## refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

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### refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

1. If (P)hysicalism is true, then everything is an (O)bject or a mathematical (F)orce (a force which can be predicted with mathematics).
2. If (U)nderstanding exists, then, at a bare minimum, it involves the understanding of how objects (R)elate to one another.
3. If something has understanding of how objects (R)elate to one another, then it cannot be only an (O)bject itself
4. Understanding exists
5. Therefore, something that is not an object itself exists
6. Therefore, physicalism is false
7. Therefore, understanding is not physical

1. P ⊃ O ⋅ F
2. U ⊃ R
3. R ⊃ ~O
4. U
5. ∴ ~O
6. ∴ ~P
7. ∴ ~Pu
those who are must effective at reproducing will reproduce. Therefore new species are not designed. - Charles Darwin.
kyle2000

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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

How did you show that an object cannot understand how objects relate to each other?

(Note, I am rooting for you, but this seemed like a weak post or where something was missing)
Moreno
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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

You are having trouble translating your propositions consistently.
In predicate logic, #1 should read
1. P ⊃ ∀x (O(x) ∨ F(x))
where O(x) means "x is an object" and F(x) means "x is a mathematical force"

Then #2 becomes
2. ∀x (U(x) ⊃ R(x))
where U(x) means "x is understanding" and R(x) means "x understands how objects relate to one another"

Next,
3. ∀x (R(x) ⊃ ~O(x))
and
4. ∃x U(x)
These four seem to be your assumptions. Proceeding on,
5. ∀x (U(x) ⊃ ~O(x)) (missing -step, combining 2 & 3)
5a. ∃x ~O(x) (from steps 4 & 5)
But then, it seems like you want to say ∃x ~O(x) ⊃ ~P. That's not what you've established, though. Rather, the contrapositive of #1 is
∃x (~O(x) ^ ~F(x)) ⊃ ~P.
In other words, you've argued that Understanding is not an Object, but you also need to argue that it's not a Force, which you haven't done yet.
Tirrikindir

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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

This would only be an effective argument against a physicalist who was also a realist about the notion of ‘understanding’. It seems to me to be begging the question, by stating that understanding ‘exists’ in a non-physical way. To a physicalist, understanding may exist in the same sense that objects pulled by gravity ‘want’ to fall. I think your argument mostly just restates the hard problem of consciousness.

pxc
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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

kyle2000 wrote:1. If (P)hysicalism is true, then everything is an (O)bject or a mathematical (F)orce (a force which can be predicted with mathematics).

Well, no; there are also relations (as you say later), processes, actions, emergent activities at higher levels of complexity, and so on. It's just that at base, these describe physical things. Not everything in language has a correlated object/force.

As an example - a physicalist can talk of "team spirit", even though it's neither an object nor a force, without any conflict. It describes the manner in which a team approaches its games/tasks, and requires no assumption of non-physical components.

2. If (U)nderstanding exists, then, at a bare minimum, it involves the understanding of how objects (R)elate to one another.
3. If something has understanding of how objects (R)elate to one another, then it cannot be only an (O)bject itself

Where does point three come from? That's a bit out of the blue.

4. Understanding exists
5. Therefore, something that is not an object itself exists

Of course. Understanding is a linguistic term denoting a capacity. I don't know of any physicalists claiming that it's an object, and if so, they're simply wrong. But this is only a problem due to the confusion of language and the described world in your first point.

The biology of purpose keeps my nose above the surface.
- Brian Eno

Only_Humean
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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

I haven't mastered predicate logic yet, but propositional logic works fine anyway. Predicate logic is on my to-do list.

1. if (P)hysicalism is true, then the only Immaterial forces that exist draw particles together or repel them away from each other (dark energy seems to push space apart) at a (M)athematical/algorithmic rate
2. if X (U)nderstands Y, then X must be able to understand (W)hat Y is
3. if X is to understand (W)hat Y is, then X must either (S)end out things Z beyond its material boundaries or be able to (R)eceive things T so that it can obtain information on Y's qualities
4. if X must either (S)end out massless signals Z beyond its material boundaries or be able to (R)eceive massless signals T so that it can obtain information on Y's qualities, then X must process that (I)nformation
5. if X must process that (I)nformation, then X must place that information into (C)ategories
6. If information must be placed into (C)ategories, then that placement is not (M)athematical/algorithmic
7. Understanding exists
8. Therefore, there exists some massless signal that is not mathematical/algorithmic
9. Therefore, physicalism is false

1. P ⊃ M
2. U ⊃ W
3. W ⊃ S v R
4. S v R ⊃ I
5. I ⊃ C
6. C ⊃ ~M
7. U
8. ∴ ~M 2,3,4,5,6 Hypothetical Syllogism
9. ∴ ~P 1,8 Modus Tolens
those who are must effective at reproducing will reproduce. Therefore new species are not designed. - Charles Darwin.
kyle2000

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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

kyle2000 wrote:4. if X must either (S)end out massless signals Z beyond its material boundaries or be able to (R)eceive massless signals T so that it can obtain information on Y's qualities, then X must process that (I)nformation

Are you counting photons as massless? They're a bit of a funny case. If not, your hypothesis is wrong. If so, the information processing can involve the "conversion" of photon signals to electrical discharges, which is how the physicalist hypothesis works.

6. If information must be placed into (C)ategories, then that placement is not (M)athematical/algorithmic

The computer you typed this on places information from electrical potential differences into categories, algorithmically. With a conversion from a massless (voltage) form to a physical (electromagnetic storage) form.

The biology of purpose keeps my nose above the surface.
- Brian Eno

Only_Humean
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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

Only_Humean wrote:
6. If information must be placed into (C)ategories, then that placement is not (M)athematical/algorithmic

The computer you typed this on places information from electrical potential differences into categories, algorithmically. With a conversion from a massless (voltage) form to a physical (electromagnetic storage) form.

