Saturday, March 30, 2013

Do you believe in the laws of physics?

I noticed Beingitself claiming that he believes in the laws of physics. Nancy Cartwright's book is an attack on the idea of fundamental laws of physics. See here.

55 comments:

steve said...

Bas van Fraassen is another notable critic.

Syllabus said...

Depends by what you mean by "believe in" and the "laws of physics", especially since I'm pretty sure we haven't discovered all of the latter.

Victor Reppert said...

I think what is mean here is that it is a myth to suppose that there are fundamental laws undergirding all the other laws.

TheWedge said...

steve

On this issue, what van Fraassen would you recommend? I enjoyed the Empirical Stance way back when.

William said...

It is not that fundamental laws cannot exist, just that we have no reason to expect any current theories state such laws. Instead, current statements of physical laws are part of our approximate, but useful predictive and explanatory models of the phenomenological data.

In addition, Cartwright seems to think that the direction of causality-- rain makes the roof wet, but wetting the roof does not cause it to rain--amounts to a group of genuine laws, at least in our local world picture.

The book was published in 1983, and she anticipates J. Pearl quite well there. I wonder how she would have written the book if Pearl's work had been published already.

steve said...

His Laws and Symmetry contains his major critique of natural laws.

TheWedge said...

steve,

Thanks! I'll add it to the infinite stack.

Papalinton said...

It is interesting to note that Nancy Cartwright was co-director of the "God's Order, Man's Order and the Order of Nature" Project, a Templeton funded get together at the London School of Economics in 2010.

It is also interesting to note that Bas van Fraassen is a christian philosopher . See HERE under 'V'.

Victor Reppert said...

So, is this supposed to form the foundation of a religious conspiracy theory?

Do we know anything about Cartwright's actual religious beliefs based on this? And does it matter? My view is that it is one more ad hominem circumstantial, which is a 15 yard penalty with loss of down.

B. Prokop said...

By Papalinton's "logic" in his last posting, he should discount anything said by Pasteur, Kepler, Copernicus, Gregor Mendel, Roentgen, Allesandro Volta, Sir Isaac Newton, Lemaitre, Cassini, Piazzi, Enrico Fermi, Lagrange, Leonardo da Vinci, etc., etc., due to their all being professing Christians (many of them even members of the clergy).

Don't try to erect any imaginary wall between science and faith, Papalinton! It's entirely a figment of your imagination. (And so easily falsifiable, as well.)

im-skeptical said...

Templeton Foundation, according to RationalWiki:

"The Foundation acts a source of funding for numerous scientific studies to address what it calls the "Big Questions", such as genetics, "cognitive creativity" (whatever that is), and personal development. It is best known for the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities. That is, its aim in practice appears to be to corrupt the public discourse concerning science in the interests of religion, by swaying academics with much more money than they'd get any other way. Anything or anyone funded by Templeton should be viewed in this light."

B. Prokop said...

Oh, and "RationalWiki" is supposed to be an unbiased, agenda-less source? Just look at that loaded language: "corrupt", "swaying", "whatever that is".

Gimme a break!

im-skeptical said...

Do you deny that Templeton advances religious causes? They're kind of like Discovery institute. You'd be well advised to not automatically believe anything that comes from them or their people.

B. Prokop said...

Of course they do. So do I! I see no problem in that.

What I do have a huge problem with is someone saying that I should automatically discount anything said by a person of faith, or by a promoter of faith. After all, I do not automatically discount everything said by an atheist. Are you saying that I should? Because that is the logical conclusion of your (apparent) position.

William said...

im: Do you deny that RationalWiki inappropriately conflates atheism, science, and rationality?

im-skeptical said...

Bob,

Read what I said. I did not say you should discount what a theist says. The comment from RationalWiki is just a word for the wise. Take it for what it's worth. But this isn't about them. It's about Cartwright. Here's a quote from her: "I have been strongly influenced by the criticism due to Michael Scriven and Alan Donagan". Donagan is a Thomist and Scriven does research on parapsychology. That doesn't mean I automatically discount whatever she says. It does mean I'll be skeptical about what she says.

B. Prokop said...

Then why bring up that ridiculous quote from Rationalwiki? By doing so, you made that the issue.

I'll accept your backtracking and allow the conversation to move forward, but the fact remains that both you and Papalinton strongly implied that a person's comments should be given less credence if that person is a Christian thinker.

Victor Reppert said...

Scriven is a staunch atheist. In any event, Cartwright has arguments for her position. Once arguments are on the table, facts about the person have to be put in the background, if we are going to avoid the ad hominem fallacy.

im-skeptical said...

