Re: Dual-Aspect Science

From: Colin Geoffrey Hales <>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 08:17:08 +1000 (EST)

A lot of the dialog below is a mismatch of ideas which indicates that I
have underestimated the degree of difficulty to be expected in getting the
idea of hierarchical structures across. Nevetheless..

>> I think you are assuming a separateness of structure that does not
>> exist.
> It obviously does exist , up to a point. I am separate form this
> keyboard.
> (and let's not confuse separateness and difference...)

If space and matter (have a look at the cover of this weeks NewScientist)
are different expressions of a single structure then you and space are
unified. It is that unification that is at the heart of qualia production,
for qualia result as another feature of the underlying structure.

>> There is one and one only structure.
> If you want ot look at it that way. But it is no
> undifferentiated within itself.

Looking at it like that is the only way that makes any sense.

>> We are all part of it. There is no
>> concept of 'separate' to be had.
> yes there is: spatial separation.

See above.

>> Absolutely everything is included in the
>> structure. No exceptions. Space, atoms, scientists, qualia. All
>> interactions at all 'scales' (scale itself) are all interactions between
>> different parts of the one structure. To interact at all is to interact
>> with another part of the structure.
> "another" in what sense ? You just said there is *no* concept
> of separation.

eg. Matter passes through space. It is interacting with itself. Matter
'looks' separate to space, but deep down its not. The appearance of
separateness is how it is presented to us.

>> The idea of there being anything else
>> ('not' the structure) is meaningless. If there is any 'thing' in the
>> structure then the balance of the structure expressed a perfect
>> un-thing.
>> There is nothing else. That is the coincept I am exploring.
> None of that has anything to do with your claim that there is
> a single *type* of structure, and that everything is composed of
> recursive combinations of its instances.
> It may be the case that everything is ultimately part of one strucutre,
> but
> that does not imply that everything within the Great Strucutre is
> self-similar.

The structure is hierarchical layers of organisation only. Members of a
layer share morphological invariance to some characteristics of layer
layer. Properties are inherited by child layers from paretn layers. All
the layers are contained by each other.

>> >
>> >> Note that we don't actually have to know what S(.) is to make a whole
>> pile
>> >> of observations of properties of organisations of it that apply
>> regardless
>> >> of the particular S(.). It may be we never actually get to sort out
>> the
>> specifics of S(.)! (I have an idea, but it doesn't matter from the
>> point
>> >> of
>> >> view of understanding qualia as another property of the structure
>> like
>> atoms).
>> >
>> >> In Bruno's terms the structure of S(.) is what he calls 'objective
>> reality'.
>> >> I would say that in science the first person view has primacy.
>> >
>> > Epistemic or Ontic ?
>> These are just words invented by members of the structure.
> So is "structure".
> That wasn't a problem before, why should it be now.
>> But I'll try.
>> The structure delivers qualia in the first person. Those qualia are
>> quite
>> valid 'things' (virtual matter)..organisation/behaviour of structure.
> Qualia are not ust organisation and behaviour, or there
> would be no hard problem.

I think the confusion here is between oganisation and behaviour of the
_structure_ (one of which is qualia) on contrast with the
organisation/behaviour of the things presented to us _by_ qualia.

>> Their presentation bestows intrinsic knowledge as a measurement to the
>> embedded structure member called the scientist. This is knowledge as
>> intrinsic intentionality.
> Are yu saying that qualia are marked by intentionality ?
> That would be novel.
> ",, qualia are intrinsic, consciously accessible, NON-INTENTIONAL
> features of sense-data and other non-physical phenomenal objects that
> are responsible for their phenomenal character."

When we experience redness it is painted onto some'thing'. In _use_ it has
intrinsic 'aboutness'. In themselves they have none. At the instance of
their creation they acquire intentionality _because_ they are meant for
that very purpose - to inform 'aboutness'...That is the distinction I
think useful.

