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Author Topic: The knowledge argument  (Read 77 times)

EclecticWheel

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The knowledge argument
« on: November 14, 2017, 07:10:03 pm »
I am not sure what to make of this problem.  My mental states seem to be affected by physical causes -- I take an antidepressant and feel better.

And some thoughts and sensations seem to have physical effects -- the right imagery can cause an erection or make my eyes shed tears.

I cannot comprehend how my subjective experiences and brain interact if they are two totally different kinds of thing.  But it does intuitively seem like Mary learns something new when she sees color for the first time.

What do you make of the knowledge argument?  Do you think it soundly refutes physicalism?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_argument

ehbowen

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Re: The knowledge argument
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 12:27:34 am »
I am not sure what to make of this problem.  My mental states seem to be affected by physical causes -- I take an antidepressant and feel better.

And some thoughts and sensations seem to have physical effects -- the right imagery can cause an erection or make my eyes shed tears.

I cannot comprehend how my subjective experiences and brain interact if they are two totally different kinds of thing.  But it does intuitively seem like Mary learns something new when she sees color for the first time.

What do you make of the knowledge argument?  Do you think it soundly refutes physicalism?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_argument

I could write pages on this, but unless someone really wants to discuss I'll keep it brief.

What IS knowledge, at rock bottom? In my mind, it's tied to consistency. If I drive my car out of the driveway, turn left (I normally back in), drive to the end of the street, turn right, drive south to the first traffic signal, turn left, drive east to the next traffic signal, turn right, then continue until I reach the Beltway, I will drive past the grocery store. Every Single Time. I can count on that...at least in the window of time we know as (~)2007-2017 AD, and probably for several years to come.

Dreams and imagination aren't like that. Dreams change...well, like dreams. Imagination can go all kinds of places...until you do the work necessary to tie it down into a tangible form, whether that be words on a page, paint on a mural, or a car rolling off the assembly line.

So what results in consistency? Well, in my own conceptualization, at least, several billion times per second ("billion" in this case being a generic very large number, not an estimate of correct close order of magnitude) this universe and indeed all of Reality is being reset back to the beginning and playing out again. By "the beginning" I do not mean the Big Bang...that's just where we lost sight of the thread from our perspective. No, I think Somebody Down There is desperately trying to escape in any possible direction, including the past...so Final Reality will be, quite literally, infinite in all space/time directions.

So I don't see Reality as akin to a casting which was molded in advance by parties unknown for unknown purposes. I see it as more akin to a forging which did, indeed, have an initial design but which, with each hammer blow (or iteration) gains new details and new possible pathways and connections. You and I and about 6 billion of our closest friends have traveled down one such well-worn pathway together, at least so far...but every day, about .003% of us break off and follow other paths which the rest of us have only the vaguest clues about.

And that's how I see knowledge taking shape. I place my own God in the driver's seat, but I think he listens to any good idea...I've mentioned before that I credit most of 20th century electronics to one such idea by Lee DeForest. And one stellar advantage that he/they have is that his own Son is down here in the universe with us. So they can make a tweak...say as to how the light-eye-brain interface actually functions...and get instant feedback: "Yes, that works. Yes, that helps. No, try something else."

While this is going on, I believe that the party or parties opposed to them is/are actively trying to escape from the hot seat. They are the ones driving these multiple "iterations"...when they see the walls closing in around them, they hit the "undo" key and hope that they can change something, somewhere, which will make some kind of difference in their favor. Perhaps there is some chance of that in what we now perceive as the future...but I believe that the reason we see the past as fixed and unchangeable is that even those in the hottest of hot seats realize that it's hopeless to make any substantial change in the area we see as the past from beyond the moment we see as now.

So I believe that time is marching on towards what the mathematicians would call a "local minimum"...where the situation gets as bad as it will ever get. But then, from that point...we're on our way up and out. Oh, there may be bumps and it may seem that things are going downhill again for a time...but "a time" is not "forever".

I do believe in Heaven...and, if I haven't made it clear enough yet, I'm expecting to see it touch Earth.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

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