an event that I can never assign any probability to?"...which is an impossible question, b/c you can always assign some probability even if it's - as in the case of an Excession - nothing more than an attempt to translate your qualia of confidence into mathematical terms.

Perhaps more importantly, assignment of probability says nothing about the actual causal powers at play where we have to explain both what happened but also why something else didn't happen...a very tall order...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on February 27, 2019, 09:03:02 pm
Nah you got it. That is what I'm saying, we are mistakenly reifying our probability assessments onto the event sequences happening in the Actual.

And so when someone asks "What is neither deterministic nor random?" it's asking "What is an event that I can never assign any probability to?"...which is an impossible question, b/c you can always assign some probability even if it's - as in the case of an Excession - nothing more than an attempt to translate your qualia of confidence into mathematical terms.

Perhaps more importantly, assignment of probability says nothing about the actual causal powers at play where we have to explain both what happened but also why something else didn't happen...a very tall order...

Hmm, well, I have a great deal of "trouble" with the idea that anything is actually random, that is, completely absent any causal relation at all.  That seems, in my mind, to denote the problem of "something from nothing."

If I am following your line of thinking though, is this the same sort of question as to asking about Mathmatical Realism.  If I remember correctly, isn't there a way to think about the fact that math is never wrong, because math is the thing with which we are conceptualizing the phenomena.  So, sort of like, if all we had as sense organs were eyes, eyes could never be wrong, because eyes are all we would have to verify what eyes would see.

I'm not sure that I buy that, but I think one could make the case.  So, determinate and probabilistic might be the same sort of things.  Categories that we place on things as tool to make "sense" of them, but not fundamental properties of things themselves.

If that makes sense in this context.  This topic quickly seems to slip from my conceptual grasp every time I try to hold it, do I'm never sure where I am, where I am going or where I came from...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on February 28, 2019, 02:45:30 am
Nah you got it. That is what I'm saying, we are mistakenly reifying our probability assessments onto the event sequences happening in the Actual.

And so when someone asks "What is neither deterministic nor random?" it's asking "What is an event that I can never assign any probability to?"...which is an impossible question, b/c you can always assign some probability even if it's - as in the case of an Excession - nothing more than an attempt to translate your qualia of confidence into mathematical terms.

Perhaps more importantly, assignment of probability says nothing about the actual causal powers at play where we have to explain both what happened but also why something else didn't happen...a very tall order...

Hmm, well, I have a great deal of "trouble" with the idea that anything is actually random, that is, completely absent any causal relation at all.  That seems, in my mind, to denote the problem of "something from nothing."

If I am following your line of thinking though, is this the same sort of question as to asking about Mathmatical Realism.  If I remember correctly, isn't there a way to think about the fact that math is never wrong, because math is the thing with which we are conceptualizing the phenomena.  So, sort of like, if all we had as sense organs were eyes, eyes could never be wrong, because eyes are all we would have to verify what eyes would see.

I'm not sure that I buy that, but I think one could make the case.  So, determinate and probabilistic might be the same sort of things.  Categories that we place on things as tool to make "sense" of them, but not fundamental properties of things themselves.

If that makes sense in this context.  This topic quickly seems to slip from my conceptual grasp every time I try to hold it, do I'm never sure where I am, where I am going or where I came from...

Yeah I think the idea things happen for no reason is quite strange...but then the reason has to include why something else doesn't happen...

I do like your point regarding Mathematical Realism, though I do think Math is real in some "Platonic" sense the mistake as you say is to try and claim applied math is describing the Actual rather than talking within a (very useful) language.

I think we're on the same page here, admittedly a precarious one given we are both treading into waters than are at the edge of contested philosophy.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 20, 2019, 07:37:16 pm
Let's say I throw a ball in an arc in my backyard. The arc of the ball is classic and thus held to be theoretically predictable.

But there's an electron helping to constitute whose positional cloud is held to be inherently unpredictable and thus the possible positions are probabilistic.

So I am translating the probability space of the electron by my tossing of the ball. Isn't this thus neither fully deterministic nor indeterministic? Heck, since we can assign a Random Variable to the position of the electron isn't that itself not truly random in the sense of Hyperchaos?
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on March 20, 2019, 07:44:22 pm
Let's say I throw a ball in an arc in my backyard. The arc of the ball is classic and thus held to be theoretically predictable.

