The Metaphysics of Process Philosophy/being or becoming

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
Gertie
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Re: The Metaphysics of Process Philosophy/being or becoming

Post by Gertie »

3017Metaphysician wrote: July 25th, 2022, 2:24 pm
Gertie wrote: July 24th, 2022, 4:25 am meta!

You said: "To clarify I don't believe nothing exists without experiencing it, rather that the only thing I can be certain exists is my conscious experience . There's an epistemological/ontological difference there which matters. I don't know if my experience represents a real world beyond it, that's one of those unknowable things, but I'm happy to assume it does, and I'm going with that. But that still leaves the issue of what experiencing subjects can know of the reality of that ontological world."


Again, thank for taking the time to go through some of the discourse. With respect to the above quote, generally, I take no exception. I've often used experience itself as an analogical support mechanism for EOG topics. Meaning, if someone said they had a religious experience, who are you or I to deny that experience(?). As such, that experience was their truth, and no one else's truth. In that sense, one could make a case for there being both subjective truth's that are real, and objective truth's that are real. Of course, that begs the question of what does it mean for something to be real in itself (i.e., is time real, consciousness, and other meta-physical things). Perhaps it means that things are only 'real' if they lack 'less' paradox, contradiction, incompleteness, meta-physical qualities, and so forth? Or, are they more 'real' if they have more uncertainty?

We talked about subjective idealism and we generally agree to many but not all of its tenets (correct me if I'm wrong). So there's indeed a lot of common ground (including your other responses which I haven't addressed). At the same time, if what you say is "certain", is that which is only experienced, we have another quandary that is no less 'certain' as things that may exist outside of experience (so-called life/existence before humans arrived on the scene).

Consider that the mind itself is not 'logically possible' (remember the analogy I offered about transcending the rules of logic/LEM/explaining how consciousness/subconscious works together) in a purely rational of deductive way of thinking/explaining its cognitive operation/qualities. Then consider all the other paradoxes associated with our understanding of time and space (relativity v. QM). In an effort to put that little piece of the puzzle to bed here, is it fair to say that your idea of being "certain", is that you consider 'becoming' having a type of primacy over 'being'? In other words, you don't deny 'objective certainty', but you believe there is less paradox, etc. associated with one's own level of subjective certainty(?). Or is it the other way around? Maybe parsing reality and certainty could be something we could have fun with.
Well the Me-Here-Now nature of human phenomenal experience is always changing, it's never static. It manifests as the specific content of experience, but its general charactistics are - having  a discrete, unified,   embodied sense of self,  with a specific first person perspective located in time and place,  which changes from moment to moment.

The specifics might be seeing a tree, having an itchy toe, thinking about metaphysics, etc.  The experience itself is what I know directly with certainty.  The assumption that my experience is a representative creation of my interaction with a real world which exists independantly of it can't be tested.  But we each have to make that assumption to escape solipsism (not Idealism - other minds are part of my experience of the world out there just like my bodily toes, brain,   trees and gravity).  Some things tho only exist as experience - like the itchiness, or thinking about metaphysics, or your friend's religious experience perhaps, or a hallucination, optical illusion and so on. The experience is real, it's just not necessarily accurately modelling what it's representing about 'out there' to us.

So being a subject involves sexperiencing   a constant state of change/becoming, sequentially over time.

The changing over time aspect of experiencing isn't an illusion, it's real.  (Remember my experience is the one thing I know with certainty).  But lets consider that change marked by time might only be real as experience - and everything else, the ontological world it represents/models,  is static. How could that make sense?    If Einstein's maths suggest a static block universe,  how and why is experience changing in a static world?  How could Einstein not know that , and then come to know that?

  Relativity of time  is weird but coherent, interactions affecting states of being  (via classical  cause and effect, quantum wave collapse or whatever) is coherent - but what sort of universe is static except for the experience which models its staticity as change, by itself changing?  That's a paradox! And I think you'd have to come up with a framing which accounts for that, before further speculating about what that framing implies about being/becoming.  Because it's a wacky universe which upends our notions of cause and effect, logic, physics, etc. What reliable criteria are we left with to even speculate...?

