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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Alexey/Lev Burov: on 3/23/17 at 2:38am UTC, wrote Dear Alfredo, You caught me in pondering over your essay. Before...

Alfredo Oliveira: on 3/23/17 at 1:58am UTC, wrote Dear Alexei I thank your very kind words! I can see that "beauty" is...

Alexey/Lev Burov: on 3/21/17 at 21:01pm UTC, wrote Dear Alfredo, Thank you for your kind words in our address. Beauty is in...

Alfredo Oliveira: on 3/21/17 at 13:42pm UTC, wrote Dear Alexey and Lev I read with great interest your beautiful essay. It...

andy a Nguyen a: on 3/21/17 at 4:32am UTC, wrote Thanks for your the beauty of mathematics! I liked reading your essay but...

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andy a Nguyen a: on 3/18/17 at 13:23pm UTC, wrote This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also...

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FQXi FORUM
March 23, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Moira and Eileithyia for Genesis by Alexey and Lev Burov [refresh]
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This essay's rating: Community = 5.5; Public = 6.0


Author Alexey/Lev Burov wrote on Feb. 27, 2017 @ 17:36 GMT
Essay Abstract

Modern science began through a categorical separation of mental and material. Following the colossal success of physics, it is natural to expect a similar success of theory in the study of mentality. Still, mind remains a mystery to theoretical cognition, as does the link between the three worlds: that of mathematics, matter and thought. Elaborating on the Discoverability Principle, the Epimenides paradox and the every-worldness of mathematics, the authors present beauty to be this link.

Author Bio

Alexey Burov is a scientist of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; he is an organizer and chairman of Fermi Society of Philosophy, where he gave many talks, mostly on history and philosophy of science. He authors a popular philosophical blog at the Russian blog/news space snob.ru and has publications in a major Russian literature journal. Lev Burov is an amateur philosopher of religion and science. Alexey and Lev received a prize at the previous FQXi contest for their essay Genesis of a Pythagorean Universe.

Download Essay PDF File




Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 04:54 GMT
Hi Alexey Burov,

Thanks for your very gracious comment and questions on my essay.

The problem with Cartesian dualism, as you note, is the lack of interaction between material and mental. For a number of reasons I concluded that consciousness is best represented as a field, but it was only when I asked myself how the field interacts with my material body that I could start...

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 05:11 GMT
Hi Edwin,

Reading your comment, I felt a special intellectual pleasure of thinking together with a rare agreement. Your CS Lewis citation is definitely 'from the Book' :) I hope you will not forget to score our essay.

Yours, AB.



Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 06:48 GMT
I scored your essay, and also answered your other question on my page.

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 20:37 GMT
Many thanks, Edwin!

AB.




Anonymous wrote on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 20:00 GMT
Dear Alexey and Lev,

I read with great interest yours profound philosophical essay. I think this is the most important conclusion:

«Roger Penrose created a brilliant graphic of paradoxically connected Three Worlds, Three Mysteries, which shows Being as consisting of the Platonic world of forms, as well as the physical and the mental worlds . Karl Popper authored his own triad, the material, individual and the cultural worlds. Consolidating the worlds of Penrose with the worlds of Popper, it seems reasonable to understand the mental world of Penrose as a unity of individual and collective, generating the new and cultivating the established.»…. «Finally, the discoverable mathematical forms enter into the physical world as its fundamental laws, enabling the cosmic cognition with dramatic flair and tension. In this way, mathematics connects the three worlds and mysteries into one, becoming their universal link, a thread that runs through them all, whose significance is inseparable and unthinkable outside of its beauty.»

It says one thing: the main task of basic science and philosophy - the problem of the ontological basification ( justification / obosnovanie ) of mathematics. This problem is more than a century. But the "triangles" Penrose and Popper will not help to do it. All of the "three worlds" is necessary to combine in one world. The world picture of physicists, mathematicians, poets and composers should be united and filled with the senses of the "LifeWorld" (E.Husserl).

