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The Fine-Tuned Universe and the Multiverse ?
Posted: 14 April 2010 11:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 376 ]
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I think you’ve seen the problem GdB.

If we take your view on possibilities, the one I too intuitively take, then for causes to be “real”, counterfactuals need to be just our way of establishing what the causes are, not intrinsically part of what it means to say something is caused.

Stephen

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Posted: 17 April 2010 06:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 377 ]
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StephenLawrence - 14 April 2010 11:55 PM

I think you’ve seen the problem GdB.

If we take your view on possibilities, the one I too intuitively take, then for causes to be “real”, counterfactuals need to be just our way of establishing what the causes are, not intrinsically part of what it means to say something is caused.

I do not see a problem. We must distinguish between reality and our methods to find, express, and proof our expressions of them.

GdB

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Posted: 17 April 2010 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 378 ]
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GdB - 17 April 2010 06:17 AM
StephenLawrence - 14 April 2010 11:55 PM

I think you’ve seen the problem GdB.

If we take your view on possibilities, the one I too intuitively take, then for causes to be “real”, counterfactuals need to be just our way of establishing what the causes are, not intrinsically part of what it means to say something is caused.

I do not see a problem. We must distinguish between reality and our methods to find, express, and proof our expressions of them.

GdB

But you can’t seperate causation from counterfactuals or from dependent origination.

So either all of these things are reality or none of them.

Stephen

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Posted: 18 April 2010 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 379 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 April 2010 02:31 PM

But you can’t seperate causation from counterfactuals or from dependent origination.

Why can’t I separate causation from methods I use to express and do research in them?

GdB

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Posted: 09 May 2010 01:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 380 ]
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GdB - 18 April 2010 08:46 AM
StephenLawrence - 17 April 2010 02:31 PM

But you can’t seperate causation from counterfactuals or from dependent origination.

Why can’t I separate causation from methods I use to express and do research in them?

GdB

You can GdB if counterfactual conditionals are only methods to express and research them.

So I’d need to see evidence for that to believe you.

Trouble is it seems they are more than that. They are part of what it means to say something was the cause.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-counterfactual/

“The basic idea of counterfactual theories of causation is that the meaning of causal claims can be explained in terms of counterfactual conditionals of the form “If A had not occurred, C would not have occurred”.

This looks like more than a means of expressing, it looks like an objective mind independent truth.

It requires there to be the possibility of A not happening contrary to fact, regardless of whether there are observers or not. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that there were no causes before there were observers otherwise.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2010 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 381 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2010 01:43 AM

They are part of what it means to say something was the cause.

“The basic idea of counterfactual theories of causation is that the meaning of causal claims can be explained in terms of counterfactual conditionals of the form “If A had not occurred, C would not have occurred”.

Bold by me.

GdB

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Posted: 09 May 2010 07:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 382 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2010 04:58 AM
StephenLawrence - 09 May 2010 01:43 AM

They are part of what it means to say something was the cause.

“The basic idea of counterfactual theories of causation is that the meaning of causal claims can be explained in terms of counterfactual conditionals of the form “If A had not occurred, C would not have occurred”.

Bold by me.

GdB

I’m quite sure you are trying to have it both ways GdB.

If all we are talking about is what we say, then when there is no us saying anything there are no causes.

If causes are part of the world independent of us, then it has to be true that if A had not happened…...................... etc is part of the world independent of us too.

I’m probably not a good enough philosopher to nail this point home as effectively as I’d like.


Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2010 11:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 383 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2010 07:46 AM

If causes are part of the world independent of us, then it has to be true that if A had not happened…...................... etc is part of the world independent of us too.

Truth is an attribute of propositions, not from what happens ‘out there’. The truth of propositions of course depends on what is happening ‘out there’, but it is not ‘out there’.

So when A and B are causally related, the sentence ‘if A would not happen, then B would not happen’ is true.  (forgetting details that A must be a necessary cause…). But that does not say that ‘not-A’ exists out there.

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Posted: 14 May 2010 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 384 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2010 11:15 PM

The truth of propositions of course depends on what is happening ‘out there’, but it is not ‘out there’.

Ok

So when A and B are causally related, the sentence ‘if A would not happen, then B would not happen’ is true.  (forgetting details that A must be a necessary cause…). But that does not say that ‘not-A’ exists out there.

No, because the truth of this proposition does not depend upon what is happening out there.

Stephen

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Posted: 15 May 2010 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 385 ]
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StephenLawrence - 14 May 2010 01:54 PM

So when A and B are causally related, the sentence ‘if A would not happen, then B would not happen’ is true.  (forgetting details that A must be a necessary cause…). But that does not say that ‘not-A’ exists out there.

No, because the truth of this proposition does not depend upon what is happening out there.

Correct (except the ‘No’), that is why the word ‘would’ is in the sentence. It means, when it is in the experimental realm, you can test it, and, outside the experimental realm, every time you find A, you will find B, and when there is no A, there is no B. A and B cannot be particularia, (not ‘Stephen Lawrence’, or ‘Earth’) but generic terms, (like ‘human’ or ‘planet’). So to be a little bit more exact with my original proposition that the earth could have had no moon, this can be why I see the earth as a representative of the ‘species planet’. As ‘being a planet’ it could have had no moon, as being this specific earth with its exact history, it turns out it has a moon.

