What Kind of Metaphysician Are You? | INFJ Forum

What Kind of Metaphysician Are You?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Ren, Feb 8, 2019.

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  1. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Hi everyone! In this new thread, I want to ask you the following question: what do you think is the nature of reality, and what do you think it reduces to? Are you more of a monist, commiting to the idea that reality is just one thing, like a substance or something else; a dualist, who thinks reality reduces to two things, like mind and matter; or a pluralist, who things reality divides perhaps into an absolute multiplicity of substances?

    Are you a materalist? An idealist? A neutral monist? An open monist ( :hearteyes: )? A physicalist? A pantheist? A panentheist? A panpsychist? A dualist of the terrestrial and spiritual? I want to know everything, so let's discuss!

    Thanks for your contributions, friends ♥ And yes I expect @charlatan to be very active in this thread.
     
  2. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    I won't be very active in this thread I am afraid, i am a materialist . Which, to outrun some of you, does not mean I am a heartless, cold person.
     
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  3. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Not at all, my friend, materialism is an eminently respectable metaphysical position! Have you always been or have you toyed with other approaches in the past?
     
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  4. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    I am always toying with approaches. But in the end the conclusion is always the same. Anything else is simply to complicated for me :grinning:.
     
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  5. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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  6. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    Honestly I can't decide, but I think that panpsychism or open monism make the most sense.
    I think there is an element of a dualistic nature potentially embedded somehow, within the construct of all matter of things.
    I haven't sorted this thought out but it's like some sort of "soft dualism" within the greater whole.
     
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  7. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Soft dualism, nice! :D

    Panpsychism is a very interesting approach, for sure. For those who embrace a relatively "traditional" conception of consciousness, I feel like it has at least the merit of tackling the ontological nature of consciousness head-on. I would tend to believe that it is not possible to reduce consciousness to physical matter.
     
  8. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    Which elements/ideas dissuade you the most? If you can briefly elaborate :)
     
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  9. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Physicalism?
     
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  10. Hostarius

    Hostarius Apostate INFJ

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    Firstly, in my current thinking, materialism does not preclude any of the other approaches, and for this reason:

    I am taking the idea of infinity very seriously indeed, and taken to its natural conclusion this means that every basic form of reality is simultaneously true, albeit perhaps located in different universes. Now, the question then becomes, 'do any of these different realities bleed into our own? And if so how?'

    Take this:

    1) Suppose that reality is infinitely branching depending on the outcomes of particular events. E.g. If an event has two possible outcomes, reality will branch into two instances, and within each of these a different outcome obtained.

    2) Now suppose that these 'branching events' are not confined to, say, [human] 'choices' and the like, but to things like the basic laws of physics and the basic form of reality. In other words, the multiverse has an essential indeterminacy, but within each universe paradoxes are abhorred and a general determinacy persists. This means that there would have been a point at which, in our universe, the strength of gravity had to be decided. This would be a branching event.

    Everything is simultaneously true, including finity, which seems like an impossible contradiction.

    Shit I'm too tired to think about this now.
     
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  11. charlatan

    charlatan Community Member

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    I am all over the place of course... I have a lot of thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of many of the positions....but here's how it goes for me: either we're extraordinarily-mistaken about the nature of consciousness or it's essentially what we think it is, and if it is what we think it is, I doubt mental properties are physical properties, even if they may be determined by them (think of, for instance, the squareness of a square mat -- I doubt squareness is physical, if it exists it's probably mathematical, and thus more abstract/general than physical, but still, I think the mathematical properties of all concrete things seem to be determined by their physics).
    This doesn't rule out any physicalism, because not all such varieties are reductive -- this kind of nonreductive entailment being an example of why not.

    The reason for the first dichotomy, though, is I honestly think once you take the sheer evident, subjective apparent feel of consciousness, I really think once we've decided (if so) that's not how it really is, the views that try to pay lip service to it don't make sense to me.
     
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  12. charlatan

    charlatan Community Member

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    Oh and I lean to the second type .. personally I've usually found radical materialism's motivation hard to see -- over time, the physical has only come to seem weirder and weirder, and nobody can make progress on the right interpretation of quantum mechanics without a thousand detractors...I'm very skeptical of the approaches that try to deflate consciousness, as this seems most of their motives. OTOH, I don't tend to think anyone who tries to resolve what is going on with the weirdness yet has an idea.

    I wouldn't be surprised if there were some information-processing view that helped tell what kinds of consciousness happen where -- after all, empirically the brain does seem to do a bunch of self-modeling in the states that are related to consciousness, so what may simply be going on is we have a toy mathematical modeling of what that self-modeling really entails, and if we better understood the nature of the physical, it wouldn't be so surprising what's going on.
     
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  13. Lady Jolanda

    Lady Jolanda The Queen of Sophistry
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    Emergentist.
     
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  14. tovlo

    Donor

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    I am full of admiration for all these words I don't understand and for those of you who do.

    I thought it was going to be a quiz with pretty pictures that told me how awesome I was. :blush:
     
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  15. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    So you believe that reality is irreducible?
     
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  16. Lady Jolanda

    Lady Jolanda The Queen of Sophistry
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    I believe reductionism is nessecary but not sufficient to explain reality.
     
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  17. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    I agree.

    Do you believe that the universe works in a causal way?
     
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  18. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Physicalism = the fundamental nature of reality is physical, i.e. is what physics describes.

    It's very closely related to materialism, except that you could say that physics describes more than just matter (energy, etc.)
     
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  19. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Yes sir, dats me.
     
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  20. Hostarius

    Hostarius Apostate INFJ

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    'The freedom of the act lies prior to or before the reality of causally conditioned objects. It makes this reality at all "possible"... Causality reigns over the real world of objects and the world of the psychological subject; however, this world would be without any basis if there were not a realm of freedom, through which we had to pass in order to attain it.' - Heinrich Rickert

    Here Rickert is describing his concept of the 'pro-physical' realm: a place of conceptual validity that was somehow prior to the physical world. Is this dualism in the guise of Kantian formalism? Like all the Neo-Kantians, Rickert somehow doesn't quite 'prove' his idea, and yet he almost captures something essential. E.g.:

    'We must see all the theories that believe they can reject the idea of freedom as being theoretically invalid. The crucial reason for this is that science itself needs freedom even when investigating causal connections. Only a theoretical (transcendental) subject who is not dependent on causality can take a position on the value of truth. Only when we grant the possibility of such a subject can we recognise something as being true and meaningful.'

    P.S. I should say that it is possible to have a 'causality of freedom', or an 'indeterminist causality'. In essence, though, its essential properties are probabilistic because choices are always constrained by the conditions of possibility that inhere within the material world.
     
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