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The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Daniel_Cox
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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Daniel_Cox » May 14th, 2019, 2:54 pm

@Tamminen Hiya! I'm new here so please forgive me any mistakes. I don't know if I'm allowed to quote an author, quote from their book, but in my limited ability to follow the conversation here I was reminded of this from God, Science & Mind: The Irrationality of Naturalism by Dennis F. Polis, Ph.D.

Relativity teaches us to think about _how_ we measure time. If we apply Aristotle's definition of time as "the measure of motion according to before and after" to the advent of awareness, we encounter immediate difficulties. No measurable motion can be attributed to a subjective reality such as awareness. We can measure the brain changes encoding sensory signals and behavioral responses depending on awareness. However, we cannot measure the instant of awareness. Since time is a measure, unmeasurable events _have no precise time._ By rejecting precognition, we can place the time of awareness between the object event and the first measurable use of awareness. Beyond that, its time indeterminate.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » May 14th, 2019, 3:23 pm

Tamminen wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 11:10 am
When analysing being in general, i.e. in fundamental ontology, there are two impossibilities: subjective past with no beginning and the world without subjects.
... and the end of subjective time of course, and probably many more.

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Felix
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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Felix » May 14th, 2019, 3:23 pm

Tamminen: "That subjective past must be finite is independent of how many universes we have. It is a claim about the logical structure of subjective time. But the standard theory of physical spacetime is in line with this claim."

If by standard physics theory you mean the Big Bang theory, it hypothesizes that the Big Bang singularity was the spaciotemporal beginning of our Universe (based on mathematical modeling), and not it's absolute beginning. This can also be true of subjectivity.

Tamminen: "my view is that matter is just the subject's relationship with itself."

And you are suggesting that matter is required for the subject to know itself. Even it that were so (I don't believe it is), the relationship between subject and matter can be an eternal one.

Tamminen: "I am just saying that the absolute subject appeared from nothingness, i.e. it had its first experience, but will never have its last experience. This is its logical structure as subjective temporality." ... "Its (the subjects) end would be self-contradictory because it would mean the subject's nonexistence."

I've already pointed out the flaw in your logic: You say the subject must exist, his existence cannot end, but you also say he must have a first experience. Obviously he did not exist before he had that first experience, and therefore his existence is not compulsory. For your theory to be consistent, both the subject and his percepts must be eternal
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » May 14th, 2019, 3:50 pm

Felix wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 3:23 pm
If by standard physics theory you mean the Big Bang theory, it hypothesizes that the Big Bang singularity was the spaciotemporal beginning of our Universe (based on mathematical modeling), and not it's absolute beginning. This can also be true of subjectivity.
Even if it could be true of physical spacetime, it cannot be true of subjective time, that is not a rational possibility.
Felix wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 3:23 pm
And you are suggesting that matter is required for the subject to know itself. Even it that were so (I don't believe it is), the relationship between subject and matter can be an eternal one.
I think it is eternal, exactly because the subject needs matter for its concrete existence. It is just as eternal as the subject is eternal.
Felix wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 3:23 pm
I've already pointed out the flaw in your logic: You say the subject must exist, his existence cannot end, but you also say he must have a first experience. Obviously he did not exist before he had that first experience, and therefore his existence is not compulsory. For your theory to be consistent, both the subject and his percepts must be eternal.
There is no such thing as "before the first experience", because the first experience was the beginning of time. With the first experience time and being in general started. And remember that the universe is just the instrument of the subject for its concrete existence and evolution. The existence of the subject is necessary because it is causa sui, as I wrote.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Felix » May 14th, 2019, 4:27 pm

Tamminen: "Even if it could be true of physical spacetime (i.e., that is is nonfinite), it cannot be true of subjective time, that is not a rational possibility."

I see it as a possibility, "rational" or not, e.g., Aristotle's definition of the Divine Mind as "thought thinking itself." Subject/Object need not assume gross sensible form.

"There is no such thing as "before the first experience", because the first experience was the beginning of time. With the first experience time and being in general started."

My point is that if subjective experience can begin, it can also end, and you rule out the latter - I am not clear why.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by BigBango » May 15th, 2019, 2:49 am

@Tamminen
I now see your view more clearly, thank you Felix. Your theory that the self is all that can be known to exist , "Solipsism", is the very basis of your thinking. Sure you have jazzed it up but you fail to acknowledge the existence of other "subjects" with the same phenomenological dilemmas as yourself. Schopenhauer, in his work "The World as Will and Representation", argues that there is a world that can be objectively described/represented and at the same time contain individuals that have subjective experience which is strictly personal. Both aspects will/subject and a shared objective/representation are true of the world. The subjective personal truth is, "nothing exists until I exist" is only true for your subjective experience. For philosophy to be more than your solipsist surd you must offer us a representational accounting of the world that accounts for truly independent subjective minds. This representational accounting of the world must show why there is as much agreement between our personal experience of the world and e.g. the possibility of language and community.