Yours faithfully,

Vladimir

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 20:03 GMT
Dear Alexey and Lev,

I read with great interest yours profound philosophical essay. I think this is the most important conclusion:

«Roger Penrose created a brilliant graphic of paradoxically connected Three Worlds, Three Mysteries, which shows Being as consisting of the Platonic world of forms, as well as the physical and the mental worlds . Karl Popper authored his own triad, the material, individual and the cultural worlds. Consolidating the worlds of Penrose with the worlds of Popper, it seems reasonable to understand the mental world of Penrose as a unity of individual and collective, generating the new and cultivating the established.»…. «Finally, the discoverable mathematical forms enter into the physical world as its fundamental laws, enabling the cosmic cognition with dramatic flair and tension. In this way, mathematics connects the three worlds and mysteries into one, becoming their universal link, a thread that runs through them all, whose significance is inseparable and unthinkable outside of its beauty.»

It says one thing: the main task of basic science and philosophy - the problem of the ontological basification ( justification / obosnovanie ) of mathematics. This problem is more than a century. But the "triangles" Penrose and Popper will not help to do it. All of the "three worlds" is necessary to combine in one world. The world picture of physicists, mathematicians, poets and composers should be united and filled with the senses of the "LifeWorld" (E.Husserl).

Yours faithfully,

Vladimir

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 21:18 GMT
Vladimir, you wrote: "It says one thing: the main task of basic science and philosophy - the problem of the ontological basification ( justification / obosnovanie ) of mathematics. "

I both agree and disagree with that. I agree in the importance of understanding that neither mathematics nor physics per se cannot constitute the terminus of understanding. At the same time I do not think that any formalizable ontology could be this terminus. As we conclude, "It is with the power of beauty that the existing

is connected with that which is only being summoned into existence: Being with intention and goal. The world was created for its beauty, and man—as one who may hear that and respond. Necessity can be stated in clear and distinctive laws, but beauty breathes freedom and so slips the nets of reason."




Mark Pharoah wrote on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 22:22 GMT
Some great questions throughout. Sometimes I feel certain assumptions are allowed to pass by uncritically, due to your beguiling prose, and this leaves me with questions regarding their purpose in the context of the essay. By asking the questions, I would want clarity on your conclusions to posing them. If this entails saying they are unanswerable, so be it.

You ask, "In what way do the...

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 23:34 GMT
Dear Mark,

Thank you for your interest in our essay. I'll try to respond to your critical remarks.

1. You write: "I don't get how the remainder of the text tackles your question." [about values].

I think, the last paragraph of our essay gives an answer to that very question. In a sense, there is no evolution of value: beauty is the eternal one. From another perspective, however, our conclusion assumes this evolution resulting from permanent efforts to respond: "Eternal beauty calls to new manifestations; by evincing the contemplation of itself, it beckons birth, never promising but sometimes giving hope, always deciding the fate."

2. You write: "The profound beauty in a theorem may be in the conceptual freedoms it allows". In our text, we did not dare to suggest our own formulation of mathematical beauty; we grounded our consideration on the hints given by great mathematicians, trying to understand them. I do not know any great mathematician who would agree with your formulation of the mathematical beauty, and do not think it is possible.

Best regards,

Alexey Burov.




Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 23:18 GMT
Alexey and Lev Burov,

I liked reading your essay but think you rely on asking questions as a form of argument far too much.

You are, in my pinion, too dismissive of the connection of mind to matter as you only consider the movement of atoms ( did you mean ions?). You completely miss out on arguments about emergence of characteristics at higher levels of organisation.

Though i don't agree with all of your arguments, you present your points of view in an enjoyable essay. Thanks, Georgina

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 1, 2017 @ 00:00 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I am glad you enjoyed reading our essay.

We did not use the word "emergence" in our text because we did not think it would be reasonable to sacrifice other ideas for that. As to the "atoms of a brain", this image of Haldane certainly includes ions as well.

Thank you and all the best,

Alexey Burov.



Joe Fisher replied on Mar. 2, 2017 @ 17:08 GMT
Dear Professors Alexey and Lev Burov

Please excuse me for I have no intention of disparaging in any way any part of your essay.

I merely wish to point out that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

The real Universe must consist only of one unified visible infinite physical surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

A more detailed explanation of natural reality can be found in my essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY. I do hope that you will read my essay and perhaps comment on its merit.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Joseph Bisognano wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 00:45 GMT
Seeing beauty in mathematics is so often lost on folks who don't do mathematics. It's seen simply as very complicated arithmetic. Your equating the excitement, creativity, joy, and spirtuality of "serious" mathematics with sculpture and poetry rings so true to me. I have a hard time explaining it to others, and you have been very successful--of course to another mathematical physicist!

