Materialism and Mechanisms

Perhaps realism is just the objectivity created by multiple minds (or segments of one mind, a la Bernardo) in a consensus reality, lending it the consistency generally lacking in dreams.
If you mean philosophical realism, then no. Philosophical realism holds that there is an external reality which exists independent of mind.

Pat
 
Speaking of humility. It's funny that you only see the topics I do comment on and don't see any of the topics upon which I remain silent even though I could restart that topic in the forums I'm allowed to post and comment. So ask yourself why don't I do that since you think I'm so self assured and have no humility? I see many opinings stated as definitive answers here nearly everyday, why you don't see them as condescending, arrogant and naive and point them out as such? I'm allowed to state definitives just like everyone else. Last night, as I do most every night when the weather and seasons permit, I looked out my open window to discover the world within reach of my senses remains the same even though thousands of people were dreaming and I saw no change in reality.

This conveys doubt. I have no doubt what I said is true.
I wasn't even talking about dreams, and I really don't have much to add on that topic. I was only responding to the way you frequently express things, but I now see that it would probably be better if I hadn't commented at all. There is just something about the way you post that strikes a nerve with me. Somehow when I read your posts expressing such certainty, I am compelled to respond, even though I otherwise feel no need to post much anymore. I suppose we are just polar opposites - I am rarely certain of anything - but I assure you that I was once every bit as certain as you are. In fact, I was probably more certain (and more condescending too).

Anyway, you're right - you have every right to make definitive statements and if I don't like them, that's my problem. And I have come up with a solution to that problem - I've decided to put you on ignore. Please don't take it personally - despite our differences, I sincerely harbor no ill-will toward you, and wish you the best. I just don't see any point in any further discussions between us.
 
Anyway, you're right - you have every right to make definitive statements and if I don't like them, that's my problem.
I don't think so. It depends upon whether someone wishes to participate in a discussion, or merely present themselves to onlookers in the worst possible light. In a discussion there has to be some give and take even with views one disagrees with. Without such back-and-forth exchanges there is only meaningless posturing, such as that of a statue or other inanimate object.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

Anyway, once again-- dreams create the illusion of realism (an outside objective reality). I noted this within a lucid dream- that there is no difference between dream reality and waking reality in terms of the properties of matter. (This is not only my experience; many people will vouch for what I'm saying) Dreams are only abstract in retrospect. A dream itself is concrete. I think this is something worth thinking about for materialists & realists.
Goswami takes this approach in his Idealist interpretation of quantum mechanics. There's an interview where this likening to dreams is specifically mentioned - will try to dig it up later as it specifically discusses the idea of observers as dreamers holding reality as consensus. Admittedly it makes me think of Mage: The Ascension, so it'd be cool if it were true. :)

Garret, who believes QM shows "we are our thoughts", actually mentions the separation of dream and reality is based around consistency. He says the choice is between Everett's MWI or Idealism....Michael Hanlon is a bit more reserved and says the choice is between MWI and Observer-Participancy. In any case the Multiverse doesn't look so good at the moment.

Given the challenges to realism (here + here + here + here) this type of thinking may end up being more popular.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

Surprise! Naturalistic metaphysics undermines naive determinism, part I

The best argument in favor of scientific realism is known as the “no miracles” argument, according to which it would be nothing short of miraculous if scientific theories did not track the world as it actually is, however imperfectly, and still managed to return such impressive payoffs, like, you know, the ability to actually send a space probe to Mars. Even so, the anti-realist can reply, we know of scientific theories that are wrong in a deep sense and yet manage to be empirically adequate, Newtonian mechanics perhaps being the prime example.
I talked about the pessimistic meta-induction at TAM a couple of years ago, and Richard Dawkins approached me afterwards to let me know that — clearly — the Darwinian theory is the obvious exception to the meta-induction, thus displaying a surprising amount of ignorance of both the history of biology and the current status of evolutionary theory. Cue the onslaught of incensed comments by his supporters...

Surprise! Naturalistic metaphysics undermines naive determinism, part II


The same goes for causality: when historians, economists, biologists and so on talk about “X causing Y” they are simply deploying a concept that is useful for capturing patterns that are affected by time asymmetry, and that are no more or less illusory than patterns at any other level of analysis of reality. The only difference between physics and the special sciences, according to Ladyman and Ross, is that the former is concerned with patterns that have for all effective purposes a very very large domain of stability (both in space and time). Biologists, instead, are concerned with patterns that have local stability both in space (earth-bound, for now) and time (the duration of the life of an individual, or of a species).

The surprising upshot of all of this is that physicalist reductionism — the idea that all the special sciences and their objects of study will eventually reduce to physics and its objects of study — is out of the question. And it is out of the question because of a metaphysics (ontic structural realism) that is based on the best physics available! If you are not blown away by this you may not have caught the thing in its entirety and may want to go back and re-read this post (or, if your philosophical and physical chops are adequate, ETMG).

This has all sorts of implication for those increasingly popular (and, I think, annoying) statements about determinism and reductionism that we keep hearing. Turns out that they are based on bad physics and worse metaphysics. There is no fundamental determinism for the simple reason that there is no fundamental causality, and that “cause” is a conceptual tool deployed by the special sciences that has no counterpart in fundamental physics, and so it cannot be reduced to or eliminated by the latter.
http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2012/08/surprise-naturalistic-metaphysics_20.html
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

Schrödinger, Democritus, and the Paradox of Materialism

Erwin Schrödinger was yet another of those early twentieth-century thinkers cognizant of the deeply problematic character of the mechanistic conception of the material world inherited from the early modern period – and yet another to see, in particular, that this conception of matter, far from opening the way to a materialistic solution of the mind-body problem, in fact created the problem and appears to make any materialistic solution to it impossible.

