Some Philosophical Arguments

Discussion in 'Other Stuff' started by Phil Argument, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Phil Argument

    Phil Argument New

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    A few days ago I published two short philosophical arguments against physicalism, here they are:




    If you like them and think they are worth spreading (for example in discussion forums), please do.

    The main point here is that physicalism cannot explain our daily actions. First, almost every one of our actions seems to be purposeful in one way or another, and these purposes are needed in the full explanation of our actions. Also, these purposes cannot be explained by means of prior physical causes. Second, we need to be able to steer our body towards our purposeful destinations. Physicalism cannot explain how that happens; in physicalism each and every one of our body movements is just a lucky chance, comparable to dyskinesia and tics. From the point of view of the laws of motion, there's no difference between voluntary and involuntary movements; if physicalism is true, they both are completely uncontrollabe. In the real world, however, we need and have our consciousness to guide and control our actions -- the laws of motion cannot do that.
     
  2. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    Welcome to the forum :)

    Playing devil's advocate here: In (2) you state "If physicalism is true, then all movements of matter are purposeless by nature." This is only true if purposeless movements of matter cannot produce purposeful movements of matter. Random or chaotic systems can self-organize without the aid of a conscious purpose (such as hurricanes, galaxies, crystal lattices, and supposedly... amino acids). Some self-organizing systems have the ability to replicate. Those that have the ability to replicate inevitably acquire properties that aid their replication. One such property is consciousness. Consciousness creates purpose. So just as random or chaotic systems can occasionally temporarily self-organize, so also purposeless movements of matter can temporarily produce purposeful movements of matter.
     
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  3. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Nap, interrupted. Member

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    As Hurmanetar said, there is an issue with the claim that movements of matter are purposeless. He pointed out one issue. Another is that you need to define purpose very carefully before you can talk about it.

    Now let me listen . . .

    ~~ Paul
     
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  4. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Nap, interrupted. Member

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    This would be much easier to discuss if you would post the text of your arguments.

    In video 1, premises 2 and 4 include implied definitions of purpose. It seems to me that the definiens are contradictory. It's a form of equivocation.

    In video 2, the definition of control is entirely unclear. It needs a premise with the definition.

    ~~ Paul
     
  5. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    Yes inherent in the word "purpose" is the idea of "consciousness" which is still undefined and is essentially the source of all debate on this forum. What is the mechanism by which consciousness operates and is it an inevitable extensive property of self-replicating systems or is some aspect of consciousness fundamental rather than epiphenomenal? That question must be resolved before any assertions about purpose or control can be made.
     
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  6. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Nap, interrupted. Member

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    If you define purpose and control in terms of consciousness, but do not include any premises about consciousness in your proofs, then the proofs don't carry any force. Even more, if the implied definition of consciousness assumes an immaterial source, then the proofs beg the question.

    ~~ Paul
     
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  7. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Really? What is the source of fundamental particles (which are themselves not real) in our reality? Talk about "begging the question". Materialists don't have a leg to stand on with consciousness OR reality for that matter.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
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  8. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Nap, interrupted. Member

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    The constant repetition of this mantra is distracting you from the details of the discussion. If purpose requires consciousness and consciousness requires something immaterial, then the conclusion against physicalism is inherent in the premises of the argument. The argument begs the question.

    ~~ Paul
     
  9. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Redefining materialism as physicalism is the new rabbit hat trick by materialists. If something as fundamental as subatomic particles in our reality are by all known definitions "immaterial" - and yet materialists continue to deny this (by magically redefining what 'material" is), where can it possibly leave them with those scientists who are more knowledgeable regarding the empirical data of consciousness? We no longer live in the 19th century and I for one, don't want to go back to 19th century Newtonian thinking.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
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  10. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Nap, interrupted. Member

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    If certain parts of the physical world are going to be taken as immaterial by definition, then any argument against physicalism begs the question. You're begging the question one way or the other.

    Philosophers do not define quarks as immaterial in the context of physicalism.

    ~~ Paul
     
  11. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    The best physicists of the last century defined fundamental particles as immaterial. Physicalism is a concoction made up by desperate materialists.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
  12. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Nap, interrupted. Member

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    Physicalism is a philosophical concept. Scientists don't care, so they can define things any way they want. The opening post is a philosophical argument, not a scientific one.

    ~~ Paul
     
  13. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    You speak for all scientists now?

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
  14. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Nap, interrupted. Member

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    There is no reason for scientists to worry about metaphysical definitions of things like physicalism when working in the context of science. If they decide that the word material, for example, doesn't seem right for some new discovery, then they can call it something else. It makes no difference to what they've discovered. Whether something like a fundamental force is material is really just a matter of definition.

    You said "The best physicists of the last century defined fundamental particles as immaterial." I don't recall a lot of talk about this, but perhaps you can quote a few folks.

    ~~ Paul
     
  15. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Heisenberg, Planck, Pauli, Wheeler, Stapp, Lanza ... Do you know anything about quantum physics? What do you know Paul?

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
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  16. Nassim

    Nassim New

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    The main point is rather the fact that the so-called physicalism or any other form of materialism are still stuck within the approximately correct and fundamentally false deterministic mechanical classical Newtonian world view , and the former is also false thus , mainly because it can intrinsically never account for consciousness, let alone for consciousness' related anomalies or process , let alone explain them...Cheers.
     
  17. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Nap, interrupted. Member

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    I asked for quotes from physicists regarding immaterialism.

    ~~ Paul
     
  18. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Nap, interrupted. Member

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    This is about as large a straw man as you could possibly conjure up. One of the points of inventing physicalism in the 1930s was to distinguish it from simple materialism. Second paragraph:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/physicalism/#Ter

    ~~ Paul
     
  19. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Do you know how to use "google"? I'm not your Bell Boy Paul. Try typing "quotes" and "Max Planck", or "quotes" and "Heisenberg". Be inquisitive. Ask questions. First step of a good scientist.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
  20. Phil Argument

    Phil Argument New

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    Actually, not. "By nature" I mean "essentially" or "innately". If physicalism is true, then all movements of matter have to be essentially purposeless because purposeful movements require consciousness to steer them, and, according to physicalism, consciousness is utterly incapable of steering any movements of matter.

    The definition of purpose is not needed here. It's enough to agree on the fact that purposeful movements require consciousness to steer them, and, according to physicalism, consciousness is utterly incapable of steering any movements of matter as pointed out above.

    In a physicalist world all purpose is illusory at best, even when something is experienced or thought of as purposeful.

    "X has some control over Y" means that "X can have an irreducible influence on Y".
     

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