There is no emergence

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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Carleas » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:29 pm

bahman wrote:To me emergence means that there exist not a function which describe the property of the system in term of properties of parts.

I would argue this is too strong, and generally not what people are talking about when they talk about emergence. Such a system would require that the rules at the lower level be broken.

My definition would be something more like, "There exists a function which describes a system in terms of objects and their properties without reference to the system's fundamental parts and their properties." My definition is a much lower burden, so that may be the root of our disagreement (similar to your exchange with Mad Man P.

But let me re-raise the point I made above: by your description, I would argue that emergence requires that higher-order descriptions lead to violations of lower-rules. Do you agree?

bahman wrote:I am afraid that I don't know what you are refereeing in here by gliders. Are you talking about motorless aircraft?

Sorry, I was calling back to my comments about Conway's Game of Life. Gliders are collections of grid points that are easily perceived as a cohesive higher-order object. You can describe their behavior in terms of cell matrices, but you don't have to, and seeing it as an object lets us talk about it and predict its behavior in a way that are very difficult otherwise.

bahman wrote:consciousness

Let's leave this as an open question for now. We all seem to have strong intuitions about consciousness, and we should avoid the temptation to reason backwards from those.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:25 pm

Carleas wrote:
bahman wrote:To me emergence means that there exist not a function which describe the property of the system in term of properties of parts.

I would argue this is too strong, and generally not what people are talking about when they talk about emergence. Such a system would require that the rules at the lower level be broken.

That is to me the proper definition. The existence of function comes from the fact that there is a reason that the system has specific properties rather than any other properties.

Carleas wrote:My definition would be something more like, "There exists a function which describes a system in terms of objects and their properties without reference to the system's fundamental parts and their properties." My definition is a much lower burden, so that may be the root of our disagreement (similar to your exchange with Mad Man P.

What are objects? We just have the system and its parts.

Carleas wrote:But let me re-raise the point I made above: by your description, I would argue that emergence requires that higher-order descriptions lead to violations of lower-rules. Do you agree?

Yes.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Mad Man P » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:40 pm

bahman wrote:
Mad Man P wrote:If so it follows you're talking about qualia, the 1st person perception we experience and you can't think of any way to generate that with matter... correct?

Yes. I think that Qualia is generated by mind. It is also experienced by mind. Matter, what exists in outside world, is a mix of minds and Qualia.


This is a tricky area, because it's a gap in our knowledge. As a species we are largely ignorant of how exactly the brain works, it's easy to fill in that blank with speculation
So while we could in PRINCIPLE explain qualia as a consequence of matter... it's still not definitive that's what's happening in our brains.

If you can't imagine how one might generate something akin to qualia, perhaps this thought experiment might help. Imagine a computer monitor that's being perceived by a camera. Let's say this camera is hooked up to an AI that plays chess but obviously does so visually, in fact it only does so visually. It can only play chess by observing and recognize the pieces and their positions as displayed on the monitor. It has to "appear" a certain way for this AI to recognize the game let alone play.

Now without changing anything about how this AI works, we can hook the input that determines what is shown on the monitor directly into the output of the camera...
We no longer need a screen nor camera... yet the AI can still play chess.

The visual perception it requires in order to recognize the game must be present, but it is rendered imperceptible to the rest of the world. All we see is the hardware clicking and clacking away, but clearly the AI is seeing a 2 dimensional image of a chess board, otherwise it couldn't play chess.

In such a case would that perception not be a form of qualia?

If you spend a moment and consider the implications you would have to conclude that the AI is no longer sensing EM radiation but is still receiving the visuals of chess... we could add audio to it's perception without actually vibrating the air. We now have a way to make it sense things that do not exist for anyone or anything else. It is merely interpreting electrical signals and turning them into "perception" at this point. We could make it see anything... hear anything... in fact we could categorize the signals however we like, we do not have to emulate the physical world at all. We could create sensations of novel things that are neither light, sound, taste nor anything else... we could call such things emotions... and none of it would appear as "electrical signals" to the AI... it would appear as chess or anything else we decide.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:25 am

Mad Man P wrote:
bahman wrote:
Mad Man P wrote:If so it follows you're talking about qualia, the 1st person perception we experience and you can't think of any way to generate that with matter... correct?