But there's an electron helping to constitute whose positional cloud is held to be inherently unpredictable and thus the possible positions are probabilistic.

So I am translating the probability space of the electron by my tossing of the ball. Isn't this thus neither fully deterministic nor indeterministic? Heck, since we can assign a Random Variable to the position of the electron isn't that itself not truly random in the sense of Hyperchaos?

I'm afraid you have lost me here.

So, in the first case, you throw the ball with a certain force, at a certain angle, and there are certain forces upon it, which renders it's path relatively certain.

I'm not sure where you are going from here though.  By tossing the ball, you toss all of it's electrons too.  They, I think, only have a certain range of distance from the constitute nuclei, so each electron is still probabilistic in it's location along the path of that ball.  I don't see how being in a moving object or a stationary one changes things here.

Although, again, I think I am missing your point entirely.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 20, 2019, 08:37:44 pm
Let's say I throw a ball in an arc in my backyard. The arc of the ball is classic and thus held to be theoretically predictable.

But there's an electron helping to constitute whose positional cloud is held to be inherently unpredictable and thus the possible positions are probabilistic.

So I am translating the probability space of the electron by my tossing of the ball. Isn't this thus neither fully deterministic nor indeterministic? Heck, since we can assign a Random Variable to the position of the electron isn't that itself not truly random in the sense of Hyperchaos?

I'm afraid you have lost me here.

So, in the first case, you throw the ball with a certain force, at a certain angle, and there are certain forces upon it, which renders it's path relatively certain.

I'm not sure where you are going from here though.  By tossing the ball, you toss all of it's electrons too.  They, I think, only have a certain range of distance from the constitute nuclei, so each electron is still probabilistic in it's location along the path of that ball.  I don't see how being in a moving object or a stationary one changes things here.

Although, again, I think I am missing your point entirely.

My only point with the ball is that I can causally effect the "random" electron by translating the stochastic/indeterminate cloud that represents its possible positions and I can do so in a "deterministic" manner. Just pushing my point that the terms "randomness" and "determinism" represent our expectation rather than genuine knowledge of causation.

The other point was that if something was truly random it would be impossible to assign it a stochastic variable where positions are given probabilities of occurrence. True randomness is Hyperchaos, where anything could happen.

Not trying to say anything too deep, I think you got it but maybe you felt I was making a better point than I really was. *cry*
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on March 20, 2019, 09:07:50 pm
My only point with the ball is that I can causally effect the "random" electron by translating the stochastic/indeterminate cloud that represents its possible positions and I can do so in a "deterministic" manner. Just pushing my point that the terms "randomness" and "determinism" represent our expectation rather than genuine knowledge of causation.

The other point was that if something was truly random it would be impossible to assign it a stochastic variable where positions are given probabilities of occurrence. True randomness is Hyperchaos, where anything could happen.

Not trying to say anything too deep, I think you got it but maybe you felt I was making a better point than I really was. *cry*

Well, that's the thing, though, the electron's position is not random, it's just in a position that is not known precisely, right?

I mean, certainly the election is in motion.  That motion is because of something.  That something is not nothing.  Then it stands to reason that the electron is in a single position at any moment in time, not indeterminately in many places at once.  We only evaluate it as such, because it is how we can conceptualize it.  I mean, maybe I am misunderstanding a great deal of things here, but the reason the results are probabilistic is because the forces/energy level of the particle means it will be withing a given range.  Just where exactly is hard to say, because we can't know it's position and velocity at a given moment.

But like you say, if it were truely random, a la Hyperchoas, atoms would have electrons here, there, in this valence level, in that, and even in one's on the other side of the universe.  And then also, right back where they were.  I don't think that really happens.

As always, note that I am specifically not a quantum physicist.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 20, 2019, 09:40:50 pm
My only point with the ball is that I can causally effect the "random" electron by translating the stochastic/indeterminate cloud that represents its possible positions and I can do so in a "deterministic" manner. Just pushing my point that the terms "randomness" and "determinism" represent our expectation rather than genuine knowledge of causation.

