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The ontological status of universals
Posted: 30 December 2011 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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dougsmith - 30 December 2011 06:16 AM
StephenLawrence - 30 December 2011 02:31 AM

Doug starts the universe off with an indeterministic first moment ...

I favor that option!

tongue rolleye

I find the idea of one special moment so unlikely but I think it’s a pretty good working model when dealing with free will and moral responsibility.

One just has to take causality as a given, which is fine, but I wonder if causes are really possible in such a set up?

Stephen

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Posted: 30 December 2011 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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dougsmith - 30 December 2011 06:16 AM
StephenLawrence - 30 December 2011 02:31 AM

Doug starts the universe off with an indeterministic first moment ...

I favor that option!

tongue rolleye

Yes, and so you explain alternative possibilities.

The problem with determinism, as many see it, is that there are none. GdB insists there are but just leaves the how blank,  which has been our central disagreement. Not that I think he’ll turn out to be on the losing side, just that there is a hole there that needs explaining.

Stephen

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Posted: 31 December 2011 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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TimB - 29 December 2011 12:55 AM

Kaizen, I thought that Kkwan nailed the answer, here, to your original post, but you thought it was not relevant?

Yup. My question, though the title of the thread might have been misleading, was about realist justifications in their epistemology of metaphysical objects. What Kkwan posted was some basic summaries of various positions on metaphysics. While the positions themselves are in the ballpark, the summaries had nothing to do with my specific concern. It’s like if I were to ask about a specific medical concern about, say asthma and you responded with summaries about various medical specialties. Okay, that’s great that you gave some details on lung doctors, but how does that address my question about asthma?

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Posted: 31 December 2011 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Kaizen - 31 December 2011 12:16 PM
TimB - 29 December 2011 12:55 AM

Kaizen, I thought that Kkwan nailed the answer, here, to your original post, but you thought it was not relevant?

Yup. My question, though the title of the thread might have been misleading, was about realist justifications in their epistemology of metaphysical objects. What Kkwan posted was some basic summaries of various positions on metaphysics. While the positions themselves are in the ballpark, the summaries had nothing to do with my specific concern. It’s like if I were to ask about a specific medical concern about, say asthma and you responded with summaries about various medical specialties. Okay, that’s great that you gave some details on lung doctors, but how does that address my question about asthma?

Well, his input helped me, the whole conversation being over my head, as I have never heard of these things you call lungs or asthma or realist justifications and their epistemology of metaphysical objsects. smile

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 01 January 2012 03:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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kkwan - 30 December 2011 05:30 AM
TimB - 29 December 2011 01:04 PM

Iwould think that the real probabliltes are a combination of the obvious factors and all of the other factors that we are not aware of, including the built in wild card that anything can happen.

Quite so. However, the real probabilities could either be uncomputable and/or unknowable.

No. The real probability is the one that we can say would converge if we did this enough times, that’s what we are interested in and that is 1 in 6 as long as the die is not loaded.

The question is what is it about the universe that makes it the case that it will behave like this?

Stephen

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Posted: 01 January 2012 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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StephenLawrence - 01 January 2012 03:21 AM
kkwan - 30 December 2011 05:30 AM
TimB - 29 December 2011 01:04 PM

Iwould think that the real probabliltes are a combination of the obvious factors and all of the other factors that we are not aware of, including the built in wild card that anything can happen.

Quite so. However, the real probabilities could either be uncomputable and/or unknowable.

No. The real probability is the one that we can say would converge if we did this enough times, that’s what we are interested in and that is 1 in 6 as long as the die is not loaded.

The question is what is it about the universe that makes it the case that it will behave like this?

Stephen

But it does not behave like that. There is no guarantee that 6 different or any specific side will come up in 6 rolls.

Would this not fall under the law of probabilities (potential, but uncertain outcomes)?

In a random environment (no external influences)
2 possible outcomes = probability factor of 50%
3 possible outcomes = probability factor of 33.333%
6 possible outcomes = probability factor of 16.666%

IMO this is a universal potential quality.

[ Edited: 01 January 2012 05:17 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 01 January 2012 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Write4U - 01 January 2012 05:06 AM
StephenLawrence - 01 January 2012 03:21 AM
kkwan - 30 December 2011 05:30 AM
TimB - 29 December 2011 01:04 PM

Iwould think that the real probabliltes are a combination of the obvious factors and all of the other factors that we are not aware of, including the built in wild card that anything can happen.

Quite so. However, the real probabilities could either be uncomputable and/or unknowable.

No. The real probability is the one that we can say would converge if we did this enough times, that’s what we are interested in and that is 1 in 6 as long as the die is not loaded.

The question is what is it about the universe that makes it the case that it will behave like this?

Stephen

But it does not behave like that. There is no guarantee that 6 different sides will come up in 6 rolls.

Would this not fall under the law of probabilities (potential, but uncertain outcomes).

Six rolls isn’t enough. The theory is with “enough” rolls it is practically guaranteed.

In a random environment (no external influences)
2 possible outcomes = probability factor of 50%
3 possible outcomes = probability factor of 33.333%
6 possible outcomes = probability factor of 16.666%

IMO this is a universal potential quality.

At first sight this is a mistake because the randomness (that we are considering) only comes from lack of knowledge. Really “the dials” are fine tuned to produce whatever number they do.

That’s the problem. I quiz you to see if you can overcome it somehow?

Stephen

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Posted: 01 January 2012 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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By the mathematical law of averages. Given enough tries the statistics will even out to show a result of 1 in 6 (or very close). As I mentioned before this method is used by casinos. The statistical probability factor is weighted ever so slightly in the house’s favor. Thus while they may lose in the short term, in the long term they always win.