Yes. I think that Qualia is generated by mind. It is also experienced by mind. Matter, what exists in outside world, is a mix of minds and Qualia.

This is a tricky area, because it's a gap in our knowledge. As a species we are largely ignorant of how exactly the brain works, it's easy to fill in that blank with speculation

Idealism and materialism are two monist worlds view.

Materialism claims that either matter is mind (some sort of contradiction since they have different definitions) or mind is the result of matter activities. In later case, mind also experiences and effect reality (some sort of strange thing: something which is the result of matter activity experiences and affects something else which is the result of matter activity too, so matter does two things).

Idealism claims that only mind exist and matter is either mental or illusion, Qualia.

The difference between them, materialism and idealism, is that mind in one case is the product of activity of matter or is matter and in another case mind simply exists.

I have two strong arguments one in favor of idealism and one against materialism.

Mad Man P wrote:So while we could in PRINCIPLE explain qualia as a consequence of matter... it's still not definitive that's what's happening in our brains.

Yes. That is true. Materilism also suggests that mind is generated by matter or it is matter.

Mad Man P wrote:If you can't imagine how one might generate something akin to qualia, perhaps this thought experiment might help. Imagine a computer monitor that's being perceived by a camera. Let's say this camera is hooked up to an AI that plays chess but obviously does so visually, in fact it only does so visually. It can only play chess by observing and recognize the pieces and their positions as displayed on the monitor. It has to "appear" a certain way for this AI to recognize the game let alone play.

Now without changing anything about how this AI works, we can hook the input that determines what is shown on the monitor directly into the output of the camera...
We no longer need a screen nor camera... yet the AI can still play chess.

The visual perception it requires in order to recognize the game must be present, but it is rendered imperceptible to the rest of the world. All we see is the hardware clicking and clacking away, but clearly the AI is seeing a 2 dimensional image of a chess board, otherwise it couldn't play chess.

In such a case would that perception not be a form of qualia?

If you spend a moment and consider the implications you would have to conclude that the AI is no longer sensing EM radiation but is still receiving the visuals of chess... we could add audio to it's perception without actually vibrating the air. We now have a way to make it sense things that do not exist for anyone or anything else. It is merely interpreting electrical signals and turning them into "perception" at this point. We could make it see anything... hear anything... in fact we could categorize the signals however we like, we do not have to emulate the physical world at all. We could create sensations of novel things that are neither light, sound, taste nor anything else... we could call such things emotions... and none of it would appear as "electrical signals" to the AI... it would appear as chess or anything else we decide.


I believe that what we call matter is conscious things. I have an argument for that too. I however don't know what they/things experience. A machine with an AI experience something different from simple machine. We know this through their inputs, decisions and outputs.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Mad Man P » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:51 pm

bahman wrote:Materialism claims that either matter is mind (some sort of contradiction since they have different definitions) or mind is the result of matter activities.


bahman wrote:I believe that what we call matter is conscious things. I have an argument for that too. I however don't know what they/things experience. A machine with an AI experience something different from simple machine. We know this through their inputs, decisions and outputs.


We're talking about an experience that we have that we NAME. We don't get to "define" what it is or isn't...
We're merely observing and attempting to understand its nature.

Thoughts, feelings, colors... these are experiences or sensations.

Call it consciousness or "mind" or qualia or what have you...

To say "Mind is not matter" is either a definition or it's an assertion.
If it's a definition, then it remains to be shown that what we experience qualifies by that definition.
If it's an assertion it can and should be ignored unless sufficient reason is provided.

I have given you a method by which we can generate a sensation, an experience that is interpreted and "displayed" as something other than what it is.
This COULD account for our experience of the world as something other than chemical reactions in our brains. It's merely a matter of abstraction... no different to turning electrical signals into images.

This experience this "image" that our "mind's eye" is observing could be unique to us and all inclusive... it could contain feelings, sounds, thoughts, even the sensation of "observing" itself...
There is no limit to how we could abstract, categorize and display electrical signals... the only constraint would be utility.