You've come up with two sets of linked ideas without establishing such a framing -

 
For clarification, this is what I'm developing so far:

Being: static, eternal, a priori, deductive reasoning, Block-universe, philosophical eternalism, synthetic a priori, Objectivity....[insert your corresponding/analogical concepts here]

Becoming: dynamic, temporal, a posteriori, inductive reasoning, change/contingency, quantum possibly/probability, synthetic a priori, Subjectivity ....[insert your corresponding/analogical concepts here]

I dunno.  I just don't see it in those terms.  We experience the world as changing in every moment, experience itself has this Me-Here-Nowness about it, which is an ongoing happening, event.   Either that's how the world actually is, and our experience changes because the world changes, or the change over time  is somehow created in our own presumably static relationship  with a static world.  But as for   deductive reasoning,  a priori and eternal - what do they mean in a static world, aren't they all dependant on time, wouldn't they be incoherent in a static world? 

Granted, as a postscript, we probably agree that even though all this 'parsing' requires a subjective conscious mind to even produce, do we still think there is something independent of us that is actually causing us to wonder in the first place... ?
We have the naturalistic functional explanation of... evolution! :wink: . Being able to figure stuff out and create a coherent, predictable model of the world in response to stimuli resulting from interacting with it, is certainly evolutionarily useful. Even at this highfalutin level! If there's something deeper which drives becoming, what criteria can we use to establish what that something might be?
Gertie!

As always, thanks for the reply and corresponding questions. Just a few quick/succinct bullet points if I may:

-I think you're saying that becoming takes primacy over being, correct? And/or, are you saying there is no such thing as a static unchanging independent existence? I thought we already 'became aware of that tree falling without observation" through the mathematical model of reality, which includes relativity and time stoppage at the speed of light... . Or, did you also have a theory about what caused spacetime (something outside of time) that caused time itself (temporal v. eternal)?

-You mentioned the "here-and-now". In your view, what slice of past, present and future represents the "here-and-now"?

(And how does time seem to go faster when you're busy? And why do you loose or gain time (and never get it back) during time travel...etc.,etc., I think you see where I'm going with all that... .)

-Of course, our "highfalutin" discussion (as well as math itself) has no biological survival advantages. Once again, evolution seems to have failed us there.

-With respect to something that is logically possible to exist as being something static, (that in-fact does exist as being static), we can easily go back the abstract structures of math which effectively describes and explains (certain features) of the universe (time/relativity/engineering, etc.). To that end, it seems either mathematical ability is of no value in discernment of reality, or there is some level of confidence (by physicists) that there might be some-thing objectively independent that causes reality. Hence the search for the fire breathing dragon that gives life to the Hawking equation's. Perhaps mathematical ability is beyond evolution in that its just a human invention that didn't evolve...(paradox)? How does one reconcile the existence of math?

From this and another thread, I'm going to do another thread on things that are logically impossible to exist, yet still exist anyway. If noting else, it will be a fun exercise in Kantian limitations of pure reason. I hope you join the discussion. Maybe that would shed light on the incoherence of some-things that change differently at different rates (relativity) or not at all, like rocks, light speed, eternal expansion, and so on.

Sorry for the redundancy, is it fair to say you consider becoming over being? (More things seem to be coming into existence-in and out of- than already existing)? Or is there no sense of being whatsoever (in reality)?
I think we're struggling to find any common ground meta. I enjoyed dabbling in your metaphysical thoughts, but I reckon it's not really for me. Thanks for an interesting convo tho :)
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3017Metaphysician
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Re: The Metaphysics of Process Philosophy/being or becoming

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

Gertie wrote: July 31st, 2022, 5:20 am
3017Metaphysician wrote: July 25th, 2022, 2:24 pm
Gertie wrote: July 24th, 2022, 4:25 am meta!