Roulette consists of a wheel with 18 red and 18 black slots. A ball is dropped on the spinning wheel, and players bet on what color the ball will stop. There’s an equal chance of the ball stopping on red or black, so you might be fooled into thinking that you have an even chance of winning the game. Take a closer look at the wheel, though, and you will find a slot marked with a zero. This is how the house earns its money. That one extra slot gives them a 2.7% house edge

Thus the house acts from knowledge of statistical probabilities (law of averages).

[ Edited: 01 January 2012 05:40 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 01 January 2012 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Write4U - 01 January 2012 05:35 AM

By the mathematical law of averages. Given enough tries the statistics will even out to show a result of 1 in 6 (or very close).

Right, and the 64 million dollar question is why?

As I mentioned before this method is used by casinos. The statistical probability factor is weighted ever so slightly in the house’s favor. Thus while they may lose in the short term, in the long term they always win.

Yes, probability is our guide to life. It works for some reason. What that reason is, is the question.

On an individual throw the die doesn’t seem to have the potential to land on any other number than it does. Or even if it does that doesn’t seem to be the potential we are interested in, as it’s the 1 in 6 probability/potential which concerns us.

Thus the house acts from knowledge of statistical probabilities (law of averages).

Yes of course. Why does it work and what does it have to do with the reason the universe exists, and is as it is, are the questions.

Stephen

[ Edited: 01 January 2012 08:31 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 01 January 2012 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Stephen,
The question is what is it about the universe that makes it the case that it will behave like this? Really “the dials” are fine tuned to produce whatever number they do.

IC the question now but I believe that the dials are not so fine tuned as you posit. They are only fine tuned by the potentials present for individual throws., i.e force, trajectory, bounce, rotation. Thus determinism will produce a certain number dialed up by those converging potentials, true. But in a truly random environment these potentials shift with each throw, dialing up a number which corresponds to all the factors involved for that particular throw.

This is why for each throw the probability can only be 1 in 6 as we cannot predict (not allowed to measure) any of the potentials (forces) at work before or during the throw. Until all the potentials are realized the possible result is still in a state of vagueness. 6 ghostlike probabilities which do not materialize to the observer until the die comes at rest.
It is a perfect example of potential as “that which may become reality”. Six potential outcomes, from which one is choosen by the mathematical forces at that specific instant.

In a mathematical equation: we have 6 numbers (1,2,3,4,5,6) and we are given 4 mathematical functions (+, -, x, : ). we are asked to construct mathematical equations by randomly apply the operators between the numbers. The possble results are many, ranging from a host of negative numbers to a host of positive numbers. While we can calculate each answer with precision when applying (forcing) all possible combinations, these remain only potential outcomes in reality. In a random environment we cannot know when a particular set of operators will be in effect. Again vagueness, until the operation has completed.
Am I getting closer?

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Posted: 01 January 2012 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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StephenLawrence - 01 January 2012 03:21 AM
kkwan - 30 December 2011 05:30 AM
TimB - 29 December 2011 01:04 PM

Iwould think that the real probabliltes are a combination of the obvious factors and all of the other factors that we are not aware of, including the built in wild card that anything can happen.

Quite so. However, the real probabilities could either be uncomputable and/or unknowable.

No. The real probability is the one that we can say would converge if we did this enough times, that’s what we are interested in and that is 1 in 6 as long as the die is not loaded.

The question is what is it about the universe that makes it the case that it will behave like this?

Stephen

Given that for all practical purposes our universe is deterministic (ignoring for now that quantum foam particles pop into then out of existence - what’s that all about), I would elaborate on the following idea:  Each time a die is rolled the outcome is caused by all of the factors impinging upon the outcome for that roll - angle, speed, spin, air pressure, the surface at the exact point of impact, subtle changes in gravitational influences, etc., etc., etc. Due to that very complex combination of causal factors (if we could compute them all), the probability of the outcome on any given roll would be essentially 1 of 1, not 1 of 6. What makes the probability close to exactly 1:6 each time in real life, is that the causal varialbles change in complex ways that we cannot compute.  Those causal factors, apparently, over time, average out to be impinging upon the outcome of the die roll in a consistent way.  It’s just that on any given roll, some of the factors, have a greater causal effect than others. So if we do know that the outcome will be 1 of 6 immutable otcomes, saying we know the probability of a certain number coming up is 1 out 6 times, is saying that we don’t know, for each roll which complex combination of those factors will actually cause a particular number to come up. But we do know that those complex combination of factors average out over time to cause any particular nunber to come up 1 out of 6 times.

[ Edited: 01 January 2012 04:09 PM by Occam. ]
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Posted: 01 January 2012 04:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Edited above post to change color from blue to green since blue is reserved for specific moderator comments.  (see the rules.)

Occam

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Posted: 01 January 2012 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Stephen,
On an individual throw the die doesn’t seem to have the potential to land on any other number than it does

We can reverse that to say on an individual throw the die does have the potential to land on any number from 1 - 6. The actual instantiation of a specific number may be due to the wingflap of a butterfly. Potentials evened out so that the die teeters on its edge and along comes a butterfly…. cheese

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Posted: 01 January 2012 09:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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TimB - 30 December 2011 09:57 AM

Well, there you go.  Maybe I got something right.  What are the odds? smile

The odds are uncomputable because we are not in a casino.  LOL

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Posted: 01 January 2012 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Occam. - 01 January 2012 04:11 PM

Edited above post to change color from blue to green since blue is reserved for specific moderator comments.  (see the rules.)

Occam

Thank you.  I missed that rule.

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