I think the idea of "seriousness" is most true--it provides linkage of ideas to some sense of the whole, the one. Maybe it's this sense of unity that drives us to seek a deeper explanation of what we experience and provides the purpose that this "contest" wants us to address.

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 01:10 GMT
Dear Joe,

I am happy to see that one of my senior colleagues shares with me these noble ideas about mathematics, which I found in books of great mathematicians and tried to understand. Many thanks for your compliments!




Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 01:35 GMT
Dear Burov,

Zdrassti

Thank you for the nice essay on “ Development of science vs Cognition "

I congratulate on Good flow of English you wrote; instead of usual translations from Russian….

Your observations are excellent like,

1. Rene Descartes came to a necessity to separate all knowable into two parts, one of which encompasses all material and the other all...

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 16:30 GMT
Dear Mr. Gupta,

Thank you so much for your good words in the address of our text.

I already looked through your essay, and I do not see how its cosmological content relates to problems of mentality. Maybe, it does on a deeper level which I do not see yet.

Best regards and good luck!

Alexey Burov.




Steve Dufourny wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 14:56 GMT
Hello Alexey and Lev Burov,

I loved your general philosophical analyse.It was relevant to read.

good luck in this contest

Regards from Belgium

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 16:35 GMT
Dear Steve,

Thanks a lot for your compliments and good wishes!

All the best,

Alexey Burov.



Steve Dufourny replied on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 13:31 GMT
You are welcome Mr Burov,

sincerely

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Laurence Hitterdale wrote on Mar. 5, 2017 @ 01:01 GMT
Hello Alexey and Lev,

There is much in your essay with which I agree, and even where I think I might disagree I find your ideas challenging and original. One important point with which I agree is your belief that “ethics, which answers the question about that which should be, is inseparable from metaphysics, which answers the question about that which is.” However, when you discuss values, you bring in primarily aesthetic values, such as elegance, seriousness, and of course beauty generally. What metaphysical role do you see for ethical values, good and evil, right and wrong, as more particularly understood? In any case, I agree that we shall not attain the truth about reality unless we include an understanding of value, including the value of reality and the value of truth itself.

Thank you.

Laurence Hitterdale

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 5, 2017 @ 05:24 GMT
Dear Laurence,

Your response is more than encouraging; it is inspiring. Thank you so much! We are glad to know that you share our belief in the deep entanglement between ethics and metaphysics, which is a cornerstone for us. Your question about relation of ethics and aesthetics requires at least a special essay (maybe for the next contest :^)). However, I would not like to weasel out of your question like that. The most important thing which I can briefly note is that at its depth morality takes power from the beauty of the soul and its profound feeling of beautiful, which is tragic at the same time. Without this feed from the beautiful, the good would be much weaker than it is. Thus, in the depth, beauty is more fundamental than morality. Somebody might object to that, recollecting the legend about Nero enjoying the view of the burning Rome. Well, even if the burning Rome contained some harrowing beauty, Nero was not beautiful in that act; he was abominable. One more support to primacy of the beautiful is suggested by the Book of Job: it was the beauty of the world that atoned for its tragedy in his eyes.

One day we should talk more on many issues.

Yours, Alexey.




Victor Usack wrote on Mar. 5, 2017 @ 21:24 GMT
Two Burov(s)

Excellent essay. Sufficiently excellent to inspire the following ramble:

I had a different interpretation of “cogito ergo sum” as no mention of any physical (external) reality. Thinking and being resolved into separate entities. But this just goes to show how many ways the investigation can unfold. The “blind spot” metaphor is an insightful one. Some of us are...

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 5, 2017 @ 23:37 GMT
Vik,

Thank you for such generous compliments.

One can imagine a philosophical axis, with utter logicists at its one extreme and ultimate irrationalists at the other. I imagine you in the company of the mystical latter, while most of the contest's participants are concentrated at the opposite end. This makes your acquaintance particularly pleasant. We are somewhere in between, I think, with our high appreciation of both reason and its mother, mystery. The title of our essay refers to Diotima's vision on who helped that birth and who decided the fate of the wonderful baby.

All the best,

Alexey.




