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The Contender
Con (against)
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Reality Binds Itself Through Telesis

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 913 times Debate No: 78260
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (15)
Votes (2)




From CTMU:

Thus, languages are ultimately self-processing; they must either contain their processors in their expressions, or be expressed in terms of a more basic language fulfilling this requirement. Accordingly, the expressions of SCSPL are dynamic informational configurations of information-processors, implying that SCSPL everywhere consists of information and acceptive-transductive syntax in a state of logical intersection. Together, information and syntax comprise infocognition, self-transducing information in the form of SCSPL syntactic operators that cross-absorptively "communicate" by acquiring each other"s informational states as cognitive-syntactic content. It is to the common basis of these two components that information may be reduced in the SCSPL context. Where the term telesis denotes this common component of information and syntax, SCSPL grammar refines infocognition by binding or constraining telesis as infocognition.

To the extent that any grammar functions by the recursive application of syntactic rules, SCSPL grammar is recursive ("self-calling"). However, SCSPL grammar is not merely deterministically or nondeterministically recursive, but telic-recursive. While an ordinary grammar recursively processes information or binds informational potential to an invariant syntax that distributes over its products, [5; grammar binds telesis, infocognitive potential ranging over possible relationships of syntax and state, by cross-refining syntax and its informational content through telic recursion. Telic recursion is the process responsible for configuring the syntax-content relationships on which standard informational recursion is based; its existence is an ontological requirement of reality. The telic-recursive cross-refinement of syntax and content is implicit in the "seed" of [5;-grammar, the MU form, which embodies the potential for perfect complementarity of syntax and state, law and matter.

The necessary existence of the self-generating, self-reflecting syntactical machine, the SCSPL, is required to bind Telesis as infocognition and so configure the information and syntax of reality over its possible relationships (as information and cognition mean nothing without each other). That is to say, SCSPL grammar is a generative grammar from which to bind and subsequently refine itself. The universe binds and refines itself through Telesis without which, reality could not self-select from a realm of pure infocognitive potential. The interception of information and cognition is required by the generative grammar of SCSPL, [5; grammar, they mean nothing existing apart from each other. So observer-participation is dependent upon the proto-computational SCSPL (and its context-free grammar) as well as the material objects which express themselves as information to be acquired by an observer (information transducer). As understood by Wheeler's "IT from Bit", infocognition is implied by quatum-theoretic observer-participation.


I thank my opponent for instigating the debate.


O1) My opponent has not stated his/her gender. For economy, I shall henceforth refer to him with masculine pronouns. I beg for forgiveness if I am in error.

O2) My opponent appears to have lifted two paragraphs from Langan's paper without context, and added a paragraph of his own. I only have to refute this text. I need not refute all the claims of the CTMU, even if they pertain to the resolution. Judges to the debate are assumed tabula rasa, and can only judge my opponent's arguments through what was written in the snippet and supporting paragraph.

O3) As my opponent is making a positive claim, the BOP rests entirely on him to show that reality binds itself through telesis. I only need to refute his claims and establish that he does not meet his BOP. I do not need to provide an alternative explanation of reality.


R1) Bare assertion fallacy
This alone is sufficient to display that my opponent has not fulfilled the BOP. He has only described his cognitive model of reality without citing empirical, or even theoretic, support for his claims. Even if the model he presents is not logically contradictory or contradictory to empirical facts, there is nothing to support it, either.

We can use Russel's teaport analogy. Russel (1952) argues that if he were to claim there were an extremely small teapot, too small for our telescopes cannot detect, that revolves around the sun between Mars and Earth, others would not have the BOP to disprove him based on the impossibility of demonstrating the claim as false. Similarly, even if we lacked empirical evidence that reality does not bind itself through telesis, it would still be safe to assume that it does not, in the absence of evidence supporting this idea. (1)

R2) Fallacy of Equivocation
There are two types of recursion which were equivocated in my opponent's argument. The first one is linguistic recursion, usually applied to syntax (although it's also displayed in other linguistic strata, particularly morphology). I'll use simple rewrite rules to demonstrate. For simplicity, I shall use the exocentric constituent S.