And just to tie this back to the subject of the OP, this is all well within the realm of possibility because of the compounding effects of generating novel functionality from systematising interactions...
What I would call emergent properties.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:05 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
bahman wrote:Materialism claims that either matter is mind (some sort of contradiction since they have different definitions) or mind is the result of matter activities.


bahman wrote:I believe that what we call matter is conscious things. I have an argument for that too. I however don't know what they/things experience. A machine with an AI experience something different from simple machine. We know this through their inputs, decisions and outputs.


We're talking about an experience that we have that we NAME. We don't get to "define" what it is or isn't...
We're merely observing and attempting to understand its nature.

Thoughts, feelings, colors... these are experiences or sensations.

Call it consciousness or "mind" or qualia or what have you...

To say "Mind is not matter" is either a definition or it's an assertion.
If it's a definition, then it remains to be shown that what we experience qualifies by that definition.
If it's an assertion it can and should be ignored unless sufficient reason is provided.

I have given you a method by which we can generate a sensation, an experience that is interpreted and "displayed" as something other than what it is.
This COULD account for our experience of the world as something other than chemical reactions in our brains. It's merely a matter of abstraction... no different to turning electrical signals into images.

This experience this "image" that our "mind's eye" is observing could be unique to us and all inclusive... it could contain feelings, sounds, thoughts, even the sensation of "observing" itself...
There is no limit to how we could abstract, categorize and display electrical signals... the only constraint would be utility.

And just to tie this back to the subject of the OP, this is all well within the realm of possibility because of the compounding effects of generating novel functionality from systematising interactions...
What I would call emergent properties.

In the example you provided, machine which plays chess, the behavior of the system can be explained in term of properties of parts otherwise one cannot design and build it.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Mad Man P » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:48 pm

bahman wrote: In the example you provided, machine which plays chess, the behavior of the system can be explained in term of properties of parts otherwise one cannot design and build it.


If you're talking about modeling a machine capable of playing chess, having an understanding of how each of the parts work would be insufficient.
You would also need to understand how the parts work and fit together as a whole...that configuration cannot be said to be a "property" of any of the parts.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:55 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
bahman wrote: In the example you provided, machine which plays chess, the behavior of the system can be explained in term of properties of parts otherwise one cannot design and build it.

If you're talking about modeling a machine capable of playing chess, having an understanding of how each of the parts work would be insufficient.

Modeling a system is more than only knowing the properties of the parts. You need to know that who the system functions.

Mad Man P wrote:You would also need to understand how the parts work and fit together as a whole...that configuration cannot be said to be a "property" of any of the parts.

I said that the property of the system is a function of the properties of parts. Of course we know how the sum of parts work together. I didn't said the bold part.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Carleas » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:51 pm

bahman wrote:What are objects? We just have the system and its parts.

A 'glider' is an object within Conway's Game of Life in the same way that a 'computer' is an object within the world: we know computers to be made up of smaller parts (whether that be chips or transistors or atoms or quarks, the point is the same), but we talk about 'the computer' as an object. So too, we talk about 'the glider', and not about the changes in a matrix of cells.

These objects and their properties are best understood without reference to their component parts.

bahman wrote:That is to me the proper definition.[...]
Carleas wrote:by your description, I would argue that emergence requires that higher-order descriptions lead to violations of lower-rules. Do you agree?

Yes.

It seems that this disagreement maps to a known division in theories of emergence, that between epistemological emergence and ontological emergence. I would say that emergence is an epistemological question, that it's about what we can know or predict and not about what actually exists. I agree with you that "There is no [ontological] emergence". I do think emergent properties supervene on the properties of their parts, but I don't think there's downward causation.


Mad Man P, I like the chess camera example for explaining qualia.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:17 pm

Carleas wrote:
bahman wrote:What are objects? We just have the system and its parts.

A 'glider' is an object within Conway's Game of Life in the same way that a 'computer' is an object within the world: we know computers to be made up of smaller parts (whether that be chips or transistors or atoms or quarks, the point is the same), but we talk about 'the computer' as an object. So too, we talk about 'the glider', and not about the changes in a matrix of cells.

The glider is not a good example since it objectively doesn't exist. The instrument is objective, where there might be a sort life (experience, decision and causation).

Carleas wrote: These objects and their properties are best understood without reference to their component parts.