Maybe you should read some good science fiction that has illuminated blind spots in our scientific thinking as have so many of our great thinkers.

Solipsism is never going advance "our" thinking, but only yours.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » May 15th, 2019, 2:55 am

Felix wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 4:27 pm
Tamminen: "Even if it could be true of physical spacetime (i.e., that is is nonfinite), it cannot be true of subjective time, that is not a rational possibility."

I see it as a possibility, "rational" or not, e.g., Aristotle's definition of the Divine Mind as "thought thinking itself." Subject/Object need not assume gross sensible form.
I think there is only one "mind", one subject, as I said. So the Divine Mind, if any, must be part of the one and only sequence of subjective events, and this sequence must have a beginning if it is rational. I can understand finite past although it looks strange at first sight, but I cannot understand infinite past although it would give us symmetry of time. As I said, infinite subjective past is like an infinite set of real objects, which is absurd, but applied to real subjective events in my past it is still much more absurd.
Felix wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 4:27 pm
My point is that if subjective experience can begin, it can also end, and you rule out the latter - I am not clear why.
Simply because that would mean absolute nonexistence, which is absurd. The beginning of subjective time does not mean nonexistence, obviously. On the contrary, it is the ground where existence stands.
Daniel_Cox wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 2:54 pm
Relativity teaches us to think about _how_ we measure time. If we apply Aristotle's definition of time as "the measure of motion according to before and after" to the advent of awareness, we encounter immediate difficulties. No measurable motion can be attributed to a subjective reality such as awareness. We can measure the brain changes encoding sensory signals and behavioral responses depending on awareness. However, we cannot measure the instant of awareness. Since time is a measure, unmeasurable events _have no precise time._ By rejecting precognition, we can place the time of awareness between the object event and the first measurable use of awareness. Beyond that, its time indeterminate.
By subjective time I mean the sequence of successive experiences. An experience is a subjective event with a content. Successive contents make subjective time a series of discrete events, and such an event can be defined as the unit of subjective time, quite independent of the content of that event. So if we want to measure subjective time we can speak of the number of experiences, but I see no practical use in that.

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Felix
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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Felix » May 15th, 2019, 3:28 am

Tamminen: "Simply because that (i.e., the end of subjective awareness) would mean absolute nonexistence, which is absurd."

I'm sorry but I don't see anything absurd about this idea, your position on it is quite dogmatic.

"So the Divine Mind, if any, must be part of the one and only sequence of subjective events, and this sequence must have a beginning if it is rational. I can understand finite past although it looks strange at first sight, but I cannot understand infinite past although it would give us symmetry of time."

As I said, your viewpoint is dogmatic.... "must be," "must have," etc. The Divine Mind is not rational, it is suprarational, which is why it is beyond understanding by so-called rational beings. And there are what could be called levels of subjective reality. I must presume you have not been beyond the common waking state level of consciousness or you would not make logic the measuring stick of reality.

Quoting Daniel Cox: "By rejecting precognition, we can place the time of awareness between the object event and the first measurable use of awareness"

I'm not going to reject precognition because I have direct experience of it, which I suppose refutes your theory.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » May 15th, 2019, 4:18 am

BigBango wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 2:49 am
@Tamminen
I now see your view more clearly, thank you Felix. Your theory that the self is all that can be known to exist , "Solipsism", is the very basis of your thinking. Sure you have jazzed it up but you fail to acknowledge the existence of other "subjects" with the same phenomenological dilemmas as yourself. Schopenhauer, in his work "The World as Will and Representation", argues that there is a world that can be objectively described/represented and at the same time contain individuals that have subjective experience which is strictly personal. Both aspects will/subject and a shared objective/representation are true of the world. The subjective personal truth is, "nothing exists until I exist" is only true for your subjective experience. For philosophy to be more than your solipsist surd you must offer us a representational accounting of the world that accounts for truly independent subjective minds. This representational accounting of the world must show why there is as much agreement between our personal experience of the world and e.g. the possibility of language and community.

Maybe you should read some good science fiction that has illuminated blind spots in our scientific thinking as have so many of our great thinkers.

