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. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

Minds and Events

Use this philosophy forum to discuss and debate general philosophy topics that don't fit into one of the other categories.

This forum is NOT for factual, informational or scientific questions about philosophy (e.g. "What year was Socrates born?"); such homework-help-style questions can be asked and answered on PhiloPedia: The Philosophy Wiki. If your question is not already answered on the appropriate PhiloPedia page, then see How to Request Content on PhiloPedia to see how to ask your informational question using the wiki.
Fdesilva
Posts: 132
Joined: August 20th, 2016, 5:16 am

Minds and Events

Post by Fdesilva » January 14th, 2019, 1:35 am

Category 1: Minds

I exist, and I am a mind. Therefore, Minds exist.

Category 2: Matter

I have feelings. These feelings originate from sensors in what I call my body. The sensors are receptive to stimulation from events created from within my body and from events created from outside my body. The stuff that bring about these events I shall categorise as matter. Thus, my body is also made of matter. Therefore, Matter exists.

Category 3: Space


My body needs Space and Matter in general needs Space. Matter can exist only in Space. Therefore, Space must exist.

Category 4: Time


My body needs Time to change and Matter in general needs Time for change. Matter can change only in Time. Therefore, Time must exist.

From the above observation I conclude that these four categories permeate each other and exist equally with none more abstract or less abstract than another.

Now to the question of the origin of these categories

Could it be that any one or more of these categories can be made from any one or more of the remaining categories? Could these categories transform from one to another?

Matter needs Space and Time for its existence, therefore without Space and Time, Matter will not exist, as such Matter could not have been the origin of Space and Time.

From physics it has been observed that Space and Time can give rise to Matter spontaneously. As such Matter maybe a result of a localized change to Space and Time.

So then, could Space and Time be the origin of everything else?

Again, from the theory of the Big Bang all Space, Time and Matter originated from this singular event. Therefore, Space and Time could not alone have brought about the other categories.

Since the Big Bang was an event, could it be that all things are made from events?
Where there is Space, Time and Matter there is always an event.
There can be no Space, Time or Matter without events.
In an instant all of Space and the Matter is nothing more or nothing less than a set of events. So then Space, Time and Matter is one and the same as a set of simultaneous events from one instant to the next.

From this observation the four categories can be reduced to two categories

Category 1: Minds

Category 2: Events

Now then, can Minds exist without events? We know that simultaneous events give rise to feelings in Minds. We know from special relativity simultaneous events cannot give rise to anything physical or material. Therefore, feelings cannot be physical or material. Now as feelings are a part of Minds, we must conclude Minds are not physical.

Now can the Mind exist without feelings OR does feelings create the Mind, that is one and the same as the Mind?

If feeling create the Mind then as feelings are created by events then Space, Time and Matter which we have concluded is the same as events, must also have feeling and thus be one and the same as a Mind.

Thus, we would need to conclude a rock has a Mind or is part of a Mind to the same extent that my brain is a Mind or is part of a Mind.

This conclusion is not palatable as such let’s consider the OTHER alternative.

Now if a Mind can exist without feeling then we also know that the Mind can create events (e.g. throw a rock, move a finger).

So then given that the mind can create events then the Big Bang (The Event) could have originated from The Mind in order to evoke feelings in other minds.

These other minds may have also been created by The Mind.

User avatar
bucky
Posts: 21
Joined: January 13th, 2019, 7:58 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by bucky » January 14th, 2019, 3:46 am

Fdesilva wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 1:35 am
I exist, and I am a mind. Therefore, Minds exist.
When you say Mind, what is it specifically that you're asserting you are? I could deny being a mind, depending on your definition of it.

If you see, for example, a "Mind" being a mind in the Cartesian sense of being a separate substance, then I would deny your initial proposition that "I exist and I am a mind", because I would disagree that there are non-physical substances.

Fdesilva
Posts: 132
Joined: August 20th, 2016, 5:16 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by Fdesilva » January 14th, 2019, 2:33 pm

bucky wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 3:46 am
Fdesilva wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 1:35 am
I exist, and I am a mind. Therefore, Minds exist.
When you say Mind, what is it specifically that you're asserting you are? I could deny being a mind, depending on your definition of it.

If you see, for example, a "Mind" being a mind in the Cartesian sense of being a separate substance, then I would deny your initial proposition that "I exist and I am a mind", because I would disagree that there are non-physical substances.
I am starting these chain of reasoning with a "blank slate". That is not making any assumption on what minds or anything else if made with. You will agree that it is evident that a mind is different to a rock for example?

