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Panpsychism
Posted: 08 August 2008 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 526 ]  
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AtheEisegete - 08 August 2008 03:13 PM
Bruce Burleson - 12 July 2008 06:35 PM

As we imbibe (prudently, of course) we receive revelation ... and this leads to salvation.

Lo and behold:

Reality Bubbles: Can We Know Anything About the Physical World?

Christian de Quincey
Journal of Consciousness Studies, 15(8), 94-101 (2008)

Abstract: From Plato’s eidos, to Descartes’ cogito, to Kant’s numenon, our understanding of reality has faltered at a seemingly impossible, double-edged, impasse. First, an ontological ‘hard problem’: If mind and matter are so radically different and separate, how do they ever interact? Second, a related epistemological conundrum: How is it possible for mind to ever know anything about matter—including whether it even exists? Then came Whitehead. By shifting the mind-matter relation from substances interacting in space to complementary phases in process, he offered a way through, or at least around, the Kantian impasse. His panpsychist ontology came hand-in-glove with an epistemology of intersubjectivity: We can know the objective physical world because the actual world is not just physical, and because it necessarily and intimately informs and constitutes our subjective experience.

Whitehead revolutionized metaphysics by proposing that reality is composed of enduring moments in process. ... Every actuality is an occasion or moment of experience. Every moment endures briefly as ‘now’ before it completes itself and expires to become a past moment. It is then immediately succeeded by a new moment of ‘now’. Whitehead summed up this process in a memorable phrase: ‘Now subject, then object.’
(p. 97)

Think of reality as made up of countless gazillions of ‘bubble moments,’ where each bubble is both physical and mental—a bubble or quantum of sentient energy. ... Each bubble exists for a moment, then pops! and the resulting ‘spray’ is the objective ‘stuff’ that composes the physical pole of the next momentary bubble. Each bubble exists now, and it endures for a split moment until it, too, pops! The quantum of time between the formation of each new bubble and when it pops is the ‘lifetime’ of a moment of subjective experience. ... Each bubble, therefore, is both mental and physical—just as panpsychism tells us. These oscillating poles of mental-physical-mental, leap-frogging each other through time, are the fundamental ingredients of reality: bubbles or quanta of sentient energy or purposeful action.
(p. 99)

One of the attractions of Whitehead’s panpsychist ontology is that it embraces the core insights of dualism, materialism, and idealism. ... Combining these multiple intuitions in an integrated process is the fundamental insight of panpsychism.
(pp. 100-101)

Christian de Quincey is singing from my hymnal. I’ve been evangelizing for this view for years. I did it independently of Whitehead but I based it on set theory—as Whitehead did. We agree! My extra is to take the quantum metaphor literally, as the phenomenology of certain decahertz photons radiating from neural action.

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it did it make a sound? I say yes. If there were no people in this universe to see it would there still be a universe (unfolding in the same way it does now)? I say yes again. We are contingent on the universe for existence, it is not contingent on us. That, and the fact that we are made of the same damn stuff as everything else should tell you that reality didn’t arise from us, we arose out of it.

This seems so simple! Why why why do so many great minds seem to ignore this for some grander complex explanation….

I would be interested in reading the whole article, but not enough to pay $30. If you have a link or PDF of it post it or send me a PM.

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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Posted: 09 August 2008 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 527 ]  
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GAD - 08 August 2008 07:35 PM

We are contingent on the universe for existence, it is not contingent on us. That, and the fact that we are made of the same damn stuff as everything else should tell you that reality didn’t arise from us, we arose out of it.

The reality bubbles I live in are as contingent on me as I on them, by complementarity. The Kantian insight was to see that reality itself is unspeakable and we live in bubbles informed by what he called the categories. The asymmetry can only be asserted from within a bubble. The Whiteheadian insight was to see that subjectivity in some form goes all the way down. As humans we are mortal, as subject we are coeval with reality, again by complementarity.

This seems so simple! Why why why do so many great minds seem to ignore this for some grander complex explanation.

Too simple. That’s the point. The world-knot is far subtler than we can grasp from within naive realism. The whole history of philosophy is an attempt to rise above naiveté and glimpse the deeper truth.

I would be interested in reading the whole article.

I don’t have an e-copy. Subscribe to the journal and support fringe science.

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Posted: 09 August 2008 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 528 ]  
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AtheEisegete - 09 August 2008 01:20 PM

This seems so simple! Why why why do so many great minds seem to ignore this for some grander complex explanation.

Too simple. That’s the point. The world-knot is far subtler than we can grasp from within naive realism. The whole history of philosophy is an attempt to rise above naiveté and glimpse the deeper truth.

I.E We are to special to just be, current religious ideology is unsatisfactory, so we need another explanation for our specialness…... 

I don’t have an e-copy. Subscribe to the journal and support fringe science.

Sorry, I have limited SciFi budget, what can I do.

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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Posted: 07 January 2009 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 529 ]  
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Hi all - finally put my stuff into a book - see below!

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Posted: 07 January 2009 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 530 ]  
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Congratulations on the book, Andy. If you get a chance, would you mind providing us with a glossary/translation of names? Mine is Unk, by the way, and I no longer go by “homunculus.”

Any chance you’ll return here for more fun?

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 07 January 2009 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 531 ]  
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Very cool! I always said someone should make a book about the blogs, I figured it would be a psychology book though. smile

I learned more from disagreeing with you then from anyone else.

Nice to hear from you again, come back and play sometime,

Dude:

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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Posted: 07 January 2009 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 532 ]  
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AtheEisegete - 07 January 2009 03:00 PM

Hi all - finally put my stuff into a book - see below!

Thanks, Andy. I see that I have been fictionalized as “Bubba” in your book. That’s really going to help my reputation.

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Posted: 09 January 2009 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 533 ]  
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Unk, Dude, Bubba grin

Thanks for the cheery replies.
I think my script will need a touch more work ...
Anyway, all best.

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Posted: 09 January 2009 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 534 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 07 January 2009 10:42 PM
AtheEisegete - 07 January 2009 03:00 PM

Hi all - finally put my stuff into a book - see below!

Thanks, Andy. I see that I have been fictionalized as “Bubba” in your book. That’s really going to help my reputation.

How do you know you are “Bubba”?  Did he quote from you?  Did you give your permission?

Do the terms of service here allow people to use our posts without our permission?  We do all understand that our writing is copyrighted, correct?

As a lawyer, Bruce, I personally would look into this.  Anyone who thinks his/her posts have been used should check the TOS.  I know that I am going to think twice about what I write here, if it can be ripped off for someone else’s profit, reputation, or whatever, without my knowledge, let alone consent.

Note: I just riffled through this gigantic mess (are there no editors any more?) and happened to run across what seems to be a direct quote from Sumona/whoever.  “I dub thee hypocrite.”  Didn’t she write exactly that? 

She’s in the book as “Sari/Saroo”.  I know she was upset about being stalked by Andy from another group, or something.  She’s going to hit the roof when she finds out that she’s now being used in a book by him, if I don’t miss my guess.

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Posted: 09 January 2009 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 535 ]  
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M is for Malapert - 09 January 2009 04:40 PM

How do you know you are “Bubba”?  Did he quote from you?  Did you give your permission?

If not an exact quote, pretty close - a good summary of my position on a couple of subjects. No permission asked or given, but I am expecting a healthy percentage of his royalties.  grin For me, any publicity is good publicity, but I can see how one might feel differently.

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Posted: 09 January 2009 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 536 ]  
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This is a free public domain, how can things posted here not be usable by all.

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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Posted: 09 January 2009 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 537 ]  
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GAD - 09 January 2009 06:19 PM

This is a free public domain, how can things posted here not be usable by all.

Because they are copyrighted.  Anything which is published is copyrighted, whether it’s in “a free public domain” (whatever that means) or not.  The TOS may say othewise; that is, they may say that you automatically grant permission to anyone to use your copyrighted work, or turn it over to Sam Harris to use, or whatever.  It’s still unethical for Andy Ross to use our writing in his own book, which you can be sure will be copyrighted and defended as such.