The object that we observe is the result of change in state of matter. Well if what you say is true then that is a sign of life in matter. Such a thing obviously cannot be designed.

Carleas wrote:
bahman wrote:That is to me the proper definition.[...]
Carleas wrote:by your description, I would argue that emergence requires that higher-order descriptions lead to violations of lower-rules. Do you agree?

Yes.

It seems that this disagreement maps to a known division in theories of emergence, that between epistemological emergence and ontological emergence. I would say that emergence is an epistemological question, that it's about what we can know or predict and not about what actually exists. I agree with you that "There is no [ontological] emergence". I do think emergent properties supervene on the properties of their parts, but I don't think there's downward causation.

Well, I am talking about emergence which describes a property of a system which is not describable in term of the properties of the parts. There exists a function if there is a description. So there could not be emergence if there is a always a way to describe reality. The question is how emergence is possible when you consider the fact that there should be a reason why a system should have a specific property rather than any other property.

Carleas wrote:Mad Man P, I like the chess camera example for explaining qualia.

What Machine experiences is different than what we experience. An electron inside the machine does not experience what we visually experience.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Carleas » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:41 pm

bahman wrote:The glider is not a good example since it objectively doesn't exist.

Interesting. But the computer does "objectively exist", despite that we all agree it's made up of atoms? What's the difference?

For my purposes, it's sufficient that the glider is identifiable in a way that I can point to it as a cohesive whole, and talk about its actions rather than the actions of its parts. i.e., if we're looking at a grid space in Conway's Game of Life ("CGoL"), we can see the glider moving across the grid, I can point to it and talk about how it's moving, how it will eventually run into some other cluster in its path, or how it will continue indefinitely into the empty expanse of the grid. If we aren't being pedants, we'll understand each other when we say these kind of things. And if we can use concepts and language that way, we're treating the glider as an object, and not as a bunch of parts, in the same way we treat the computer as a computer and not as a pile of quarks. And this distinction matters because in fact the cells don't 'move', there's no movement other than on and off for the cells; there's no 'path', no 'collision', those are things the object does that the parts don't do. The thing that's moving is the higher-order object, the glider.

I call that an object, because that's what we call the higher-order clumps of atoms around us, e.g. computers. And to the extent the cells in CGoL are objectively existing parts, the glider is an objectively existing object. If you want to specify that it's a virtual object made of virtual parts, I have no objection, but it doesn't change the analysis.

bahman wrote:Well if what you say is true then that is a sign of life in matter.

I don't see how this follows. I'm not arguing that a brick is alive, but I do think bricks are best understood without reference to quarks.

bahman wrote:The question is how emergence is possible when you consider the fact that there should be a reason why a system should have a specific property rather than any other property.

Let's take the system of 'a $1 bill', and think about the quark-level basis for the property of being worth $1. It's not that we can't (in principle) describe a dollar bill in terms of quarks or what have you. But that description doesn't really tell us what we want to know. We would reduce the physical object to its constituent quarks, but also the concept of 'value' and 'economic exchange' and 'money' and 'worth' etc. in terms of quarks. What we end up with is a list of all the quark-quark interactions in causal chains that pass through any of those things.

Such a description may be true and precise, but it's totally useless and can only exist in principle (the amount of information necessary to describe that many quarks and all their interactions is colossal). By contrast, we have higher-order laws that describe the dollar and its value with less precision but in a way that is efficient and practical.

When there are two descriptions, one of which is more precise but functionally unrealizable, and the other of which is true for practical purposes and easily instantiated, the second is rightfully called emergent. And while I use the word in its epistemological sense, I think the distinction starts to break down here. In principle, we believe it's possible to describe the dollar in these terms, but even in theory we must conclude that it's impossible given the inherent limitation on how much information we can pack into our universe. So the epistemologically emergent property ends up being functionally ontologically emergent, because the lower-level cause and effect description is forever unavailable.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:27 am

bahman wrote:To show this consider a system with many parts each part has a set of properties. Now let’s assume that the system has a specific property. This property should not be reducible in term properties of parts if it is emergent property. There must however be a reason that system has this property rather than another property. This means that there is a function which describe the property of the system. The only available variables are however the properties of parts. Therefore the property of the system must be a function of properties of parts. Therefore there is no emergence since the existence of the function implements that the property of the system is reducible to properties of parts.
I can see making a case that the functions of the system are an example of the functions of the parts, when those parts get together in some specific kind of whole. But it's clear that these functions go beyond the functions of the parts NOT in that system. IOW we can, perhaps, black box 'who' actually owns the new functions that emerge when the parts are in this or that specific larger configuration. Fine. But the systems do things the parts do not.

