Processo-Materialistic Reality

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Reply Thu 11 Dec, 2008 11:17 pm
... materialism vs. idealism ... which one's right? ... hmmmmmmm - wait a minute - why can't they both be right?

C.S. Peirce identifies three ways reality could be:

- Materialism (everything can be reduced to matter and interactions thereof)
- Idealism (everything can be reduced to mind and interactions thereof)
- Neutralism (mind and matter are ontological equals)

He discards materialism because he thinks that since matter cannot feel that the existence of feeling in the universe denies it; he then discards neutralism by way of Occam's Razor (too many moving parts); by this process of elimination, he opts for idealism.

But what if he has mis-applied Occam's Razor? ... what if matter and mind are little-to-nothing without the other, like the electric and magnetic components of an electro-magnetic field, each co-creating the other in co-perpetuation?

For a moment, let's acknowledge that mind is a process and generalize from there a "processo-materialistic" field ... what are the implications?

1. The quantum wierdness of particle-wave duality conceivably goes away ... a quanta is not something that sometimes behaves like a wave and at other times behaves like a particle ... it is precisely a wave that inhabits a particle as they co-perpetuate each other.

2. A self-similarity between the micro- and macro-worlds suddenly becomes apparent ... a human being is not just an epiphenomenon of matter nor is it just a mind ... a human being is precisely a life-mind that inhabits a lived-body as they co-perpetuate each other.

Given that this light bulb just popped out of my pea brain, I'm sure there's an overwhelming number of problems with it ... but hey, it was a nice, shiny, bright light bulb while it lasted :a-ok:
 
Kielicious
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 03:12 am
@paulhanke,
searching for the ghost in the machine again? Wink
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 03:26 am
@Kielicious,
The world of the material and the world of the mind are kept seperate artificially, ideas have vast impacts upon the material and vice versa.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 10:24 am
@paulhanke,
The fundamental task of philosophy seems to be to give an account of the Self and the Self's world and how each interacts with the other and how this process encourages the being of each. Such a task avoids as artificial other dualisms, one of which is matter and mind.
One can point to modern Existential, Phenomenological, and Lebenswelt philosophers who would agree with your conclusion.
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 06:44 pm
@Kielicious,
Kielicious wrote:
searching for the ghost in the machine again? Wink


... of course! Wink ... but at the same time, trying to make it a little less ghostly ...
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 06:47 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed wrote:
One can point to modern Existential, Phenomenological, and Lebenswelt philosophers who would agree with your conclusion.


... I guess I'm not completely out to lunch then! Smile ... I'll add it to my swiss army knife of random notions and ideas - it may come in handy down the road ...
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 10:44 pm
@paulhanke,
paulhanke wrote:
... materialism vs. idealism ... which one's right? ... hmmmmmmm - wait a minute - why can't they both be right?

C.S. Peirce identifies three ways reality could be:

- Materialism (everything can be reduced to matter and interactions thereof)
- Idealism (everything can be reduced to mind and interactions thereof)
- Neutralism (mind and matter are ontological equals)


Well I like them all, can I pick them all?:detective: I like the subjective reality and objective reality myself, and that in the whole scheme of things, everything, and such... it must be anything right? Neutralism implies an equilibrium which I like... really with infinity should we not be able to sub the value for the variable "reality" as Materialism, idealism, and neutralism in the whole scheme of things and get different results correlating to different values we are looking for?
syntax of Infinity + different possibilities of reality --> (implies) actuality... not that I've found a reason for it to matter ofcourse but still entertaining to think about.


paulhanke wrote:
He discards materialism because he thinks that since matter cannot feel that the existence of feeling in the universe denies it; he then discards neutralism by way of Occam's Razor (too many moving parts); by this process of elimination, he opts for idealism.


I think that idealism shows that objects take a form of infinite possible values, showing the "relativeness" invoked by something simply monistic or acausal.

But materials are of the subject of the defined "values". I think you'd be right that materialism and idealism need eachother.

paulhanke wrote:
But what if he has mis-applied Occam's Razor? ... what if matter and mind are little-to-nothing without the other, like the electric and magnetic components of an electro-magnetic field, each co-creating the other in co-perpetuation?


I was learning about parallel programming today and felt that it could apply to the universe. It seems to me that the universe is just a bunch of data, and nothing truly has an assigned task until there is a contextual process (mind) in which to bring about information.

