The Fourth Dimension.

Use this forum to discuss the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science deals with the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science.
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tommarcus
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The Fourth Dimension.

Post by tommarcus » August 1st, 2018, 1:24 pm

There has been much scientific and mathematical discussion regarding dimensions beyond our three physical dimensions. The evidence of such a dimension is all around us. It is like the forest which we can't see because of the trees. That dimension is existence itself.

Our self-awareness sees this existence. Like our eyes are both three dimensional and sees the three dimensional world, so does life have the ability to see its existence. Our minds don't create our existence or self-awareness which is just the opposite of many theories of consciousness. The brain of any living thing could never create something as profound as self consciousness Therefore, this must exist outside our three dimensional world.

Everything that exists must exist in and have as part of its being the dimension of existence. Without this dimension, you or it cannot exist by definition. Even a rock has it. It is not a soul. It is another dimension that each particle in the universe has. Somehow, living beings can "see"It. By sensing its existence, life has self-awareness. Maybe this is a definition of life itself.

While there is much debate as to whether the universe had a beginning, the dimension of existence always was. It is not subject to the material concepts of time since it is not subject to the physical world.

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Thinking critical
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Re: The Fourth Dimension.

Post by Thinking critical » August 6th, 2018, 6:14 am

The fourth dimension is already well established, it's called time
tommarcus wrote:
August 1st, 2018, 1:24 pm
Our self-awareness sees this existence. Like our eyes are both three dimensional and sees the three dimensional world, so does life have the ability to see its existence. Our minds don't create our existence or self-awareness which is just the opposite of many theories of consciousness.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, but existence is not created, it is not a function of anything, so I'm not sure what theory states that to be the case, but it would be definitively wrong. Classically speaking, the mind is how the brain experiences it's own cognitive functions, how the mind experiences is what is referred to as consciousness.
We have to be clear not to confuse condciousness with self awareness, these are two seperate faculties.
The brain of any living thing could never create something as profound as self consciousness Therefore, this must exist outside our three dimensional world.
Arguing from incredulity is a classic example of a logical fallacy, asserting your opinion as being true has zero bearing on what actually is true.
Everything that exists must exist in and have as part of its being the dimension of existence. Without this dimension, you or it cannot exist by definition. Even a rock has it. It is not a soul. It is another dimension that each particle in the universe has. Somehow, living beings can "see"It. By sensing its existence, life has self-awareness. Maybe this is a definition of life itself.
This makes no sense, for something to exist it must do so within a four dimensional Spacetime, which is to say it must exist within a certain place (up/ down, left/ right, back/forward) and at a certain time. If existence itself is another dimension, it means it is its own dimension therefore you are actually saying for existence to exist, existence must exist, this is circular reasoning, another fallacy of logic.
While there is much debate as to whether the universe had a beginning, the dimension of existence always was. It is not subject to the material concepts of time since it is not subject to the physical world.
And now you are just confusing physical existence and ontological existence.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

tommarcus
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Re: The Fourth Dimension.

Post by tommarcus » August 7th, 2018, 10:51 am

I am trying to make a few points and that is why my discussion is not as clear asbitbshoild be but your comments are helpful.

First I simply disagree that time is another dimension. I am very much aware that it is considered another dimension. It is my understanding that this has to do with the development of the Theory of Relativity which was made more simple when a fourth variable was introduced to the equations. However, time is a measurement of the movement of two physical objects in relation to each other. Whether, they are the atoms in an atomic clock or the pendulum in a clock. If no physical objects exist, then time does not exist. Therefore it is firmly a part of our three dimensional physical world. Another dimension must be independent of existing dimensions just like the vertical is totally independent from the horizontal as you correctly point out.

Further, I agree completely with your assertion thst consciousness and self-awareness are two different concepts. The mind does perceive its own existence. That is its self-awareness. But what is it perceiving? It has to perceive something that exists. What it is perceiving it's own dimension of existence. Just like my eye perceives the three dimensional world of which it is also a part. Again I agree with your comment that existence cannot be created. It is a dimension which everthing must have in order to exist, including the entire universe and everthing in it. Just as every physical object must have three dimensions in order to exist in a three dimensional world. I theorize that there must exist another dimension beyond the physical universe and that dimension is evidence by my perception of it which is my existence itself.