Now try the same with the universe. The universe is species of… what? We only know this one!

GdB

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Posted: 16 May 2010 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 386 ]
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Gdb,

GdB - 15 May 2010 05:06 AM

Correct (except the ‘No’), that is why the word ‘would’ is in the sentence. It means, when it is in the experimental realm, you can test it, and, outside the experimental realm, every time you find A, you will find B, and when there is no A, there is no B. A and B cannot be particularia, ................

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-counterfactual/


“The first explicit definition of causation in terms of counterfactuals was, surprisingly enough, given by Hume, when he wrote: “We may define a cause to be an object followed by another, and where all the objects, similar to the first, are followed by objects similar to the second. Or, in other words, where, if the first object had not been, the second never had existed.” (1748, Section VII). It is difficult to understand how Hume could have confused the first, regularity definition with the second, very different counterfactual definition.”

I think you have the same confusion, I think you’re saying that the counterfactual statements amount to the regularist statements.

........

(not ‘Stephen Lawrence’, or ‘Earth’) but generic terms, (like ‘human’ or ‘planet’). So to be a little bit more exact with my original proposition that the earth could have had no moon, this can be why I see the earth as a representative of the ‘species planet’. As ‘being a planet’ it could have had no moon, as being this specific earth with its exact history, it turns out it has a moon.

I’m interested because I don’t see how this works. Fine the moon is part of a group but this tells us nothing about why all the members of the group have the same possibilities.

There is an assumption that because that planet has no moon this planet could have no moon. It doesn’t obviously follow and I’ve been asking for how you get from A to B. This is what I got the jello and potato head comments for, but it’s a perfectly reasonable question.

Now try the same with the universe. The universe is species of… what? We only know this one!

Until I know how it works within “a species” I won’t be able to answer completely but I would say that if all planets had moons it would be no less or more true that planets could have no moons, so possibilities aren’t dependent on finding examples.

[ Edited: 16 May 2010 03:04 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 16 May 2010 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 387 ]
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I take both statements:

“Every time you detect A, you will detect B”
“When B is not the case, A is not the case”

as recipes for how to check the empirical content of the statement:

“Only A causes B”.

But both are conditional statements. If I will find B or not, is dependent on the condition that A occurs. Now causality can only be recognised, if I have repeating instances of A, not A, B and not B, i.e. I have many instantiations of the ‘species’ A and B. It is an abstraction. There is no causal relationship between ‘being a planet’ and ‘having a moon’. So the earth, seen as a planet, does not have a moon necessarily. It is only by very special initial conditions, that do not belong to ‘being a planet’, that the earth has a moon. Only when you define Earth as a planet with the exact history as the earth, it necessarily has the moon (not a moon!). But then we are amidst of how to identify objects in reality, and we are at the topic of ‘Naming and necessity’ of Saul Kripke, which you refuse to read. And I do not want to spend so much time to explaining this. Sorry.

GdB

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Posted: 06 June 2010 04:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 388 ]
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GdB - 16 May 2010 07:52 AM

It is only by very special initial conditions, that do not belong to ‘being a planet’, that the earth has a moon.

This assumes the initial conditions could have been different.

But you say with perfect knowledge they couldn’t have been. I can’t see the sense in your stance. We know enough about the initial conditions to know they produced earth with a moon. We might as well have perfect knowledge of the initial conditions for all the difference it makes.

Only when you define Earth as a planet with the exact history as the earth, it necessarily has the moon (not a moon!). But then we are amidst of how to identify objects in reality, and we are at the topic of ‘Naming and necessity’ of Saul Kripke, which you refuse to read. And I do not want to spend so much time to explaining this. Sorry.

How would you identify “an object in reality” if you had perfect knowledge? There would be no other possibilities in your view and so it would be simply what it was, is and will be.

Stephen

[ Edited: 06 June 2010 04:47 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 06 June 2010 04:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 389 ]
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GdB - 16 May 2010 07:52 AM

I take both statements:

So the earth, seen as a planet, does not have a moon necessarily. It is only by very special initial conditions, that do not belong to ‘being a planet’, that the earth has a moon. Only when you define Earth as a planet with the exact history as the earth, it necessarily has the moon (not a moon!).

So it follows that only if we define cosmological constants as precisely as they are that they necessarily are as they are.

But you say we don’t even know if they could be different. Well if it’s simply a matter of how we define them then we do know that they could.

But then we are amidst of how to identify objects in reality, and we are at the topic of ‘Naming and necessity’ of Saul Kripke, which you refuse to read. And I do not want to spend so much time to explaining this. Sorry.

GdB

You haven’t begun to explain yet.

Stephen

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Posted: 06 June 2010 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 390 ]
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Stephen,

I will never be able to you explain that 1 = 1. You would react that one apple is different from one pear. You do not understand abstraction, and with that, you do not have an idea about concepts, words, proper names, references and modal logic.

All the best to you,

GdB

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