“Lisp … made me aware that software could be close to executable mathematics.”
— L. Peter Deutschhttps://t.co/dLjVZm7Ggd
"Haskell ≈ 'mathematics in typewriter font'"
— Jan Kuperhttps://t.co/NCtIz5wDTS
Executable math renders inventions physical! https://t.co/sYWK4GBJqD
— Philip Thrift (@philipthrift) February 14, 2020
Like the functional/processual paradigm difference in programming, the equational/connectional paradigm difference in physics appears.
Now the entire physical universe would be encompassed by a set of equations – or perhaps just one equation.
A Theory of Everything
Computer simulations and custom-built quantum analogues are changing what it means to search for the laws of nature.
The End of Theoretical Physics as We Know It
On the connectional vs. equational paradigm in physics: The connectional could profoundly change what is both practically and philosophically viewed as a model in physics, and that the equational is left behind in a past era of platonism.
Genuine, realistic materialism requires acknowledgement that the phenomena of conscious experience are, considered specifically as such, wholly physical, as physical as the phenomena of extension and electricity as studied by physics. This in turn requires the acknowledgement that current physics, considered as a general account of the nature of the physical, is like Hamlet without the prince, or at least like Othello without Desdemona. No one who doubts this is a serious materialist, as far as I can see. Anyone who has had a standard modern (Western) education is likely to experience a feeling of deep bewilderment—category-blasting amazement—when entering into serious materialism, and considering the question ‘What is the nature of the physical?’ in the context of the thought that the mental (and in particular the experiential) is physical; followed, perhaps, by a deep, pragmatic agnosticism.
Even if we grant that there is a phenomenon that is reasonably picked out by the phrase ‘mental self’, why should we accept that the right thing to say about some two-second-long mental-self phenomenon is (a) that it is a thing or object like a rock or a tiger? Why can’t we insist that the right thing to say is simply (b) that an enduring (‘physical’) object—Louis—has a certain property, or (c) that a two-second mental-self phenomenon is just a matter of a certain process occurring in an object—so that it is not itself a distinct object existing for two seconds?
I think that a proper understanding of materialism strips (b) and (c) of any appearance of superiority to (a). As for (c): any claim to the effect that a mental self is best thought
of as a process rather than an object can be countered by saying that there is no sense in which a mental self is a process in which a rock is not also and equally a process. So if a rock is a paradigm case of a thing in spite of being a process, we have no good reason not to say the same of a mental self.
But if there is a process, there must be something—an object or substance—in which it goes on. If something happens, there must be something to which it happens, something which is not just the happening itself. This expresses our ordinary understanding of things, but physicists are increasingly content with the view that physical reality is itself a kind of pure process—even if it remains hard to know exactly what this idea amounts to. The view that there is some ultimate stuff to which things happen has increasingly ceded to the idea that the existence of anything worthy of the name ‘ultimate stuff’ consists in the existence of fields of energy — consists, in other words, in the existence of a kind of pure process which is not usefully thought of as something which is happening to a thing distinct from it.
As for (b): the object/property distinction is, as Russell says of the standard distinction between mental and physical, ‘superficial and unreal’ (1927: 402). Chronic philosophical difficulties with the question of how to express the relation between substance and property provide strong negative support for this view. However ineluctable it is for us, it seems that the distinction must be as superficial as we must take the distinction between the wavelike nature and particlelike nature of fundamental particles to be.
Obviously more needs to be said, but Kant seems to have got it exactly right in a single clause: ‘in their relation to substance, [accidents] are not in fact subordinated to it, but are the manner of existence of the substance itself’.
What next? one asks. See
“How did we ever get the notion of the mind as something distinct from the body? Why did this bad idea enter our culture?”
— Richard Rorty
Is psychology a natural science?
The historical mistakes of Galileo’s Error and Descartes’ Dualism removed consciousness from scientific vocabulary.
