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# Causality is not fundamental

 Posts: 8,346 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 9/29/2016 10:44:10 AMPosted: 1 year agowall texts are very unfriendly to read. I wouldn't mind discussing your position, if I didn't have to read a few books to do so."Your signature should not have the name of other players in the game, nor should it have the words VTL, Vote, or Unvote." ~Yraelz, 2017 Debate challenge 'Solipsism is false:' http://www.debate.org... If God were real... http://www.debate.org...
 Posts: 339 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 9/29/2016 11:21:06 AMPosted: 1 year agoI concur with Smithereens. You need to reformat as something more readable. I'm not even sure what point you were trying to convey, aside from causality being an illusion or something.
 Posts: 2,319 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 9/29/2016 11:59:47 AMPosted: 1 year agoYou can use either of my references to get my point. The first is better formatted than this forum allows me to and the second is a video.
 Posts: 7,507 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 9/29/2016 3:24:32 PMPosted: 1 year agoIntuitive appeals aside, what reason is there to think that causality is of any philosophical significance? After all, we can describe the above scenario only using trivial highschool physics, without referencing causality in any way.My initial thought is why ban intuition before we even begin. While something that is intuitive is not always true, it might be throwing baby out with the bath water to assume what is intuitive is always false or misleading!I am thinking about Bob's balls (which is not something I do every day!). If I observe ball B to the exclusion of all else I will see it just sitting there and suddenly start moving. I do not need to observe ball A to detect a change in the motion of ball B, but surely I can infer that some event occurred that resulted in the observed behaviour of B, and label that event the 'cause' of the change. Perhaps causality is not fundamental to statis but it is fundamental to change.In the Persian carpet case, one may be able to do away with causality to explain or build up the pattern from a slice, but one would need something like causality to explain, say, a blood stain in one corner of the carpet.I have a horrible feeling this thread is going to require actual thinking.... could be an interesting ride!
 Posts: 105 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 9/29/2016 7:37:31 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 9/28/2016 10:58:10 AM, Fkkize wrote:Intuitive appeals aside, what reason is there to think that causality is of any philosophical significance? After all, we can describe the above scenario only using trivial highschool physics, without referencing causality in any way. This is a thought that struck me a while ago, when I was listening to a lecture: I have these equations and I can use them to very accurately describe the state of the system at every point in time, but none of these equations reference causality. I was glad to see scientists and (some) philosophers had the same idea.A rose is a rose by any other name and would smell just as sweet.Recent research has established that Noam Chomsky was wrong and children acquire grammar using pattern matching rather than inheriting it. In fact, the first five neural networks responsible for pattern matching have already been mapped in the human brain. The implication is that words only have demonstrable meaning in specific contexts and arguing that concepts like causality are unnecessary or not real is simply pointless splitting of semantic hairs. Causality is obviously a useful concept even its possible to sometimes avoid using it and whether anything is ultimately "real" or "unreal" is, again, a question of what you mean by the words.Yelling that a cow is actually a chair is simply a waste of time when its much more useful to simply use the popular definitions of such words.
