The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight

Brain workings and freedom

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
Post Reply
BigBango
Posts: 179
Joined: March 15th, 2018, 6:15 pm

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by BigBango » May 19th, 2018, 3:23 pm

Felix wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 1:02 pm
CIN: There is no evidence for any non-physical existence
In the domain of strictly physical phenomena, it cannot be found, that should be obvious, science cannot interpret what it cannot observe and measure. In fact, your position is unscientific and nonsensical because there could be no advancement or evolution, scientific or otherwise, if reality was ruled strictly by physical causation.
CIN: Besides which, if it were acausal, this would pose an insoluble problem for the free will advocate, because as I have already pointed out, for an act to count as a free will act it must be an act of the agent,
It poses no problem to say that the will is physically indeterminate, only to say that it is not, for a wholly determined will is no will at all and thus has no agency (agent) behind it.
CIN: All so-called 'creative' thought and action is a synthesis of elements that preceded it.
And this synthesis is not initiated by an act of will? Do you not see how ludicrous this idea is?
Bohm's theory is one of undivided wholeness, and is therefore compatible with religion.
None of this is compatible with any religion I've ever heard of.
It is fully compatible with Vedanta/Hinduism.
CIN, your position against free will fails because of two basic shortcomings in your argument. Felix correctly points out that no evidence found by science of a "free willed" subject is not evidence that there is no "free willed" subject. It may be that science has missed something and, as Felix said, science can't easily observe and measure that something.

Your other mistake is that you fail to conceptualize a metaphysic that could unite our "physicality/subjectivity" into a self. You seem stuck on our commonly used Aristotelian Metaphysics. Science seems stuck on it why not you? Some undefined "substance" carries physical attributes. The self is gradually whittled away as its physicality is discovered. If your toe itches and you scratch it then it was your toe not your self that caused the scratching. Whitehead's pan-psychism, Bohm's Implicate order, pantheism, Hinduism, eastern philosophies in general, Ram Dass, Timothy Leary and many of our own personal experiences, having used LSD, Aldous Huxley, etc. all report various feelings of connectedness to a wider region of reality than just our own body. You, CIN, talk about our own physical body as if its parts were external casual agents diminishing our will.

In my opinion, there is my own subjective self in every finger, toe and living animated cell of my physical body. The subject of my being is a mereological sum of its parts. The nervous system is not what creates an integrated conscious self. The nervous system/brain manifests, not the self, but special organs of the self. The self is the mereological sum of the subjectivity of every cell including the cells forming the nervous system.

Until science expands its metaphysical ideas you should not let it be your bitch.

User avatar
chewybrian
Posts: 350
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 7:17 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Epictetus
Location: Florida man

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by chewybrian » May 19th, 2018, 6:14 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 12:01 pm
chewybrian wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 10:48 am


Would Occam or Sherlock Holmes give a different answer? Aren't you making an absurd assessment of reality without free will?
Free if what? Free from what? How '"free"? What do you mean 'free'?
What do you mean by "you", if there is no "me"? I doubt I'm qualified to answer your questions, but I will try:

I am free to make a choice not fully determined by nature, nurture, or random chance. The most important tenet of stoic philosophy, from Epictetus:

1. Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.

So, while there is so much I can not control, I can, however, control my reaction to or opinion of events, if nothing else. While I can't control outcomes, I can direct my efforts, even if they may be ill-advised (and I actually hit the daily double once in a while). I'm not free like Zeus or some such God, but I'm free to try despite the odds.

User avatar
ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1122
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by ThomasHobbes » May 19th, 2018, 6:38 pm

chewybrian wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 6:14 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 12:01 pm


Free if what? Free from what? How '"free"? What do you mean 'free'?
What do you mean by "you", if there is no "me"? I doubt I'm qualified to answer your questions, but I will try:

I am free to make a choice not fully determined by nature, nurture, or random chance. The most important tenet of stoic philosophy, from Epictetus:

1. Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.

So, while there is so much I can not control, I can, however, control my reaction to or opinion of events, if nothing else. While I can't control outcomes, I can direct my efforts, even if they may be ill-advised (and I actually hit the daily double once in a while). I'm not free like Zeus or some such God, but I'm free to try despite the odds.
When you make a choice, what do you base it on?

