There is no emergence

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

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Skepdick
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:49 pm

There's a fundamental question to be asked here: Can every phenomenon (small or large), every system (simple or complex) be explained or understood? One would be hard-pressed answering this with a 'yes' without getting accused of epistemic arrogance.

Human intellect has limits and it rapidly runs out in complex domains. Complexity theory is humbling.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_system
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN6SaRmF_8c

Age
Posts: 3832
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:17 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Age » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:28 am

PTH wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:32 pm
Age wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:09 am
If anyone says; 'The whole is more than its parts', then I would just ask them to clarify HOW this could be possible? If they can not say how, then so be it, but, if they can say how, then great, I have learned some thing new.
Interesting thread. I don't know if this helps in any way, but it does look like there's two different concepts in play and referring to them as "soft" and "hard" emergence may confuse things, as it suggests they should have something in common.

I usually picture "emergence" as meaning something having a feature that its components lack. So, for the sake of argument, an airplane can fly, but its wings, engine and body cannot fly independently. Its only when they are combined that the ability to fly emerges. We are able to explain this emergence, as we can talk about how wings generate lift when an engine power an airplane down a runway. If we are happy with that level of explanation, we can say we understand how the ability to fly emerges from that combination of things.

I think the word "emergence" has also been used when trying to account for how unconscious atoms might, in combination, produce consciousness. In this context, no explanation is being attempted. Its just a speculation - that maybe, in some way, consciousness "emerges" in the same way as we know (as much as things can be known) that the ability to fly emerges from putting wings, engine and body together.

The difficulty arises, IMHO, from using the word "emergence" without clearly stating that we are using a term with a clear meaning and understanding in some contexts (like accounting for the ability to fly) as a speculation about how some things we don't understand may occur (like physical brains producing consciousness).
Now this is an explanation that I can much easier understand, so thank you.

Age
Posts: 3832
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:17 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Age » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:11 am

Skepdick wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:49 pm
There's a fundamental question to be asked here: Can every phenomenon (small or large), every system (simple or complex) be explained or understood? One would be hard-pressed answering this with a 'yes' without getting accused of epistemic arrogance.

Human intellect has limits and it rapidly runs out in complex domains. Complexity theory is humbling.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_system
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN6SaRmF_8c
Asking, 'Can every phenomenon and every system be explained or understood', then the simple answer, from my perspective, is a resounding yes.

1. You never stipulated a time frame in your question.
2. For every question there is an answer.

Now you can accuse me or any one of "epistemic arrogance", and label me or them as such, and, you can also see some things as being complex, and label them as such, which would be an obvious observation to make and do to the one who just can not work some things out, but to make those observations, those accusations, and to propose those labels is just one subjective view, which is based solely upon only one human beings own individual experiences in Life.

Thee actual Truth of things may be somewhat different to what just one individual believes is true.

Skepdick
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am

Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:11 am
1. You never stipulated a time frame in your question.
Do I have to stipulate a time-frame? Anything problem whose solution would take more time than the life-of-the-universe is called "intractable".

So you could Google for a list of intractable problems
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:11 am
2. For every question there is an answer.
Obviously. A wrong answer is still an answer. But no. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undecidable_problem

And if you so insist, you could perhaps tell us what the 10^150th Prime number is? This question definitely has an answer.

Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:11 am
Now you can accuse me or any one of "epistemic arrogance", and label me or them as such, and, you can also see some things as being complex, and label them as such, which would be an obvious observation to make and do to the one who just can not work some things out, but to make those observations, those accusations, and to propose those labels is just one subjective view, which is based solely upon only one human beings own individual experiences in Life.

Thee actual Truth of things may be somewhat different to what just one individual believes is true.
Consider yourself accused.