- Students assume psychology is less scientific/important than the natural sciences, says study with scientific limitations
- A Plea for Psychology as a ‘Natural Science’
I wished, by treating Psychology like a natural science, to help her to become one.
There is no reason William James’ “psychical units” cannot exoand the vocabulary of science.
As biology (science of life) may not the “reducible” to physics+chemistry, psychology (science of consciousness) may not be “reducible” to biology. It is it’s own domain (with overlaps).
Richard Brown, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
P1. Everything – including consciousness – is physical.
P2. Everything physical can be explained by a particle or a combination of particles (and/or their fields).
P3. Consciousness cannot be explained by current inhabitants (or any of their combinations, or any of them in terms of their currently defined particle properties) of the Particle Zoo (which includes at least the Standard Model).
P4. Consciousness cannot be emergent.
C. There must a particle (or particles) not yet in the Particle Zoo, or a particle property (or properties) not yet defined for current particles, responsible for consciousness.
“One thing we do know about matter is that when you put some very common-or-garden elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sodium, potassium, etc) together in the way in which they’re put together in brains, you get consciousness like ours – a wholly physical phenomenon. (It’s happening to you right now.) And this means that we do, after all, know something about the intrinsic nature of matter, over and above everything we know in knowing the equations of physics. Why? Because we know the intrinsic nature of consciousness and consciousness is a form of matter.”
— Galen Strawson (The Guardian – book review)
“[Consciousness] is in fact the only thing in the universe whose ultimate intrinsic nature we can claim to know. It is utterly unmysterious. The nature of physical stuff, by contrast, is deeply mysterious, and physics grows stranger by the hour.”
— Galen Strawson (The New York Times – opinion)
PEAs — pan(proto)experiential attributes — are basic, fundamental properties of matter, just like mass, charge, polarity, and other things physicists talk about. Matter = Quanta+Qualia.
PEAs may be along the lines of constitutive panpsychism, “holding that consciousness is naturally inherent in matter, with human consciousness built up out of this”:
The PEA is not that outside the (growing) categories (and subcategories) of hypothetical particles. One only extends the vocabulary of science (and modeling methodology), but it is still science. In fact, PEAs may be more “scientific” than some above hypotheticals.
Physics is not a fixed catechism saying what’s allowed in its modeling language, and maybe physics in the future will be panpsychist in formulation.
The Qualities of Qualia
David de Léon
Conscious Machines and Consciousness Oriented Programming
This would be the “reductionist” approach to constitutive panpsychism*:
Along with bosons and fermions and all the rest [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_particles ] there are:
psychons [ https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/psychon ]
Consciousnessive Hypo-Intrinsic Massless Particle*
* (or Property)
The CHIMP would be like the Higgs boson – the particle that gives mass to other particles – except it would interact with other particles to give (proto) experience. In articular (large, complex, integrated) configurations of particles (brains), consciousness appears.
CHIMPs are carriers of the qualia field.
The vocabulary of (any) science (and there is no final vocabulary [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ironism]) is never settled. There is no reason why it can’t some day include the “intrinsic”, “qualitative”. Science becomes established by what is accepted in its writing.
What if physical stuff (to use Galen Strawson’s favorite term for matter) could only be allowed (by some scientific panel I guess) to be defined in terms of fermionic properties, and bosonic properties had to be excluded (from what physicists regard as “physical”). So why the jump to exclude experiential (psychical, psychonic) properties?
The Easy Part of the Hard Problem: A Resonance Theory of Consciousness
Tam Hunt and Jonathan W. Schooler
“while everything is physical, some physical states cannot be fully grasped unless they are occupied”
aware – from PIE root *wer- (3) “perceive, watch out for.”
Programs become objects via compilations, where an object can be a
– binary machine code executable
– dynamical gate array
– nanomechanical device
– synthetic biological lifeform
– human psychological process* (human biocomputer)
At some point these objects are ‘aware’.
* A brain executes psychological processes as a star executes nuclear fusion processes.