S -> NP VP
NP -> N
NP -> Adj NP
VP -> V NP
N -> {roses, buses}
V -> {like}
Adj -> {big, red, evil}

We start with a sentence, and keep applying rules until we get a sentence:

S -> NP VP -> Adj NP VP -> Adj NP VP -> Adj Adj NP VP -> Adj Adj Adj NP VP -> Adj Adj Adj NP V NP -> Big red evil roses like buses

NP -> Adj NP was the recursive rule which allowed us to add so many adjectives (and thus more and more info to the sentence). This is purely a syntactic process without semantic implications. Sure, it allows us to add more adjectives, but until the last step, when I injected the leixcon, there are no Another type of recursion in computer science and mathematics involves a function that calls itself. Refer to the example I've just written, in pseudocode:

Here I print the first 6 numbers of the Fibonnaci sequence with a function findFibonnaci that calls itself. Information is indeed created through this process. However, my opponent appears to mix the two, both in his conception of normal grammatical recursion and telic recursion. If telic recursion is indeed a form of syntactic recursion, then how does it make information?

R3) Genesis of the SCSPL
The genesis of the SCSPL was not accounted for. Since SCSPL is self-generating, how was it begun? Here's an analogy: where did the S of the sentence above come from? Where was findFibonnaci called? Obviously, the first instance of findFibonnaci cannot come from inside findFibonnaci, and the first S cannot be generated by another rewrite rule. My opponent presents a 'MU form' that serves as the 'seed', but does not explain what exactly it is, so it is essentially impossible to judge whether the genesis of the SCSPL was probable.

R4) Problems with infocognition and observer participation

SR1) Meaning and perception
SCSPL handles reality, so a word for 'sheep' in SCSPL would have to have something to do with sheep DNA. Our lay conception of a sheep, something that is [+living], [+white] and [+fluffy], cannot be an adequate meaning of 'sheep' SCSPL, or a fluffy white dog would be a sheep too. We can refer to Hilary Putnam's idea of meaning. He suggested that meaning is external to our psychological state. (2) He cited the example of beech and elm. Someone who cannot tell between the two would merge the two concepts in his/her head, but this doesn't mean beech and elm are actually the same thing. Similarly, if there were a parallel universe where everything on earth is the same except it is not H2O but another chemical compound with identical physical properties XYZ falling from the sky, someone describing this liquid in both universes would have the same psychological state, but the liquid itself would be different. Thus the meaning of water is *not* our lay conception of a [+liquid], [+drinkable], [-colourful] thing, but the chemical compound H2O.

Even the greatest biologist can't be 100% sure what the 'actual meaning' of a sheep is, and our lay conception of a 'sheep' is certainly not 'reality'. Does this follow that the 'actual meaning' of a sheep does not exist in reality, and only our lay conception exists? If not, then the whole theory of infocognition being reality falls apart.

Similarly, if one were to see this:

One would expect to see this upon lifting the rectangle:

But imagine that this is the true picture:

In the infocognition of the observer, a 'syntactic operator', the second picture is construed as reality. This contradicts the truth, that the third picture is what's actually under the veil.

SR2) Problem of nonverbal thought and recursion
I shall use Jackendoff's model of the mind (6):

Cognition is not bound to to verbal thought. Words and images appear in our conscious mind, but actual thought occurs in the unconscious mind. Many of our thoughts are not verbal or conscious. Babies, feral children and uneducated deaf people with no Sign exposure never learn language, but they are obviously capable of thought and cognition. Babies' linguistic potential aren't even fully developed yet. Are they then incapable of handling SCSPL, and are thus unable to perceive reality? Are our non-conscious, non-verbal thoughts not linked to reality?

Similarly, Piraha speakers are capable of language but incapable of recursion. They have no relative clauses, recursive possessors, etc. (3) Under the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, do they then lack ability to perceive reality, and if they do, does this mean the reality is non-existent under the observer participation hypothesis?

Plus, language has ambiguities. If someone thinks, 'Everyone saw someone', there are two possible interpretations (Hy = y is human, Sxy = x saw y):


It's clear which one's going on in the person's head, but not clear in the language. Under CTMU, is cognition (and by extension reality) ambiguous?

R5) Syntax and information are tied
Syntax and semantics are inherently tied. The colourless green ideas doctrine does not make a positive claim about the autonomy of syntax; it is merely a methodological precept. (4) Theta roles, which are semantic, played an important role in government and binding theory. (4) Lexical entries subcategorise for phrases of certain semantic categories (5):

(a) *She seems out of town.
(b) She seems under the weather.

The ungrammaticality of (a) must be explained by the ungradability of 'out of town', rather than its syntactic structure (PP). Thus the original 'unboundness' of information and syntax is not perceivably possible.

(4) Collins, J (2008): Chomsky: A Guide for the Perplexed
(5) Maling, J. (1983): Transitive adjectives
(6) Jackendoff, R. (2012): A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning
Debate Round No. 1
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 1 year ago
LOL. BTW, has zmike posted his refutation yet? I've been less active so I'm not sure...
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago

The CTMU is sophistry. Common knowledge. Though Dylan would disagree.
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 1 year ago
@Tej: TBH, I think the CTMU is most likely sophistry, based on what they said about language. 'Syntactic covering', in particular, makes no sense at all.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
@Diqiucun -

You should read up on CTMU. My God-debates will feel like "Wonderful Tales for 3-Year Olds" in comparison.
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 1 year ago
@Tej: Totally wasn't expecting the punchline, lol. :P
Posted by FullMetal.Alchemist 1 year ago
wtf is this debate
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
@Diqiucun - Telic recursion is the proposed form of recursion where the universe generates its own information in a process. Dylan explains it in the philosophy forum. If telic recursion *is* the driving force of teleology, then the universe itself is conscious, and the relationship between reality and mind is established as nearly idealistic. This would entail that God exists. Therefore, this debate directly links to God debates in a much more complex way. This is more complex than my God debates and is a God debate. Therefore, you should understand my God debates :P
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 1 year ago
The emphasis on recursion is also clearly Chomskyan, although I'm not completely sure what tellic recursion is. I can attack recursionocentrism from two directions: with Everett's studies on the one hand, and with Jackendoff and Pinker's arguments from another. :P
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 1 year ago
@Tej: TBH, I've never seriously looked at Langan's ideas, but some of the stuff in the text I can actually relate to Chomskyan theories (language faculty, generative grammar). Heck, the 'syntactocentrism' here is a defining characteristic of Chomskyan theories of grammar (cf. standard theory, government and binding, minimalist programme). I'll try my hand at understanding the the ideas. As long as I understand, I'm sure I can respond to the arguments and win the debate, since there's only one round and rebuttals aren't possible. (I can cite Everett's works to refute the notion of recursion, for example.)
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
@Diqiucun: What does CTMU have to do with grammar? o.O
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I'm voting Pro down since their links and impacts entirely fail to fulfill the huge burden of proof on them. To show that "reality binds itself through telesis," one would have to provide justification for CTMU as well, which is failed in Pro's R1. In a one-round debate, that's all you get. Pro commits bare assertion fallacy and the fallacy of equivocation. Pro fails to establish these crucial impacts that are assumed by the case -- (1) origin of SPSCL grammar, (2) the *mechanism* of grounding reality, and (3) an established distinction between "syntax" and "information." Due to these, Pro entirely fails to fulfill the burden of proof, so I have to vote Pro down simply due to Con's responses, which are easily sufficient to negate. In fact, Con's C1 is sufficient to vote Pro down, simply because Pro doesn't even justify the truth of the universe functioning via telic recursion, generation of information, etc. Conduct to Con as Pro plagiarizes text from their source without quotes.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro plagiarized by not using quotation marks. Thus is poor conduct.