If there was a parallel world with another you in it in exactly the same situation would your choice be different? If so how?

Gertie
Posts: 689
Joined: January 7th, 2015, 7:09 am

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Gertie » May 19th, 2018, 9:43 pm

CIN wrote:
May 18th, 2018, 5:05 pm
Gertie wrote:
May 18th, 2018, 11:13 am
You mentioned Searle earlier, he's someone who does believe free will is the correct interpretation of some human behaviour, that this is the correct other option. There's a summary of his argument here http://quantum-mind.co.uk/searle-consci ... -freewill/

I don't know if he's right, and neither do you, because we don't have knowledge of the underlying mind-body explanation.


I'll quote a passage from the article about Searle to which you have linked:

"In common with some other commentators, Searle points out that with a voluntary decision the reasons for the action are not sufficient to cause the action. In addition, the subject has to decide, to make up their mind to take the action. This is particularly so when there are strongly conflicting for or against reasons. The reasons are not causally sufficient to produce the actions. There is a gap between reasons and action that has often been explained in terms of the action of freewill. "

This passage contains two mistakes. The first is to confuse THE reasons for an action (i.e. all reasons that could be given in favour of the action) with THIS AGENT'S reasons for the action ON THIS OCCASION (i.e. the reasons that are present in the agent's mind prior to the action and which are causally operative in making the agent act as he or she does). The second mistake is to overlook causal factors that are not reasons, such as feelings. If you put together all the agent's reasons ON THIS OCCASION with the other causal factors, such as feelings, you have all the causes of the action, and therefore a fully determined action: there is no gap that needs to be filled by recourse to free will, as Searle supposes.
It's not refering to the reasons themselves, it's refering to the act of choosing and willing. Searle's gap is the mental choosing from the alternatives (reasons) and mentally willing the action. Shall I choose chocolate or strawberry ice cream? Hmm I prefer chocolate but strawberry is cheaper. Then again I eat too much ice cream, I should have an apple instead. The different reasons for choosing different options could whirl round in my head till I die of starvation, if I don't finally take the step of making the choice and willing the action. So in between the reasons and the action is a gap, where the choosing and willing causally intervenes. That's what the quote is getting at.

It's identifying a distinct link in the causal chain if you like, the intervening causal act of The Self-Agent choosing and willing. You seem to be claiming there is no causal gap between the reason(s) and the action. But then why have we evolved this ability to weigh options, think through consequences, as a discrete part of the mental causal process, if there was always the one reason we were determined to choose? Evolution isn't generally wasteful in that way, it tends to go for quick and dirty short cuts if anything, rather than wasting precious calories and time on useless processes. You say yourself, the ability to reason/choose evolved because it's useful.

You could argue that someone who knew everything there is to know about my genetic psychological predispositions and past experiences (Laplace's Demon Shrink!) could have correctly predicted that I'd reach for the apple at that moment, but that's not a claim we can test, and psychology, unlike physical brains, doesn't have the sort of laws and equations you can extrapolate from (yet at least). And even if my actions are 'psychologically determined', it would still mean that I had the agency to make and action choices based on my reasoning/desires - whether you want to call that 'freely willing' my action of reaching for the apple is a matter of definition, it is what it is. Psychological causation is a different kettle of fish to physical causation, it involves satisfying desires, and if I'm free to satisfy desires (do what I want) through mental causation that's what meaningful psychological freedom is, where-as if I do what I don't choose to do, that's coercion, force, malfunction, or accident - the opposite of freedom.


Of course all that is only relevant if you take the position that mental causation is real. Apparently you do, but many don't. I'm agnostic - we only know enough to know we need to know more. There's evidence allowing us to argue both ways, that's inconclusive. More significantly, and the reason we should be agnostic, is the apparent paradox of overdeterminism, which suggests that we're missing some key way of understanding the mind-body relationship. So Philosophy of Mind gets to explore possibilities re the mind-body relationship which might account for overdeterminism, and then see the implications the various hypotheses might have for the notion of free will. Unfortunately we haven't come up with a way of testing which hypothesis, if any, is right.


