Philosophy Section

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Twodogs
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Summary: Wondering where to post a question on emergence.

I recall a philosophy section here on the Forum, but perhaps I am mistaken. In any case, I am wondering where the best place would be to post a question on emergence.
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  • #2
fresh_42
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Summary: Wondering where to post a question on emergence.

I recall a philosophy section here on the Forum, but perhaps I am mistaken. In any case, I am wondering where the best place would be to post a question on emergence.
Thanks
This depends on which kind of emergence you want to talk about. Philosophy is a taboo subject now, as it never led to anything and rarely was philosophy on its scientific level.
 
  • #3
jtbell
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I recall a philosophy section here on the Forum, but perhaps I am mistaken.
We did have a philosophy forum originally. At some point we made it a moderated forum in order to maintain standards on the discussion in it. For example, topics had to be about things that real philosophers were talking about, instead of random speculation and wild guesses. The Mentor who moderated it had actually studied philosophy seriously in university and knew enough about it to do the job intelligently. Then she left, and we had nobody to replace her. So we shut down the forum.
 
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  • #4
Drakkith
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The average person knows even less about actual philosophy as they do actual science. The two fields are different enough that the vast majority of members here at PF also know very little about actual philosophy. We just aren't a philosophy forum and our target audience isn't into philosophy either for the most part. Any philosophy forum here at PF would be a watered down version of a dedicated philosophy forum and would have to be heavily moderated to even begin to work given the enormous number of misconceptions people have about philosophy.

It just isn't worth it.
 
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  • #5
Twodogs
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Okay, thanks.
What about the subjects of emergence, determinism, systems theory. Do they fit somewhere into the ecosystem here? Another forum?
Thanks again.
 
  • #6
Drakkith
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What about the subjects of emergence, determinism, systems theory. Do they fit somewhere into the ecosystem here? Another forum?

It depends on what you'd like to discuss regarding them. Determinism can fit in either the classical or quantum physics forums depending on if you want to talk about quantum effects or not. The same for emergence. If in doubt, send a private message to a mentor explaining what you'd like to discuss and asking where the best place would be.
 
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For example, topics had to be about things that real philosophers were talking about, instead of random speculation and wild guesses.

And what we discovered was that many people who said they wanted to talk about philosophy didn't want to do that. They wanted to talk about random speculation and wild guesses, and "it seems to me" was the highest level of truth. Nobody knew the difference between Phillipa Foot and Larry Foote.
 
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  • #8
Twodogs
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Thanks.
My tentative approach here was to avoid violating any forum protocols by inappropriately posting something.

Granted, philosophy can be played as a game of golf without the holes wherein the loft of the ball is more important than proximity to an answer. That said, I have also grudgingly come to understand that philosophy can also sharply illuminate hidden assumptions and logical missteps.
My purpose in posting is to clarify the implications of determinism as reflected here:

“Given those equations [effective field theories] and the configuration of a system at one particular time, you can calculate what happens at all other times.” — ‘How to Live Without Free Will’, S. Hossenfelder, BackReaction, 5/2/2019

My belief is that this unpunctuated causal progression would not produce the world we see. In particular, the evolution of complex dissipative structures both produces and requires a more complected causal dynamic.

Here are two quotations from mathematician Michael Berry:

“However, there is a creative side to singular limits: They lead to new physics. For large N, where a central idea is symmetry-breaking, this creative side is concisely expressed in Philip Anderson’s celebrated phrase: More is different.”

“Such postmodern quantum effects are emergent phenomena par excellence: The discrete states they describe are essentially nonclassical, but can be unambiguously identified only for highly excited states, that is, under near classical conditions.” — ‘Singular Limits,’ Michael Berry

https://michaelberryphysics.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/berry341.pdf
And one, an end of paper caveat from philosopher Jaegwon Kim:

“In general, complex systems obviously can bring new causal powers into the world, powers that cannot be identified with causal powers of more basic, simpler systems. Among them are the causal powers of micro-structural, or micro-based, properties of a complex system” — Making Sense Of Emergence, Jaegwon Kim, (f.n. #37)

http://www.zeww.uni-hannover.de/Kim_Making Sense Emergence.1999.pdf
While these quotations seem to affirm the possibility of an emergent, more complected causality, perhaps I am reading more into them than is actually there.

Is there an appropriate forum category where this question can be pursued?

Thanks.
 
  • #9
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I have also grudgingly come to understand that philosophy can also sharply illuminate hidden assumptions and logical missteps.

What I see about philosophers is that they does not really likes to abide to any external reality.
Science, on the other hand is about facing reality head on.
So in science what's expected to 'illuminate hidden assumptions and logical missteps' is actually the test of the results.

While philosophy indeed had its contribution to science, that contribution was actually a hand-picked package, which were ground down to fit the practical reality. Even since those times philosophers are yet to forgive science for truncating their library worth of rumbling such a cruel way :angel:

I'm happy that there is no dedicated philosophy here. By my humble opinion the occasional occurrence is just perfectly enough.
 
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  • #10
Twodogs
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It depends on what you'd like to discuss regarding them. Determinism can fit in either the classical or quantum physics forums depending on if you want to talk about quantum effects or not. The same for emergence. If in doubt, send a private message to a mentor explaining what you'd like to discuss and asking where the best place would be.
Is there a list of which mentors serve on the classical or quantum physics forums?
 
  • #11
fresh_42
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Is there a list of which mentors serve on the classical or quantum physics forums?
No, and there is no reason for it. Every mentor can see whether the rules are obeyed or not. It is only important who responds to the technical questions, and there is no limit - within the rules - to anybody.
 
  • #12
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“The philosophy of science is as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds. " - R. P. Feyman.
 
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  • #13
BillTre
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I would put a question about emergence in either general discussion or in biology (I'm a biologist, so biased to biology's issues).
If the post is to be about an abstracted view of systems biology, then some more physics forum could be more appropriate.
The idea of emergence is talked about in biology in relation to the emergence of life from non-living matter or the emergence of several other higher level properties of biological entities such as social behavior.
 
  • #14
Twodogs
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I would put a question about emergence in either general discussion or in biology (I'm a biologist, so biased to biology's issues).
If the post is to be about an abstracted view of systems biology, then some more physics forum could be more appropriate.
The idea of emergence is talked about in biology in relation to the emergence of life from non-living matter or the emergence of several other higher level properties of biological entities such as social behavior.

Thank you. I have already sent an inquiry to a Mentor at a physics forum and well see what he says. The nature of question is indicated in my last post to this thread, roughly the degree to which emergence can affect a clockwork, micro-determinism. I am curious as to your views as a biologist.
 
  • #15
BillTre
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the degree to which emergence can affect a clockwork, micro-determinism. I am curious as to your views as a biologist.

It seems to me that emergence emerges when many interacting units at one scale of organization can interact together and result in new phenomena at a higher level of organization, such as molecules --> life.
Depending on the generality of the discussion, I would expect this kind of relationship to be found at many levels.
 

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