Age
Posts: 3832
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:17 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Age » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:12 am

PTH wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:32 pm
The difficulty arises, IMHO, from using the word "emergence" without clearly stating that we are using a term with a clear meaning and understanding in some contexts (like accounting for the ability to fly) as a speculation about how some things we don't understand may occur (like physical brains producing consciousness).
If any one wants to look at and discuss the word 'Consciousness' in regards to 'emergence', then, now that I am able to do this from the perspective of 'flight', and how 'it' emerges from the parts of an airplane, then let us proceed.

To me, the word 'conscious' relates close enough to the word 'aware', in other words 'being conscious' or 'being aware' is roughly close enough to each other to begin discussing this. If we can understand, agree upon, and accept what 'being aware' entails, then I do not think physical brains produce Consciousness.

Brains produce thoughts, and thoughts provide a view of things, from that brain, and in that sense, some thoughts are evidence of, and thus show, a 'consciousness', or an awareness, of the surroundings, of that body. This is consciousness with a small 'c'. I say small 'c' because these thoughts are not full consciousness (nor full awareness) of ALL things. They are just A consciousness of some things, which obviously all brains individually are only capable of doing. Consciousness, with capital 'C', of ALL things, however, is when True or Full Consciousness comes into play now.
PTH wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:32 pm
I think the word "emergence" has also been used when trying to account for how unconscious atoms might, in combination, produce consciousness. In this context, no explanation is being attempted. Its just a speculation - that maybe, in some way, consciousness "emerges" in the same way as we know (as much as things can be known) that the ability to fly emerges from putting wings, engine and body together.
ALL atoms can be conceived to be unconscious, including ALL of the atoms that make up a human body and a human brain. Thoughts, however, are invisible (to the physical eyes) and as such may not be made up of atoms, unconscious or conscious, at all. These invisible thoughts emerge from the atoms of human brains 'doing their thing', it might be said. Thoughts just arise as knowledge, (or a conscious awareness of the environment), from the brain, which gets its information from any or all of the five senses of the body that that brain is in.

Invisible thought, or a conscious awareness, emerges or arise from the unconscious atoms of the brain, just like flight emerges or arises from the unconscious atoms of a plane.

Thought is like flight as both are not actual physical things, as far as we know, but instead both are a just a concept of some "non-physical" thing that emerges from physical atoms. Invisible thoughts are just a form of consciousness, which emerges from the physical brain.

Consciousness, the KNOWING of ALL, Itself, however, is some thing much more than just an awareness of the environment but also an Awareness of ALL things, including Its Self. The unknowing answer to the question 'Who am 'I'?' shows just how a supposedly self-conscious (or self-aware) animal is really NOT a self-conscious (nor self-aware) animal at all. This animal just thinks it is self-aware, and it likes to keep portraying this self-centered "intelligence" to try to place itself above and over other animals.

To me, within the so called "unconscious atoms" is an intrinsic KNOWING within them. This KNOWING is of being alive (or living).

Consciousness, Itself, that is; the ALL-KNOWING Awareness, has KNOWN ALL of this always. However, Consciousness, Itself, needs to wait for an intelligent enough animal to evolve into a stage where its brain is able to be conscious (or aware) enough to learn how all of this happens to work. In this sense True Consciousness is 'emerging'. Only through the collective learned consciousness of ALL individuals that True or Full Consciousness emerges into play. Full Consciousness is just the sum of ALL of Its parts, which is just the conscious knowing or awareness of EVERY thing, which shows the Totality of ALL-THERE-IS.

There is a reason WHY Consciousness always exists in the HERE and NOW, and
There is a reason HOW Consciousness always exists in the HERE and NOW.

consciousness, or conscious thought, emerges with and from the atoms of the human brain and the atoms of the human body.
Consciousness, Itself, emerges with and from the collective conscious knowledge, held within thoughts, which are within all of the individual human bodies.

'That', which is accepted and agreed with by ALL, is the Consciousness (conscious KNOWING or Awareness) that is continually emerging in ALL living things, until a truly intelligent enough animal/species where It can reveal its Self.