Bob,

We all consider the source when we look at something like this. That goes for you, too. If I consider a source to be trustworthy, I place a higher level of credence upon it. So do you. I don't automatically believe anything I read from DI or Hoover Institute. You don't automatically believe anything you read from RationalWiki. That's fine. So knowing Cartwright is associated with Templeton, I am biased against what she writes. If you don't like that, too bad.

And Victor, I don't care if Scriven is an atheist, either. That doesn't make me biased in his favor. What makes me skeptical of him is the parapsychology crap he does.

Victor Reppert said...

What is wrong with Scriven's arguments concerning parapsychology? It can't be religious bias.

Papalinton said...

Victor
"Do we know anything about Cartwright's actual religious beliefs based on this? And does it matter? My view is that it is one more ad hominem circumstantial, which is a 15 yard penalty with loss of down."

The final paragraph of Nancy Cartwright's talk at the "God's Order, Man's Order and the Order of Nature" Project conference:

"But if the canonical assumptions of the second and third theses are to be called into question, then it is natural to inquire into the implications this new picture has for understanding the nature of God’s perfection and God’s role versus the responsibility God assigns to us in the unfolding and fine-tuning of nature. The revolution in contemporary history and philosophy of science introduces the possibility that it was a mistake to assert the link between God’s perfection and His omnipotence on the one hand and the complete and uniform order in nature on the other. Once we, like Gerard Manley Hopkins, are freed from the assumption that perfection must come in the form of exceptionless regularity, we can consider alternative senses in which the world could be ordered. We can also ask how such alternative kinds of order are consistent with theidea that God finetunes nature to direct what emerges, as well as what lessons follow about His intentions for man’s role in nature. If God made a universe in which much of he creation of order is left to man, what conclusions should we draw about the nature of God and his perfections, of God’s relation to man and the universe, and of man’s responsibilities in the universe? " See the full presentation HERE.

Templeton paid a hell of a lot more than 30 pieces of silver for this one.
And yes. It damn well matters a heck of a lot. Buying this sort of science or philosophy is not only morally questionable, it is also a troubling question of ethical behaviour and a question of the genuine independence of the science and philosophy handed over for a price. One can understand Feser's form of philosophy. It is unequivocally predicated on perpetuating the Christian mythos. Everybody knows he is a woo-meister first and a philosopher second.

Christianity have been compromising science since the dawn of time. Once religion worms its way into the body politic of science and philosophy, there is no way one can discern the truth of that science or that philosophy. As Chris Hitchens so astutely noted: Religion poisons everything. Thor bless him.

No ad hominem here, i assure you.

B. Prokop said...

I am so glad that Cartwright brought up the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. His most famous line, "The world is charged with the grandeur of God" is emblazoned across the main hall of Loyola University here in Baltimore. Whoever is reading this posting right now, if you are unfamiliar with his beautiful, beautiful work, then for Heaven's sake, stop reading my drivel and read him immediately!

Here is a sample:


Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

B. Prokop said...

Thanks to Papalinton providing the link, I just read Cartwright's whole presentation. I found it intelligent (even wise), thought provoking, and well worth whatever funds were spent to have it made. Money well spent.

She makes an interesting point about the "laws" of physics not being constant over time or across space. Astronomers, and specifically cosmologists, have been saying precisely this for decades now. What we consider the natural order is valid only for our particular circumstances. Matter and energy behaved quite differently in the young universe than they do now - so much so that serious scientists are in 100% agreement (no exaggeration) that current laws do not hold for that time period. The same goes for spatial differences. The laws of physics are quite different at the edge of a black hole than they are on the Earth's surface.

For a materialist, this presents an insuperable problem. His entire world view is dependent and predicated upon the reliability of the natural order. So how can it be one thing here and another there? Or thus and so today, but entirely different yesterday (so to speak)?

The only explanation for there being such differences is that there is something beyond the laws themselves, higher than them, which determines what is valid here and now, as opposed to then and there.

Papalinton said...

Bob
"The only explanation for there being such differences is that there is something beyond the laws themselves, higher than them, which determines what is valid here and now, as opposed to then and there.

But it ain't God. That 'something beyond' you speak of is a better scientific explanation, a fuller explanation that will derive from further investigation and research. The answer will never come from theology. The Christian religion exhausted its 'research'[?] capacity when the Enlightenment sunshine broke through following the Dark Age of christianity. After that it has all been interpretation, reinterpretation, re-reinterpretation and interpretation of the previous reinterpretation ad nauseam.
There is a direct and inverse law between science and religion. As science knowledge advances religious knowledge retreats.