User avatar
bucky
Posts: 21
Joined: January 13th, 2019, 7:58 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by bucky » January 14th, 2019, 3:01 pm

Fdesilva wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 2:33 pm
I am starting these chain of reasoning with a "blank slate". That is not making any assumption on what minds or anything else if made with. You will agree that it is evident that a mind is different to a rock for example?
If you're starting with a blank slate and make no claim about what a mind is, then you have no way of knowing if you are one.

If you want to start with a blank slate, then the first place to begin is to define what minds are. You don't have any way to get from "I exist" to "I am a mind" without some kind of claim about the nature of minds.

Descartes for example first begins by differentiating between res Extensa and res cogitans. He needs to do that to be able to get going.

What if the specific definition of mind you use isn't essential to your nature?

For example what if a person considers there to be three elements: souls, minds and bodies. And on that person's conception of what souls, minds and bodies are, only the soul is essential.

They would be able to say "I exist and I am soul", but not "I exist and I am a mind" because being a mind would only be accidentally true.

User avatar
bucky
Posts: 21
Joined: January 13th, 2019, 7:58 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by bucky » January 14th, 2019, 3:43 pm

Fdesilva wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 2:33 pm
You will agree that it is evident that a mind is different to a rock for example?
If there are physical and non physical entities, then rocks and minds are different and it's a difference in kind.

If only physical entities exist, then rocks and minds are different and its a difference of degree (complexity in organization of matter).

If only non physical entities exist, then rocks and minds are the same in kind and either the same or different in degree depending on other claims. Eg. They could both exist as Idea or there may be some Ideas which are less real than other Ideas. That might hinge on some kind of claim about God and how God works.

You can see that we could agree that rocks and minds are different but still disagree on the general metaphysics of the situation?

Similarly we could both agree that we're both minds, but our metaphysics about what kinds of entities exist will determine whether we mean the same thing when we both assert "I am a mind".

Fdesilva
Posts: 132
Joined: August 20th, 2016, 5:16 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by Fdesilva » January 14th, 2019, 4:54 pm

bucky wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 3:01 pm

If you're starting with a blank slate and make no claim about what a mind is, then you have no way of knowing if you are one.

If you want to start with a blank slate, then the first place to begin is to define what minds are. You don't have any way to get from "I exist" to "I am a mind" without some kind of claim about the nature of minds.

Descartes for example first begins by differentiating between res Extensa and res cogitans. He needs to do that to be able to get going.

What if the specific definition of mind you use isn't essential to your nature?

For example what if a person considers there to be three elements: souls, minds and bodies. And on that person's conception of what souls, minds and bodies are, only the soul is essential.

They would be able to say "I exist and I am soul", but not "I exist and I am a mind" because being a mind would only be accidentally true.
The statements need to be understood in the first person. No meaning is atributed to the term mind. Its usage gets defined by the readers first person understanding of "I exist" I am My nature = mind. That's naming my particular existence/nature and all comparable existences/nature (if I can find any) by the term "Mind"

User avatar
bucky
Posts: 21
Joined: January 13th, 2019, 7:58 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by bucky » January 14th, 2019, 5:38 pm

If I define my nature as being something like Berkeley's Idealism, when you say in the initial post that my feelings emanate from my body, you can't get any further because the existence of bodies is what i would deny given my definition of my own nature.

If I define my nature as being purely physical, when you later say "now as feelings are not part of minds" then you can't get further because I've defined my own nature as purely physical therefore feelings must be physical because I've defined my own nature this way.

User avatar
bucky
Posts: 21
Joined: January 13th, 2019, 7:58 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by bucky » January 14th, 2019, 6:03 pm

The move that you're making, the "I exist and I am a mind" is two propositions: 1) I exist. 2) I am a mind. It's the second proposition that doesn't work. Depending on what my conception of minds is, I can deny this proposition:

I exist.
I am a physical thing.
Minds are not physical things.
Therefore I exist but I am not a mind.

Or

I exist
I am a non physical thing.
Minds and bodies are both physical things.
Therefore I am not a mind or body.

(perhaps I'm a soul, although it doesn't necessarily follow
that because I am not a mind or a body that I am a soul. I could be a different non physical entity that we have no knowledge of)

As long as I can define my own nature, you can't get from "I exist to" I am a mind". You need to say what minds are to be able to try move from your existence to being a mind.