You said: "To clarify I don't believe nothing exists without experiencing it, rather that the only thing I can be certain exists is my conscious experience . There's an epistemological/ontological difference there which matters. I don't know if my experience represents a real world beyond it, that's one of those unknowable things, but I'm happy to assume it does, and I'm going with that. But that still leaves the issue of what experiencing subjects can know of the reality of that ontological world."


Again, thank for taking the time to go through some of the discourse. With respect to the above quote, generally, I take no exception. I've often used experience itself as an analogical support mechanism for EOG topics. Meaning, if someone said they had a religious experience, who are you or I to deny that experience(?). As such, that experience was their truth, and no one else's truth. In that sense, one could make a case for there being both subjective truth's that are real, and objective truth's that are real. Of course, that begs the question of what does it mean for something to be real in itself (i.e., is time real, consciousness, and other meta-physical things). Perhaps it means that things are only 'real' if they lack 'less' paradox, contradiction, incompleteness, meta-physical qualities, and so forth? Or, are they more 'real' if they have more uncertainty?

We talked about subjective idealism and we generally agree to many but not all of its tenets (correct me if I'm wrong). So there's indeed a lot of common ground (including your other responses which I haven't addressed). At the same time, if what you say is "certain", is that which is only experienced, we have another quandary that is no less 'certain' as things that may exist outside of experience (so-called life/existence before humans arrived on the scene).

Consider that the mind itself is not 'logically possible' (remember the analogy I offered about transcending the rules of logic/LEM/explaining how consciousness/subconscious works together) in a purely rational of deductive way of thinking/explaining its cognitive operation/qualities. Then consider all the other paradoxes associated with our understanding of time and space (relativity v. QM). In an effort to put that little piece of the puzzle to bed here, is it fair to say that your idea of being "certain", is that you consider 'becoming' having a type of primacy over 'being'? In other words, you don't deny 'objective certainty', but you believe there is less paradox, etc. associated with one's own level of subjective certainty(?). Or is it the other way around? Maybe parsing reality and certainty could be something we could have fun with.
Well the Me-Here-Now nature of human phenomenal experience is always changing, it's never static. It manifests as the specific content of experience, but its general charactistics are - having  a discrete, unified,   embodied sense of self,  with a specific first person perspective located in time and place,  which changes from moment to moment.

The specifics might be seeing a tree, having an itchy toe, thinking about metaphysics, etc.  The experience itself is what I know directly with certainty.  The assumption that my experience is a representative creation of my interaction with a real world which exists independantly of it can't be tested.  But we each have to make that assumption to escape solipsism (not Idealism - other minds are part of my experience of the world out there just like my bodily toes, brain,   trees and gravity).  Some things tho only exist as experience - like the itchiness, or thinking about metaphysics, or your friend's religious experience perhaps, or a hallucination, optical illusion and so on. The experience is real, it's just not necessarily accurately modelling what it's representing about 'out there' to us.

So being a subject involves sexperiencing   a constant state of change/becoming, sequentially over time.

The changing over time aspect of experiencing isn't an illusion, it's real.  (Remember my experience is the one thing I know with certainty).  But lets consider that change marked by time might only be real as experience - and everything else, the ontological world it represents/models,  is static. How could that make sense?    If Einstein's maths suggest a static block universe,  how and why is experience changing in a static world?  How could Einstein not know that , and then come to know that?

  Relativity of time  is weird but coherent, interactions affecting states of being  (via classical  cause and effect, quantum wave collapse or whatever) is coherent - but what sort of universe is static except for the experience which models its staticity as change, by itself changing?  That's a paradox! And I think you'd have to come up with a framing which accounts for that, before further speculating about what that framing implies about being/becoming.  Because it's a wacky universe which upends our notions of cause and effect, logic, physics, etc. What reliable criteria are we left with to even speculate...?