The trend is that obvious to the discerning observer. As I noted earlier, a Catholic is a person who is incredulous of the obvious, but knows everything about the nonexistent. You comments are emblematic of those that defend the no-thing, the immaterial. Of course to imagine that the immaterial can poltergeist the natural world, capable of the odd foray into and physically intervening in the natural world, is simply grandmaster woo conjured up 2,000 years ago. It is as if christianity lives in a time warp, worm holing direct to the 1stC CE. Who gives a bugger about worm holing back to the foundations of Buddhism, or Islam or Hinduism? Only the Christian god can worm hole you back to the iron age, to the birth place of all humanity.

It is unfortunate you wear your allegiance to the supernatural industry conspicuously emblazoned on your forehead. James Feibleman, an autodidact who became head of Tulane University's philosophy department so astutely observed,

'A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes."

Papalinton said...

"I noticed Beingitself claiming that he believes in the laws of physics.. See here."

In retrospect, it is apparent that this OP is representative of the kind of bait-and-switch ploy that the religious use, a deliberate and egregious misconstrual.

A dilligent philosopher would have done a little research, took me very little time, and would have been able to place Nancy Cartwirght's treatise in to the appropriate context. If one does a little more reading one finds that Cartwright's book is a key feature of the Project by which religion is inveigled into the scientific literature. Christians try to ingratiate its Book legislatively and through the courts into the science curriculum, until it was knocked on the head twice, once when Creationism was deemed a nonsense scientific concept and more recently, the Kitzmiller vs Dover School Board trial that knocked the insidious religious-inspired IDiot concept right out of the ball park.

But that has not stopped the woo-meisters. Templeton employs the old, tried and tested model of Christian proselytizing. Another bait-and-switch. Just as christian missionaries go into the slums of the world, it preys [yes, the right word is selected here] on the defenseless and destitute families and children, while at their most vulnerable, and never missing the opportunity to proselytize to the captive, with words to the effect, "If you accept this Bible from my left hand, I will give to you the food that Jesus-god has so beneficently provided, from my right hand." Picture it, if you and your family are on the cusp of starvation and death, who are you to say, "No thanks. I already have a well-defined belief system that has been handed down to me over generations that I love." Nothing changes allegiances like an empty stomach. There is no respect for people's traditional belief systems.

Templeton says to the poor and destitute scientists and philosophers, with words to the effect, "Take this wad of cash. All you have to do in repayment is say something nice about christianity somewhere in your presentation, your statement, your research findings. If you were a scientist or a philosopher strapped for research cash who are you to say, "No Thanks. I don't want to add anything that is irrelevant to my research and to maintain not only the independence but the perception of the independence of my research." People know their price and so does Templeton.

A characterization? Perhaps. But where there is smoke, there is fire. In Christianity, money buys you many things, absolution, indulgences, a reduced sentence in purgatory, you name it. In fact the Templeton Foundation is the money laundering face of Christianity that touts for your business, your science and your philosophy. And they are willing to add to their legislative and courtroom activities with the inclusion of the Templeton economic strategy.

Had Dr Reppert written, 'Nancy Cartwright's book is an attack on the idea of fundamental laws of physics written from a teleological/religious perspective', we would all have been the wiser, as this would have taken account of the substance of the book and her personal perspective related to the story of her book as she presented at the Project conference. Yes there are many aspects of the Laws of Physics that are proximate. No physicist worth their salt would tell you they are immutable, as Cartwright implies, and that they are only as good and as useful until a better explanation comes along. That is the nature of the scientific method. But to be bought by Templeton and to peddle God into her scientific equation as a way of filling the gap left by the perceived inadequacy of the Laws of Physics is unconscionable. Another Templeton God-of-the-gaps venture successfully concluded.

B. Prokop said...

"as a way of filling the gap left by the perceived inadequacy of the Laws of Physics"

Not at all, not at all. No gap implied here, not in the least. Cartwright is merely avoiding having to posit turtles all the way down.

Off on a three-day road trip, and will therefore be away from my computer. Don't expect any more replies/comments from me for a bit. Shutting down now.

im-skeptical said...

"What is wrong with Scriven's arguments concerning parapsychology? It can't be religious bias."

It's unscientific hogwash.

"Do we know anything about Cartwright's actual religious beliefs based on this?"