Anonymous wrote on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 05:34 GMT
Hi Alexey and Lev,

Wonderful essay. I particularly liked "Only those moved mathematics ahead who loved it not for some other aim, however good and important, but for its own sake, for its eternal, super-human beauty."

For my own pleasure I would change it just a bit: "Only those moved humanity ahead who loved it not for some other aim, however good and important, but for its own sake, for its eternal, super-human radiant beauty."

Esthetics and a bit of emotion go a long way toward a goal. Appreciate your work.

Don Limuti

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 07:23 GMT
Hi Don,

It's a pleasure to see our statement played with in a new way. I will read your essay and leave my comments on your page tomorrow.

Thank you!

Alexey.




Andrew Ivanchenko wrote on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 07:22 GMT
Hi, Alexey and Lev.

Congratulations on wonderful work! The beauty of mathematics and the unity of deep emotional reactions of multiple mathematicians in all the times and countries reveal the objective connection between the impersonal mathematical ideas and "mathematical needs" of personal human intelligence.

Like knows like. Like loves and enjoys like. Like consumes like. Thus, mathematics is the "food" for the mathematical, logical, rational nature of the humans. Human nature is not just biological and material, it is logical and mathematical. Mathematics show us the immaterial intentions of this immaterial part of the human being, of the human mind.

The beauty of mathematics attracts human consciousness like voice of Moira and pulls it out of animal existence like Eileithyia to the birth of pure human mindfulness and happiness. Your essay shows this with indisputable clarity!

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 07:32 GMT
Hello Andrew,

We enjoyed reading your poetic response; many thanks!

We fully agree: mathematics is indeed a wonderful, delightful food cooked by and prepared for human rationality.

Yours, Alexey and Lev.




Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 18:41 GMT
Dear Alexey

First of all thank you for a very insightfull essay. It was great reading, so I rated you an 8.

I fully agree with you that "Thought from matter" is an error, it is like searching for the announcer in the radio, or like the wolf I have at home who is looking at the flatscreen TV, sees a duck and directly goes to look behind the TV. (she is very intelligent).

The second part of your essay about the beauty of mathematics I can fully underwrite, but you know it is like listening to music, you hear the beauty but in my case I cannot play the instruments.

You are (like me) one of the researchers for truth who is not afraid to use metaphysics bravo.

So I invite you to read/comment and certainly rate my contribution: The Purpose of Life" that gives another perception of the THOUGHT that is often translated with the word God and is called Total Simultaneity.

best regards

Wilhelmus de Wilde

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 20:01 GMT
Dear Wilhelmus,

I am glad you like our text. I imagine you sitting together with your charming she-wolf, sharing philosophical opinions with each other, and I hope she agrees with your high rating of our essay :) Somehow I missed your essay so far, but you convinced me to read, comment and score it ASAP.

Thank you so much!

Alexey Burov.



Wilhelmus de Wilde replied on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 09:47 GMT
Dear Alexey;

Thank you for reacting on my thread, I post my reaction also on your thread so that you get a message when received.

Sorry that you did not quite understand my perception of the emergent phenomenon that is called reality. So I hope that I can explain it more clearly and answer your questions.

Indeed I accept that TC is the "source" of everything, everywhere from...

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 17:39 GMT
Dear Wilhelmus,

Thank you for your attention to my questions; your answers are really helpful. However I need to ask you a bit more to understand you better. Your essay is very different from others, and I highly appreciate this difference. Soon you will find my response with a couple of new questions on your page.

Best,

Alexey.




James Arnold wrote on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 04:24 GMT
A beautiful essay, extolling the beauty of mathematics. And yet, as I’m sure you know, Gödel has pointed out that mathematics is inherently incomplete. We humans, in recognizing that fact, are thereby able to actually transcend mathematics.

In our appreciation of mathematics, which being ultimately imperfect in its self-enclosure, and being abstract and lifeless, is unable to reciprocate and appreciate us -- are we not the more beautiful? Alive, transcendent, and more beautiful?

I would appreciate your review of my essay, particularly for your appraisal of whatever beauty there is in its comprehension.

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 04:55 GMT
Hi James,

I do not agree that incompleteness of mathematics makes it imperfect; on the contrary, its completeness would make it claustrophobically terrible. Godel's theorem saves mathematics for eternal mystery.

To answer your question, I would not contrapose human's beauty to mathematical one; instead, I would say that the former is stressed by the latter, discovered by the best of us.