The other point was that if something was truly random it would be impossible to assign it a stochastic variable where positions are given probabilities of occurrence. True randomness is Hyperchaos, where anything could happen.

Not trying to say anything too deep, I think you got it but maybe you felt I was making a better point than I really was. *cry*

Well, that's the thing, though, the electron's position is not random, it's just in a position that is not known precisely, right?

I mean, certainly the election is in motion.  That motion is because of something.  That something is not nothing.  Then it stands to reason that the electron is in a single position at any moment in time, not indeterminately in many places at once.  We only evaluate it as such, because it is how we can conceptualize it.  I mean, maybe I am misunderstanding a great deal of things here, but the reason the results are probabilistic is because the forces/energy level of the particle means it will be withing a given range.  Just where exactly is hard to say, because we can't know it's position and velocity at a given moment.

But like you say, if it were truely random, a la Hyperchoas, atoms would have electrons here, there, in this valence level, in that, and even in one's on the other side of the universe.  And then also, right back where they were.  I don't think that really happens.

As always, note that I am specifically not a quantum physicist.

But what is force/energy? It seems to me that ultimately what is happening is the observation of change and then a lot of circular concepts that are explaining measurement of change but can only be observed through that very measurement.

We call the electron's position indeterminate because it doesn't move predictably to our expectation within the mathematical/experimental apparatus of physics. So "random" here doesn't mean Hyperchaos, just the limit of our predictability.

Yet there is no ultimate reason why the "deterministic" process of the ball happens - it is just as random in the sense of being arbitrary because the "Laws of Nature" are just arbitrary brute facts. Our claim of "laws" is also just a probability expectation, just that here we are confident of assigning 100% of a particular outcome.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on March 20, 2019, 10:00:12 pm
But what is force/energy? It seems to me that ultimately was is happening is the observation of change and then a lot of circular concepts that are explaining measurement of change but can only be observed through that very measurement.

We call the electron's position indeterminate because it doesn't move predictably to our expectation within the mathematical/experimental apparatus of physics. So "random" here doesn't mean Hyperchaos, just the limit of our predictability.

Yet there is no ultimate reason why the "deterministic" process of the ball happens - it is just as random in the sense of being arbitrary because the "Laws of Nature" are just arbitrary brute facts. Our claim of "laws" is also just a probability expectation, just that here we are confident of assigning 100% of a particular outcome.

Right, I mean, I follow that there is no real way for us to know that causality does not break down in the next moment.  Or that there is a rational way to prove necessity, a priori.  However, when one does throw a ball, it still, as far as we know it does what we think it would do, if we know the "forces" acting upon it.  The moment it doesn't is the moment we then know that contingency has well broken down.

I think we call the electron's position indeterminate because we simply cannot measure both it's velocity and it's position at a given instance, a la Heisenberg.  This doesn't mean that an exact position and velocity does not exist.  Rather, it means that we simply cannot measure it.  Certainly, it would seem farsical to suggest that when we do not know it's position it does not have one, or that when we do not know it's velocity it does not have one.  In the same way that if I do not know the current contents of Paris does it mean that there are no contents to the city of Paris.

We assign probabilities, because these are methods by which to approximate where it seems the particle might be.  In a low energy state, it will be more likely in certain positions and in a higher one, different positions.  This is essentially just motion.  Speed, that is, motion over time.  In a way, temperature.  Something cannot (it seems) not be moving at all.  If it did, it would be absolute zero, which would mean it would have something like infinite momentum.

What is a force and what is energy?  Man, I am not a physicist.  I'd highly recommend this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUn2izowBkw) it might help.

I think I run into trouble with calling the "laws of nature" arbitrary.  Because, then, in that sense, so is everything else.  Then, nothing is really arbitrary, because things seem to be flowing right from them.  So, start with the "Laws" and throw a ball and we get the outcome the "Laws" seem to proscribe.  Again, I know that these laws are not necessary in the provable sense, but they exist, in the sense that they do seem to exist now, until they don't, then they won't.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 21, 2019, 01:09:07 am
Right, I mean, I follow that there is no real way for us to know that causality does not break down in the next moment.  Or that there is a rational way to prove necessity, a priori.  However, when one does throw a ball, it still, as far as we know it does what we think it would do, if we know the "forces" acting upon it.  The moment it doesn't is the moment we then know that contingency has well broken down.