In Cartwright's introduction, she states that she has an Aristotelian metaphysical view, ans she specifically refers to God and Jesus.

But she also says some strange things in that intro. She speaks of theories about Crooke's radiometer as rival positions, as if they've never been debunked. Then there's her curious division of physical laws into laws of association and causal laws. She uses f = ma as an example of a law of association (it merely describes the relation between force, mass, and acceleration). She contrasts that with causal laws: "for an example from physics, force causes a change in motion". Huh???

BenYachov said...

>But she also says some strange things in that intro. She speaks of theories about Crooke's radiometer as rival positions, as if they've never been debunked.

Does she?

QUOTE"The molecules in Crookes's radiometer are invisible, and the tangential stresses are not
the kinds of things one would have expected to see in the first place. Yet, like Everitt, I
believe in both. I believe in them because I accept Maxwell's causal account of why the
vanes move around.
In producing this account, Maxwell deploys certain fundamental
laws, such as Boltzmann's equation and the equation of continuity, which I do not believe
in. But one can reject theoretical laws without rejecting theoretical entities. In the case of
Maxwell's molecules and the tangential stresses in the radiometer, there is an answer to
van Fraassen's question: we have a satisfactory causal account, and so we have good
reason to believe in the entities, processes, and properties in question."END QUOTE

According to the Wikipedia the sum of Gnu knowledge.

QUOTE"Albert Einstein showed that the two pressures do not cancel out exactly at the edges of the vanes because of the temperature difference there. The force predicted by Einstein would be enough to move the vanes, but not fast enough.
4. The final piece of the puzzle, thermal transpiration, was theorized by Osborne Reynolds,[3] but first published by James Clerk Maxwell[4] in the last paper before his death in 1879. Reynolds found that if a porous plate is kept hotter on one side than the other, the interactions between gas molecules and the plates are such that gas will flow through from the cooler to the hotter side. The vanes of a typical Crookes radiometer are not porous, but the space past their edges behaves like the pores in Reynolds's plate. On average, the gas molecules move from the cold side toward the hot side whenever the pressure ratio is less than the square root of the (absolute) temperature ratio. The pressure difference causes the vane to move, cold (white) side forward.

Both Einstein's and Reynolds's forces appear to cause a Crookes radiometer to rotate, although it still isn't clear which one is stronger.

What is strange here? She apparently agrees with the findings of science & data but rejects certain modelings of the data. She already brings up debunked positions QUOTE"Soon it was realized that the pressure of light would not be nearly great enough. It was then agreed that the rotation is
due to the action of the gas molecules left inside the evacuated bowl." and doesn't treat them as if they had not been debunked.
END QUOTE

Care to explain what you are saying here?

BenYachov said...

The END QUOTE should be after "clear which one is stronger."

Victor Reppert said...

I am afraid we have the makings of a discussion-stopper here. Find a religious motive on behalf of the arguer, and we no longer need to discuss the argument any further.

With that kind of intellectual screener, how in blazes are errors going to be corrected.

Besides, when people want to bash Discovery Institute, they point out the negative things the Templeton people have said about it.

In any event, I have yet to see a real argument against her views on physics. That's what this is about.



Victor Reppert said...

Here why this is a discussion stopper.

Theist presents an argument:

1) Whatever begins to exist, must have a cause of its existence.

2) The universe began to exist.

3) The universe has a cause of its existence.

Atheist: You're only saying that because you have religious motivations.

You can stop discussion that way any time you want to.

William said...

"
She uses f = ma as an example of a law of association (it merely describes the relation between force, mass, and acceleration). She contrasts that with causal laws: "for an example from physics, force causes a change in motion".
"

True.

I think Cartwright is making a distinction between a law that predicts the result of our actions and a law that describes what happens naturally without our intervention. She's confused because most of the time the laws are the same, just applied differently.

I like Carroll's discussion of Cartwright at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/laws-of-nature/
part 9.1, especially the last paragraph, where the point is made that the laws are designed apply only to the abstraction (eg gravity) they describe.

William said...

"
Atheist: You're only saying that because you have religious motivations.

Victor:
You can stop discussion that way any time you want to.
"

It seems that Bulverism never stops being used, perhaps because as a sophistical tool it works pretty well?

im-skeptical said...

"Atheist: You're only saying that because you have religious motivations."

Hmm. I've never thought of using that as a refutation. I always thought it was better to argument that statement #1 is unjustified and shouldn't be taken as a fact.

I never said that Cartwright's arguments are bad because of her religious beliefs, either. I said (or implied) I am skeptical of what she says in general because of what I understand of her beliefs. That's not the same thing.