You've come up with two sets of linked ideas without establishing such a framing -

 
For clarification, this is what I'm developing so far:

Being: static, eternal, a priori, deductive reasoning, Block-universe, philosophical eternalism, synthetic a priori, Objectivity....[insert your corresponding/analogical concepts here]

Becoming: dynamic, temporal, a posteriori, inductive reasoning, change/contingency, quantum possibly/probability, synthetic a priori, Subjectivity ....[insert your corresponding/analogical concepts here]

I dunno.  I just don't see it in those terms.  We experience the world as changing in every moment, experience itself has this Me-Here-Nowness about it, which is an ongoing happening, event.   Either that's how the world actually is, and our experience changes because the world changes, or the change over time  is somehow created in our own presumably static relationship  with a static world.  But as for   deductive reasoning,  a priori and eternal - what do they mean in a static world, aren't they all dependant on time, wouldn't they be incoherent in a static world? 

Granted, as a postscript, we probably agree that even though all this 'parsing' requires a subjective conscious mind to even produce, do we still think there is something independent of us that is actually causing us to wonder in the first place... ?
We have the naturalistic functional explanation of... evolution! :wink: . Being able to figure stuff out and create a coherent, predictable model of the world in response to stimuli resulting from interacting with it, is certainly evolutionarily useful. Even at this highfalutin level! If there's something deeper which drives becoming, what criteria can we use to establish what that something might be?
Gertie!

As always, thanks for the reply and corresponding questions. Just a few quick/succinct bullet points if I may:

-I think you're saying that becoming takes primacy over being, correct? And/or, are you saying there is no such thing as a static unchanging independent existence? I thought we already 'became aware of that tree falling without observation" through the mathematical model of reality, which includes relativity and time stoppage at the speed of light... . Or, did you also have a theory about what caused spacetime (something outside of time) that caused time itself (temporal v. eternal)?

-You mentioned the "here-and-now". In your view, what slice of past, present and future represents the "here-and-now"?

(And how does time seem to go faster when you're busy? And why do you loose or gain time (and never get it back) during time travel...etc.,etc., I think you see where I'm going with all that... .)

-Of course, our "highfalutin" discussion (as well as math itself) has no biological survival advantages. Once again, evolution seems to have failed us there.

-With respect to something that is logically possible to exist as being something static, (that in-fact does exist as being static), we can easily go back the abstract structures of math which effectively describes and explains (certain features) of the universe (time/relativity/engineering, etc.). To that end, it seems either mathematical ability is of no value in discernment of reality, or there is some level of confidence (by physicists) that there might be some-thing objectively independent that causes reality. Hence the search for the fire breathing dragon that gives life to the Hawking equation's. Perhaps mathematical ability is beyond evolution in that its just a human invention that didn't evolve...(paradox)? How does one reconcile the existence of math?

From this and another thread, I'm going to do another thread on things that are logically impossible to exist, yet still exist anyway. If noting else, it will be a fun exercise in Kantian limitations of pure reason. I hope you join the discussion. Maybe that would shed light on the incoherence of some-things that change differently at different rates (relativity) or not at all, like rocks, light speed, eternal expansion, and so on.

Sorry for the redundancy, is it fair to say you consider becoming over being? (More things seem to be coming into existence-in and out of- than already existing)? Or is there no sense of being whatsoever (in reality)?
I think we're struggling to find any common ground meta. I enjoyed dabbling in your metaphysical thoughts, but I reckon it's not really for me. Thanks for an interesting convo tho :)
Gertie!

No problem. I'm going to do that new thread on things that exist, yet by logical standards (deduction) are considered logically impossible to exist. It should be pretty straightforward (generally, deduction usually is). I should be able to get to it today. I hope you can find the time to poke your head in and offer some thoughts and/or otherwise critique it!

I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion.
“Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.”
― William James
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The Beast
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Re: The Metaphysics of Process Philosophy/being or becoming

Post by The Beast »

As I was watching the toddler embracing the tree with a lovable expression, I pondered the instantiation of the idea. I pondered too long, and she moved on like a butterfly. The objective part happened in my intuition of space and my thoughts filled the subjective part too slow to say or do anything to stop time.
value
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Re: The Metaphysics of Process Philosophy/being or becoming

Post by value »

I have started to read into process philosophy. Thanks again for starting the topic!