But to delve into this further what I have written so far needs to be either corrected or agreed with.

Age
Posts: 3832
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:17 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Age » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:37 am

Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:11 am
1. You never stipulated a time frame in your question.
Do I have to stipulate a time-frame?
No. But if you would a more accurate answer, then it helps.

Anything problem whose solution would take more time than the life-of-the-universe is called "intractable".
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Therefore, if your time frame for your question is the life-of-the-Universe, then my answer remains a resounding yes.
If there is such a thing as "more time than the life-of-the-Universe', then are you able to explain this phenomenon so that it could be understood?

If yes, then great, go ahead.
If no, then that is okay. I understand.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
So you could Google for a list of intractable problems
Thank you for telling me what I "could do".

But really it was not necessary at all for you to do this, especially considering my answer remains the same.

To me, it appears you are again just trying to make complex 'that' what really is truly simple.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:11 am
2. For every question there is an answer.
Obviously. A wrong answer is still an answer.
So, my answer then remains more so a resounding yes.

And, a right answer is still an answer also.

Some might even argue how for every question there is a right answer, as well.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
But no. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undecidable_problem
Once again, you refer back to some computation thing. It appears that you believe EVERY things revolves around computers and computations, which sadly is just not at all True.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
And if you so insist, you could perhaps tell us what the 10^150th Prime number is? This question definitely has an answer.
Then my answer would be an obvious resounding yes.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:11 am
Now you can accuse me or any one of "epistemic arrogance", and label me or them as such, and, you can also see some things as being complex, and label them as such, which would be an obvious observation to make and do to the one who just can not work some things out, but to make those observations, those accusations, and to propose those labels is just one subjective view, which is based solely upon only one human beings own individual experiences in Life.

Thee actual Truth of things may be somewhat different to what just one individual believes is true.
Consider yourself accused.
Consider what the care factor 'zero' means.

The answer to the question; 'Can every phenomenon and every system be explained or understood', the obvious and resounding answer still remains the exact same three letter word YES. If the question is in relation to the time frame of the Universe, Itself, then the answer would HAVE TO still be yes. Unless, of course, you can show how the answer could not be yes.

Skepdick
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:46 am

Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:37 am
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:11 am
1. You never stipulated a time frame in your question.
Do I have to stipulate a time-frame?
No. But if you would a more accurate answer, then it helps.

Anything problem whose solution would take more time than the life-of-the-universe is called "intractable".
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Therefore, if your time frame for your question is the life-of-the-Universe, then my answer remains a resounding yes.
If there is such a thing as "more time than the life-of-the-Universe', then are you able to explain this phenomenon so that it could be understood?

If yes, then great, go ahead.
If no, then that is okay. I understand.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
So you could Google for a list of intractable problems
Thank you for telling me what I "could do".

But really it was not necessary at all for you to do this, especially considering my answer remains the same.

To me, it appears you are again just trying to make complex 'that' what really is truly simple.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:11 am
2. For every question there is an answer.
Obviously. A wrong answer is still an answer.
So, my answer then remains more so a resounding yes.

And, a right answer is still an answer also.

Some might even argue how for every question there is a right answer, as well.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
But no. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undecidable_problem
Once again, you refer back to some computation thing. It appears that you believe EVERY things revolves around computers and computations, which sadly is just not at all True.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
And if you so insist, you could perhaps tell us what the 10^150th Prime number is? This question definitely has an answer.
Then my answer would be an obvious resounding yes.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:11 am
Now you can accuse me or any one of "epistemic arrogance", and label me or them as such, and, you can also see some things as being complex, and label them as such, which would be an obvious observation to make and do to the one who just can not work some things out, but to make those observations, those accusations, and to propose those labels is just one subjective view, which is based solely upon only one human beings own individual experiences in Life.

Thee actual Truth of things may be somewhat different to what just one individual believes is true.
Consider yourself accused.
Consider what the care factor 'zero' means.