A good reasoning I think about how the universe is monistic is that the fact we can distinguish the subjectiveness and objectiveness of reality implies there is no "assigner" of tasks, only the perception of patterns. And the fact we have patterns is really just imcomplete perception of some monistic truth in which a pattern in inconceivable.

Anyways about parallel programming; maybe the whole concept of multiple calculations being carried out at the same time via multiple processors is objective time, and the fractal of it is subjective time, because we are a mind one level up from all the objective tasks/calculations. We assign calculations and patterns emerge. Patterns only emerge because we have the conception/the consciousness that we are not a part of the simultaneity of processes of the universe. We are separate and that is kinda what consciousness does. If we were a part of the simultaneity then we'd be indifferent to patterns.

paulhanke wrote:
Given that this light bulb just popped out of my pea brain, I'm sure there's an overwhelming number of problems with it ... but hey, it was a nice, shiny, bright light bulb while it lasted :a-ok:


It's nice to see thinking on here. I love it!
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 08:36 am
@Holiday20310401,
Yea, very nice post Paul and some good reasoning & examples as well.

I've never really much subscribed to the two-dimensional thinking that implies mutual exclusivity where none exists (Religion -vs- Philosophy!, Materialism -vs- Idealism, Superman -vs- George Bush or my Goat -vs- Bill's Corndog!). It's all so... marginalizing.

I think that depending on what we're talking about, there likely could be different approaches towards a resolution. But as overall, generalized concepts, different aspects of our existence necessitate - often - that various combinations exist.

Again, nice post and Thanks
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 12:17 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
I was learning about parallel programming today and felt that it could apply to the universe.


... my own epiphany in this realm runs in the other direction ... I was doing some programming for an object-oriented design elective when in an unbidden flash my mind was filled with a vision of my objects being born, living, and dying within a digital soup ... my insight then was that life doesn't need physics - life can run on any number of hardwares ... does that insight scale up to the whole of the universe? ... if so, your own insight could be something more than just a useful metaphor! Wink
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 12:32 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
It's all so... marginalizing.


... not to mention confusing and complexifying ... coming to these ideas is in part a result of two books on my reading table: "Guerrilla Metaphysics" by Graham Harman, and "Process Metaphysics" by Nicholas Rescher ... in the former, it's "objects all the way down", but to get there requires some mind-bending philosophical gymnastics ("vicarious causation" anyone?) ... in the latter it's "processes all the way down" and a lot of the gymnastics of Harman's approach seem to dissolve, but Rescher admits there remain problems with the process perspective ... if only you could fuse the two would each dissolve the other's problems? :detective:
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 02:28 pm
@paulhanke,
paulhanke wrote:
2. A self-similarity between the micro- and macro-worlds suddenly becomes apparent ...


... just got a new book ... Process Theories: Crossdisciplinary Studies in Dynamic Categories ... cracked it open and read the intro ... one of the essays is on quantum mechanics and the self-similarity between the micro- and macro-worlds that becomes apparent when one takes a process-ontology approach ... whoa Smile ...
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2008 03:11 pm
@paulhanke,
... just finished an essay by Dewey ... he takes a somewhat different stance ... in his philosophy, process is and matter/mind are just two perspectives on process ... he makes an analogy using a human life: the "matter" perspective makes the child the cause of the adult; the "mind" perspective makes the adult the (teleological) cause of the child ... he goes on to say:

Quote:
... the notion of growth makes it easy, I think, to detect the fallacy residing in both views: namely, the breaking up of a continuity of historical change into two separate parts, together with the necessity which follows from the breaking-in-two for some device by which to bring them together again.

The reality is the growth-process itself; childhood and adulthood are phases of a continuity, in which just because it is a history, the later cannot exist until the earlier exists ("mechanistic materialism" in germ); and in which the later makes use of the registered and cumulative outcome of the earlier - or, more strictly, is its utilization ("spiritualistic teleology" in germ). The real existence is the history in its entirety, the history as just what it is. The operations of splitting it up into two parts and then having to unite them again by appeal to causative power are equally arbitrary and gratuitous. Childhood is the childhood of and in a certain serial process of changes which is just what it is, and so is maturity. To give the traits of either phase a kind of independent existence, and then to use the form selected to account for or explain the rest of the process is a silly reduplication; reduplication, because we have after all only parts of one and the same original history; silly because we fancy that we have accounted for the history on the basis of an arbitrary selection of part of itself.