> S.E.P, my emphasis.
>> Within the experiences is regularity which can
>> then be characterised as knowledge attributed to some identified
>> behaviour
>> in the structure. This attribution is only an attribution as to
>> behaviour
>> of the structure, not the structure. These attributions can be used by a
>> another scientist in their 'first person' world.
> I still think "strcuture" is an unhappy term for soemthign which
> cannot be reduced to abstract relations and behaviour.

The structure can be abstracted and studied. But what you do is simulate
it, not abstract it in the traditional sense, except to characterise the
rules of the simulation and let them run. For example, one of the
structural statistics that will fall out of analyses of the structure is G
(graviatational const), another is the speed of light.and so on. The
natural constants are statistics of the underlying structure. They are
simulataneously constants in empirical laws of the apparent behaviour of
the structure.

>> All of this is derived from a first person presentation of a
>> measurement.
>> Ergo science is entirely first operson based.
> The fact that science happens to be performed by persons
> doesn't make it irreducibly first-personal. That would
> depend on whether persons can remove themselves from
> scientific descriptions. As it happens they can. That
> is still true with much-misunderstood issue of
> quantum "observer" involvement, since
> that is really apparatus-involvement. No observer
> ever influenced an experiment without changing the settings of some
> apparatus.

I think we are at odds here. The mere presence of a human involing
themselves in observation means that a direct causal impact is established
between the observer and the observed. The only quation is the magnitude
of the disturbance thus invoked. Clearly until we start to look at very
fine detail the magnitude of the disturbance is trivial. That's when the
disturbances make things look quantum mechanical. At all times, however,
deep down those disturbances are always there resolving the structures
options. I hope that makes sense.

>> Epistemic and Ontic
>> characters are smatter throughout this description. I could label them
>> all
>> but you already know and the process adds nothing to the message or to
>> sorting out how it all works.
>> >> I'd say that
>> >> we formulate abstractions that correlate with agreed appearances
>> within
>> the
>> >> first person view. However, the correspo0ndence between the
>> underlying
>> structure and the formulate abstractions is only that - a correlation.
>> Our
>> >> models are not the structure.
>> >
>> > *Could* they be the structure ? if it necessarily
>> > the case that the "structure" cannot be modelled, then
>> > it is perhaps no strcuture at all.
>> >
>> Which is the simpler and more reasonable basis upon which to explore the
>> universe:
>> 1) The universe is literally constructed by some sort of
>> 'empirical_law_in_ a_certain_context embodiment machine' by means
>> unknown
>> that has appearances that cannot be predicted by empirical laws.
>> (logically equivalent to "the laws of nature are invoked by the purple
>> baloon people of the horsehead nebula")
> ????

Too hard basket thrshold has been reached! :-)

>> or
>> 2) The universe is a structure of which we are a part and which also has
>> the property of delivering appearances of itself to us within which is
>> regularity that can be captured mathematically.
> This is a combination of two claims:
> 2a) The universe is a structure properly-so-called of which we are a
> part and
> which also has the property of delivering appearances of itself to us
> within which is
> regularity that can be captured mathematically, with no residue, so
> that
> everything is full expressible in mathematical, structural and
> relational
> terms. (ie eliminative physicalism)
> 2b) The universe is a "structure" which we are a part and, but
> contains
> irreducibly non-relational and non-functional aspects (and is therefore
> not a structure in the strict sense of the term)
> which also has the property of delivering appearances of itself to us
> within which is
> regularity that can be captured mathematically and also aspects that
> cannot
> be so capture, leading to a Hard Problem. (property dualism)

The point is that science is stuck on 1). Trying to shoehorn the situation
into philosophical 'ism buckets is of no value. I'm after a real practical
outcome. A recognition that science is mis-structured and we have to
change. And sooner rather than later!

I recently had an article on dual-aspect science published in IEEE
Intelligence Systems journal... have a look.



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Received on Wed Aug 16 2006 - 18:19:21 PDT

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