3017Metaphysician wrote: July 13th, 2022, 9:00 amThis serves to introduce elements of teleology, or purposeful behavior, in the affairs of the world.

1. Could this notion of purpose relate to the Will (wanting, needing, urging, intentionality) to not only be, but to do and become a some-thing?
The indicated purpose of teleology is of a different nature than the purpose in the form of a 'greater good' that is imagined by and applicable to humans. With teleonomy it is posed that intelligent behaviour in lower life forms is a mere predetermined program (determinism).
The Multiple Meanings of Teleological wrote:All teleonomic behavior is characterized by two components. It is guided by a ‘program’, and it depends on the existence of some endpoint, goal, or terminus which is foreseen in the program that regulates the behavior. This endpoint might be a structure, a physiological function, the attainment of a new geographical position, or a ‘consummatory’ (Craig 1918) act in behavior. Each particular program is the result of natural selection, constantly adjusted by the selective value of the achieved endpoint.”

Mayr, Ernst. “The Multiple Meanings of Teleological” In Toward A New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist, 38-66. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988. pp. 44-5
The ability to imagine a 'good' beyond ones-self into the unknown future is quite special. It can provide a motivating drive for progress. It's foundation is morality - the question 'what is good?' answered infinitely in the face of an eternal future (causing a sort of 'intellectual light for good' into the world from the inside-out).

Purpose can drive people to move mountains, figuratively speaking. Purpose concerns the question 'why'.

3017Metaphysician wrote: July 13th, 2022, 9:00 am2. Could the observer effect in QM and PAP (John Wheeler's quantum experiment's), non-locality phenomena and the like, suggest a top-down self direction of sorts?
What do you mean with top-down direction? What would be directing what?

3017Metaphysician wrote: July 13th, 2022, 9:00 am3. Does some of this mean, much like ones 'independent' self-organized stream of consciousness (the self-directed/automatic flow of ideas in the mind) that becoming indeed has primacy over static being, and that purposeful existence toward a natural progression of a greater good?
That 'greater good' might actually be 'the good within' or the origin of existence.

What do you think of the idea that what fundamentally precedes a subjective perspective (existence or Begin) is the only philosophical plausible ground for significance within that subjective perspective, and thus, that the origin of existence lays beyond a subjective perspective in the form of for example the idea of purpose or 'greater good'?

In short: what do you think of the idea that the origin of life is the purpose of life?

3017Metaphysician wrote: July 13th, 2022, 9:00 am4. Is there a necessary feedback loop between bottom/up, top/down for one to engage and participate in choices to act or otherwise become?
The idea of static being is merely a retro-perspective made possible through experience. In my opinion there is no top/down or bottom/up question.
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3017Metaphysician
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Re: The Metaphysics of Process Philosophy/being or becoming

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

value wrote: August 6th, 2022, 6:30 am I have started to read into process philosophy. Thanks again for starting the topic!

3017Metaphysician wrote: July 13th, 2022, 9:00 amThis serves to introduce elements of teleology, or purposeful behavior, in the affairs of the world.

1. Could this notion of purpose relate to the Will (wanting, needing, urging, intentionality) to not only be, but to do and become a some-thing?
The indicated purpose of teleology is of a different nature than the purpose in the form of a 'greater good' that is imagined by and applicable to humans. With teleonomy it is posed that intelligent behaviour in lower life forms is a mere predetermined program (determinism).
The Multiple Meanings of Teleological wrote:All teleonomic behavior is characterized by two components. It is guided by a ‘program’, and it depends on the existence of some endpoint, goal, or terminus which is foreseen in the program that regulates the behavior. This endpoint might be a structure, a physiological function, the attainment of a new geographical position, or a ‘consummatory’ (Craig 1918) act in behavior. Each particular program is the result of natural selection, constantly adjusted by the selective value of the achieved endpoint.”