Substitute for such growth a more extensive history of nature and call it the evolution of mind from matter, and the conclusion is not different.
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2008 11:33 pm
@paulhanke,
... so I'm reading a book entitled Philosophers of Process ... it's a collection of essays, and I've really been enjoying it ... Peirce, James, Nietzsche, Alexander, Bergson, Dewey (who I just quoted above) - all have been highly readable and full of ideas that make my neurons light up ... so I come to the section on Whitehead - and the editor says Whitehead's Process and Reality "represents the culmination of process metaphysics" ... "Wow!" I say to myself, "This is going to be great!"

... not ...

I was thoroughly unprepared for what I found ... none of the preceding essays gave any hint ... heck, even Rescher's Process Metaphysics gave little clue (now I understand why he kept saying that process philosophy is not just Whitehead!).

First, Whitehead looks to be one of those unreadable philosophers - lots of sentences where "actuality" and "potentiality" make up about half of the words, all in a fury that signifies nothing ... still, I plodded on because this is the man when it comes to process philosophy ... but after wading through 30 or so pages, I threw in the towel ... not simply because of the unreadability, but because of the fact that what sense I could make of it just wasn't making sense: processes of becoming that terminate in satisfaction once they've reached their teleological goal of union with God's primordial nature ... say what?! ... we were supposed to be headed for home plate! - how did we end up out in left field?! ... I mean, c'mon! - how many people do you know of who have died of satisfaction?!

I dunno - maybe I've got it all wrong ... maybe the essays in this volume aren't representative; maybe I'm just stupid ... but if these Whitehead essays really are where process philosophy is today, then they are not the culmination as far as I'm concerned - they're on the wrong side of the summit, headed down ... ... ...
 
Kielicious
 
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 04:57 am
@paulhanke,
That sucks paul, I too have high hopes for certain books that turn out unsatisfying. Thankfully, with the added frustration from the previous book, I tend to find a new one that strikes my fancy and fills the new founded explanatory gap.Wink

Best of luck to ya...
 
Whoever
 
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 07:39 am
@paulhanke,
Paul

You may like this. It's by me.

PHILOSOPHY PATHWAYS electronic journal

Issue 137 - The Case for a Neutral Metaphysical Position.

It's the first of a series of essays and not complete as it stands. I'd love to know what you make of it.

I don't know Whitehead well, although I should, but I think on many issues I agree with him. You question the idea that...

"- processes of becoming that terminate in satisfaction once they've reached their teleological goal of union with God's primordial nature ... say what?! ... we were supposed to be headed for home plate! - how did we end up out in left field?! ... I mean, c'mon! - how many people do you know of who have died of satisfaction?!"

In mysticism that satisfaction is said to bring the death of the self, not of the physical body. Thus Mohammed advises us to die before our death.
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 12:07 pm
@Whoever,
Whoever wrote:
You may like this.


... you're right - I did! Smile

At first blush, it seems that my incredibly broad and amorphous brushstroke at a "processo-materialistic reality" would qualify as a neutral metaphysical position as it attempts to balance matter/mind ... however, the Dewey quote points to a potential flaw in this initial categorization: that is, Dewey also balances matter/mind - but he does so by introducing process and claiming that matter and mind are simply two of its manifestations/perspectives ... certainly this at least suggests a monistic metaphysics - but is it a neutral metaphysics? ... or is Dewey actually expressing a triadistic metaphysics that is also a positive metaphysics in that it emphasizes the priority of process? (and in fact the fleeting idea of a "processo-materialistic reality" starts to look more like Dewey's conception if one takes the position that the assertion that mind is a process is a category mistake!)

Anyhoo, given that you leave the definition of "neutral metaphysics" to another essay, I'm having a little trouble wrapping my head around the idea ... is a neutral metaphysics monistic? or is it N-istic with no priority given to one fundamental? or is it truly "zero-istic"? (Heck - am I even using these terms right?! Wink)
 
jknilinux
 
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 07:54 pm
@paulhanke,
paulhanke wrote:

He discards materialism because he thinks that since matter cannot feel that the existence of feeling in the universe denies it


Whoever said matter cannot feel? I disagree strongly. Define "feeling" and we can go from there.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 08:06 pm
@jknilinux,
You need matter to feel. Matter is just bound energy. Sensation is just the set of conditions matter undergoes. Matter doesn't really touch other matter anyways... does it?
 
jknilinux
 
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 08:23 pm
@paulhanke,
Depends on how you define touch.

But, I think he meant feeling as in emotion, in which case, I still disagree strongly.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 08:45 pm
@jknilinux,
We need energy and matter for emotion; we need material for emotion.
 
 

 
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