I'll try to read and comment your essay soon.

Cheers,

Alexey.




Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 10:20 GMT
Dear Alexey,

I will try to explain what I meant with ALL and the completeness of the Total YOU. (and put this post also on your thread)

I introduced the TOTAL Consciousness, including the Total Consciousness of ALL agents.

An emergent agent in an emergent reality is just ONE life-line of that specific agent. The agent there is an individual because he is not the complete Unity. The emergent agent is furthermore restricted through time an space while the Totality is time and spaceless.

The Total YOU could be described (in our restricted way) as the totality of ALL possible (and the impossible : the ones you did not yet think about) and available time/life-lines.

So YES, all the bad ones are available too. But also the "best of all worlds" is an availability.

During the FLOW of a specific time/life-line each NOW moment decisions are made and your specific time/life-line switches, the time/life-line you left still is available in TS.

This process of continually switching and the coexistance of availabilities of the time/life-lines that are not chosen, I described as the origin of FREE WILL.

In this specific emergent reality the time/life-line you are experiencing as a FLOW may exist as a singularity in TS, this doesn't mean that also your future would be concrete for this specific FLOW. Each Eternal Now Moment represents its own time/life-line. The emergent FLOW that we seem to live in can be compared to a time and spaceless singularity in TS.

The complete YOU could be described as a complete set of singularities in TS.

best regards and I like the exchange of thoughts with you.

Wilhelmus

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 16:00 GMT
Dear Wilhelmus,

I just answered you on your page.

Thanks!

Alexey.




Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 14:37 GMT
Dear Alexey, dear Lev,

I read your very impressive article several times, there are so many things to say.

First, it is highly pertinent to recall Descartes' dualism while showing that the “refutation” of the latter would need a lot of farfetched, hypercomplex and self-refuting presuppositions. The established mainstream thinking says that dualism is “scientifically...

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 05:10 GMT
Cher Peter,

While Lev was sleeping and I was not yet, I slowly read your response on our essay, having a rare pleasure of a profound consonance with somebody who independently and differently expressed the ideas so valuable to me. Truly, I have nothing but agreement with all your statements above. Apart from this general feelings, I'd like to share with you something else.

You ask:...

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Lev Burov replied on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 23:29 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thanks for your compliments and the detailed comment, and thank you for your explanation of entrevoir. Untranslatable words are such curious creatures!

You bring up an interesting observation that Epimenidic analysis can be applied to cumulative selection. I look forward to reading your elaboration on it. Epimenides seems to me the most common error in self-referential...

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Stefan Keppeler wrote on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 15:51 GMT
Dear Alexey, dear Lev,

let me see if I got this straight. You write:

If we are, then, told that the adequacy of one’s view is guaranteed by agreement of theory and experiment, the problem is still the same: how do we know what lies behind this agreement? Is it not a dream, Matrix, computer simulation, Boltzmann brain or the demon of Descartes? (...) God is not a deceiver, is the credo of Descartes.

Do you thus say, that we have to posit a non-malicious god, in order to be sure that we can gain knowledge about the world by observation and thought?

If yes, then let me raise two questions:

(1) Instead of positing (G) a non-malicious god, who makes sure that we can gain knowledge about the world by observation and thought, couldn't we directly posit that (R) we can gain knowledge about the world by observation and thought?

(2) If we posit neither (G) nor (R), would you say that we can't be sure that the knowledge we gain is about the world, but that it could instead be about a dream, Matrix, computer simulation, Boltzmann brain or the demon of Descartes?

Cheers, Stefan

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 03:13 GMT
Dear Stefan,

We do not say “that we have to posit a non-malicious god, in order to be sure that we can gain knowledge about the world by observation and thought”. Following Descartes, we say something different, that without God there is no reason to value knowledge about the world gained by observation and thought. For instance, if all the world with all our knowledge about it were only a dream or a computer simulation of a joker from the upper level, this “knowledge” would not value much, would it? The value of knowledge depends on the worldview, it cannot be just posited independently of the latter.

Thanks,

Alexey Burov



Stefan Keppeler replied on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 15:45 GMT
Dear Alexey,

I see, thanks. You say: For instance, if all the world with all our knowledge about it were only a dream or a computer simulation of a joker from the upper level, this “knowledge” would not value much, would it?