The term is useful In fact it helps see the problem with reductionism. and gives that problem a label.

Atoms cannot write posts, unless they are in very specific, incredibly complicated configurations. None of the atoms in my body can write a post. None of the molecules can. No single nerve can. No organ can. It takes a person.

And heck, why are the parts more real than the wholes?
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:15 pm

Carleas wrote:
bahman wrote:The glider is not a good example since it objectively doesn't exist.

Interesting. But the computer does "objectively exist", despite that we all agree it's made up of atoms? What's the difference?

For my purposes, it's sufficient that the glider is identifiable in a way that I can point to it as a cohesive whole, and talk about its actions rather than the actions of its parts. i.e., if we're looking at a grid space in Conway's Game of Life ("CGoL"), we can see the glider moving across the grid, I can point to it and talk about how it's moving, how it will eventually run into some other cluster in its path, or how it will continue indefinitely into the empty expanse of the grid. If we aren't being pedants, we'll understand each other when we say these kind of things. And if we can use concepts and language that way, we're treating the glider as an object, and not as a bunch of parts, in the same way we treat the computer as a computer and not as a pile of quarks. And this distinction matters because in fact the cells don't 'move', there's no movement other than on and off for the cells; there's no 'path', no 'collision', those are things the object does that the parts don't do. The thing that's moving is the higher-order object, the glider.

I call that an object, because that's what we call the higher-order clumps of atoms around us, e.g. computers. And to the extent the cells in CGoL are objectively existing parts, the glider is an objectively existing object. If you want to specify that it's a virtual object made of virtual parts, I have no objection, but it doesn't change the analysis.

We only cannot realize the behavior of the object is the result of behavior of parts because of the complexity of the behavior in system but that does not mean that the function, which relates the behavior of objects to behavior of parts, does not exist. It is simply a failure of our visual perception (we cannot see the depth) that we could not realize the patterns in the behavior objects. An intelligent agent can be trained to see more depth, as an example Kasparov is one of the greatest person who can see deep patterns in each position in chess.

Carleas wrote:
bahman wrote:The question is how emergence is possible when you consider the fact that there should be a reason why a system should have a specific property rather than any other property.

Let's take the system of 'a $1 bill', and think about the quark-level basis for the property of being worth $1. It's not that we can't (in principle) describe a dollar bill in terms of quarks or what have you. But that description doesn't really tell us what we want to know. We would reduce the physical object to its constituent quarks, but also the concept of 'value' and 'economic exchange' and 'money' and 'worth' etc. in terms of quarks. What we end up with is a list of all the quark-quark interactions in causal chains that pass through any of those things.

Such a description may be true and precise, but it's totally useless and can only exist in principle (the amount of information necessary to describe that many quarks and all their interactions is colossal). By contrast, we have higher-order laws that describe the dollar and its value with less precision but in a way that is efficient and practical.

When there are two descriptions, one of which is more precise but functionally unrealizable, and the other of which is true for practical purposes and easily instantiated, the second is rightfully called emergent. And while I use the word in its epistemological sense, I think the distinction starts to break down here. In principle, we believe it's possible to describe the dollar in these terms, but even in theory we must conclude that it's impossible given the inherent limitation on how much information we can pack into our universe. So the epistemologically emergent property ends up being functionally ontologically emergent, because the lower-level cause and effect description is forever unavailable.

The truth is that there is only one description, reductionism, for any phenomenon and this description is functionally realizable. It is just difficult to find a description for all phenomena though. To accept that emergence is true is equal to accepting that reductionism is false. The existence of a reason for any behavior however enforces the reductionism. The very fact that for example we agree that a painting is beautiful indicates that the painting has a specific property which is functionally realizable in term of properties of parts. The beauty however is in mind of observer. What is beauty? A property (a form of Qualia, Qualia being whatever mind can experience). Beauty is aligned with the information we perceive . The alignment is the result of how our brain is structured.