I think we call the electron's position indeterminate because we simply cannot measure both it's velocity and it's position at a given instance, a la Heisenberg.  This doesn't mean that an exact position and velocity does not exist.  Rather, it means that we simply cannot measure it.  Certainly, it would seem farsical to suggest that when we do not know it's position it does not have one, or that when we do not know it's velocity it does not have one.  In the same way that if I do not know the current contents of Paris does it mean that there are no contents to the city of Paris.

We assign probabilities, because these are methods by which to approximate where it seems the particle might be.  In a low energy state, it will be more likely in certain positions and in a higher one, different positions.  This is essentially just motion.  Speed, that is, motion over time.  In a way, temperature.  Something cannot (it seems) not be moving at all.  If it did, it would be absolute zero, which would mean it would have something like infinite momentum.

What is a force and what is energy?  Man, I am not a physicist.  I'd highly recommend this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUn2izowBkw) it might help.

I think I run into trouble with calling the "laws of nature" arbitrary.  Because, then, in that sense, so is everything else.  Then, nothing is really arbitrary, because things seem to be flowing right from them.  So, start with the "Laws" and throw a ball and we get the outcome the "Laws" seem to proscribe.  Again, I know that these laws are not necessary in the provable sense, but they exist, in the sense that they do seem to exist now, until they don't, then they won't.

Oh I am not trying to retell Hume's argument, I do think there is something more than arbitrary Luck holding the universe together.

Re: Electron Position Clouds, to clarify not saying the electron's indeterminism, nor other indeterminate examples like radioactive decay, are necessarily without some unknown variables. My point is that the very way we usually think of determinism is an expression of our confidence in randomness of a special kind.

The issue with the Laws goes beyond assumption of their existence I think? If they exist are they dualistically interacting with matter? If "laws" are descriptive, and just talking about patterns we find, then they aren't binding. The question you ask - if not Laws then what? - is a good question and I admit I am not 100% sure of the answer. I do suspect we need to think of the causal power and restriction of possibilities as within the entities under observation rather than "out there" in the laws.

I think, at the least, Aristotle's ideas of Four Causes + Act & Potency deserve a revisit.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on March 21, 2019, 12:16:03 pm
Oh I am not trying to retell Hume's argument, I do think there is something more than arbitrary Luck holding the universe together.

Re: Electron Position Clouds, to clarify not saying the electron's indeterminism, nor other indeterminate examples like radioactive decay, are necessarily without some unknown variables. My point is that the very way we usually think of determinism is an expression of our confidence in randomness of a special kind.

The issue with the Laws goes beyond assumption of their existence I think? If they exist are they dualistically interacting with matter? If "laws" are descriptive, and just talking about patterns we find, then they aren't binding. The question you ask - if not Laws then what? - is a good question and I admit I am not 100% sure of the answer. I do suspect we need to think of the causal power and restriction of possibilities as within the entities under observation rather than "out there" in the laws.

I think, at the least, Aristotle's ideas of Four Causes + Act & Potency deserve a revisit.

Indeed, I think you'd have a hard time convincing me that we don't have a priori senses of time and space which lead us to particular notions about what seems determinate or not.  As something of a Kantian thinker most of the time, I do think such concepts mediate essentially all of our knowledge.  Watching videos about space-time really drives this home to me, how our intuition about what time, gravity and space are is laughably incorrect, even if it gets things right enough so we can live.

Well, it could be that basic "Laws of Nature" are something like the byproduct of an underlying substructure (or superstructure) of the universe.  So, something like the Higgs Field, or other effect, might inform the rest of reality on how to behave.

In the end though, in the same way that Relativity redefined Newtonian physics, partly by way of a difference in considering the frame of reference.  So the same might be the case for many things.  Our frame of reference might well be having us consider things that are not really universal laws.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 21, 2019, 03:58:53 pm
Oh I am not trying to retell Hume's argument, I do think there is something more than arbitrary Luck holding the universe together.