It may appear that such reasoing is circular, but this may provide the clue as to why the unique characteristic of existence always existed and our physical universe did not.

Steve3007
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Re: The Fourth Dimension.

Post by Steve3007 » August 8th, 2018, 9:04 am

tommarcus:

In my opinion, a mistake that you and many other people make in talking about subjects like this is talking about what "is" when it is more productive to talk about what is "useful" to our purposes.

Both time and space are useful concepts in helping us to describe and predict our observations. That is why we invented them. Once of the things we often like to do, when describing our observations, is to identify the position of objects relative to other objects. We have discovered that this can be done using a minimum of 3 numbers. This is why we consider it useful to think of space as having 3 dimensions. We have also discovered that if we want to uniquely identify the "position" of an event then we need a minimum of 4 numbers. This is why we say that space and time together, space-time, can usefully be considered to have 4 dimensions.

Do you disagree with any of this?

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Re: The Fourth Dimension.

Post by Steve3007 » August 8th, 2018, 9:11 am

First I simply disagree that time is another dimension. I am very much aware that it is considered another dimension. It is my understanding that this has to do with the development of the Theory of Relativity which was made more simple when a fourth variable was introduced to the equations.
No, it's not specifically anything to do with the Theory of Relativity. That theory certainly does use the concept of space-time and it says various things about the properties of that particular piece of mathematical modelling. But, as I said, the reason why time is considered to be a dimension is simply because it works. It suits our purposes. A dimension is simply a number. And it takes 4 numbers to identify an event, such as this event: "the front door of my house at 12pm today."

tommarcus
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Re: The Fourth Dimension.

Post by tommarcus » August 8th, 2018, 11:08 am

Steve3007:

Actually I agree with you which is why I question many of the established theories that claim to be reality. They are imperfect models. Einstein's theories superceded Newton's. He then wondered what new theory would supercede the Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. And that is what we should be looking for. Time was called the fourth dimension by the creators of these theories because they needed a fourth dimension to make the mathematics work. However, does this necessarily mean that time is that fourth dimension or could it be something else? Now String Theory requires 10 dimensions plus time to work.

Remember this discussion is nothing more than recalcualtions of the physical world and our latest mathematical models. What is needed is to discover the next level of thinking. Mathematics has done a good job of predicting physical reality. But to create theoretical mathematics, you must start with a basic line of reasoning. It is up to philosophy to develop the next level of thought which will in turn lead to a new mathematics.

For example, Euclidean geometry assumes a world where the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Lobachevskian geometry assumes the the shortest distance is a curve. If you believe in a traditional equalling expanding universe, the former is more correct. If you believe that the universe is curved, then the latter is more correct. As our observations of the universe increase, the answer will come out if the realm of philosophy and migrate into science. Actually it now appears that space us in fact curved.

Steve3007
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Re: The Fourth Dimension.