Mayr, Ernst. “The Multiple Meanings of Teleological” In Toward A New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist, 38-66. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988. pp. 44-5
The ability to imagine a 'good' beyond ones-self into the unknown future is quite special. It can provide a motivating drive for progress. It's foundation is morality - the question 'what is good?' answered infinitely in the face of an eternal future (causing a sort of 'intellectual light for good' into the world from the inside-out).

Purpose can drive people to move mountains, figuratively speaking. Purpose concerns the question 'why'.

3017Metaphysician wrote: July 13th, 2022, 9:00 am2. Could the observer effect in QM and PAP (John Wheeler's quantum experiment's), non-locality phenomena and the like, suggest a top-down self direction of sorts?
What do you mean with top-down direction? What would be directing what?

I like the cosmic computer analogy here: https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2013/ ... -bottom-up

In that sense, we can think of our own Will, as a corresponding reason why there could be a decision maker who decides to hit 'Enter' on the cosmological keyboard. Or, that which breathes fire into the Hawking equation's. Drop down to item 1. for a bit more clarification there... .
3017Metaphysician wrote: July 13th, 2022, 9:00 am3. Does some of this mean, much like ones 'independent' self-organized stream of consciousness (the self-directed/automatic flow of ideas in the mind) that becoming indeed has primacy over static being, and that purposeful existence toward a natural progression of a greater good?
That 'greater good' might actually be 'the good within' or the origin of existence.

Yes, I think 'good' could simply imply or correspond to the nature of 'propagation' itself, or 'emergence' itself. For instance, there are at least seven emergent properties associated with life include; responsiveness to the environment; growth and change; ability to reproduce; have a metabolism and breathe; maintain homeostasis; being made of cells and passing traits onto offspring.

What do you think of the idea that what fundamentally precedes a subjective perspective (existence or Begin) is the only philosophical plausible ground for significance within that subjective perspective, and thus, that the origin of existence lays beyond a subjective perspective in the form of for example the idea of purpose or 'greater good'?

In short: what do you think of the idea that the origin of life is the purpose of life?

I can easily think about the origin of life as one thinks about sefl-organized systems or simply Self-organizational phenomena. Kant also had some thoughts on a system of 'organs' that must be able to behave as if it has a mind of its own, that is, it is capable of governing itself.

In such a natural product as this every part is thought as owing its presence to the agency of all the remaining parts, and also as existing for the sake of the others and of the whole, that is as an instrument, or organ... The part must be an organ producing the other parts—each, consequently, reciprocally producing the others... Only under these conditions and upon these terms can such a product be an organized and self-organized being, and, as such, be called a physical end.



The stream of consciousness operates in a similar 'independent' way, since many thoughts simply happen to us, not by us.
3017Metaphysician wrote: July 13th, 2022, 9:00 am4. Is there a necessary feedback loop between bottom/up, top/down for one to engage and participate in choices to act or otherwise become?
The idea of static being is merely a retro-perspective made possible through experience. In my opinion there is no top/down or bottom/up question.
You could also think about top-down/bottom-up feedbck loops like quantum observation and the observer effect. John Wheelers experiments are a good resource there.

From your response to Item 1.:

1. You can also think about Teleology as....it is easier to say that evolution "gave" wolves sharp canine teeth because those teeth "serve the purpose of" predation regardless of whether there is an underlying non-teleologic reality in which evolution is not an actor with intentions. In other words, because human cognition and learning often rely on the narrative structure of stories with actors, goals, and ...causation .... some minimal level of teleology might be recognized as useful or at least tolerable for practical purposes even by people who reject its cosmologic accuracy.

In Teleology, a reason or an explanation for something which serves as a function of its end, its purpose, or its goal, as opposed to something which serves as a function of its cause, of course, begs the question of causational forces that in-turn may serve the purpose of determination. In other words, something that causes purpose itself, can be experienced through our Will to be and become a something. In that respect, our intentions for purpose cannot be denied. So the corresponding 'automated propagation' of the species seems to act similarly where everything presses and strives towards (temporal) existence.


value, please feel free to share any and all thoughts! And thank you for sharing.
“Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.”
― William James
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