By the way, I note here that you seem to accept psychological/mental causation is real, but a couple of posts later you claim physical brains ''cause'' mental states - these appear to be contradictory positions. If physical brains operating in a closed physical system ''cause'' mental states, how can your claims about the causal effects of psychological reasons be true?

Gertie
Posts: 689
Joined: January 7th, 2015, 7:09 am

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Gertie » May 19th, 2018, 9:54 pm

BigBango wrote:
May 18th, 2018, 5:31 pm
Gertie wrote:
May 11th, 2018, 1:30 pm
So QM was a paradigmatic shift in our understanding of how the world really works. And a shift which doesn't seem to fit with our classical logic. Something can apparently be in two places at the same time, can apparently concurrently exist as a wave and a particle, for example. Such things seem illogical to us, because we've evolved to usefully operate and understand things at the classical level. But ultimately, empirical reality trumps our notions of logic. And as we understand QM better, perhaps this will give us insight into whether mental causation is possible, and if we really do have choices which are neither completely determined or completely random
Let me say, just for clarification about QM, that you shouldn't say something can be in two places at the same time, unless you are talking about particles that were created at the same time. Like a positron and electron created in collision, No matter how far they get from each other they appear to be related as shown by Bell's theorem. If you change the spin of one it instantly changes the spin of the other as if they were somehow one related thing. Thus Einstein lost his argument with Bohr about "No spooky action at a distance".

If, however, you were describing "superposition" then it is, for example, two different states of a thing in the same place. The cat in the box both alive and dead, until observed. A state of matter called a Bose - Einstein condensate. The theory that as things get bigger matter itself, by exchanging photons is observing itself works to solve problems of solipsism. For example, by pure theory, the person who opens the box and observes the cat will stay in superposition to yourself as both observing the cat as dead and as alive until you observe that experimenter.

As to QM's effect on the argument about "free will", you need to consider two different formulations of QM. In Bohr's accepted theory the random distributions that are part of his theory do not conform to our general understanding of random variables. In the standard theory the random distributions are not based on the specific state of hidden variables of which could assume only a known "distribution". In Bohr's QM there are no hidden variables. The distribution is a pure mathematical abstraction of possibilities or positions in space where a particle may be found. The theoretical distribution is never influenced by some subtle state of things we don't see. It just always conforms to a pure abstraction of randomness. If you were to take Bohr's theory seriously it fails to leave one any hope that if we knew more about reality we could discover the hidden variables and predict their effect on the distribution of states. But NO' that would be futile.

Bohm's QM is quite different, it is based on the fact that there must be "hidden" variables. It works quite well but is considered a "deterministic" theory while Bohr's is thought to introduce Quantum Indeterminacy. It seems perverse to me. Why should theoretical randomness be better than what we would have if there were some point to digging deeper?

My answer is that standard QM is both a theory and a method of testing the theory that guarantees that the theory will be true.
See, this is why I shouldn't go dropping QM into arguments like I know what I'm talking about! :shock:

Thanks BB, I appreciate the clarification tho I still can't really get my head round it.

In the context I was refering to, I think it at least questions the universality of our classically rooted notions of logic, such as the Law of Identity. Would you agree?

BigBango
Posts: 179
Joined: March 15th, 2018, 6:15 pm

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by BigBango » May 20th, 2018, 12:54 am

Gertie wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 9:54 pm

See, this is why I shouldn't go dropping QM into arguments like I know what I'm talking about! :shock:

Thanks BB, I appreciate the clarification tho I still can't really get my head round it.

In the context I was refering to, I think it at least questions the universality of our classically rooted notions of logic, such as the Law of Identity. Would you agree?
Don't feel bad we all do it because it does confuse, even violate, the rules of standard logic. Try to remember that elementary objects like protons, electrons , etc. are just not objects in the normal use of common language. Familiar objects are made up of atoms but atoms, themselves, are not made up of atoms. They have parts but not ones that are like all our familiar macro objects.