Post by Steve3007 » August 8th, 2018, 11:58 am

tommarcus wrote:Actually I agree with you which is why I question many of the established theories that claim to be reality. They are imperfect models.
Imperfect and provisional models is precisely what they claim to be. This is how science works. This is inherent in the definition of the word "model".
Einstein's theories superceded Newton's. He then wondered what new theory would supercede the Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.
I think it's more accurate to say that Relativity and Quantum Mechanics contain classical (Newtonian) mechanics as a limiting case - a model that is true for a particular subset of all possible observations. This is an important distinction. Newton's classical mechanics has not been thrown away and replaced. It is still used. It exists inside the theories that have come after it and which describe a larger super set of possible observations.
And that is what we should be looking for.
That is what we have always been, and will probably always be looking for. That's how science works.
Time was called the fourth dimension by the creators of these theories because they needed a fourth dimension to make the mathematics work.
No, because it is useful for describing observed events.
However, does this necessarily mean that time is that fourth dimension or could it be something else? Now String Theory requires 10 dimensions plus time to work.
There you are using that "is" word again. "does this necessarily mean that time is that fourth dimension". All of these dimensions are created by us because they are useful. It makes no sense to ask whether time "really is" the fourth dimension. We think of it as that for as long as it is useful to think of it as that.
Remember this discussion is nothing more than recalcualtions of the physical world and our latest mathematical models. What is needed is to discover the next level of thinking. Mathematics has done a good job of predicting physical reality.
No, that's like saying the English language has done a good job at predicting physical reality. It hasn't. It's just a language. Our observations contain patterns. We use those patterns to predict possible future observations that haven't yet happened. The language in which we express those patterns is mathematics.
But to create theoretical mathematics, you must start with a basic line of reasoning. It is up to philosophy to develop the next level of thought which will in turn lead to a new mathematics.
If you think you've invented some new mathematics go ahead and explain it.
For example, Euclidean geometry assumes a world where the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Lobachevskian geometry assumes the the shortest distance is a curve. If you believe in a traditional equalling expanding universe, the former is more correct. If you believe that the universe is curved, then the latter is more correct. As our observations of the universe increase, the answer will come out if the realm of philosophy and migrate into science. Actually it now appears that space us in fact curved.
Again, these different geometries are part of the language that we use to describe the patterns that we've noticed in our observations.

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Re: The Fourth Dimension.

Post by Thinking critical » August 9th, 2018, 9:44 am

tommarcus wrote:
August 7th, 2018, 10:51 am
I am trying to make a few points and that is why my discussion is not as clear asbitbshoild be but your comments are helpful.

First I simply disagree that time is another dimension. I am very much aware that it is considered another dimension. It is my understanding that this has to do with the development of the Theory of Relativity which was made more simple when a fourth variable was introduced to the equations. However, time is a measurement of the movement of two physical objects in relation to each other. Whether, they are the atoms in an atomic clock or the pendulum in a clock. If no physical objects exist, then time does not exist. Therefore it is firmly a part of our three dimensional physical world. Another dimension must be independent of existing dimensions just like the vertical is totally independent from the horizontal as you correctly point out.
I think Steve has pretty much cleared up what is actually meant when we speak of dimensions. It is easy to relate to a 3 dimensional world, this is the model of reality which our mind creates for us in order to successfully navigate through space. The other component of reality which we also experience is the temporal flow of one moment to the next, this is the utilitarian purpose of the fourth dimension which is necessary to explain the cognitive experience which we refer to as reality. This four dimensional reality best serves the purpose to explain how we perceive and understand the Universe.
Further, I agree completely with your assertion thst consciousness and self-awareness are two different concepts. The mind does perceive its own existence. That is its self-awareness. But what is it perceiving? It has to perceive something that exists. What it is perceiving it's own dimension of existence. Just like my eye perceives the three dimensional world of which it is also a part. Again I agree with your comment that existence cannot be created. It is a dimension which everthing must have in order to exist, including the entire universe and everthing in it. Just as every physical object must have three dimensions in order to exist in a three dimensional world. I theorize that there must exist another dimension beyond the physical universe and that dimension is evidence by my perception of it which is my existence itself.
Conscious awareness is certainly a hard problem to understand, I can definitely see the apparent need to envoke metaphysical explanations (or an additional dimension as you call it) to make sense of it all. It may even be useful to think of consciousness as its own dimension, however I don't see existence as a dimension in itself. Although existence stands independent of the conscious experience (IMO) IOW existence isn't contingent on the conscious experience, in order to say something exists, there must first exist the subject to percieve existence. Therefore this "conscious dimension" would in fact be seen to be mutually consistent with the experience of existence by matter of necessity.
In saying that, I see no benefit for cosmology or physics to take an extra dimension into account in order to better understand the Universe.
It may appear that such reasoing is circular, but this may provide the clue as to why the unique characteristic of existence always existed and our physical universe did not.
We could just as easily say that existence is potentially enevidable without envoking any extra dimensions.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

tommarcus
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Re: The Fourth Dimension.

Post by tommarcus » August 9th, 2018, 2:26 pm

Thinking critical

These comments by Steve3007 and yourself are legitimate. I may not completely agree with them but they contain elements of strong reasoning which must be given consideration. I appreciate this good discussion.

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