Life is the game we play with different forms of Qualia. It is the result of experiencing Qualia, deciding when there is a conflict, and cause/affecte Qualia.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:45 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
bahman wrote:To show this consider a system with many parts each part has a set of properties. Now let’s assume that the system has a specific property. This property should not be reducible in term properties of parts if it is emergent property. There must however be a reason that system has this property rather than another property. This means that there is a function which describe the property of the system. The only available variables are however the properties of parts. Therefore the property of the system must be a function of properties of parts. Therefore there is no emergence since the existence of the function implements that the property of the system is reducible to properties of parts.

I can see making a case that the functions of the system are an example of the functions of the parts, when those parts get together in some specific kind of whole. But it's clear that these functions go beyond the functions of the parts NOT in that system. IOW we can, perhaps, black box 'who' actually owns the new functions that emerge when the parts are in this or that specific larger configuration. Fine. But the systems do things the parts do not.

There is no emergence when there is a function.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:The term is useful In fact it helps see the problem with reductionism. and gives that problem a label.

What do you mean? Could you please expand this?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Atoms cannot write posts, unless they are in very specific, incredibly complicated configurations. None of the atoms in my body can write a post. None of the molecules can. No single nerve can. No organ can. It takes a person.

And heck, why are the parts more real than the wholes?

Each parts, from small to large to system, does something especial. We can imagine all parts.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:06 am

bahman wrote: There is no emergence when there is a function.
Or it is useful to say there is. We don't have this function at the parts level, then we have this particular function when a specific configuration is there at the level of hte whole. I can't see a reason not to label the function or property emergent. The word emerge nicely spreads the responsibility around, since it implies that, in a certain sense it was there as a potential, but needed the whole to be realized.

What do you mean? Could you please expand this?
When we reduce everything to the parts and shift the parts around and think we know what will happen or what the larger system is like, we make mistakes. The people making gm products made mistakes like this. They assumed that genes were randomly placed. You replace one, you simply change one trait or production of this protein. But the genes work as wholes, so they created all sorts of unintended effects. You can't always understand what wholes will be like based on what the parts are like. emergence as a concept functions nicely as a quick way to say this. Hey, you know all about those parts when they are parts, but that doesn't mean you know what happens when they are in wholes. New stuff happens. It seems like a very useful way to speak and describe. I see no reason to give this up. I also think there is no reason to think of the world in ways that prioritize parts - at least all the time. We find ourselves in a world with wholes. Of course one can learn by taking things apart and learning about parts on their own. But reductionism prioritizes this. At other times it is useful to think of the functions and properties of wholes as the thing, and the properties of the traits as secondary or not important for our thinking at those times. To say there is no emergence is to say it is just parts. But that is not the world we find ourselves in.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Atoms cannot write posts, unless they are in very specific, incredibly complicated configurations. None of the atoms in my body can write a post. None of the molecules can. No single nerve can. No organ can. It takes a person.

And heck, why are the parts more real than the wholes?

Each parts, from small to large to system, does something especial. We can imagine all parts.
Yes, they all do something special or different. Is an electron really quarks or whatever they 'are made of' or are quarks just what happens when you destroy an electron for a time. Perhaps the quarks are not really there anymore when the electron is a whole. I think there is a metaphysical confusion that should be black boxed also, at least sometimes.

When we say there is no emergence or that wholes are really just parts, this may very well be illusory. Wholes may not even have parts, though if you destroy them, then you find pieces. It might be a confusion to say 'But really a person is a bunch of chemical machines.' A fundamental metaphysical error. There are no chemical machines but this very particular monad. If you destroy an arm or take away a part of the circulatory system - a blood sample, say - you can create pieces that are then, and only then, chemical machines, but before that they were integral pieces, not parts, of the whole person.

There is a particular personality type that wants to think of things as merely parts. It is a useful heuristic, but a limited one. Just as htinking only in terms of wholes doesn't allow us to gain so much control, as science via technology has allowed us.

