Yes of course it is all a great pile of assumptions. How may times must this be agreed?
But the argument is that only certain assumptions about the nature of reality will prove to be self-consistent and thus logically regular over time. So metaphysics is about finding the least number of assumptions to generate a realistic model of the reality we experience.
You mean the assumption of free-will will ever be proved or disproved? How?
Or the assumption of a mind-independent reality will be falsified? How?
Or it will be falsified that other minds, beside mine exist? How?
Or the assumption that we are able to understand reality? How?
Are any of these "self-consistent assumptions"? Or "regular over time"?
It's perfectly alright to make assumptions as a starting point for our investigations and as a foundation on which we will build our scientific theories. It's only when you reach for some fundamental truths like the origin of the universe, something out of nothing, creators, etc. that those assumptions become problematic.
The invariances of nature as Nozick put it.
There need be nothing cloudy about the principles on which we chose our assumptions (and reject others).
A journey not yet completed is not the same as a journey that cannot even be started - which is what you keep falsely attempting to argue.
There is nothing cloudy really about the "principles on which we chose our assumptions", and i never claimed otherwise. I did claim however that we are choosing our assumptions mainly on aestetic grounds, as to remove god from the equation. This is quite understandable in a secular society and wouldn't make sense had it been otherwise. However, we should be aware that those assumptions are taken for granted and not examined(and they couldn't be anyway). They could all be wrong.
Because even the first vague stirrings of organisation, of a fruitful direction, of an emergence of a global regularity or law, becomes self-reinforcing.
This is how nothing becomes something? "vague stirrings of organisation" means exactly nothing without a context. You need a context and a set of laws for anything to be starting a "vague stirrings of organisation". The "emergence of a global regularity or law, becomes self-reinforcing" is no different than the "emergence of a universe with laws as a self-reinforcing system". It's simply no explanation at all.
Who is this "we" that does not understand? I have spent many years with those active in systems science who do understand these basic ideas. Agreed a physics forum almost by definition is the least likely place to find any systems thinkers :tongue:. You have to hang out with neuroscientists, neural networkers, theoretical biologists and ecologists.
No, you do not understand strong emergence. That's why you are so exceptionally vague about potentiality, indeterminancy, vaguness and the "phase transition" to crispness. How did you answer my question about the "global constraints"? What are these constraints and where do they come from? You are basically applying a watered down version of reductionism to a vague idea of nothing becoming something. I can find you neuroscientists and biologists that will make all kinds of weird claims, but when you push them into a corner their understanding of such phenomena quickly turns to personal philosophies.
Human logic requires causality and determinism at minimum and as soon as you posit that some vaguesness is going into a phase transition and becoming something actual, it's no different than magic. Maybe this is how the world works, but you are not justified in assuming that you understand the process involved. You are describing the phenomenon as you observe it, you are not explaining the actual causal chain that leads to strong emergence. That's why a phenomenon is said to "emerge" as opposed to being "resultant" and I am very very skeptical of claims that "strong emergence" has been understood.