Re: Electron Position Clouds, to clarify not saying the electron's indeterminism, nor other indeterminate examples like radioactive decay, are necessarily without some unknown variables. My point is that the very way we usually think of determinism is an expression of our confidence in randomness of a special kind.

The issue with the Laws goes beyond assumption of their existence I think? If they exist are they dualistically interacting with matter? If "laws" are descriptive, and just talking about patterns we find, then they aren't binding. The question you ask - if not Laws then what? - is a good question and I admit I am not 100% sure of the answer. I do suspect we need to think of the causal power and restriction of possibilities as within the entities under observation rather than "out there" in the laws.

I think, at the least, Aristotle's ideas of Four Causes + Act & Potency deserve a revisit.

Indeed, I think you'd have a hard time convincing me that we don't have a priori senses of time and space which lead us to particular notions about what seems determinate or not.  As something of a Kantian thinker most of the time, I do think such concepts mediate essentially all of our knowledge.  Watching videos about space-time really drives this home to me, how our intuition about what time, gravity and space are is laughably incorrect, even if it gets things right enough so we can live.

Well, it could be that basic "Laws of Nature" are something like the byproduct of an underlying substructure (or superstructure) of the universe.  So, something like the Higgs Field, or other effect, might inform the rest of reality on how to behave.

In the end though, in the same way that Relativity redefined Newtonian physics, partly by way of a difference in considering the frame of reference.  So the same might be the case for many things.  Our frame of reference might well be having us consider things that are not really universal laws.

Yet for any structure/field/etc, would we not have to wonder why it has particular outcomes and/or tends the universe toward particular outcomes?

If we say it is the ultimate brute fact of reality, we are then speaking once more of indeterminism of a special kind.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on March 21, 2019, 04:14:19 pm
Yet for any structure/field/etc, would we not have to wonder why it has particular outcomes and/or tends the universe toward particular outcomes?

If we say it is the ultimate brute fact of reality, we are then speaking once more of indeterminism of a special kind.

Well, I think that is exactly what we are doing.  It might be the case that there is a never-end series of "but why?" questions to be asked.  So, why do particles have mass?  Higgs effect.  But why?  Higgs boson.  But why?  Higgs field.  But why?  Well, we don't know yet.

I'm looking at a bunch of Hegel now, myself, so I can't help but see this as a sort of dialectic.  The end of which would be total knowledge, a sort of Absolute.  Now, practically speaking, such an Absolute might just not be possible, in the sense of knowing it.  But that doesn't make it not exist, in theory.  There just simply isn't enough particles and energy in the universe to represent the complexity of the universe as it is.  Because that would be the universe, again.

So, perhaps things are all determinate.  But we can't prove them so empirically, because we can't know everything well enough to know everything.  So, throwing a ball is determinate enough to play baseball, usually.  But our minds, for example, are so complex that even the slightest unknown blossoms into full on lack of any knowledge of the outcome.

In the future though, perhaps that won't be the case, that we will know so much about the mind that we will know essentially what anyone will do almost all the time.  Then, we'll have a sort of "Newtonian revolution" to the idea of what indeterminacy even would be, in the same way that Newton redefined what it took to consider something "true."

Truth, determinate, these are things we are imposing a certain criterion of "proof" on.  What that criterion is, might well change in the future.  In fact, it seems almost assured it will, given history.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 21, 2019, 04:50:52 pm
In the future though, perhaps that won't be the case, that we will know so much about the mind that we will know essentially what anyone will do almost all the time.  Then, we'll have a sort of "Newtonian revolution" to the idea of what indeterminacy even would be, in the same way that Newton redefined what it took to consider something "true."

Truth, determinate, these are things we are imposing a certain criterion of "proof" on.  What that criterion is, might well change in the future.  In fact, it seems almost assured it will, given history.

Well we could, in theory, have knowledge enough to make predictions with 100% confidence of all outcomes. But this would only be determinate in the sense of probabilistic expectation.

The actual "Why?" of causation would still be a mystery. We seem to agree on that?

So it would be determinate Luck, randomness of a special kind, given that we will be unable to explain at some fundamental level of observed change why something else doesn't happen.

Ultimately I think the problem is there is a space between Cause and Effect. Going back to Aristotle change is the actualization of something potential, which can only be done by something that is actual. Possible fire cannot change ice into water, nor water into steam.