Fdesilva
Posts: 132
Joined: August 20th, 2016, 5:16 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by Fdesilva » January 14th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Sorry I could not finish this.
bucky wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 3:43 pm
Fdesilva wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 2:33 pm
You will agree that it is evident that a mind is different to a rock for example?
If there are physical and non physical entities, then rocks and minds are different and it's a difference in kind.

If only physical entities exist, then rocks and minds are different and its a difference of degree (complexity in organization of matter).

If only non physical entities exist, then rocks and minds are the same in kind and either the same or different in degree depending on other claims. Eg. They could both exist as Idea or there may be some Ideas which are less real than other Ideas. That might hinge on some kind of claim about God and how God works.

You can see that we could agree that rocks and minds are different but still disagree on the general metaphysics of the situation?
The first section is attempting to discover the different categories that can be identified. Its a grouping of things into categories.
1. Minds 2.Matter 3. Space . 4 Time
At this stage the only observation is that they are sufficiently different. That identified difference is the only reason. As you say they may be made from the same core stuff or maybe not. This is yet to be discovered.

bucky wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 3:43 pm
Similarly we could both agree that we're both minds, but our metaphysics about what kinds of entities exist will determine whether we mean the same thing when we both assert "I am a mind".
Yes the reader may or may not start with identifying with the statement I am a mind. For example they might think of mind as one and the same as the body. In which case even if they accepted this statement, the subsequent statement will not work for them. So basically at the end of somebody reading it, if it makes séance given their personal understanding of the language then that's the best that can be achieved. I guess I am using an old language (English) to communicate my thought, the words used are loaded with meaning. As such any attempt to define words also run the risk of misunderstanding to the same degree. So that is why I prefer not to define but hope the definition jumps out to the reader.

User avatar
bucky
Posts: 21
Joined: January 13th, 2019, 7:58 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by bucky » January 14th, 2019, 7:21 pm

Fdesilva wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 7:12 pm
In which case even if they accepted this statement, the subsequent statement will not work for them.
All thd more reason to define at the beginning the specific conception of minds which are necessary for your reasoning to work.

Fdesilva
Posts: 132
Joined: August 20th, 2016, 5:16 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by Fdesilva » January 14th, 2019, 9:00 pm

bucky wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 5:38 pm
If I define my nature as being something like Berkeley's Idealism, when you say in the initial post that my feelings emanate from my body, you can't get any further because the existence of bodies is what i would deny given my definition of my own nature.

If I define my nature as being purely physical, when you later say "now as feelings are not part of minds" then you can't get further because I've defined my own nature as purely physical therefore feelings must be physical because I've defined my own nature this way.
"now as feelings are not part of minds"
I don't say feeling are not a part of the mind. I say they are. That said, I do agree that a person with a given persuasion may not be able to identify with this reasoning. However, having said that I would still think that the 4 categories are recognised as such.

Fdesilva
Posts: 132
Joined: August 20th, 2016, 5:16 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by Fdesilva » January 14th, 2019, 9:13 pm

bucky wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 6:03 pm
The move that you're making, the "I exist and I am a mind" is two propositions: 1) I exist. 2) I am a mind. It's the second proposition that doesn't work. Depending on what my conception of minds is, I can deny this proposition:

I exist.
I am a physical thing.
Minds are not physical things.
Therefore I exist but I am not a mind.
So are you saying this person has no attached meaning to the word "mind" that is "minds" as far as this person is concerned do not exist? Because if they did, would it not have to be a part of their existence?
bucky wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 6:03 pm
Or

I exist
I am a non physical thing.
Minds and bodies are both physical things.
Therefore I am not a mind or body.

(perhaps I'm a soul, although it doesn't necessarily follow
that because I am not a mind or a body that I am a soul. I could be a different non physical entity that we have no knowledge of)
So again this person would have to deny the existence of minds and bodies, that is they don't have anything in there conscious experience that correspond to the usage of this terms? How could that be?
bucky wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 6:03 pm
As long as I can define my own nature, you can't get from "I exist to" I am a mind". You need to say what minds are to be able to try move from your existence to being a mind.
Your contention is 1) I exist. 2) I am a mind
What if we substitute Category 1 for the term mind. So instead I exist I am mind I say => I exist, I am Category 1.
Substitute category 1 for all the "mind" words would that make a difference?