The reason does not (as one might suppose) have anything essentially to do with quantum mechanics, of which Schrödinger was one of the fathers. It has rather to do with a relatively simple philosophical point which was first made by the likes of Cudworth and Malebranche and repeated in recent years by writers like Nagel and Swinburne (as noted in the second of the earlier posts linked to above). Two relevant texts are Schrödinger’s essay “On the Peculiarity of the Scientific World-View” (from What is Life? and Other Scientific Essays) and chapter 6 of his Mind and Matter, entitled “The Mystery of the Sensual Qualities” (reprinted in What is Life? with Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches – a more recent volume which does not include the earlier essay).
 
Feser is a Christian apologist. In his own words:

My primary academic research interests are in the philosophy of mind, moral and political philosophy, and philosophy of religion. I also write on politics, from a conservative point of view; and on religion, from a traditional Roman Catholic perspective
Other opinions are available.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

Feser is a Christian apologist. In his own words:

Other opinions are available.
It seems to me this is like saying we can disregard anything Dennet has to say about metaphysical questions because of his position in the New Atheist movement.

I don't believe anything I've yet posted from Feser demands belief in God or a sharing of his political opinions, especially since I can guarantee my opinions on both differ wildly from his.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

You've consistently ragged on the New Athiests generally and Dennett in particular. I'm not trawling through all 1600 posts of yours again. They were excruciating enough the first time around. ;)
So we should just take your word as a reliable witness that you saw what you saw?

Because here's a post where I say Dennet is one of the smartest people I've read, in direct response to you.

In any case the important point is that Feser's politics and faith can be taken into consideration, and even set aside, when evaluating his posts. But these things can't be used to invalidate his arguments - at least not by the intellectually honest.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

I don't have to be supportive of Dennet's metaphysical positions to know that him being a New Atheist doesn't invalidate them. It seems to me that kind of thinking is an ad hominem, specifically Poisoning the Well.

I also think using "opinion" as a signifier for philosophical arguments is an incorrect usage of the word.

(Also take careful note that a legitimate list of logical fallacies doesn't include the "Quantum Physics Fallacy".)

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The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science by Nancy Cartwright


To assume that the laws of physics are supreme is to remain within the confines of this Humean world. Physical laws assert what are supposedly eternal regularities, but there is nothing necessary about them: we can have no guarantee that the law that holds today will hold tomorrow or, for that matter, that it isn’t just a local effect applying only to our observable part of the universe, and that different laws may apply elsewhere.

For Nancy Cartwright this is all the wrong way about. For her, the world presented by the laws of physics is largely a fiction. The world in which we live, unlike that inside the laboratory, is a messy, unpredictable place, marked by discontinuities and fractures. The regularities promised by physics are rarely apparent. It is a more dangerous – in some ways a more interesting place – than the supposedly absolute and eternal laws of physics would suggest. There is a lack of fit between the laws and reality as we know it: to find the regularities promised you need to look hard and deep and under certain special conditions; you need, ideally, to be in a laboratory.

If not much that happens in nature is, in fact, as orderly and regular as we have been led to believe by physics, then we must expect even less order when we enter the world of the human sciences. Hence, if the economist attempts to lay down laws, he or she is well-advised to equip them with ceteris paribus conditions – that is, if he proposes that “taxes increase prices” he will protect his hide by informing us that they will only do so if other things are equal. But other things rarely are equal. All kinds of countervailing trends may be at work, as well as quite unexpected events – a run on the dollar, an oil bonanza, a devaluation of the currency – so that it is possible that a tax increase, far from raising prices, may be followed by a fall in prices.

Does this mean that the ‘law’ in this case is wrong? Not at all. In explaining why the law failed to apply on this particular occasion the economist will have recourse to counterfactuals: that is, he will explain that the tax increase would have caused a rise in prices if x or y or z had not occurred. In which case, one may think, it is not much of a law, if it cannot guarantee that the cause will give rise to the effect. However, Cartwright argues that this situation is scarcely peculiar to laws of economics; it applies equally to the laws of physics.
 
I don't have to be supportive of Dennet's metaphysical positions to know that him being a New Atheist doesn't invalidate them. It seems to me that kind of thinking is an ad hominem, specifically Poisoning the Well.
Good, we're in agreement then. Equally, I was not making an ad hom at Feser.

I also think using "opinion" as a signifier for philosophical arguments is an incorrect usage of the word.
Fair enough: Other positions are available. Given your inexhaustible supply of links from a wide range of "philosophers" you already know this... If you hold a position, you'll find some philosophical support for it if you search hard enough (and you seem to search pretty hard).

(Also take careful note that a legitimate list of logical fallacies doesn't include the "Quantum Physics Fallacy".)
It is still a fallacy (are you saying it's not?). It is a subset of "argument from ignorance" and "god of the gaps" as far as i can tell.
 
Good, we're in agreement then. Equally, I was not making an ad hom at Feser
Fair enough: Other positions are available. Given your inexhaustible supply of links from a wide range of "philosophers" you already know this... If you hold a position, you'll find some philosophical support for it if you search hard enough (and you seem to search pretty hard).

It is still a fallacy (are you saying it's not?). It is a subset of "argument from ignorance" and "god of the gaps" as far as i can tell.
Are you done now?
 
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