Yet once we acknowledge issues with the idea of binding Natural Laws, why can't the freezing/boiling points of water be different in different places? After all even with Laws there has to be something about water that knows of and accepts the Law, yet that something would need other Laws to keep it from "revolting".

Aristotle would then say the fire is the Efficient Cause, and the determination of what happens to the water is the Final Cause.

I guess the nagging issue for me is the idea of a brute fact, just so Order to the world that is really just us being Lucky the natural state of Hyperchaos has let things be ordered. What fixes the Final Causes?

Do we then reach toward the Absolute for answers...I do feel more theist than atheist nowadays...

Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on March 21, 2019, 08:33:52 pm
Well we could, in theory, have knowledge enough to make predictions with 100% confidence of all outcomes. But this would only be determinate in the sense of probabilistic expectation.

The actual "Why?" of causation would still be a mystery. We seem to agree on that?

So it would be determinate Luck, randomness of a special kind, given that we will be unable to explain at some fundamental level of observed change why something else doesn't happen.

Ultimately I think the problem is there is a space between Cause and Effect. Going back to Aristotle change is the actualization of something potential, which can only be done by something that is actual. Possible fire cannot change ice into water, nor water into steam.

Yet once we acknowledge issues with the idea of binding Natural Laws, why can't the freezing/boiling points of water be different in different places? After all even with Laws there has to be something about water that knows of and accepts the Law, yet that something would need other Laws to keep it from "revolting".

Aristotle would then say the fire is the Efficient Cause, and the determination of what happens to the water is the Final Cause.

I guess the nagging issue for me is the idea of a brute fact, just so Order to the world that is really just us being Lucky the natural state of Hyperchaos has let things be ordered. What fixes the Final Causes?

Do we then reach toward the Absolute for answers...I do feel more theist than atheist nowadays...

Hmm, well, in the case where we are Laplace's demon and know everything, I'm not sure what intercedes to give us indeterminacy.  All I can think of it the failure of necessity.  Which isn't really a given.  In fact, I don't think I'd even consider it if I were the demon, given that it is possible but in not something which could be considered as probable.

If we consider that the universe is somewhat homogeneous, then laws should apply everywhere the same.  Now, we don't necessarily know that, but we have also, no reason to doubt it.  So, we don't seem to have hyperchaos because if we did, we wouldn't exist to even know it.  So, sure it's "lucky" that it doesn't apply, but that isn't really luck, there wasn't another option, likely for some reason given in the beginning (whatever that is or was).
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 21, 2019, 09:01:47 pm
Well we could, in theory, have knowledge enough to make predictions with 100% confidence of all outcomes. But this would only be determinate in the sense of probabilistic expectation.

The actual "Why?" of causation would still be a mystery. We seem to agree on that?

So it would be determinate Luck, randomness of a special kind, given that we will be unable to explain at some fundamental level of observed change why something else doesn't happen.

Ultimately I think the problem is there is a space between Cause and Effect. Going back to Aristotle change is the actualization of something potential, which can only be done by something that is actual. Possible fire cannot change ice into water, nor water into steam.

Yet once we acknowledge issues with the idea of binding Natural Laws, why can't the freezing/boiling points of water be different in different places? After all even with Laws there has to be something about water that knows of and accepts the Law, yet that something would need other Laws to keep it from "revolting".

Aristotle would then say the fire is the Efficient Cause, and the determination of what happens to the water is the Final Cause.

I guess the nagging issue for me is the idea of a brute fact, just so Order to the world that is really just us being Lucky the natural state of Hyperchaos has let things be ordered. What fixes the Final Causes?

Do we then reach toward the Absolute for answers...I do feel more theist than atheist nowadays...

Hmm, well, in the case where we are Laplace's demon and know everything, I'm not sure what intercedes to give us indeterminacy.  All I can think of it the failure of necessity.  Which isn't really a given.  In fact, I don't think I'd even consider it if I were the demon, given that it is possible but in not something which could be considered as probable.