The answer to the question; 'Can every phenomenon and every system be explained or understood', the obvious and resounding answer still remains the exact same three letter word YES. If the question is in relation to the time frame of the Universe, Itself, then the answer would HAVE TO still be yes. Unless, of course, you can show how the answer could not be yes.
That's a long-winded rationalisation. Epistemic ego personified.

Skepdick
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:49 am

You remember me saying this?
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Obviously. A wrong answer is still an answer.
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:37 am
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
And if you so insist, you could perhaps tell us what the 10^150th Prime number is? This question definitely has an answer.
Then my answer would be an obvious resounding yes.
"Yes" is the wrong answer.

Seeming as you have non-existent standards for correctness, then I am begrudgingly forced to agree with you.

It is indeed true that every question can be answered wrongly; and every system can be understood incorrectly. Which seems to be your predominant life-strategy.

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

Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:13 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:49 pm
There's a fundamental question to be asked here: Can every phenomenon (small or large), every system (simple or complex) be explained or understood? One would be hard-pressed answering this with a 'yes' without getting accused of epistemic arrogance.

Human intellect has limits and it rapidly runs out in complex domains. Complexity theory is humbling.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_system
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN6SaRmF_8c
Very good video.

Where does it leave us? I don't expect everything can be explained or understood. At the same time, some things can be. In a way, manufacturing of anything, from planes to computers to washing machines, reflects a very good understanding of how to take materials and components that don't exhibit particular features, and combine them in ways that make new properties emerge. And that do this in a very predictable way, as otherwise no-one else would be able to read what I'm typing.

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

Re: There is no emergence

Post by PTH » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:26 pm

Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:12 am
To me, the word 'conscious' relates close enough to the word 'aware', in other words 'being conscious' or 'being aware' is roughly close enough to each other to begin discussing this. If we can understand, agree upon, and accept what 'being aware' entails, then I do not think physical brains produce Consciousness.
I think the problem is quite basic. We'd don't know if or how brains produce either thoughts or consciousness, in a way that we do know how airplanes fly.

If someone asks "do you have to make an airplane out of metal, or can you make one out of wood and canvas" we can be confident in answering "yes" as we know that it should be possible to make an airplane from any suitable material of sufficient strength and lightness. We also know how to demonstrate if we've made an airplane that works - we know what something looks like when it flies.

On the other hand, we can't yet answer whether its possible for a thoughtful, conscious mind to exist outside of a human brain, because we don't really know what it is about brains that makes minds and whether that can be replicated in some other medium. And even if we did, we wouldn't know what to look for to show that we had made a new mind.

I don't mean that to sound negative, or supportive of the "Mysterian" approach to these things. But I think this is the starting point.

(Just digressing, in one of those peculiar coincidences I'm listening to an old UB40 song that seems strangely connected
Every hour of every day, I'm learning more
The more I learn, the less I know about before
The less I know, the more I want to look around
Digging deep for clues on higher ground
)

Age
Posts: 3832
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:17 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Age » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:51 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:49 am
You remember me saying this?
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Obviously. A wrong answer is still an answer.
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:37 am
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
And if you so insist, you could perhaps tell us what the 10^150th Prime number is? This question definitely has an answer.
Then my answer would be an obvious resounding yes.
"Yes" is the wrong answer.

Seeming as you have non-existent standards for correctness, then I am begrudgingly forced to agree with you.

It is indeed true that every question can be answered wrongly; and every system can be understood incorrectly. Which seems to be your predominant life-strategy.
You can add on the the 'wrong' and 'incorrect' words now to agree with me, but you did not need to. The 'correct' word and the 'true'word would have sufficed as well.

If you can prove that NOT 'every phenomenon and every system can be explained or understood', in the life time of the Universe, then go right ahead and prove it. I will wait your proof.