On the other hand, I keep hearing from you and others here something like "An atheist said .." this or that, as if I am supposed to accept whatever they are saying just because they are atheists. I don't. And I think it's kind of hypocritical.

im-skeptical said...

"when we call something material, or even natural, we are presuming that, at the basic level of analysis, mental characteristics are not present. If, on the other hand, the basic building blocks of the universe are not restricted to the non-mental, then the mental is already present at the basic level of analysis."

All right. Let me see if I can use the same kind of logic. Here goes.

In a material word, mental activity is a brute fact. It happens. And it can be analyzed just like any other kind of phenomenon in the physical world.

So there you have it. Same logic. Same justification. Is that good enough for you?

im-skeptical said...

sorry - wrong thread.

William said...

"
In a material word, mental activity is a brute fact. It happens.
"

So either:
a. You are defining mental activity as material: this makes all dualists into materialists :)

or

b. you are not actually a materialist, since your brute facts are not all material facts.

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

Victor
'1) Whatever begins to exist, must have a cause of its existence. 2) The universe began to exist."


This is where the Kalam collapses. Physicists and cosmologists have pretty much worked out the conditions of the universe AFTER the big bang occurred. They as yet know nothing at the moment of the big bang. There are no physics available to us with which we can explore that moment preceding the rapid expansion. But it seems clear that whatever this state the universe was compressed into, the singularity, must have pre-existed the rapid expansion phase. Now, how long that singularity existed prior to the bang, or how that singularity got there or how it was formed are still open questions. We don't know whether the singularity was a product of a previous process or a whole series of previous processes. Nobody knows, least of all God if he is wedded to the Kalam nonsense.

We do have a pretty good idea that in Black Holes, into which we have observed galaxies 'appear to simply disappear' ;o), being sucked in as it were, with no trace of where that matter and energy goes, no light escaping etc etc, and that at the centre of a Black Hole is a singularity. Now whether the singularity of a Black Hole is analogous to the singularity at the beginning of this universe, it is too early to tell.

So it is somewhat kindergarten philosophy to preemptively propose an ex nihilo creation, and that God was the architect. That is simply the old God-of-the-gaps being invoked here.

So I think the whole idea of the religious-endorsed Kalam should be put to rest. Don't you?

Sheesh!

Victor Reppert said...

Whether the argument is good or not, you can't refute it by appealing to someone's motives. That's my point.

im-skeptical said...

"Whether the argument is good or not, you can't refute it by appealing to someone's motives. That's my point"

I thought that if anyone here should be willing to listen to what I'm saying, it would be you, Victor. I already told you I wasn't using that to refute the argument. I also told you that you do pretty much the same thing. "Scriven is a staunch atheist." I can only assume that is intended to make me think his ideas should be seen (by me) in a positive light. So the point you are making applies to me but not to you?

im-skeptical said...

William,


"So either:
a. You are defining mental activity as material: this makes all dualists into materialists :)

or

b. you are not actually a materialist, since your brute facts are not all material facts."

That post was not intended for this thread. I put it here by accident.

Anyway - yes, in my view, mental activity is material and no I am not redefining dualism. Dualists are still free to believe in ghosts or whatever they like. Also, the purpose of that statement was to show how specious the theists argument is by making basically the same kind of claim they make about mental activity.

William said...

" in my view, mental activity is material and no I am not redefining dualism"

True, but you are redefining materialism in a way that undercuts Victor's points pretty well, I think.

Is there an opposite of strawman (where you make out your opponent's position to be like your own)?

HyperEntity111 said...

Papalinton's Logic: ''Cartwright is wrong because she accepted funding from religious people!''

Paps doesn't believe f=ma, Faraday's law of induction, Fisher information and Gödel's incompleteness theorems because Newton, Faraday & Fisher were Christians and Gödel believed in God. Also, genetics is a fraud because the laws of inheritance and segregation were discovered in a monastery by a monk and Bayes' Theorem is bullshit because Thomas Bayes was a Presbyterian minister.

It's just obvious that these 'scientists' were actually corrupting science. Thankfully we have far superior scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Victor Stenger to show us how real science is done by making real contributions to science.

im-skeptical said...

William,

"Is there an opposite of strawman (where you make out your opponent's position to be like your own)?"

That's not exactly what I did. rather, I made out my argument to be like his. Get it?

Papalinton said...

"So either:
a. You are defining mental activity as material: this makes all dualists into materialists :)"


No, William. This makes all dualists wrong. Mind is what the brain does. There is no separation. But it is a reasonable probability that the neurosciences will provide some insight into the process of brain functioning, including, imagining, formation of ideas, inducing, deducing, dreaming, memory storage and recall, etc etc. We need to be a little patient.

Papalinton said...

HyperEntity111
"Papalinton's Logic: ''Cartwright is wrong because she accepted funding from religious people!''
Paps doesn't believe f=ma, Faraday's law of induction, Fisher information and Gödel's incompleteness theorems because Newton, Faraday & Fisher were Christians and Gödel believed in God. Also, genetics is a fraud because the laws of inheritance and segregation were discovered in a monastery by a monk and Bayes' Theorem is bullshit because Thomas Bayes was a Presbyterian minister.
It's just obvious that these 'scientists' were actually corrupting science. Thankfully we have far superior scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Victor Stenger to show us how real science is done by making real contributions to science."


A facile and juvenile outburst. A stream of ill-tempered consciousness straight from the top of the head. Not unlike a combination of chronic dandruff and Dhobie Itch [Tinea cruris].
Both immedicable.

William said...

Linton: If we (following im-skeptical) "imperialistically" define the dualistic mental substance to be material, how does that differ from defining it to be something like the brain, or the body for that matter?

The dualism is then body/external world instead of mind/body, right?

Papalinton said...

William
"The dualism is then body/external world instead of mind/body, right?"

That is an interesting question. Perhaps I could pose a response by another question: Is this simply an exercise in attempting to expand the definitional parameters of the word 'dualism' when there are other more appropriate words already in use, such as, body/external world relationship or interaction?

Cheers

im-skeptical said...

William,

"If we (following im-skeptical) "imperialistically" define the dualistic mental substance to be material, how does that differ from defining it to be something like the brain, or the body for that matter?"

I never spoke of mental substance. Those are your words. But you fail to understand the point of what I said. I made a facile argument in the manner of the facile argument that theists use. So go ahead and ridicule it. It only reveals how ridiculous your own position is.

William said...

Linton: it was the definition of material that was being hypothetically expanded here.


im: I am not a substance dulaist, but a neutral monist (more or less). I was just expanding on what you said. Sorry if I did not know you were not serious :).

im-skeptical said...

William,

Sorry. There was a conversation in another thread, and I meant to post it there. The point I was making is that theists readily accept a simple assertion that an immaterial soul exists and provides our consciousness without batting an eye, but they demand a detailed explanation of consciousness from materialists, and still refuse to accept it, no matter how detailed it is.

Papalinton said...

William
"Linton: it was the definition of material that was being hypothetically expanded here."

That comment doesn't account for the historical context in which 'dualism' was proposed. Descartes was proposing a two-part response that sought to take account of both the theistic worldview, the only worldview within the society he lived while at the same time attempting to reconcile what science was informing with its ever escalating capacity for greater explanatory power.

The 'dualism' concept, the mind/body, mind/brain, body/soul dichotomy was a middle-of-the-road compromise that accounted for both materialism and immaterialism. In another famous 'dualist exercise', Gould also proposed a compromise between Christian Theism and Philosophical Naturalism with his NOMA, non-overlapping magisteria, Both are increasingly set aside in contemporary philosophical activity going forward. Feser et al are attempting to mount a rear-guard defence to maintain 'immaterialism' in the picture. After all, without immaterialism, how can one argue for the unknowable. But the unknowable and the non-existent are indistinguishable.

So it it seems more likely that 'dualism' is the concept that seeks to expand its definitional boundaries.

HyperEntity111 said...

Paps posted: ''A facile and juvenile outburst.''

^^Pretty much sums up your post history here which is why I felt ok responding in kind. Look, Cartwright gives arguments for her views on the laws of nature. Rather than respond to those arguments you went on an insane rant about how her writings are part of a massive conspiracy to make Christianity part of science and how researchers associated with Templeton are dishonest. Why do you expect to be taken seriously when you write drivel like that?


Paps posted: ''But the unknowable and the non-existent are indistinguishable.''

I have no way of knowing what you are currently thinking or what dreams you had 10 years ago. Therefore you have no thoughts or dreams because the unknowable and non-existent are indistinguishable.

Do you see why people can't take your gibberish seriously?

Papalinton said...

HyperEntity111
"Therefore you have no thoughts or dreams because the unknowable and non-existent are indistinguishable. Do you see why people can't take your gibberish seriously?"

Aw! Shucks! You're only saying that.