If we consider that the universe is somewhat homogeneous, then laws should apply everywhere the same.  Now, we don't necessarily know that, but we have also, no reason to doubt it.  So, we don't seem to have hyperchaos because if we did, we wouldn't exist to even know it.  So, sure it's "lucky" that it doesn't apply, but that isn't really luck, there wasn't another option, likely for some reason given in the beginning (whatever that is or was).

But this begins to eat away at the very idea of causation, since - as noted by Tallis in Of Time & Lamentation - when you remove interest relative causes all you have is a single cause - the Big Bang. Then the rest of causation is just like an arrow flying from a bow.

OTOH, this picture makes it difficult to account for how we discern cause-effect relations to build machines and do science in general.

And how can one even measure the probability of necessity failing? Certainly not mathematically.

All to say Lapace's demon is an entity we can conjure only when we've already observed cause-effect relations. I suspect there's some bit of question begging in the demon's make up...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on March 22, 2019, 11:39:57 am
But this begins to eat away at the very idea of causation, since - as noted by Tallis in Of Time & Lamentation - when you remove interest relative causes all you have is a single cause - the Big Bang. Then the rest of causation is just like an arrow flying from a bow.

OTOH, this picture makes it difficult to account for how we discern cause-effect relations to build machines and do science in general.

And how can one even measure the probability of necessity failing? Certainly not mathematically.

All to say Lapace's demon is an entity we can conjure only when we've already observed cause-effect relations. I suspect there's some bit of question begging in the demon's make up...

Well, indeed, there is something a "problem" of perspective, given such knowledge even undermines the notion of temporallity at all.  As always, the right level of perspective is needed for the right job.  So, the view from the Big Bang is likely not helpful in building a computer, if we consider that there would be a "cost" to such a vast amount of knowledge.

I do think one could not evaluate the probability of necessity failing, which is why I say, there is no real "sense" in considering it's "chance" of happening.  If we can't evaluate what would make it happen, we can't evaluate it's likelyhood of happening.  This is why I say, it doesn't really make sense to even factor it in to a calculation, it simply must be the case that anything we figure must consider it a fact as a precondition.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 22, 2019, 03:04:32 pm
But this begins to eat away at the very idea of causation, since - as noted by Tallis in Of Time & Lamentation - when you remove interest relative causes all you have is a single cause - the Big Bang. Then the rest of causation is just like an arrow flying from a bow.

OTOH, this picture makes it difficult to account for how we discern cause-effect relations to build machines and do science in general.

And how can one even measure the probability of necessity failing? Certainly not mathematically.

All to say Lapace's demon is an entity we can conjure only when we've already observed cause-effect relations. I suspect there's some bit of question begging in the demon's make up...

Well, indeed, there is something a "problem" of perspective, given such knowledge even undermines the notion of temporallity at all.  As always, the right level of perspective is needed for the right job.  So, the view from the Big Bang is likely not helpful in building a computer, if we consider that there would be a "cost" to such a vast amount of knowledge.

I do think one could not evaluate the probability of necessity failing, which is why I say, there is no real "sense" in considering it's "chance" of happening.  If we can't evaluate what would make it happen, we can't evaluate it's likelyhood of happening.  This is why I say, it doesn't really make sense to even factor it in to a calculation, it simply must be the case that anything we figure must consider it a fact as a precondition.

I agree, though back to the OP this does undermine the idea that deterministic/random dichotomy exists in nature. Our calculations, as you say, are based on our expectations that are underpinned by a priori considerations.

Though there is a bigger challenge with consciousness and its ability to seek interest-relative cause/effect relations. How do you get that kind of consciousness *without* the very interest-relative seeking consciousness provides...As Putnam once said to explain Intentionality arising you need Intentionality...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on March 22, 2019, 03:17:56 pm
I agree, though back to the OP this does undermine the idea that deterministic/random dichotomy exists in nature. Our calculations, as you say, are based on our expectations that are underpinned by a priori considerations.

Though there is a bigger challenge with consciousness and its ability to seek interest-relative cause/effect relations. How do you get that kind of consciousness *without* the very interest-relative seeking consciousness provides...As Putnam once said to explain Intentionality arising you need Intentionality...

Hmm, so maybe it all just is an issue of "frame of reference" in the same way that Relativity "redefined" Netwonian physics?