Let me call this position (V). I'd actually challenge (V). If all the knowledge obtained by observation and thought were not knowledge about the world but about a dream or a computer simulation, I see two possibilities:

(1) If it were in principle possible to find out, by means of observation and thought, that our knowledge is not about the actual world but just about a dream or a computer simulation, then we could eventually reach this point and start to peer behind the curtain ('escape from the matrix').

(2) If it were not possible at all to find out, by means of observation and thought, that our knowledge is not about the actual world but about a dream or a computer simulation, then so what. We would simply continue to increase our knowledge about this dream or computer simulation. Actually in this case, we might as well call that dream or computer simulation "world" instead, because that would just be a matter of nomenclature.

You employ an argument similar to (V) in the next step, when you conclude that thought (and also goals?) can't emerge from some lower level, mechanical or aleatory, don't you? I'm asking, since in my essay I do actually explain how goals might emerge at macroscopic scales.

Cheers, Stefan

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 17:39 GMT
Dear Stefan,

The problem of (V) is that there is no reason to consider our observations and thoughts as knowledge about anything, since they would be parts of the dream/trickery. There would be no reason to trust or value them. Perhaps you may want to search the article for the word “pumpkin.” If that situation sounds appealing to you, then we’d find it hard to argue. Any reliance on the thoughts and observations would require belief that they are more powerful than the dream or the trickster, and this belief would require a corresponding ontology, as you may find in Descartes’ Meditations. We are showing that the naturalistic “atoms of brain” are similar to the trickster in this respect; both lead to the Epimenides paradox.

Cheers,

Alexey.




Ted Christopher wrote on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 16:07 GMT
Hi Alexey and Lev Burov,

I appreciate your efforts to delve deeply into the question at hand. I have a few minor quibbles with your conclusions but I will not quibble here.

I have an essay which takes a look at some under-appreciated behavioral phenomena and the challenges they pose for the scientific vision that is the foundation for that same question. That material might be of interest to you.

//fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2783

I hope things are going well for you.

Ted Christopher

Rochester, NY

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 01:03 GMT
Hi Ted,

Thanks for the encouraging words. We appreciate all sorts of responses, quibbles are our favorite :)

Cheers,

Alexey.



Ted Christopher replied on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 22:26 GMT
Hi again Alexey,

I am back here on your comment over at my page. I might be a bit more clumsy than usual as I am stuck in a noisy house amidst a snow storm (I exit occasionally to some quiet shoveling for acoustic relief).

I thank you for your consideration. Your essay is very thorough and was quite helpful for me. Other than computer programming my intellectual background is...

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 15, 2017 @ 17:47 GMT
Hi Ted,

I think all your 'quibbles' are important, giving me a chance to focus on some of our key issues.

1.

"One quibble with your essay was with regards to the claim about the mystical nature of many great mathematicians and physicists. My sense of being a mystic is that it mostly entails a sustained inward commitment or awareness, and that tends to place the intellect in...

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Gavin William Rowland wrote on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 12:16 GMT
Dear Alexey and Lev

I loved your essay, and rated it highly. Your prose is elegant, and I will re-read your words again after this contest is over in the hope that I will find more interesting avenues for exploration.

I had to laugh to myself several times, such would seem to be the similarities in our philosophical positions. Too many to discuss here, but I noted in particular that both our essays went to Value as a core feature of reality. I do hope you get a chance to read my "From Nothingness to Value Ethics", if you haven't already.

Best regards

Gavin

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 15, 2017 @ 05:18 GMT
Dear Gavin,

Thank you so much for your compliments and support. I just finished reading your essay; it is one of the best at this contest, I think. Perhaps, you have already read my comments on your page.

All the best,

Alexey.




Simon DeDeo wrote on Mar. 15, 2017 @ 14:39 GMT
Dear Alexey and Lev,

I was really pleased to see this angle in the batch. With some collaborators, I've been doing work on mathematics as a cultural process, driven by taste and aesthetics and group norms as much (or even more than) by utility. Michael Harris has written a lovely book on the question, an autobiography as well as a response to Hardy, called "Mathematics without apologies", and it was intriguing to see such a high-level mathematician talk so frankly about the aesthetic (and social) prejudices that drive him.

