Re: subjective reality

From: <>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 09:59:33 -0400

Hi Russell

 Thanks for your lucid comments. Maybe you are a better advocate
 of Bruno's than Bruno himself...

 Godfrey Kurtz
 (New Brunswick, NJ)

 -----Original Message-----
 From: Russell Standish <>
 Sent: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 09:30:07 +1000
 Subject: Re: subjective reality

> [GK]
> Than read again! This is from a previous post of Bruno's:
> ------------
> On 23 Aug 2005, at 16:44, wrote:
> > [GK]
> >
> > I believe that YD is incompatible with the whole formalism of QM
> which
> >
> > I don't quite think is simply reducible to Unitary Evolution plus
> Collapse, by the way.
> >
> > But if you put it that way, yes, it is the conjunction of both
> does it
> >
> > (and entanglement, of course!)
> [BM]
> >This I knew. The collapse is hardly compatible with comp (and thus
> YD). Even Bohm de Broglie theory, is incompatible with YD.

 All I see him saying here is that YD is incompatible with wavefunction
 collapse, and also with the Bohm interpretation. His UDA does point to
 the necessity of a Everett style Multiverse, which does not have
 collapse nor a Bohmian-style preferred branch.

  That would be fine if it was really what he is saying! But he insists
  "it is not out of the question that he can derive collapse" from the
 premises. My point is that you can't have it both ways.

> [GK]
> I am afraid that in Physics, at least, things don't work quite that
> and I think you know that. New TOEs are proposed every other day
> and they are judged on the basis of their assumptions and claims
> before anybody bothers to look for counterexamples. Many of these
> theories are just poorly put together.

 That is indeed true. It is cheaper to look for inconsistencies in a
 theory that to perform experiments. Also, unbelievable founding
 propositions should be eliminated wherever possible.

 However, the "claim" (ontological reversal) I take as a sort of
 metaphysical principle, ultimately unprovable, but a guide as to how
 one thinks about the world. It has the same status as a belief in a
 concrete reality, or in Occam's razor. Its utility must be in its
 ability to form new scientific theories, rather than in its ability to
 predict fact. In my book, I point to a number of specific theoretical
 ideas in the theory of consciousness that are implied by ontological
 reversal that are currently controversial in cognitive science. The
 relationship between self-awareness and consciousness being one of
 them. If these specific ideas prove to be of little worth as our
 understanding of consciousness improves, then "ontological reversal"
 will either be dropped as being of little value, or else appropriately
 morphed to yield better theories.

 What you are here circumscribing with your careful prose is exactly the
  domain of philosophical speculation --- for which I have much regard
 try not to confuse with that of scientific prediction. One of the most
 intriguing novelties which quantum mechanics has made possible is
 the settling of some specific items of speculation by empirical means,
 and the creation of what some people call "experimental metaphysics".
 That was the case of the Bell-EPR experiments which showed that a
 good number of speculative departures from QM (local hidden-variable
 theories) are largely inviable. Clearly we do not know what the limits
 are to this type of approach but the parts of it that we already have
 settled should definitely bind our future speculation.

 I have not had a chance to check your book but, from the posts about
 it, I confess I am much intrigued about it. When I manage to go thru it
 I will try and give you some feed back along the same lines as I have
 done with Bruno.

 The assumptions of COMP are actually widely supposed to be true, hence
 the importance of Bruno's work. He demonstrates that under COMP,
 ontological reversal is necessary, and a belief in concrete reality

 Curiously, I am in a position where I don't believe COMP to be
 strictly true, but is perhaps an approximation of reality. I would be
 intrigued in generalization of the COMP argument. However, I find
 that the ontological reversal (or perhaps even ontological "cycle"
 with the AP) is metaphysically less extravagant than belief on
 concrete reality. Furthermore, the approach really does deliver most
 of physics as we know it today, as I argue in my book. I am sceptical
 that Bruno's approach of reducing knowledge to various modal logic
 structures will deliver much of substance, but at very least I can
 appreciate that it is a test of the theory.

 Now I am confused! So you do not believe Bruno's COMP=YD+CT+AP
 but you still believe it is a good enough approximation of reality to
 "deliver most of physics as we know it today". Are you saying that,
 without assuming COMP you derive all of that physics? I guess I
 will have to read your book but a Yes/No answer would help me
 decide whether I want to read it at all...

 I would rather argue out your assumptions because, as you may
 agree, measures of metaphysical extravagance tend to be a bit,
 if I may use the word, subjective. I am much more interested in
 how one can empirically decide whether a metaphysical thesis
 is indeed too extravagant to be true.

 Best regards,



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Received on Wed Aug 31 2005 - 10:10:01 PDT

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