Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?

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TLEILAXU

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« Reply #15 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!

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« Reply #16 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).
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« Reply #17 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?
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sciborg2

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« Reply #18 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.
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« Reply #19 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.

sciborg2

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« Reply #20 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...
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 08:50:49 pm by sciborg2 »
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« Reply #21 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?
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« Reply #22 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.
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« Reply #23 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...
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« Reply #24 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!
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« Reply #25 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 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.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #26 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 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.)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 08:31:38 pm by sciborg2 »
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« Reply #27 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.
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« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2018, 04:25:28 pm »
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasűrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #29 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

Thanks - will give it a read, just been a bit busy!
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