There is no emergence

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:20 pm

PTH wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:17 pm
You're obviously realising your case has no merit..
Glad you could be so gracious to admit that ;)

Perhaps you failed to notice how I made you argue against your own premise?
PTH wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:15 pm
And, sometimes, meaning is the cause.
It is exactly the meaning of the words "Alexa, please turn on the lights" which causes the lights to turn on, because the meaning of that sentence is captured entirely in its intention.

Seeming as you have decided to abandon your original position, I am now happy to announce my suspicion. You are a fucking sophist.

What you have before you is a theory of meaning in a Monist metaphysic. Meaning is purpose. Telos.

I am guessing it's not as meaningful as you had hoped?

PTH
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH » Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:14 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:20 pm
PTH wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:17 pm
You're obviously realising your case has no merit..
Glad you could be so gracious to admit that ;)

Perhaps you failed to notice how I made you argue against your own premise?
I think you may be getting messages from another dimension.

That, or you're starting to mimic General Custer, as depicted in "Little Big Man."

You've figured out that I want you to think that I don't want you to charge into that valley, when in fact I actually don't want you to charge into that valley.

You got me. I'm a mule skinner, General.
Skepdick wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:20 pm
PTH wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:15 pm
And, sometimes, meaning is the cause.
It is exactly the meaning of the words "Alexa, please turn on the lights" which causes the lights to turn on, because the meaning of that sentence is captured entirely in its intention.
Alexa switches on the lights for exactly the same reason my screwdriver works the screw in the right direction.

Which has nothing to do with the meaning of either instruction.

Yet, the meaning is present in both contexts.

Do you even have a point to make, anymore?

I'm stopping, because I doubt anyone else is watching and you've stopped making sense.

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:36 pm

PTH wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:14 pm
Alexa switches on the lights for exactly the same reason my screwdriver works the screw in the right direction.
"Exact same reason"

In some aspect they are the same.
In some aspects they are different.

The reason they are "exactly the same" is causality.

You operating the screwdriver has a causal effect on the screw.
Me operating Alexa has a causal effect on the lights.

The reason they are different is that you don't operate screwdrivers with only your words.
Words only have causal effect on minds. Your cat doesn't care what it says on the catfood box.

Which is precisely the criterion you established for "meaning"
PTH wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:17 pm
mental activity must change physical outcomes.
My mental activity, expressed with the English sentence "Alexa, turn on the lights" , produces a physical outcome. The lights turn on.
PTH wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:17 pm
So if I read instructions on how to operate a piece of machinery, do we think that simple conscious understanding of that instructive text had no impact on what I did next?
Parsing the meaning of my words had direct impact on what Alexa did next.

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:00 pm

PTH wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:14 pm
Do you even have a point to make, anymore?
This is as trivial as I can explain this to you.

Your argument for the causality of meaning reduces to the following causal chain: instructions -> PTH -> physical outcome
My argument (backed up with empirical evidence) reduces to this: instructions -> computer -> physical outcome

It is therefore trivial to observe that replacing you with a computer had no effect on the outcome.
Whatever the significance of your "conscious mind" in the causal chain - it can be fully explained by a "Difference engine".

IF causality is a sufficient condition for meaning, then we do not need to account for the contents of your mind in order to explain meaning.

My words are causal (meaningful?) with or without you.

That is where Wittgenstein fucked up with his private language argument.

Even if a programming language is only understood by a single individual, it can still be understood by one individual and one computer. That's sufficient for coherent, deterministic causality.

PTH
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:47 am

Skepdick wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:36 pm
PTH wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:17 pm
So if I read instructions on how to operate a piece of machinery, do we think that simple conscious understanding of that instructive text had no impact on what I did next?
Parsing the meaning of my words had direct impact on what Alexa did next.
Syntax is not semantics.

Your mistake is using the term "meaning" in an allegorical sense.

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:19 pm

PTH wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:47 am
Syntax is not semantics.
PTH wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:47 am
Your mistake is using the term "meaning" in an allegorical sense.
Contradiction.

allegory. noun. a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning.

"syntax is not semantics" is an allegorical claim in light of your previous statements.
PTH wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:15 pm
And, sometimes, meaning is the cause.
PTH wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:17 pm
Unless our contention is that no-one, ever, was influenced enough to change their behaviour because of something they read.
If syntax is not semantics, then you are necessarily claiming that you have the power to extract "hidden meaning" from the English sentences you read, and that this "extracted hidden meaning" influences your behaviour.

If syntax is not semantics, then you are further suggesting that there is a "hidden meaning" in the English phrase "Alexa, please turn off the lights", that Alexa has special access to that meaning, and that this "hidden meaning" has causal effect on Alexa's behaviour and on my lights.

You are arguing for telepathy and you are suggesting that Alexa is capable of mind-reading.

I am using "meaning" in the literal sense that I claimed to be using it. The meaning of "Alexa, please turn off the lights." is captured in its entirety in the intention (and subsequent consequences) of those words. And I would know that to be true for I spoke those words and I know what those words mean.