Yes, categories are very easily seen from a mathematical point of view.

My question to the OP is: if your thought process isn't algorithmic, then what is it? Just a constant?

Flannel Jesus

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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

6. If information must be placed into (C)ategories, then that placement is not (M)athematical/algorithmic

The computer you typed this on places information from electrical potential differences into categories, algorithmically. With a conversion from a massless (voltage) form to a physical (electromagnetic storage) form.[/quote]

Do you think the computer built itself? The computer was built by someone that had understanding. Understanding is what we're trying to prove is not physical, so you've just begged the question that understanding is physical.
those who are must effective at reproducing will reproduce. Therefore new species are not designed. - Charles Darwin.
kyle2000

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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

Flannel Jesus wrote:Yes, categories are very easily seen from a mathematical point of view.

My question to the OP is: if your thought process isn't algorithmic, then what is it? Just a constant?

You're just begging the question can be seen from a mathematical point of view. Why don't you prove it.

Whatever thought is, it is not a for every one input there is a output process. At the bare minimum thought involves being able to place between 99 and 100% of the objects one encounters every day into a viable category, which means knowing what it can and can't do.
those who are must effective at reproducing will reproduce. Therefore new species are not designed. - Charles Darwin.
kyle2000

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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

of course there's an output process.

Flannel Jesus

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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

kyle2000 wrote:3. If something has understanding of how objects (R)elate to one another, then it cannot be only an (O)bject itself

volchok
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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

kyle2000 wrote:
6. If information must be placed into (C)ategories, then that placement is not (M)athematical/algorithmic

The computer you typed this on places information from electrical potential differences into categories, algorithmically. With a conversion from a massless (voltage) form to a physical (electromagnetic storage) form.

Do you think the computer built itself? The computer was built by someone that had understanding. Understanding is what we're trying to prove is not physical, so you've just begged the question that understanding is physical.

I'm not trying to prove anything. Your argument rests on categorising being necessarily non-algorithmic, but that's not a valid premise because there are many examples of categorisations being algorithmic. In fact, sorting anything into categories sounds like a pretty algorithmic process.

The biology of purpose keeps my nose above the surface.
- Brian Eno

Only_Humean
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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

Only_Humean wrote: In fact, sorting anything into categories sounds like a pretty algorithmic process.

indeed

Flannel Jesus

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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

Only_Humean wrote:
I'm not trying to prove anything.

yes, you are, you're trying to prove that "sorting anything into categories sounds like a pretty algorithmic process."

If sorting things into categories is algorithmic then tell me why it is the case that we human can't decide when science is not science, when heresy is not heresy, when is a game not a game. Wittgenstein basically proved that you can't come up with a rule for deciding when a game is not a game.
those who are must effective at reproducing will reproduce. Therefore new species are not designed. - Charles Darwin.
kyle2000

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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

kyle2000 wrote:Wittgenstein basically proved that you can't come up with a rule for deciding when a game is not a game.

What does that even mean, and how did he prove it?

Flannel Jesus

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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

kyle2000 wrote:If sorting things into categories is algorithmic then tell me why it is the case that we human can't decide when science is not science, when heresy is not heresy, when is a game not a game.

That it is algorithmic doesn't mean there's universal agreement on the algorithms used, does it? Discussions about whether a subject is a science or not revolve around the giving of reasons - algorithmic steps used in categorisation.

Wittgenstein basically proved that you can't come up with a rule for deciding when a game is not a game.

This is true, and gives us a fact about how language relates to ways of life rather than to pure logic. He didn't prove that you can't come up with a rule for whether an apple is a fruit, though.

The biology of purpose keeps my nose above the surface.
- Brian Eno

Only_Humean
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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

Only_Humean wrote:This is true, and gives us a fact about how language relates to ways of life rather than to pure logic. He didn't prove that you can't come up with a rule for whether an apple is a fruit, though.

Of course you can come up with rules for whether an apple is a fruit. But there's no algorithm to come up with this rule, without an infinite regress. What this means is that the rules are conventions. Someone can just arbitrarily say "X is the rule", and you build off of that rule and use it. There's no algorithm, without infinite regress, for that rule itself.

As Wittgenstein said in On Certainty, "253. At the foundation of well-founded belief lies belief that is not founded. 254. Any ‘reasonable’ person behaves like this. This is the conventional nature of thing.

ZenKitty
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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

ZenKitty wrote:
Only_Humean wrote:This is true, and gives us a fact about how language relates to ways of life rather than to pure logic. He didn't prove that you can't come up with a rule for whether an apple is a fruit, though.

Of course you can come up with rules for whether an apple is a fruit. But there's no algorithm to come up with this rule, without an infinite regress. What this means is that the rules are conventions. Someone can just arbitrarily say "X is the rule", and you build off of that rule and use it. There's no algorithm, without infinite regress, for that rule itself.

As Wittgenstein said in On Certainty, "253. At the foundation of well-founded belief lies belief that is not founded. 254. Any ‘reasonable’ person behaves like this. This is the conventional nature of thing.

Welcome, ZenKitty!

Language is grounded in forms of life - for the hardcore Wittgensteinian, all language is grounded in forms of life, if it's to be sensible. I think he maybe goes a little far here, but that's another thread - fundamentally, we're agreed.

As regards the proof being offered, the proposal in this thread was that categorising is a non-algorithmic activity, not that rule-making was. I was possibly not clear in my comment, but that's the distinction I was trying to make - we can and do make rules for categorising things.

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Only_Humean
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### Re: refuting physicalism/naturalism/materialism

Volchok's implied criticism is correct.
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