We can also think in terms of holons, things that are both parts and wholes, a la Ken Wilbur.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:48 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
bahman wrote:There is no emergence when there is a function.

Or it is useful to say there is. We don't have this function at the parts level, then we have this particular function when a specific configuration is there at the level of hte whole. I can't see a reason not to label the function or property emergent. The word emerge nicely spreads the responsibility around, since it implies that, in a certain sense it was there as a potential, but needed the whole to be realized.

It seems that we need to agree on definition first. In here I am arguing against strong emergence which claim that the system is other the sum of parts. Strong emergence is a claim that if you have parts and know that how parts work together, laws of nature, then you are not able to explain the system (meaning that there is no function which describes the system). Here you are talking about weak emergence.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
What do you mean? Could you please expand this?

When we reduce everything to the parts and shift the parts around and think we know what will happen or what the larger system is like, we make mistakes. The people making gm products made mistakes like this. They assumed that genes were randomly placed. You replace one, you simply change one trait or production of this protein. But the genes work as wholes, so they created all sorts of unintended effects.

People make mistake about genes because they don't know that genes are interacting objects.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:You can't always understand what wholes will be like based on what the parts are like. emergence as a concept functions nicely as a quick way to say this. Hey, you know all about those parts when they are parts, but that doesn't mean you know what happens when they are in wholes. New stuff happens. It seems like a very useful way to speak and describe. I see no reason to give this up. I also think there is no reason to think of the world in ways that prioritize parts - at least all the time. We find ourselves in a world with wholes. Of course one can learn by taking things apart and learning about parts on their own. But reductionism prioritizes this. At other times it is useful to think of the functions and properties of wholes as the thing, and the properties of the traits as secondary or not important for our thinking at those times. To say there is no emergence is to say it is just parts. But that is not the world we find ourselves in.

This the part that I have issue with it, strong emergence. The heart of my argument is that there should exist a reason that the system has specific property rather than any other properties therefore there is a function which describes the property of the system in term of the properties of the parts. Therefore emergence (read it strong emergence) does not exist.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:47 am

bahman wrote: It seems that we need to agree on definition first. In here I am arguing against strong emergence which claim that the system is other the sum of parts. Strong emergence is a claim that if you have parts and know that how parts work together, laws of nature, then you are not able to explain the system (meaning that there is no function which describes the system). Here you are talking about weak emergence.
It seems like one is either a panspychist or a pantheist if one does not believe in strong emergence.

Otherwise you are simply saying you know X (about particles) is true, but have no way to demonstrate it. Deduction is always dependent on what is correct and incorrect in our limited knowledge. We have made seemingly obvious metaphysical deductions before in human history and been proven quite wrong.

People make mistake about genes because they don't know that genes are interacting objects.
Right, it's unbelievable that the don't get this, and I mean, lots of geneticists, at least those who work for Monsanto.

This the part that I have issue with it, strong emergence. The heart of my argument is that there should exist a reason that the system has specific property rather than any other properties therefore there is a function which describes the property of the system in term of the properties of the parts. Therefore emergence (read it strong emergence) does not exist.
I think this is a coming-from-parts perspective. If you come from wholes downward, it is no surprise that breaking a pattern/structure might reduce the number of functions and qualities.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:08 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
bahman wrote: It seems that we need to agree on definition first. In here I am arguing against strong emergence which claim that the system is other the sum of parts. Strong emergence is a claim that if you have parts and know that how parts work together, laws of nature, then you are not able to explain the system (meaning that there is no function which describes the system). Here you are talking about weak emergence.

It seems like one is either a panspychist or a pantheist if one does not believe in strong emergence.

Sure. Here I provided an argument against strong emergence.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
This the part that I have issue with it, strong emergence. The heart of my argument is that there should exist a reason that the system has specific property rather than any other properties therefore there is a function which describes the property of the system in term of the properties of the parts. Therefore emergence (read it strong emergence) does not exist.

I think this is a coming-from-parts perspective. If you come from wholes downward, it is no surprise that breaking a pattern/structure might reduce the number of functions and qualities.

No. This is not coming from parts perspective. It is about a fact that there is a reason why system has very specific property rather than any other property.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:53 am

bahman wrote: No. This is not coming from parts perspective. It is about a fact that there is a reason why system has very specific property rather than any other property.
It would be the same kind of reason that some quarks have this or that spin. If one does not come from a parts upward perspective, then there is no reason to assume the parts are the reason the system has that property. If the systems are primary, they have qualities that are or may be just given. Just as the parts have qualities that are merely given. Somewhere in the universe there are 'things' that just have qualities. They just have them. Not because something smaller is like X. Unless it is elephants all the way down. Which again is a property. Why time? Why space? Because of parts? Why are there parts`? Because of the qualities of parts`?
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:54 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
bahman wrote:No. This is not coming from parts perspective. It is about a fact that there is a reason why system has very specific property rather than any other property.

It would be the same kind of reason that some quarks have this or that spin. If one does not come from a parts upward perspective, then there is no reason to assume the parts are the reason the system has that property. If the systems are primary, they have qualities that are or may be just given. Just as the parts have qualities that are merely given. Somewhere in the universe there are 'things' that just have qualities. They just have them. Not because something smaller is like X. Unless it is elephants all the way down. Which again is a property. Why time? Why space? Because of parts? Why are there parts`? Because of the qualities of parts`?

Well, the question is then whether there is a worldview that can exhaustively explain everything? Apparently quarks has specific property too therefore it could not be the fundamental bases of reality.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Jakob » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:48 pm

GUYS
guys.
A property is a function by which, or simply a way in which a thing interacts with an environment.

Yes?
Handy, to define what you're discussing. Yes?

Okay.

Therefore, a property can never emerge purely "from within".

What is going on in both particle- AND property-emergence is what we call "calibration".
Between inside and outside.


OK continue.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby bahman » Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:09 pm

Jakob wrote:GUYS
guys.
A property is a function by which, or simply a way in which a thing interacts with an environment.

We/minds either follow a chain of causality or decide. The chain of causality is the result of all our past experiences. Atoms seems to just behave in a deterministic way which this is assigned to having specific set of properties.

Jakob wrote:Yes?
Handy, to define what you're discussing. Yes?

Okay.

I already give a summery of my position (previous comment).

Jakob wrote:Therefore, a property can never emerge purely "from within".

What is going on in both particle- AND property-emergence is what we call "calibration".
Between inside and outside.

Yes, emergence, emergence property being a property which is not a function of the properties of the parts, is impossible.

Jakob wrote:OK continue.
Master will return in a month.

Great.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:56 pm

bahman wrote: Well, the question is then whether there is a worldview that can exhaustively explain everything?
I haven't seen it yet. Until then I will work with what is useful.

Apparently quarks has specific property too therefore it could not be the fundamental bases of reality.
Wouldn't surprise me. And how do we decide what is more fundamental. Time vs. Quarks. That there is something, that that is possible - is that a property, a rule, a fact, a 'thing' or a thing. Is it more fundamental? IOW sure, their may be parts of quarks, but it might also be that what is fundamental isn't quite pieces, but mathematical, or a property. Perhaps the pieces are properties and the distinction is problematic. I mean the subatomic level doesn't always act or seem like pieces, it seems like processes, sometimes mere potentials (things in superposition, precollapsed waves). Sometimes it seems like whatever is fundamental is not even real, yet.
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Re: There is no emergence

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:00 pm

Jakob wrote:GUYS
guys.
A property is a function by which, or simply a way in which a thing interacts with an environment.
I like thinking that way also sometimes. And it is good to bring in things like the doctrine of internal relations or it's opposite. I think both can be useful views. Perhaps there are only properties and no things. I think it depends on what one is doing, trying to do, that matters a lot about which of these ways of viewing it are most useful at a given moment. Metaphysical desire wants this to harden down and be settled. And I get that. But right now I think a more instrumental approach is the best we can hope for.

Yes?
Handy, to define what you're discussing. Yes?
A useful option, absolutely.

Okay.

Therefore, a property can never emerge purely "from within".

What is going on in both particle- AND property-emergence is what we call "calibration".
Between inside and outside.


OK continue.
Master will return in a month.
Well, if you reinvented the wheel on this one, good for you. Nice work, you couldn't being born late in the game.
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