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January 23, 2018

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: The Intention to Exist by John O. Campbell [refresh]
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Author John O. Campbell wrote on Mar. 2, 2017 @ 20:20 GMT
Essay Abstract

Abstract This essay argues that existence is a rare and fragile state; existence requires both design and intention. Concepts drawn from Darwinian theory, Information theory, Bayesian inference, the free energy principle and gauge theory are used to develop a paradigm of 'inferential systems' which evolve to occupy new states of existence. This widespread process clearly involves intention and may be described by well developed mathematics.

Author Bio

John O. Campbell is an independent researcher who has written about universal Darwinism and Bayesian inference for many years.

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Member George F. R. Ellis wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 15:01 GMT
Dear John Campbell

you were doing great until you brought in Dawkin's gene-based view of biology. The business of personifying genes as if they are autonomous agents is kinda weird, it simply ignores the multilevel nature of selection in real biological systems, and it is based on ignoring the understanding of evo-devo and epigenetics that has been garnered in the last 20 years, as set out for example in the books by Denis Noble, Andreas Wagner, and the book by Oyama, Griffiths, and Gray on developmental systems theory site.

Your paper does not need this gene centric view, and would be stronger without it. The rest of the argument is spot on.


George Ellis

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Attay Kremer wrote on Mar. 5, 2017 @ 10:20 GMT
Dear John Campbell,

I enjoyed reading your essay, and found your ideas to be very interesting and thought provoking.

I - perhaps only through misunderstanding - believe that you do not define existence explicitly. This - to me - seems quite problematic, it is then the claim that biological life requires purpose - that is to say, that purpose is inherent to life - or that existence in a metaphysical sense relies on purpose.

This second claim is quite similar to one of the possibilities I present in my essay - I hope that you find the time to read it, and discuss these ideas.



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Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 17:13 GMT
Dear Researcher John O. Campbell,

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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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 07:24 GMT
Nice essay Campbell,

Your ideas and thinking are very nice…..

1. In this essay I suggest that intentionality is a prerequisite for existence This intention to exist is not an abstract or metaphysical intentionality, it comes complete with the physical machinery necessary to make intentions manifest.

2. Only recently has natural selection been given a rigorous mathematical...

view entire post

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Conrad Dale Johnson wrote on Mar. 16, 2017 @ 16:07 GMT
John –

I was initially put off by your title, since “intending to exist” struck me as a meaningless phrase. But I find your essay gives a remarkably coherent account of what you mean by it, and you show convincingly how it may apply over the whole range of natural science. And like you, I have a sense that the word “existence” points to something very “rare and fragile”...

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 16, 2017 @ 20:19 GMT

An interesting and well-thought-out read. You say that existence is a rare and fragile state requiring both design and intention. You don't mention Dawkins in your abstract so I'm assuming his reference was describing a passing phase that you probably should have described as such. You seem to be saying that the design came before intention could begin: "near the beginnings of life, genetic machinery began operating ... each variant expressing an intention to exist."

I'm not sure where mindless math laws enter in the picture. Like you, I feel the design comes first enabling the intention of agents. I see the role of entropy in all things and specifically wonder if it is a goal for the animate and the inanimate like Jeremy England's theory based of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

I would be interested in your thoughts on my essay.

Jim Hoover

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Graham Walker Cookson wrote on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 11:28 GMT
John O. Campbell,

Your essay was very interesting. However, I think you should have qualified your use of the term ‘existence’. Mathematics also exists. You might find my model of a Binary Reflective Field as an ‘inferential system’ interesting. If interested, see my essay Our Emergent Universe. I would be interested in your reaction. I gave your essay a 10. Thank you and good luck with your essay, Graham W. Cookson

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 09:19 GMT
Dear Sirs!

Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of Newton returned as the New Cartesian Physic and promises to be a theory of everything. To tell you this good news I use «spam».

New Cartesian Physic based on the identity of space and matter. It showed that the formula of mass-energy equivalence comes from the pressure of the Universe, the flow of force which on the corpuscle is equal to the product of Planck's constant to the speed of light.

New Cartesian Physic has great potential for understanding the world. To show it, I ventured to give "materialistic explanations of the paranormal and supernatural" is the title of my essay.

Visit my essay, you will find there the New Cartesian Physic and make a short entry: "I believe that space is a matter" I will answer you in return. Can put me 1.


Dizhechko Boris

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