Until you do that, then, from my perspective, the answer remains a resounding YES. EVERY phenomenon and EVERY system can be explained or understood within the life time of the Universe, with a correct, true AND right explanation and understanding. This answer will remain until proven wrong.

By the way, and a handy hint, if you do not like the answers given, then do not ask the questions, especially when you obviously can not prove the answer incorrect, false NOR wrong.

Age
Posts: 3832
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:17 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Age » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:54 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:49 am
You remember me saying this?
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
Obviously. A wrong answer is still an answer.
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:37 am
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am
And if you so insist, you could perhaps tell us what the 10^150th Prime number is? This question definitely has an answer.
Then my answer would be an obvious resounding yes.
"Yes" is the wrong answer.
Are you at all able to prove this?

If yes, then just do it.
If no, then why assume such a thing.

Skepdick
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:05 pm

PTH wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:13 pm
Where does it leave us? I don't expect everything can be explained or understood. At the same time, some things can be. In a way, manufacturing of anything, from planes to computers to washing machines, reflects a very good understanding of how to take materials and components that don't exhibit particular features, and combine them in ways that make new properties emerge. And that do this in a very predictable way, as otherwise no-one else would be able to read what I'm typing.
I think it leaves us at recognising that determinism may or may not be a property of this universe (and epistemically - we can't tell which is which), but it sure is a fundamental human value. We want prediction/control and towards that end we create conceptual structures to help us navigate this complexity.

We want to be the masters of our destiny. Some times we get it right, but is it enough? *shrug*

Skepdick
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Skepdick » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:12 pm

Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:54 pm
Are you at all able to prove this?
If you can't tell that "Yes" is not a number (let alone a prime one), then I suspect the answer is "I can prove it, but not to you."

Age
Posts: 3832
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:17 am

Re: There is no emergence

Post by Age » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:26 pm

PTH wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:26 pm
Age wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:12 am
To me, the word 'conscious' relates close enough to the word 'aware', in other words 'being conscious' or 'being aware' is roughly close enough to each other to begin discussing this. If we can understand, agree upon, and accept what 'being aware' entails, then I do not think physical brains produce Consciousness.
I think the problem is quite basic. We'd don't know if or how brains produce either thoughts or consciousness, in a way that we do know how airplanes fly.
If 'we' want to discuss things here, especially on a philosophy forum, then, I think it better to speak the truth and the truth only, with no assuming at all going on. For example, is it a truth that "we" do not know if or how brains produce what you say here, or, is it a truth that "you" do not know?

If it is the former, then are you sure you can speak for EVERY one?
PTH wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:26 pm
If someone asks "do you have to make an airplane out of metal, or can you make one out of wood and canvas" we can be confident in answering "yes" as we know that it should be possible to make an airplane from any suitable material of sufficient strength and lightness.
But the answer would be "no" as 'I' know we can and have made a plane out of other material other than metal.
PTH wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:26 pm
We also know how to demonstrate if we've made an airplane that works - we know what something looks like when it flies.

On the other hand, we can't yet answer whether its possible for a thoughtful, conscious mind to exist outside of a human brain, because we don't really know what it is about brains that makes minds and whether that can be replicated in some other medium.
There is a lot of assuming going on here.

You really do need to lose the 'we' word in relation to what is known and not known, and stop assuming that EVERY one else knows and thinks the way you do.

And even if we did, we wouldn't know what to look for to show that we had made a new mind.
PTH wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:26 pm
I don't mean that to sound negative, or supportive of the "Mysterian" approach to these things. But I think this is the starting point.
If you want to start with the 'mind' word, then, to you, what is the 'mind' exactly?

For the term 'mind' do you have some clear meaning and understanding and in some contexts?
PTH wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:26 pm
(Just digressing, in one of those peculiar coincidences I'm listening to an old UB40 song that seems strangely connected
Every hour of every day, I'm learning more
The more I learn, the less I know about before
The less I know, the more I want to look around
Digging deep for clues on higher ground
)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest