Logic behind theories and perception.

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Reality doesn't have to be anything we think it is.
And quite a lot of it is incomprehensible.
Ever tried to predict the weather?
Oh ok.. But a lot of our macro world is comprehensible though.
I think weather like anything else has an internal logic, it's just it's so complicated you have no choice but to use statistics.
Logic doesn't necessarily mean human logic, it can mean any system that has a coherent and probably deterministic event chain.



The universe would not be treated as locally deterministic in this view. That is an axiom of a different model. Though agreed, that it is the Standard Model of logic!

So what I am talking about is a way to get local action that looks determined by its own local, substantive and internal properties - the way we think an electron has a property like negative charge - but is instead achieved by a different method. That is top down constraint.

To take a rough analogy, think of the way an engine cylinder constrains the explosion of the gas/air mixture. The explosion has the potential to expand in all directions. But those other directions are suppressed and all the action has to be expressed in just the unsuppressed direction - so pushing the piston.

If you then take more interesting examples like the quantum zeno effect, you can see something of the same as microphysics.
Ok I think I get what you're saying now.
 
russ_watters
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No, the universe appears, for the most part, to follow the logical structure, that humans have been able to develop and derive from mental experience.
The "mental experience" you are talking about is observation of the universe!
Observational errors, mysterious occurances and even things like Quantum Mechanics and Dark Matter are examples of where human logical structures have failed.
There is a contradiction in that statement that reveals the flaw: Observational errors are not failures in logic. You know the old adage, right:? Garbage in, garbage out. That's what happens when you try to speculate beyond what your facts allow.
 
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JoeDawg said:
Reality doesn't have to be anything we think it is.
And quite a lot of it is incomprehensible.
...currently(and "quite a lot" is an over-statement)! It has been like that with practically everything we've ever come to know in our several-million-year history.



Ever tried to predict the weather?

Weather forecasts have been available for decades. You wouldn't stay indoors when Katrina was about to strike and evacuation was issued, would you? But that's not the point and you could have raised better examples - entanglement, black holes, backward in time causation, Time in general terms...

The point is there doesn't appear to be anything that could stop us from following the endless chain of events and describe in time everything that has ever happened in the Universe. Take a look at this:


http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/8043/cmbtimeline.jpg [Broken]


This achivement is probably the most monumental feat of mankind's cause and effect logic, ever. Just looking at the universe history since 10^-43 sec. till today, where you can see the picture of the WMAP spacecraft, is enough to sizzle and fry your neurons.
 
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JoeDawg said:
No, the universe appears, for the most part, to follow the logical structure, that humans have been able to develop and derive from mental experience.

Why did you stop so soon? Why are we able to describe the universe "for the most part" if it is not predictable, comprehensible and logical? Or maybe you are wrong and the universe is predictable, comprehensible and logical because of its cause and effect structure.


Observational errors, mysterious occurances and even things like Quantum Mechanics and Dark Matter are examples of where human logical structures have failed.

This is a central point in creationists arguments towards the invalidity of science.


The universe is what it is, we can describe some of it with logic, a system we developed by observing patterns in the universe. But the fact we have observed patterns doesn't mean those patterns have any explicit relation to the universe.

What exactly do evidenced and explained observations have relations to, if not the universe?


They are mental constructs and useful ones, but so is thinking of tables and chairs as solid, even though we know from science, they are mostly empty space.
Yes, from science, which you say is uncertain and approximate. What gives you confidence that matter is really 99.9999% empty space then?


Again logic is dependent on premises, there are lots of logical constructs which conflict with observation. So saying the universe behaves logically isn't really saying much.

The fact that there are currently a few 'mysterious' looking phenomena doesn't negate or degrade science in any way. Think about the millions events we can explain in this "incomprehensible" universe. We are moving forward... step by step, one step at a time, slowly but confidently and continuously. Progress is evident everywhere, from your living room all the way to the LHC. We are definitely not the helpless animals we once were in an incomprehensible universe.


Logic is a system derived from experience and is therefore useful when dealing with experience. But that doesn't mean our experience or the lessons we have derived from it have any direct relation to 'what is out there'. The most we can honestly say is that the logic we have derived from experience has been useful in dealing with experience.

True, but this doesn't imply that a cause and effect universe like ours isn't comprehensible. And science has long left the perceptional common sense level of dealing with reality.
 
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apeiron said:
Wavejumper was saying there is only one causality he believes in, one based on bottom-up construction from atoms with properties. This is the Standard Model as I acknowlege. It involves a number of familiar ingredients - atomism, mechanicalism, monadism, locality, determinism.

No, you misunderstood. When i said that everything physical in the universe was a result of the cause and effect interaction of quantum fields and particles, i didn't mean just partilces but also quantum fields(I specifically said that). A quantum filed in QFT is a collection of quantum waves(waves are easier to work with in physics math) that interact through force carrier guage bosons. A quantum field system can be anything from a molecule to a meteor and the benefit is that GR can be meaningfully applied. Thus "particles" are treated as ripples in a field and i didn't imply strictly bottom-up causation, though i would find this approach the most appealing because the universe started out as a quantum event, not as a full blown system.
 
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russ_watters said:
The "mental experience" you are talking about is observation of the universe!

How true! Funny that you had to point out this "weird" fact. :smile:
 
apeiron
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No, you misunderstood. When i said that everything physical in the universe was a result of the cause and effect interaction of quantum fields and particles, i didn't mean just partilces but also quantum fields(I specifically said that).
Thanks for the correction. But you are still saying "everything is built up from fields".

In some ways this is a bit sneaky as fields smuggle in some of the logic of a top-down, constraints-based, view of causality. But it is not explicitly represented in the model.

Condensed matter physics and soliton type approaches would be models that make the top-down constraint aspect explicit. So a model of QM fields that was married to condensed matter physics, in effect, would be an improvement. It would explicitly model both the bottom-up constructive acts and the top-down weight of constraints. Reality then arises (logically) as a result of this hierarchically-organised interaction.

The environmental decoherence and Cramer transactional interpretation of QM both have a flavour of the top-down constraints causality I am talking about too.
 
russ_watters
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Reality doesn't have to be anything we think it is.
And quite a lot of it is incomprehensible.
I think you misinterpreted that. "It has to be" means that if it weren't logical, our attempts to understand it using logic would fail. And if that's not what was meant, it is better when read that way...
Ever tried to predict the weather?
Predicting the weather is not illogical, it is just difficult.
 
russ_watters
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Many people here understand the first two things but have not come across the idea that there could be more than one logic. They tend to take the platonic view that logic is perfect reasoning and so there can only be one example of a perfect thing.
Most of that didn't makes sense to me until that part. Anyway, I'm one of those people who thinks logic can only work one way. But maybe that's a reflection of what I said in my previous post.... Our logic can only work one way: the way the universe's logic works!
But you can doubt your reason just as much as you can doubt the world if you are being the kind of sceptical scientist we all claim to be.
Of course! For two basic reasons:

1. Information can be imperfect, so the starting point for applying logic is often flawed.
2. Information can imply more than one logical conclusion.
See: Newton's Gravity vs General Relativity
 
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The "mental experience" you are talking about is observation of the universe!
I have all sorts of mental experiences which most people would not attribute to "observations of the universe". I can imagine a unicorn, I can add 1+1=2, I can plan to go to work tomorrow, and I can decide not to eat ice cream. The physical universe is an explanation for certain kinds of mental experience. And its a good one. But there is a difference between an explanation and an observation, just like there is a difference between an abstract idea and a physical experience. What the difference is, is open to argument.
There is a contradiction in that statement that reveals the flaw: Observational errors are not failures in logic. You know the old adage, right:? Garbage in, garbage out. That's what happens when you try to speculate beyond what your facts allow.

Observational 'errors' show things our explanations, our logical modeling, doesn't cover. The fact we consider them errors, doesn't eliminate the fact they conflict with what we expect. They could be actual errors, or they could show our logic is faulty.

If we didn't speculate beyond the facts, we could never make any predictions, or speak of anything not right in front of us.
 
apeiron
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Our logic can only work one way: the way the universe's logic works!
The modelling point is that we should not mistake the map for the terrain. Like a map, modelling leaves stuff out to make the essentials clearer. And it is shaped to suit the purposes of the user. A map doesn't have to be crumpled to match the terrain's hills. The correspondence is a working relationship not an attempt to simulate.

Having said that, I would agree it seems logical(!) that we arrive at a single logic that best maps a single world.

And the way I see it working is as a nested relationship.

So we have the kind of ordinary everyday logic people think of as right reasoning (though few can articulate its components or essential rules). As I said, this revolves around ideas such as atomism, locality, determinism, monadism, mechanicalism.

This hangs together as a simple and easy to apply model. It deals with everything via a single causal flow - the bottom-up construction from material atoms.

But then if we are able to step back and take an expanded view of what is going on, we will see the more complex, less familiar yet fuller, causality of systems science.

Now we have a second kind of causality included in our model - top-down constraint by "immaterial" form.

And then adding in the hierarchical interaction of these two causal actions, we can get the third thing which is their equilibration.

So we have two models here - the simple and the complex - in a nested relationship. Leaving us with both a choice about levels of model to apply, and yet also finally only a single logic to match a single world.

[systems logic [atomistic logic]] = a comprehensive guide to reality.

Interestingly, all the people I know doing serious work on an expansion to logic happen to be scientists rather than philosophers - theoretical biologists and neuroscientists mostly.
 
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Even if logic applied by humans is some kind of "map of the terrain" analogy, I still think logic as a word means something perfect and that the universe's logic must be 'perfect.'
As we know, anything can be logical, it doesn't have to be real, and that's mainly because our minds are capable of creating internal worlds.
But that doesn't mean logic doesn't extend beyond those internal worlds.. I would think that would be a mistake to assume.

Whether or not we are capable of seeing the universe's logic is unknown to a degree, but from the evidence around us I could argue that we are quite good at it.
A lot of the things we do in the world are logical, and fit with how the world works.
 
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Predicting the weather is not illogical, it is just difficult.
You are trying to separate logic (abstract ideas) from mental processes. Plato tried this with his forms, but abstract ideas are just generalizations, functions of mental processes, and these do not exist in the physical universe in the same way other physical things do. Equating the two is always problematic.

Logic can be thought of as a way of thinking, patterning, or abstract modelling; it can also be thought of as the result of that process. The latter refers to specific logical framework.

Claiming that weather follows some pattern(or 'human discernable' pattern), and doesn't include random events, is a claim, and nothing more. Its certainly something climatologists hope is true, but that doesn't make it so.

But either way, it is linked to mental processes, because it is an abstraction.
Astrology, Tarot, and Palmistry, all utilize logic, just as much as weather forecasting, and all with similar success. Weather forecasting gets more respect because it pays lip service to scientific ideas. But until we develop a logical framework that describes it with some level of predictive ability, we can't honestly claim it follows a pattern.

Saying that 'logic exists' as part of the structure of the universe, separate from mind, is simply confusing the map with the terrain, as mentioned.
 
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You are trying to separate logic (abstract ideas) from mental processes. Plato tried this with his forms, but abstract ideas are just generalizations, functions of mental processes, and these do not exist in the physical universe in the same way other physical things do. Equating the two is always problematic.
You just nailed it! My original questions exactly. How could we begin to try finding solution to the problem - the proof things being one way or other? This surely can't be a matter of opinion...!

http://books.google.fi/books?id=AcXFfl1pPcgC&pg=PA506&lpg=PA506&dq=artilect+study+update&source=bl&ots=GagVknbjNT&sig=zW-qWrAp858TFq_GWpxxqoR07MY&hl=fi&ei=eD1pSpzQL4X4-AbNodCLCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8

http://psoup.math.wisc.edu/extras/deGaris/cosmism.html

http://www.jackklaff.com/ai-3.htm
 
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