Solipsism is never going advance "our" thinking, but only yours.
Now I begin to understand why you accuse me of solipsism. What you say about Schopenhauer's views, for instance, is perfectly in line with my thinking. Also Scopenhauer saw generic subjective continuity, or reincarnation as it was called at that time, a very possible state of affairs. Solipsism, as I see it, does not deny the concrete existence of separate subjects that constitute our community of subjects including language, which makes the world the same for all of us. So I hope you can see my solipsism in its proper light and understand that it is true only in the sense that we are all part of the same sequence of subjective events of subjective time. Solipsism without generic subjective continuity would be absurd. I think this is the part of my theory that is most difficult to understand, and I see that also you missed the point. It requires a special kind of intuition to clearly see what I try to say.

By the way, do you think there is an end of your existence?

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » May 15th, 2019, 4:34 am

Felix wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 3:28 am
Tamminen: "Simply because that (i.e., the end of subjective awareness) would mean absolute nonexistence, which is absurd."

I'm sorry but I don't see anything absurd about this idea, your position on it is quite dogmatic.
So you see nothing strange in the idea of your nonexistence?
Felix wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 3:28 am
I must presume you have not been beyond the common waking state level of consciousness or you would not make logic the measuring stick of reality.
When doing philosophy we must make logic the measuring stick of reality. This is my personal opinion. There is a difference between philosophy and poetry, although I like both.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Tamminen » May 15th, 2019, 9:12 am

BigBango wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 2:49 am
The subjective personal truth is, "nothing exists until I exist" is only true for your subjective experience.
I say: "If I did not exist, there would be nothing." I say this to you, so you must exist, and you can exist even after I am dead. But you can say the same: "If I did not exist, there would be nothing." And if you die, I may still exist. So here is the paradox to be solved, because the above sentence is true in both cases. Now if we enlarge the community from me and you to an endlessly increasing community of subjects, we come close to the metaphysical theory I am presenting in my writings. Everything is as it appears to be, there is a world we all share and it is objectively there, not just a perception of some mystical subject. But to solve those two existential paradoxes I have described in one of my earlier posts we must make some metaphysical hypotheses that may look a bit strange at first sight but are logically consistent and necessary to keep the theory rational.

All this is of course nonsense if you see nothing strange and impossible in the thought that death is the end of your existence. If that is the case, we have nothing much to discuss.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Atla » May 15th, 2019, 11:33 am

Tamminen wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 11:10 am
When analysing being in general, i.e. in fundamental ontology, there are two impossibilities: subjective past with no beginning and the world without subjects.
Guess I broke both rules. Beginning or not is just speculation of course.

However, there has never been any evidence whatsoever that there are actual subjects. It's probably just a fatal flaw of philosophy since the ancient Greeks.

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Felix » May 15th, 2019, 2:40 pm

Tamminen: "So you see nothing strange in the idea of your nonexistence?"

Strange, perhaps, but not impossible... as you may have noticed, the Universe is a strange place.

"When doing philosophy we must make logic the measuring stick of reality."

We have science for that. Philosophy attempts to define what science cannot, logic alone will not suffice for that.

Atla: "there has never been any evidence whatsoever that there are actual subjects."

I don't understand that statement, what is an "actual subject" and who would supply the evidence that it exists?
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by Atla » May 15th, 2019, 3:00 pm

Felix wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 2:40 pm
Atla: "there has never been any evidence whatsoever that there are actual subjects."

I don't understand that statement, what is an "actual subject" and who would supply the evidence that it exists?
Well in Western philosophy, a "subject" is an umm.. "entity".

Subjects, objects are "things" in the sense that we conceptualize them as sort of separate from other "things". They have an existence, a history, a worldline of their own.

We usually believe ourselves to be subjects. And we talk about how subjects relate to each other, and how subjects and objects relate to each other etc.

As far as I know, no one has ever supplied any evidence that there are such subjects. We simply believe so since thousands of years. (Similarly to how we believe in substance theory, even though there hasn't been any evidence of any substance.)

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Re: The Implications Of Generic Subjective Continuity

Post by BigBango » May 15th, 2019, 8:35 pm

@Tamminen
I do admire your work because you are advancing the perspective of the "subject" by illuminating the logical consequences of its phenomenal logical status in the world. You have done this in spite of the pressure from many physical monists to attribute the "subject" to an epiphenomenal artifact of the material evolution of consciousness and therefore discount the subjects creative interplay between itself and the objective world.

What you have failed to do is uncover the objective metaphysics that makes your position both understandable in the objective world we share and is also "testable". I do not think your efforts are "science fiction" but that is too bad. At least a position that can be dismissed as "science fiction" is a position that can offer the possibility of testing. Your thinking must at least try to address the objective metaphysics that makes GSC out to be a valid hypothesis.

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