Postmodernist critique of science?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Nasor, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    If you could prove that you'd get a Nobel prize.
     
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  3. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    I thought mental things were 1) processes, so are physical but if you try to pin them down....
    2) surely the mental "things" are well, considered so differently becasue they are visible only from a certain viewpoint. Or else are you going to start postulating a spirit or soul, or that mentality occurs outside physical reality, which might win you some friends on the spiritualist plane of things, but wont in the scientific.
     
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  5. ProCop Valued Senior Member

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    RE: guthrie

    If you print a mental process on a paper (e.g. Theory of Relativity) the paper won't be any havier than the paper as a material and the ink used. Still the paper contains a mental proces because its contains is transferable (to other people).
     
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  7. If one were to attach electrodes to one's intracranial nervous tissue and shock oneself via said instruments, one would surely begin to notice that thoughts and emotions arose concurrently to the admittedly lurid stimulus.
    This seems to validate the idea for which I continually vouch, this being that the mind is only an awful imbroglio of electrochemical recordings.
     
  8. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Re: RE: guthrie

    I believe you could make an argument that the entropy of the paper would change, which is a quantifiable thing.
     
  9. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    "If you print a mental process on a paper (e.g. Theory of Relativity) the paper won't be any havier than the paper as a material and the ink used. Still the paper contains a mental proces because its contains is transferable (to other people)."

    But the tehory itself isnt a mental process, its an abstraction of it, unless you can somehow show that there are letters and numbers clunking about inside our heads. The paper wont be any heavier, but will look different, in a way that is understandable to anyone who can read.
     
  10. ProCop Valued Senior Member

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    RE guthrie


    Letters etc. are symbols to encode mental process: (the same as notes can be put on the paper from which an orchestra will play it later) If this mental proces is "physical" how can it be temporarily "deprived" of absolutely all physicality (has weigth 0.0-infinity) during its transfer from person to person?


    Do you want to suggest that mental proces is a sort of 2 dimensional object? (I mean your saying that it has well shape/form but no weight)
     
  11. ProCop Valued Senior Member

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    Re Nasor

    Ditto:with a random string: ideas exist in totaly unmaterial form.
     
  12. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    The jury is still out on consciousness and mental phenomena.

    So far everybody who has attempted to argue that 'qualia' are a physical phenomena has failed.

    The most widely accepted definition of consciousness in science is 'what it is like to be'. It's actually quite hard to imagine how this could be a physical thing.

    Brain activity certainly affects states of day to day consciousness. However this fact has been shown not to prove anything about the physicality of consciousness. Even Dennett's (champion of the physicalist approach) carefully constructed 'multiple drafts' model is not widely felt to be plausible.

    There are serious and perhaps insurmountable logical problems with any attempt to completely reduce the mental to the physical, as has been well argued by many current philosphers.
     
  13. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    "Letters etc. are symbols to encode mental process: (the same as notes can be put on the paper from which an orchestra will play it later) If this mental proces is "physical" how can it be temporarily "deprived" of absolutely all physicality (has weigth 0.0-infinity) during its transfer from person to person?"

    Oh no, Im not trying to say it all gets non physical. I htink i was trying to say something else.

    "Do you want to suggest that mental proces is a sort of 2 dimensional object? (I mean your saying that it has well shape/form but no weight)"

    Nope- just that there is still something physical going on. I was trying to say that the paper and ink isnt the mental process itself, although it is a representation of it, I had forgotten that point, that is supposed to set off related processes in other peoples heads.

    "There are serious and perhaps insurmountable logical problems with any attempt to completely reduce the mental to the physical, as has been well argued by many current philosphers."

    At which point I say fuck this, lets go do some science......
     
  14. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    You're not interested in researching consciousness, the thing that is you? I find that odd.
     
  15. ProCop Valued Senior Member

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    Possibly there are more "realities" (as postmodernism proposes): the reality of the physical world (RPW) and the reality of mental world/consciousness (RMW).

    RPW is constrained by natural laws, RMW can go beyond this constraint (it does so in arts). Concepts created in RMW must have coherency but do not have to complay to RPW (eg. religion). Postmodernism then represents unconstrained thinking which proposes concepts in which RPW is uplitted to the level of RMW (above the physical laws). Science searches for the predictability in the Physical World while postmodernism goes for "local" (personal) truths (eg. myths and visions) because these comply better with the experinces of (some) people.
     
  16. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    "You're not interested in researching consciousness, the thing that is you? I find that odd."

    But I am, thats why I say lets go do some science.

    (cue new topic on science relation to philosophy)

    But can RMW affect RPW? Yet somehow the RMW can affect others, religion beiong one example, which brings us back to consciousness. Then, whilst the RMW pprocesses might be about something agasint RPW eg flying without an airplane etc, surely that isnt teh same as you actually physcially flying, its all in the head, a concept that does not represent actual reality, even when as a conecpt it has a reality in your head.
     
  17. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    I don't see any need to divide the world into science and non-science. Surely there's just what's true and what's false? Whether it's scientific or not is a consequence of how we define science, not some 'out there' division of reality into different bits.
     
  18. ProCop Valued Senior Member

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    Well I prefer thinking to be independent of reality. Therefore I have to do the division. (I cannot fly without an airplane in RPW but I can do it easily in RMW) I was tought at school to think like that: that's called conceptual thinking: (eg. if you have to build a Metro line between two cities, forget the world and reality for as much as you can, make en <i>ideal conceptual</I> model, than DO NOT bring the model to the reality, adjust the reality to the model ...(for as much as possible)etc.

    Therefore I see reality as a constraint on thinking and practice the RPW/RMW division.
     
  19. Jolly Rodger Banned Banned

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  20. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    Jolly Roger, thank you for the insightful critique of my post!
     
  21. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    I don't get that. Does your conceptual model of the Metro exist in some other existence to the real thing? If so how do they ever connect here and now?
     
  22. Riomacleod Registered Senior Member

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    Wow. I leave for a weekend and everything gets a lot uglier.

    Canute-

    No. The existance of circles is indepentant of us. The pythagorean theorem exists whether we name it or not. For the most part, mathematics exists, and it exists as something that is bigger than a human being.

    Personally, I don't think there is a difference between philosophy and science. Philosophy is based (or should be based) on logic, and hypothesis. Similar to the basis for science. In fact, science developed out of applied philosophy.

    A better way to think of things existing as a finite or infinite form. We have a physical finite form which is directed by a mode of an infinite form (physicality vs mentality).
     
  23. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    "I don't see any need to divide the world into science and non-science. Surely there's just what's true and what's false? Whether it's scientific or not is a consequence of how we define science, not some 'out there' division of reality into different bits."

    But then how do you judge what is true and what is false? Science is a definite way that is both a link between the "real" world and what is inside your head.

    And dont just go on about logic, Riomacleod, surely zenos paradox is perfectly logical, yet not true when you compare it to the "real" world.

    "I don't get that. Does your conceptual model of the Metro exist in some other existence to the real thing? If so how do they ever connect here and now?"

    The conceptual model exists, likely as a pattrern of neurons etc, in the "real" world, but that is not the same as a working metro system made of concrete etc. They connect because the conceptual model is build up from an awareness of roughly how the world works, ie no antigravity metro system, becasue somehow "reality" doesnt work that way. The aim is to build your metro system within constraints of "reality", ie take a more scientific approach.
     

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