 Posts: 1,219 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 9/30/2016 1:37:44 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 9/29/2016 12:05:55 PM, Fkkize wrote:Thoughts?I'm glad to see a new consensus forming regarding causality, especially as it upends the lingering Aristotelian and Newtonian metaphysics/ontology. Pragmatists will naturally attack you here, as they seek to maintain an epistemology with a great track record.However, your input in the neutrino-experiment thread was slightly in line with the causalist prejudice of a fundamental ontology (http://www.debate.org...). Rather than following the standard of quantum theory, where the photon's polarization doesn"t exist until it is measured, you seemed there to fall back on a defense of the "strict laws of nature." To be clear, you were correct in dismissing Smithereens' assertion; she was utterly wrong in proposing a conscious interaction/mediation between observer and observed; but while it is easy to dismiss her error, the implication of the neutrino experiment points away from that fundamental ontology, which you undermine here yet defend there.I am fascinated by the idea that our civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness. --Werner Herzog
 Posts: 2,319 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/1/2016 5:43:38 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 9/30/2016 1:37:44 PM, NHN wrote:At 9/29/2016 12:05:55 PM, Fkkize wrote:Thoughts?I'm glad to see a new consensus forming regarding causality, especially as it upends the lingering Aristotelian and Newtonian metaphysics/ontology. Pragmatists will naturally attack you here, as they seek to maintain an epistemology with a great track record.That would depend on the kind of pragmatism you are referring to. A Peirceian pragmatist like myself has no problem with causal eliminativism. That said, I argued causality is not fundamental, not that we should banish all everyday talk about it.However, your input in the neutrino-experiment thread was slightly in line with the causalist prejudice of a fundamental ontology (http://www.debate.org...).I am not sure how.Rather than following the standard of quantum theory, where the photon's polarization doesn"t exist until it is measured, you seemed there to fall back on a defense of the "strict laws of nature."I am not aware of any version of QM where a particle literally didn't exist before measurement. If by standard QM you are referring to the Copenhagen interpretation, then no, it doesn't say the particle doesn't exist prior to a measurement, it says the particle doesn't have a definite state prior to a measurement, which then collapses the wavefunction to give a definite result. There still needs to be something to be collapsed to give a measurement.To be clear, you were correct in dismissing Smithereens' assertion; she was utterly wrong in proposing a conscious interaction/mediation between observer and observed; but while it is easy to dismiss her error, the implication of the neutrino experiment points away from that fundamental ontology, which you undermine here yet defend there.I wouldn't know the results, since no source was provided.
 Posts: 1,219 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/1/2016 7:54:36 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/1/2016 5:43:38 PM, Fkkize wrote:At 9/30/2016 1:37:44 PM, NHN wrote:At 9/29/2016 12:05:55 PM, Fkkize wrote:Thoughts?I'm glad to see a new consensus forming regarding causality, especially as it upends the lingering Aristotelian and Newtonian metaphysics/ontology. Pragmatists will naturally attack you here, as they seek to maintain an epistemology with a great track record.That would depend on the kind of pragmatism you are referring to. A Peirceian pragmatist like myself has no problem with causal eliminativism.By pragmatists I am referring to the obtuse and inarticulate posters who, while lacking a leg to stand on, refuse to acknowledge the difficulties regarding scientific truth and its representation. But since you're a Peircean pragmatist, you know this delicate matter by heart and reject the common simplification.That said, I argued causality is not fundamental, not that we should banish all everyday talk about it.My point is that we should relegate causality to the level of everyday chatter. For example, I still use the expressions sunrise and sunset, or centrifugal, but I would never take recourse to them as established facts.However, your input in the neutrino-experiment thread was slightly in line with the causalist prejudice of a fundamental ontology (http://www.debate.org...).I am not sure how.As I stated above, your criticism appeared to presuppose a fundamental ontology (Aristotelian or Newtonian "nature").I am not aware of any version of QM where a particle literally didn't exist before measurement.If by standard QM you are referring to the Copenhagen interpretation, then no, it doesn't say the particle doesn't exist prior to a measurement, it says the particle doesn't have a definite state prior to a measurement, which then collapses the wavefunction to give a definite result. There still needs to be something to be collapsed to give a measurement.Wouldn't you rather say that the model determines the observation? In other words, that the active participation of the observer with the observed is a determinant which must always be taken into account. If not, how would you describe it?To be clear, you were correct in dismissing Smithereens' assertion; she was utterly wrong in proposing a conscious interaction/mediation between observer and observed; but while it is easy to dismiss her error, the implication of the neutrino experiment points away from that fundamental ontology, which you undermine here yet defend there.I wouldn't know the results, since no source was provided.She did provide them in the thread -- page 2, I think -- but not in the OP.I am fascinated by the idea that our civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness. --Werner Herzog
 Posts: 2,319 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/2/2016 11:12:36 AMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/1/2016 7:54:36 PM, NHN wrote:At 10/1/2016 5:43:38 PM, Fkkize wrote:At 9/30/2016 1:37:44 PM, NHN wrote:At 9/29/2016 12:05:55 PM, Fkkize wrote:Thoughts?I'm glad to see a new consensus forming regarding causality, especially as it upends the lingering Aristotelian and Newtonian metaphysics/ontology. Pragmatists will naturally attack you here, as they seek to maintain an epistemology with a great track record.That would depend on the kind of pragmatism you are referring to. A Peirceian pragmatist like myself has no problem with causal eliminativism.By pragmatists I am referring to the obtuse and inarticulate posters who, while lacking a leg to stand on, refuse to acknowledge the difficulties regarding scientific truth and its representation. But since you're a Peircean pragmatist, you know this delicate matter by heart and reject the common simplification.That said, I argued causality is not fundamental, not that we should banish all everyday talk about it.My point is that we should relegate causality to the level of everyday chatter. For example, I still use the expressions sunrise and sunset, or centrifugal, but I would never take recourse to them as established facts.However, your input in the neutrino-experiment thread was slightly in line with the causalist prejudice of a fundamental ontology (http://www.debate.org...).I am not sure how.As I stated above, your criticism appeared to presuppose a fundamental ontology (Aristotelian or Newtonian "nature").I have asked for sources and pointed out the paper does not conclude what she claimed it concludes. But I have not stated any of my own views.I am not aware of any version of QM where a particle literally didn't exist before measurement.If by standard QM you are referring to the Copenhagen interpretation, then no, it doesn't say the particle doesn't exist prior to a measurement, it says the particle doesn't have a definite state prior to a measurement, which then collapses the wavefunction to give a definite result. There still needs to be something to be collapsed to give a measurement.Wouldn't you rather say that the model determines the observation? In other words, that the active participation of the observer with the observed is a determinant which must always be taken into account. If not, how would you describe it?Of course, without an observer you cannot observe antything and unlike classical mechanics an observer wil influence the state of the observed.To be clear, you were correct in dismissing Smithereens' assertion; she was utterly wrong in proposing a conscious interaction/mediation between observer and observed; but while it is easy to dismiss her error, the implication of the neutrino experiment points away from that fundamental ontology, which you undermine here yet defend there.I wouldn't know the results, since no source was provided.She did provide them in the thread -- page 2, I think -- but not in the OP.That paper was about a delayed choice which-way experiment (using photons), not about neutrino oscillations.
 Posts: 1,219 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/2/2016 11:57:38 AMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/2/2016 11:12:36 AM, Fkkize wrote:As I stated above, your criticism appeared to presuppose a fundamental ontology (Aristotelian or Newtonian "nature").I have asked for sources and pointed out the paper does not conclude what she claimed it concludes. But I have not stated any of my own views.I see. I thought the criticism implied a positioning in favor of the strict causalists in the thread, but I'm obviously mistaken. My bad.Wouldn't you rather say that the model determines the observation? In other words, that the active participation of the observer with the observed is a determinant which must always be taken into account. If not, how would you describe it?Of course, without an observer you cannot observe antything and unlike classical mechanics an observer wil influence the state of the observed.Precisely. And as the observer needn't be a human subject, as Smithereens incorrectly implies, the very notion of the observer's "conscious mediation" goes out the window.That paper was about a delayed choice which-way experiment (using photons), not about neutrino oscillations.There was a previous citation somewhere. Regardless, Smithereens will likely not revisit the thread, so I guess the argument is buried for now.I am fascinated by the idea that our civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness. --Werner Herzog
 Posts: 13,777 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/5/2016 7:01:49 PMPosted: 1 year agoIf the goal is merely to record reality's contents and to make predictions by extrapolating patterns found within the mass of data, then one does not need to bring causality into the mix. On the other hand, if one wants to explain why things are the way they are as opposed to other possible ways, then some mention of causality will be necessary. The way I see it, causation and explanation are semantically linked at the most basic level, and they both reduce to the same essential concept: logical implication. To say that something is "explained" is to say that something else's existence causes (implicates) the existence of whatever is being explained within their common explanatory framework (reality), and rules out its nonexistence, thereby rendering the issue of whether or not it exists wholly decidable.The example of the Persian carpet shows that a correlation between two things does not necessarily imply a direct causal relationship between them. But that is not even controversial. It does not show that patterns, or anything for that matter, can be causeless: for that, one would need another argument. That's because even though the patterns of the Persian carpet aren't explained by anything in the carpet itself, that does not mean the patterns do not have a cause beyond the carpet. Moreover, every aspect of the carpet's pattern exists simultaneously. To say that looking at the carpet from left to right is in fact analogous to looking at how reality evolves from past to present to future needs further justification. Time may be a fundamentally different process with fundamentally different requirements. In other words, whether or not reality is a frozen history of details or a truly dynamic system is relevant to the topic.
 Posts: 4,199 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/5/2016 7:04:02 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/5/2016 7:01:49 PM, dylancatlow wrote:If the goal is merely to record reality's contents and to make predictions by extrapolating patterns found within the mass of data, then one does not need to bring causality into the mix. On the other hand, if one wants to explain why things are the way they are as opposed to other possible ways, then some mention of causality will be necessary. The way I see it, causation and explanation are semantically linked at the most basic level, and they both reduce to the same essential concept: logical implication. To say that something is "explained" is to say that something else's existence causes (implicates) the existence of whatever is being explained within their common explanatory framework (reality), and rules out its nonexistence, thereby rendering the issue of whether or not it exists wholly decidable.The example of the Persian carpet shows that a correlation between two things does not necessarily imply a direct causal relationship between them. But that is not even controversial. It does not show that patterns, or anything for that matter, can be causeless: for that, one would need another argument. That's because even though the patterns of the Persian carpet aren't explained by anything in the carpet itself, that does not mean the patterns do not have a cause beyond the carpet. Moreover, every aspect of the carpet's pattern exists simultaneously. To say that looking at the carpet from left to right is in fact analogous to looking at how reality evolves from past to present to future needs further justification. Time may be a fundamentally different process with fundamentally different requirements. In other words, whether or not reality is a frozen history of details or a truly dynamic system is relevant to the topic.Please read up on implication in logic. It has absolutely nothing to do with causality.Thank you,A smart person.: At 10/2/2017 3:00:43 AM, YYW wrote: : Bossy: You are Regina. :Inferno wrote: :You sound rather gay. -- And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. "I believe that my powers of mind are surely such that I would have become in a certain sense a resolver of all problems. I do not believe that I could have remained in error anywhere for long. I believe that I would have earned the name of Redeemer, because I had the nature of a Redeemer. "
 Posts: 13,777 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 10/5/2016 7:05:45 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 10/5/2016 7:04:02 PM, ShabShoral wrote:At 10/5/2016 7:01:49 PM, dylancatlow wrote:If the goal is merely to record reality's contents and to make predictions by extrapolating patterns found within the mass of data, then one does not need to bring causality into the mix. On the other hand, if one wants to explain why things are the way they are as opposed to other possible ways, then some mention of causality will be necessary. The way I see it, causation and explanation are semantically linked at the most basic level, and they both reduce to the same essential concept: logical implication. To say that something is "explained" is to say that something else's existence causes (implicates) the existence of whatever is being explained within their common explanatory framework (reality), and rules out its nonexistence, thereby rendering the issue of whether or not it exists wholly decidable.The example of the Persian carpet shows that a correlation between two things does not necessarily imply a direct causal relationship between them. But that is not even controversial. It does not show that patterns, or anything for that matter, can be causeless: for that, one would need another argument. That's because even though the patterns of the Persian carpet aren't explained by anything in the carpet itself, that does not mean the patterns do not have a cause beyond the carpet. Moreover, every aspect of the carpet's pattern exists simultaneously. To say that looking at the carpet from left to right is in fact analogous to looking at how reality evolves from past to present to future needs further justification. Time may be a fundamentally different process with fundamentally different requirements. In other words, whether or not reality is a frozen history of details or a truly dynamic system is relevant to the topic.Please read up on implication in logic. It has absolutely nothing to do with causality.Thank you,A smart person.By "Logical implication" I don't mean cause and effect are linked a priori. Rather, the implication is logical WITHIN THEIR COMMON EXPLANATORY FRAMEWORK