It's a value-laiden process, in other words, and it is just really weird that it ends up producing the raw material for physics. The "Unreasonable Effectiveness" that Eugene Wigner wrote about seems even more mysterious. And I think it provides either a challenge, or a bizarre next step, for someone who signs on to the standard Platonism that most physicists walk around with (or the hypertrophic version in Max Tegmark!) You're forced either to say that it's doubly weird that mathematics works so well despite the "contamination" by values, or, conversely, that of course value-laiden mathematicians do so well: the universe is values through and through.

Yours,

Simon

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 16, 2017 @ 02:18 GMT
Dear Simon,

Thank you for the good words in our address. We are glad to see a rare person who shares with us understanding of a necessity for ontological conclusions from the 'unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics', and the problem of values in that respect. Many thanks also for the info about Harris' book; I already ordered it. The ending of your post "You're forced either to say that it's doubly weird that mathematics works so well despite the "contamination" by values, or, conversely, that of course value-laiden mathematicians do so well: the universe is values through and through" looks as a possible epigraph to our previous fqxi paper :) I am going to respond to your captivating essay on your page.

Good luck at the contest,

Alexey.




James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 16, 2017 @ 21:27 GMT
Alexey and Lev,

A nice purposeful combination of prose and poetry, uniting the material and the mental with the bridge of mathematical beauty, which almost poetically describes the natural world.

I try to display the birth of hypothesis with a speculation regarding dark matter in my essay, bringing together thoughts of others, mathematical laws, and an intensely perturbed material world. I hope you have time to read it and provide your thoughts.

Jim Hoover

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 16, 2017 @ 21:51 GMT
Jim,

We are specially flattered by your truthful compliments to our blend of the romantic prose and rational poetry (now imagine my artistic bow and :)). Thank you! Your essay is in my short list; you will see me soon on your page.

Best,

Alexey.




Alfredo Gouveia Oliveira wrote on Mar. 21, 2017 @ 13:42 GMT
Dear Alexey and Lev

I read with great interest your beautiful essay. It was a real pleasure, there is a kind of luminosity that emerges from it - I think you understand what I mean.

The res cogitans of Descartes corresponds to mind but now we know that most of mind functions depend on matter – for instance, memory: a damage in the brain can cause a lost of memory. If we compare...

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 21, 2017 @ 21:01 GMT
Dear Alfredo,

Thank you for your kind words in our address. Beauty is in the focus of our essay, and this obliges. We are glad to know that some of our readers appreciate aesthetic side of our text.

Certainly, it is true that mathematics is a language. However, it would not be correct to attribute it solely to humanity, as we tried to show. Galileo stressed that it is the language of the "book of nature" itself, and the same idea was expressed by Wigner: mathematics is "the correct language", that is why it is "unreasonably effective" in physics. The discoverability of the laws of nature (in the meaning of our essay) can not be attributed solely to the inventiveness of the human mind; it also has its objective counter-part, related to the nature itself.

Your post above sounds both intelligent and friendly, convincing me to read your essay attentively. I will do this soon, leaving my comments on your page.

All the best,

Alexey Burov.




Alfredo Gouveia Oliveira wrote on Mar. 23, 2017 @ 01:58 GMT
Dear Alexei

I thank your very kind words! I can see that "beauty" is something in which you live in... and it emerges in anything you do or think.. I will try to follow your example!

You know, mathematics is a logic language, strictly logic; however, to where it leads depends on the hypothesis and assumptions on which it is applied. Because it is logical, it leads to "understandable"...

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Author Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 23, 2017 @ 02:38 GMT
Dear Alfredo,

You caught me in pondering over your essay. Before commenting it on your page, I'll try to answer briefly here. You are right, that mathematics allows to describe any process. However, if your formulas has nothing to do with reality, like in the Ptolemy model, the number of fitting constants increases with required accuracy and the span of parameters. The effectiveness of mathematics in physics is "unreasonable", because very simple formulas, with clear reasonable principles behind them, with very small number of fitting constants describe physical reality at huge range of parameters and with extreme accuracy. I cannot go into details here, you may read about that in the classical Wigner's essay "Unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics", or in the reference to R. Penrose in our essay. This was also one of the main points of Einstein's cosmic religion, which is brilliantly described in Max Jammer's "Einstein and Religion".

Thank you,

Alexey Burov.




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