Ideals of Scientific Explanation and the Nature of Its Objects

Philosophy 310=Biology 310
Bryn Mawr College
Spring, 2005
29 March

Re-Thinking Philosophy of Science?
II. Emergence: Alogorithmic Processes and Their Potential for Transcendence

From last week ...

Emergent Systems:

How far can one get without the "Word", the "Notion" (ie without blueprint/conductor/"intentionality"/"meaning")?

Some examples ....

Philosophical implications of emergence ... some incomensurable? possibilities

  1. deism vs atheism
  2. An evolving but deterministic "reality", "the word"/"intentionality" epiphenomena ... starting conditions "real", everything else in some sense already there but being "discovered" ... Wolfram
  3. A non-deterministic evolving "reality"? Intentionality/the word an epiphenomenon ... everything else in some sense etc ... Dennett, but see "If ... a brain were truly capable of non-algorithmic activity ..."
  4. An evolving, non-deterministic, somewhat inchoate "out there", which in turn discovers, brings into existence causally significant "intentionality", "word", "meaning"? Some things don't exist until created ...

Following branch 3 to "Word", "Notion", "meaning" and "reality"

Note model builders both derive from and alter the active inanimate; similarly story tellers, once in existence can alter both active inanimate and model builders.

Unitariness gives rise to conflict/counter-factuals which in turn solves hill climbing problem and gives rise to "intention", "meaning", "reality" (all brought into being by existence of differences between "conceptual frameworks" without a reference framework).

Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942

"There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that"

All Sisyphus' silent joy in contained therein ... Thus, convinced of the wholly human origin of all that is human, a blind man eager to see who knows that the night has no end, he is still on the go. The rock is still rolling."

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