User avatar
bucky
Posts: 21
Joined: January 13th, 2019, 7:58 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by bucky » January 15th, 2019, 12:18 am

Fdesilva wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 9:13 pm
Your contention is 1) I exist. 2) I am a mind
What if we substitute Category 1 for the term mind. So instead I exist I am mind I say => I exist, I am Category 1.
Substitute category 1 for all the "mind" words would that make a difference?
How would I know if I'm a category 1 if I don't know anything about what it is to be a category 1? How do you know that you are a human but not a horse? It's in virtue of what you're defining human or horse as. Unless you have a definition you can't know if that definition is true of you.

User avatar
bucky
Posts: 21
Joined: January 13th, 2019, 7:58 am

Re: Minds and Events

Post by bucky » January 15th, 2019, 12:56 am

Would you agree that if you want to call Category 1 as anything that's essential to my nature and i think that being a non physical being is essential to my nature, you wouldn't be able to get to Bodies existing. And if I think of being a purely physical being you can't get to the existence of non physical minds.

You can call it Category 1 if you like, it makes no diffetence. As you said yourself, your reasoning will only work if someone has a definition of what Minds or, or Category 1's if you now prefer, that is similar to yours. Otherwise all of the reasoning makes no sense.

So if you want to do good philosophy you need to first reason our what Minda are, then when we've agreed that you've reasoned It out correctly, you can start your thought experiment and successful move from "I exist" to "I am a mind".

I am guessing you for some reason find it more poetic to try and claim you're starting from a blank slate, but it's literally *impossible* to start with a blank slate because then you have no definitions of what it is to a) Be an I, 2) Be an existing thing, 3) Be a mind/Category 1. It's only 3.that I'm impugning because it's the obvious logical error because the way you've defined mind, even though you don't want to admit that you have, is necessary for all of your reasoning to work. But you don't want to be intellectually honest and admit that you've predefined it either because a) you don't want to have to defend that definition by first getting the reader to agree with you about what minds are so you can get going or b) because youre insistent on trying to keep this poetic device of a blank slate, perhaps as a homage to Descartes Meditations.

User avatar
RJG
Moderator
Posts: 1330
Joined: March 28th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Re: Minds and Events

Post by RJG » January 15th, 2019, 1:28 pm

Fdesilva wrote:Category 1: Minds

I exist, and I am a mind. Therefore, Minds exist.
bucky wrote:If you're starting with a blank slate and make no claim about what a mind is, then you have no way of knowing if you are one.
Fdesilva, not only do I agree with Bucky, but I would go even a bit further. If you are starting with a "blank slate" then not only can you not claim that minds exists, but you can't even yet claim that "I" exist.

All that you can state with absolute certainty (from a clean slate position) is that "Stuff Happens!", ...or less eloquently, "Experiences happen" or "Experiencing exists". And it is from this starting point, that you can then logically derive the existence of an 'experiencer' (called "I"). For without 'something' experiencing, there could be no experiencing of this stuff (experiences) happening.

The starting point is "Stuff happens" (Experiencing exists) and then we can logically derive the existence of "I" (i.e. the "Experiencer" exists).

Fdesilva wrote:Category 2: Matter

I have feelings. These feelings originate from sensors in what I call my body. The sensors are receptive to stimulation from events created from within my body and from events created from outside my body. The stuff that bring about these events I shall categorise as matter. Thus, my body is also made of matter. Therefore, Matter exists.
Or simply: --- For without some-'thing' happening, nothing can happen. Since "stuff happens", Matter (stuff) exists!

Fdesilva wrote:Category 3: Space

My body needs Space and Matter in general needs Space. Matter can exist only in Space. Therefore, Space must exist.
Or simply: --- For without a 'place' (space) for stuff to happen, there can be no happening. Therefore, since "stuff happens", Space exists!

Fdesilva wrote:Category 4: Time

My body needs Time to change and Matter in general needs Time for change. Matter can change only in Time. Therefore, Time must exist.
Or simply: --- For without the 'time' for stuff to happen, there can be no happenings. Therefore since "stuff happens", Time exists!


So now we know --
1. Experiencing/Experiences Exist (aka "Stuff happens").
2. Experiencer Exists (aka "I" exist).
3. Matter Exists
4. Space Exists
5. Time Exists.

Post Reply