On Intentionality though, well, I am a bit in the dark, because I'm not exactly clear what that is off the top of my head.
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 22, 2019, 03:22:53 pm
I agree, though back to the OP this does undermine the idea that deterministic/random dichotomy exists in nature. Our calculations, as you say, are based on our expectations that are underpinned by a priori considerations.

Though there is a bigger challenge with consciousness and its ability to seek interest-relative cause/effect relations. How do you get that kind of consciousness *without* the very interest-relative seeking consciousness provides...As Putnam once said to explain Intentionality arising you need Intentionality...

Hmm, so maybe it all just is an issue of "frame of reference" in the same way that Relativity "redefined" Netwonian physics?

On Intentionality though, well, I am a bit in the dark, because I'm not exactly clear what that is off the top of my head.

I think the universe has events, and while the mathematical modeling is useful the actual events are better described via Aristotle's ideas of causation and entities having particular natures & causal powers.

Re: Intentionality, I think of it just as having Aboutness of Thought, as in Thoughts about the World. Given most of our cause-effect descriptions pre-suppose consciousness due to their interest-relativity it suggests there is something...interesting...going on there...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on March 22, 2019, 03:47:32 pm
I think the universe has events, and while the mathematical modeling is useful the actual events are better described via Aristotle's ideas of causation and entities having particular natures & causal powers.

Re: Intentionality, I think of it just as having Aboutness of Thought, as in Thoughts about the World. Given most of our cause-effect descriptions pre-suppose consciousness due to their interest-relativity it suggests there is something...interesting...going on there...

Yeah, I'd be willing to buy something like a "limit to math."

I'm just unclear if it could be that Intentiality could rise of things unIntentional.  Kind of how the "infinite" nature of language seems it could arise from, well, no language at all...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 22, 2019, 03:54:05 pm
I think the universe has events, and while the mathematical modeling is useful the actual events are better described via Aristotle's ideas of causation and entities having particular natures & causal powers.

Re: Intentionality, I think of it just as having Aboutness of Thought, as in Thoughts about the World. Given most of our cause-effect descriptions pre-suppose consciousness due to their interest-relativity it suggests there is something...interesting...going on there...

Yeah, I'd be willing to buy something like a "limit to math."

I'm just unclear if it could be that Intentiality could rise of things unIntentional.  Kind of how the "infinite" nature of language seems it could arise from, well, no language at all...

Yeah I think the issue of semantic determinacy is related to the challenge of providing causal accounts of Intentionality. And of course how is it that any clump of matter in the brain can, somehow, be about some other clumps of matter in the world.

But Causation is wonky enough without trying to suss out mental causation...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: H on March 22, 2019, 04:18:16 pm
Yeah I think the issue of semantic determinacy is related to the challenge of providing causal accounts of Intentionality. And of course how is it that any clump of matter in the brain can, somehow, be about some other clumps of matter in the world.

But Causation is wonky enough without trying to suss out mental causation...

And that is sort of a problem, because math and language are sort of the tools we are using to investigate.  So, if everything we find is a mathematical/linguistic answer, that makes sense, because we are looking at everything through a sort of math/language lens.

I mean, maybe, I don't know...
Title: Re: Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?
Post by: sciborg2 on March 22, 2019, 06:42:01 pm
Yeah I think the issue of semantic determinacy is related to the challenge of providing causal accounts of Intentionality. And of course how is it that any clump of matter in the brain can, somehow, be about some other clumps of matter in the world.

But Causation is wonky enough without trying to suss out mental causation...

And that is sort of a problem, because math and language are sort of the tools we are using to investigate.  So, if everything we find is a mathematical/linguistic answer, that makes sense, because we are looking at everything through a sort of math/language lens.

I mean, maybe, I don't know...

I'd say Rationality / Intentionality / Subjectivity underpin our scientific investigation.

And science itself could be defined as the discovery of patterns through observation of change.

Can this yield knowledge of things-in-themselves, rather than relational structures? Seems unlikely since much of this investigation assumes both dynamism and stability so I don't see an answer to "Why don't the Laws of Nature change?".

To go back to the OP, math is useful modeling but its lingual limits - namely describing events through probability - is not an actual restrictive dichotomy [of randomness / determinism ] on Nature.