I do believe that to claim a particle is both a wave and a particle violates the Law of Identity when it is used as a wave in one context and as a particle in another context and that is exactly what QM does with "It's" use of our language.

I usually don't go on a rant about "QM Indeterminacy" unless I think a person is using their misunderstanding of QM to prove the world is not casually determined. While I don't think the world is causally determined, it is not because of QM Indeterminacy. I am not accusing you, Gertie, of that fault either. I just thought you misspoke about that one paradox of "the same thing being in different places". No harm, no foul!

I think it is of importance to understand the significance of Bohr's QM Indeterminacy. His QM is not based on the lack of knowledge about hidden variables and their distributions. What that means is that the theory is asserting the absolute Platonic mathematical form as the final Truth of things rather than the nominalism of most other scientific formalisms. You can't really get data to contradict it.

Anyway I love your analytical, in depth arguments, and I make it a point to read them carefully!

Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 1931
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Belindi » May 20th, 2018, 3:39 am

BigBango wrote;
While I don't think the world is causally determined, it is not because of QM Indeterminacy.
By 'causally determined', do you mean linear causation?

I'd rather think of causality not as simple linear causality but as as 'explanation' or rationalisation of how elements are connected ultimately at the end of reasoning in an undivided whole.

Spinoza's idea is that undivided wholeness ("eternity")on the one hand and temporality on the other are two aspects of the same reality.

Is there a difference between total necessity and undivided wholeness ?

User avatar
chewybrian
Posts: 350
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 7:17 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Epictetus
Location: Florida man

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by chewybrian » May 20th, 2018, 6:13 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 6:38 pm
When you make a choice, what do you base it on?
Genetic predisposition, habit, judgment formed by experience, advice I have decided to follow, anticipated results and consequences, and...

...my vision of which choice enables me to become the person I want to become. Isn't that the biggie, even if most of us want to ditch the responsibility?
ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 6:38 pm
If there was a parallel world with another you in it in exactly the same situation would your choice be different? If so how?
I am unique, so your implied argument is not 'falsifiable'. That's an issue for the science boys, isn't it? If we were both free and chose the same, I don't see a problem. We were both heavily loaded in one direction. One different choice in a billion would satisfy, but nobody can say if you would get one or not. Maybe if you do not, it only proves rationality (though this could be a tough sell in my case).

Again, if you concede neither side could be proven, then am I not free to pick a side? I choose me instead of nothing.

--

What about the other side? How do the folks dead set against free will make a decision? Isn't any action justified if it can be claimed afterward that no other action was possible? Don't they all act as if they believe in free will despite their claim? Don't you?

User avatar
Present awareness
Posts: 1300
Joined: February 3rd, 2014, 7:02 pm

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Present awareness » May 20th, 2018, 8:50 am

CIN wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 9:49 am
Present awareness wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 9:31 am
It was discovered in yoga, that breathing and thinking are linked and by controlling the breath, one could also influence the mind. The proof of free will is that one may choose to hold one’s breath. Since breathing is normally done unconsciously, if there were no free will, then holding ones breath would not be possible.
This is free will only in the sense that the action is caused by the brain and not by coercive outside factors such as drugs or being physically forced by someone else. This is not the same as the notion of free will in metaphysics, which is that one could have acted differently. You hold your breath because events in your brain cause you to choose to hold it, and you are not free to choose that these events that cause your choice occur - by the time you choose to hold your breath, they have already happened, and it's too late.
If you think of consciousness itself, it is awareness of what has already happened. Although this delay may be in nano seconds, it nevertheless comes after the fact, and so it could be said to be determined, since it already happened. If I touch red hot steel, the pain I feel comes only AFTER my finger is already burned. Awareness of me holding my breath, comes only after I’m holding my breath. Even the awareness of the thought “I’m going to hold my breath” comes after the thought has been formulated. Since it is not possible to change what has already happened, one could say that everything is determined. The question is, may one change what might happen next? And if so, does one have a choice? If what we perceive as the present moment, is time delayed by consciousness, there must be something prior to consciousness making choices. Since we identify ourselves with our consciousness, we could say that it is not us, making those choices. However, if it is not us making those choices, then whom?
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.

CIN
Posts: 93
Joined: November 6th, 2016, 10:33 am

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 20th, 2018, 12:11 pm

chewybrian wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 10:48 am
How could matter accidentally fall into this pattern of seeing meaning where there was none? Matter doesn't build bicycles, fight wars, or argue about philosophy.
Yes, matter does all of these things, because we do them, and we are made of matter. We evolved to do these things, and evolution is not mere accident, it proceeds according to a pretty strict rule (natural selection under environmental pressure).
Where science tends to point to a lack of free will, might we guess it is not perfectly informed? Why should we jump to a conclusion that makes no sense, rather than waiting or looking for a better answer?
Evolution does make sense. It explains why we are as we are, and why we do as we do, and there's no evidence that we need to look for any further explanation.
If I jump in front of a bus, that would prove to you that this was my only option? So, why shouldn't I do it? How does the word 'should' have any meaning without free will?
Words do not have to refer to something that actually exists in order to have meaning. 'Dragon' has meaning even though there are no dragons. 'Should' has meaning, not because there is free will, but because people can imagine that there is, just as people can imagine that there are dragons.

CIN
Posts: 93
Joined: November 6th, 2016, 10:33 am

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 20th, 2018, 12:25 pm

Felix wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 1:02 pm
...there could be no advancement or evolution, scientific or otherwise, if reality was ruled strictly by physical causation.
That would depend entirely on whether the initial physical conditions and the physical causal laws obtaining permitted advancement or evolution. Since we do have both advancement and evolution, evidently they do. Evolution is enabled by (a) random mutation and (b) natural selection under environmental pressure. Advancement is enabled by the developments that result from evolution.
CIN: Besides which, if it were acausal, this would pose an insoluble problem for the free will advocate, because as I have already pointed out, for an act to count as a free will act it must be an act of the agent,
It poses no problem to say that the will is physically indeterminate, only to say that it is not, for a wholly determined will is no will at all and thus has no agency (agent) behind it.
It is not true that a wholly determined will has no agent behind it. If my will is wholly determined by what I am, by my desires and intentions, then the agent it has behind it is me.
CIN: All so-called 'creative' thought and action is a synthesis of elements that preceded it.
And this synthesis is not initiated by an act of will? Do you not see how ludicrous this idea is?
How can I see what is not there to be seen?

CIN
Posts: 93
Joined: November 6th, 2016, 10:33 am

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 20th, 2018, 12:45 pm

BigBango wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 3:23 pm
CIN, your position against free will fails because of two basic shortcomings in your argument. Felix correctly points out that no evidence found by science of a "free willed" subject is not evidence that there is no "free willed" subject. It may be that science has missed something and, as Felix said, science can't easily observe and measure that something.
Well, first, I don't think anyone on this thread has yet given a convincing example of something that needs free will to explain it. And second, no-one seems to be able to say just what a free will subject is like, or how it is supposed to operate. IMO, nothing of substance has been said on either of these points.
Your other mistake is that you fail to conceptualize a metaphysic that could unite our "physicality/subjectivity" into a self. You seem stuck on our commonly used Aristotelian Metaphysics. Science seems stuck on it why not you?
Science is the method by which we find out about the world around us. is. If science finds no trace of X, then it is a reasonable working hypothesis that X does not exist. Do people still look for phlogiston? No, because science found no evidence for it and no need of it.
Until science expands its metaphysical ideas you should not let it be your bitch.
Actually we're just good friends. :)

CIN
Posts: 93
Joined: November 6th, 2016, 10:33 am

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 20th, 2018, 1:00 pm

Gertie wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 9:43 pm
You seem to be claiming there is no causal gap between the reason(s) and the action.
Nearly. Not reasons as such, but the weighing and consideration of reasons, plus other things going on in the agent's mind, such as feelings.
By the way, I note here that you seem to accept psychological/mental causation is real, but a couple of posts later you claim physical brains ''cause'' mental states - these appear to be contradictory positions. If physical brains operating in a closed physical system ''cause'' mental states, how can your claims about the causal effects of psychological reasons be true?
Because I hold, as a working hypothesis based on the only available evidence, that mental causation is reducible to physical causation. For example, when I burn my finger and pull my finger away from the flame, what is happening is that a physical event in my finger causes a physical event in my brain (i.e. pain: I hold that pain is experienced by brains, and since brains are physical, so is pain) which causes another physical event in my brain (the issuing of a command to my finger).

P.S. I am being attacked from all sides for my view that there is no free will, but I would like you all to know that I don't hold this against any of you. After all, since none of you have free will, none of you can help it... ;)

User avatar
Felix
Posts: 2102
Joined: February 9th, 2009, 5:45 am

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Felix » May 20th, 2018, 4:03 pm

CIN: It is not true that a wholly determined will has no agent behind it. If my will is wholly determined by what I am, by my desires and intentions, then the agent it has behind it is me.
Will requires a willing agent. If your desires and intentions are wholly determined by causal physical laws, you are not an independent willing agent, but merely a puppet of those physical forces.
CIN: Science is the method by which we find out about the world around us.
If we have no will and are incapable of independent thought and action, as you have proposed, then our "scientific" methods will have no explanatory or predictive value, but be only good or bad descriptions of the bare facts before us.

If our thought processes were purely the product of so-called natural selection, we would be incapable of understanding and overcoming our physical environment and conditions. Scientific progress would not be possible because progress requires the capacity to imagine and decide that conditions be different than they are and in what ways they should change. This is an indeterminate process.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

BigBango
Posts: 179
Joined: March 15th, 2018, 6:15 pm

Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by BigBango » May 21st, 2018, 12:57 am

CIN wrote:
May 20th, 2018, 12:45 pm
BigBango wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 3:23 pm
CIN, your position against free will fails because of two basic shortcomings in your argument. Felix correctly points out that no evidence found by science of a "free willed" subject is not evidence that there is no "free willed" subject. It may be that science has missed something and, as Felix said, science can't easily observe and measure that something.
Well, first, I don't think anyone on this thread has yet given a convincing example of something that needs free will to explain it. And second, no-one seems to be able to say just what a free will subject is like, or how it is supposed to operate. IMO, nothing of substance has been said on either of these points.
Your other mistake is that you fail to conceptualize a metaphysic that could unite our "physicality/subjectivity" into a self. You seem stuck on our commonly used Aristotelian Metaphysics. Science seems stuck on it why not you?
Science is the method by which we find out about the world around us. is. If science finds no trace of X, then it is a reasonable working hypothesis that X does not exist. Do people still look for phlogiston? No, because science found no evidence for it and no need of it.
Until science expands its metaphysical ideas you should not let it be your bitch.
Actually we're just good friends. :)
CIN, I apologize for my crude language. Not to you but to your friend because science is also my friend. Sorry Science, I meant no harm. But I wish you would open your eyes a little. Given your penchant for tight assed metaphysics we understand why you have only discovered and explicated matter that follows the electromagnetic paradigm. A disappointing 10% of the mass of the universe. But good job, keep trying.

CIN, you still don't get it. Lack of evidence for an explanatory entity is not in itself evidence that it does not exist. In the case of phlogiston, science found better explanations for the chemical activities that some thought phlogiston might explain. Thus phlogiston bit the dust.

Many of us on this board are suggesting an immaterial subject that is not completely subject to physical causality. Your theory of physical causality has no more import than Laplace's theory of physical causality that has been completely rejected by almost all philosophical thinkers.

In my opinion, I side with you in the belief that there is NO totally immaterial subjectivity. But I also believe, matter can exist without subjectivity, unlike Whitehead claims, but subjectivity, or the subject, cannot exist without its relation to the material. I have proposed this in my thread called "The Fractal Evolution of the Universe". You can scoff at this theory with your friend Mr. Science but my theory can predict things about the world that Science currently cannot deliver. For example, my theory can predict how much dark matter should be present in a galaxy. The amount of dark matter in a galaxy can be estimated by the number of protons/neutrons in the galaxy. This can be tested. My theory explains how chemistry can become the biology of living cells. Our friend science has some catching up to do.

Post Reply