This is testable and falsifiable. It meets the criterion of the scientific/empirical epistemology. If your epistemic standard is different - please state it.

You are burrowing yourself deeper and deeper into the realm of magical thinking - if that's what you want to achieve, I'll get you a shovel.
Otherwise, you could just settle for nihilism and Occam's razor - Alexa is a primitive NLP algorithm.

The way I see it, you have two choices. If words are meaningful and a difference engine can understand the meaning of words then:
1. Meaning doesn't exist.
2. Meaning exists and difference engine is conscious

You've either lost a battle or a war - choose which one.

PTH
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:12 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:19 pm
You are arguing for telepathy and you are suggesting that Alexa is capable of mind-reading.
No, I'm pointing that Alexa is as unaware of meaning as my ratchet screwdriver.

You and I appreciate meaning, which is why we've had a lengthy, if somewhat circular, engagement around the topic.

seeds
Posts: 829
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:31 pm

Re: There is no emergence

Post by seeds » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:46 pm

PTH wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:12 pm
...Alexa is as unaware of meaning as my ratchet screwdriver.
Exactly.

There is absolutely nothing present within the computer processes (software) called “Alexa” that is capable of being “aware” of anything.

Indeed, when someone speaks to Alexa and it responds by performing a task (such as turning the lights on or off), what is happening is just a highly sophisticated version of loading one of those perforated rolls into one of those old time player pianos, and a specific song is performed.

Except, instead of the device mechanically reading and responding to the coding on a roll of paper, it mechanically reads and responds to specific waveforms of sound via a speech recognition program.

In other words, just pure mechanical processes, with no “awareness” or “understanding” of anything.
_______

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:17 pm

PTH wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:12 pm
No, I'm pointing that Alexa is as unaware of meaning as my ratchet screwdriver.
And I am pointing out why that's a false equivalence, but it seems the only counter-argument you have is a strawman.
PTH wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:12 pm
You and I appreciate meaning, which is why we've had a lengthy, if somewhat circular, engagement around the topic.
And this is just special pleading.

While wearing my scientist (e.g explaining things) hat, I recognise and accept that the logical conclusion of science is nihilism, because "meaning" hides in exactly the same explanatory gaps as God.

So you seem to be unaware of the paradox that if science were to in fact "explain" everything, then that would be proof for nihilism.

Life is meaningless, the universe is meaningless, you are meaningless, I am meaningless. I am perfectly OK with that.

Free will is liberating.
Last edited by Skepdick on Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:21 pm

seeds wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:46 pm
There is absolutely nothing present within the computer processes (software) called “Alexa” that is capable of being “aware” of anything.
As far as computer scientists can tell, there are only two ways a system can become "aware" of anything.

1. polling. Either it actively looks for something to be aware of somewhere, somewhen, somehow.
2. Interrupting. The thing to be aware of invades your attention.

Perhaps you are resorting to special pleading when you think that there is something special about your and your brain?
Is the thought of you being nothing more than a bunch of particles put together unnerving?
seeds wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:46 pm
Indeed, when someone speaks to Alexa and it responds by performing a task (such as turning the lights on or off), what is happening is just a highly sophisticated version of loading one of those perforated rolls into one of those old time player pianos, and a specific song is performed.
And what happens in your head when I ask you to make me a cup of tea is not a "just a highly sophisticated arrangement of matter"?

You can't have your cake and eat it too. If we re-create consciousness artificially, then we have explained it.
If we can explain (e.g re-create) consciousness, it literally renders it about as interesting as tea-making.

There seems to be great confusion on this thread about what people want.

Everybody wants an explanation for consciousness. Nobody wants consciousness to be explained away by science.

PTH
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:09 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:21 pm
Everybody wants an explanation for consciousness. Nobody wants consciousness to be explained away by science.
It's more that consciousness has not been explained away by science. Some folk have asked us to forget about consciousness, which is a different thing.

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:36 pm

PTH wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:09 pm
It's more that consciousness has not been explained away by science.
In context of Meno's paradox I await your definition of "explanation".

What event would need to take place, what evidence would science have to produce, for you to concede that consciousness is explained?

Is there anything that can convince you? Given that you were arguing for Chinese rooms (which is an ontological argument), I am leaning towards "No"

PTH
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:45 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:36 pm
PTH wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:09 pm
It's more that consciousness has not been explained away by science.
What event would need to take place, what evidence would science have to produce, for you to concede that consciousness is explained?
Does this question have a point? Is this science entity of which you speak on the verge of offering an explanation?

Skepdick
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:56 pm

PTH wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:45 pm
Does this question have a point?
^^^ and this one?
PTH wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:45 pm
Is this science entity of which you speak on the verge of offering an explanation?
Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. This question can't be answered until you resolve Meno's paradox: What is an "explanation" to you?

Depending on your expectations science may offer you an "explanation" (if it hasn't already got one) tomorrow, or never.

Neither science nor philosophy can offer answers to an entity that doesn't know what it wants to learn.

PTH
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:25 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:56 pm
Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't.
In fairness, that's not a maybe. Its a no.

Once again, politics is eating science for breakfast.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests