Re: An idea to resolve the 1st Person/3rd person division mystery - Coarse graining is the answer!?

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Tue, 08 May 2007 10:47:22 -0700 wrote:
> On May 8, 4:06 pm, "Stathis Papaioannou" <> wrote:
>> On 08/05/07, <> wrote:
>>> Silly spelling error in my last post - I meant 'electrons' of course.
>>> Let avoid talk of 'electrons' then, and talk about 'Quantum Wave
>>> Functions' then, since surely even Russell must agree that QM fields
>>> are fundamental (at least as far as we know). You can't say that QM
>>> fields are just human inventions - take away the base level and you
>>> have no objective reality left to argue about! ;)
>> Actually I didn't pick it as a typo - I thought you were talking about
>> elections. Elections are complex things, involving candidates, voters,
>> timing, standards of empirical verification and many other rules. They also
>> involve concepts such as "fairness", "democracy", "deceitfulness" and so on.
>> You can't physically grasp an election or draw a circle around it.
>> Nevertheless, calling it an election is just a shorthand for a collection of
>> matter behaving in a certain way. There is no extra election-substance
>> instilled by the universe which makes the difference between an election and
>> an otherwise identical non-election, and there is no election-entity
>> distinct from the behaviour of matter which we observe and call an election.
>> --
>> Stathis Papaioannou
> Well of course I agree with you in this case. 'Election' is a human
> construct. That's why it was a horrifyingly unfortunate typo on my
> point. The point is that if you try to apply the same reasoning to
> everything, you'll end up saying that *everything* is just a human
> construct - and throw the scientific method out the window. We don't
> 'construct' those things in reality which are objective. Our concepts
> *make reference* to them. The concepts may be invented, but there has
> to be a match between at least *some* of the informational content of
> our theories and the informational content of objective theory (or
> else the concepts would be useless). Think computers and information
> here. Objective reality is information.

There's the sticking point. Information is about something, it's not necessarily something itself - though of course it is always embodied in some way.

>And our concepts are
> information too.

In what sense is an electron information? The state of an electron, relative to some apparatus or preparation, may carry some information but I don't see that the electron IS information.

>So there has to be a partial match between the
> information content of useful concepts and objective reality.

But it doesn't follow that reality IS information.

Brent Meeker

> why we can refer a failure of reductionism from the concepts we
> invented which proved useful.
> >

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Received on Tue May 08 2007 - 13:47:35 PDT

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