It is beyond the pale to use other people’s writing without permission, or even their awareness.  If it’s not technically plagiarism and copyright violation due to the TOS, it is in an ethical sense.

Undoubtedly most people would have been flattered and happy to grant permission to use their work if asked.  I can’t understand why Andy Ross didn’t make this simple effort.

ETA: the reason I know this is because I got in trouble for quoting a Usenet post which included writing that wasn’t mine, in a piece for an internet company.  As it happened, I had taken the step of getting permission, but I heard from the company’s lawyer and had to explain. 

And if Usenet isn’t “free public domain” I don’t know what is.

[ Edited: 09 January 2009 01:33 PM by M is for Malapert]
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Posted: 09 January 2009 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 538 ]  
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M is for Malapert - 09 January 2009 06:31 PM
GAD - 09 January 2009 06:19 PM

This is a free public domain, how can things posted here not be usable by all.

Because they are copyrighted.  Anything which is published is copyrighted, whether it’s in “a free public domain” (whatever that means) or not.  The TOS may say othewise; that is, they may say that you automatically grant permission to anyone to use your copyrighted work, or turn it over to Sam Harris to use, or whatever.  It’s still unethical for Andy Ross to use our writing in his own book, which you can be sure will be copyrighted and defended as such.

It is beyond the pale to use other people’s writing without permission, or even their awareness.  If it’s not technically plagiarism and copyright violation due to the TOS, it is in an ethical sense.

Undoubtedly most people would have been flattered and happy to grant permission to use their work if asked.  I can’t understand why Andy Ross didn’t make this simple effort.

ETA: the reason I know this is because I got in trouble for quoting a Usenet post which included writing that wasn’t mine, in a piece for an internet company.  As it happened, I had taken the step of getting permission, but I heard from the company’s lawyer and had to explain. 

And if Usenet isn’t “free public domain” I don’t know what is.

OK, I had no idea. I don’t understand how posting on a public domain isn’t public domain or how I have a copyright that I never applied for, but I guess that’s job security for the lawyers.

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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Posted: 09 January 2009 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 539 ]  
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GAD - 09 January 2009 06:47 PM

OK, I had no idea. I don’t understand how posting on a public domain isn’t public domain or how I have a copyright that I never applied for, but I guess that’s job security for the lawyers.

You don’t have to apply for copyright—it’s automatic.  When you publish or even write something, it’s under copyright. 

The only reason to apply for it is in case there is a legal question—you, for instance, are publishing under a fictitious name, and someone else could claim to be you.  Or, it can come in useful if people write on similar topics around the same time, I think.  If you have applied for copyright you can show that you had those ideas down in writing first.  (Copyright violation doesn’t have to be verbatim plagiarism; it can include taking another person’s ideas.)

Anyway, I do know that all your writing is copyrighted to you when published or written. 

Another interesting example: letters.  J.D. Salinger in his 50s wrote a bunch of not-very-flattering-to-himself letters to Joyce Maynard as a teenager, which she wanted to quote in her autobiography. 

He refused permission.  Although she owned the physical letters themselves, he had (automatic, unapplied-for) copyright to their content and owned the language in them. 

She could only paraphrase them briefly or quote short excerpts (VERY short; most of what she considered short was not short enough for Salinger’s lawyers, or the courts).  It created a real dilemma for her in writing the autobiography, since living with Salinger had a huge influence on her life. 

However, she was able to sell the letters themselves to a collector, which she did, and netted enough to put her kids through college and keep some for herself.  Go figure.

Interestingly, I think, she was heavily criticized for selling the letters—for violating the privacy of this “very private” person, even though he’d taken advantage of her in a disgusting way.  But then he’s a male literary saint and she’s just a woman writing on trivial domestic issues.

[ Edited: 09 January 2009 03:38 PM by M is for Malapert]
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Posted: 09 January 2009 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 540 ]  
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Malapert, I think Andy lives in Germany. Do you know how that will affect his need to get permission from those forum writers in other countries who might be reluctant to hand over their words to him?

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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