I understand why BK is upset with Rovelli

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Brian Wachter
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Re: I understand why BK is upset with Rovelli

Post by Brian Wachter »

DandelionSoul wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 2:12 am
Brian Wachter wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 1:44 am Interesting critique. Like a Dennett "assume a can opener?" More clever?
I'm not sure what you mean, but I got the phrase from the joke that takes a jab at economists:

A physicist, chemist, and economist are stranded on an island with only canned food available and no can opener. The physicist and chemist set to work trying to devise ways to open the can, and the economist says, "Assume we have a can opener..."
I extrapolated can opener to mean an assumed device that bails one out of an empty ontology.
As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood's dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges...


—Rainer Maria Rilke
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DandelionSoul
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Re: I understand why BK is upset with Rovelli

Post by DandelionSoul »

Brian Wachter wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 4:15 am I extrapolated can opener to mean an assumed device that bails one out of an empty ontology.
Right, exactly. And what irritates me is not really that he's imported an experiential dimension into his materialism. What irritates me is that, standing on his experiential materialism (if only there were a word for that!), he dismisses the Hard Problem, as though that isn't the very insight the Hard Problem was meant to push us toward. Like, "Oh we don't need panpsychism etc. if we assume matter is experiential in nature!" It's like a Timon and Pumbaa bit, where Pumbaa will say something and Timon will go, "No, that's dumb. Hey, I have an idea!" and then say the same thing Pumbaa just said.
Ben Iscatus
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Re: I understand why BK is upset with Rovelli

Post by Ben Iscatus »

DandelionSoul, I think you're dead right.
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Martin_
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Re: I understand why BK is upset with Rovelli

Post by Martin_ »

j.joerg@posteo.de wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:33 am I could well imagine that talking of subject and object, of mind and matter, only makes sense in a relational framework and that a non-relational ontological primary (neither subject nor object and jet both at the same time) cannot be described, understood and made sense of in linguistic terms.

An incomprehensible ontological base that cannot even be thought of, would not be satisfactory to the intellect and would naturaly upset the mind. But I would suggest sitting with this fundamental discomfort and let it sink in deeply. Otherwise one might fall prey to corner oneself in a place that would remind me of the place where materialist corner themselves today. Especially when ones intellectual and social identity is intertwined with the philosophical path of finding truth or even with a certain position towards truth like materialism or idealism.

I could imagine, that Rovelli´s stance would ultimately end up for example in some sort of whiteheadian, non-substance process ontology where the ontological primary cannot be made sense of in terms of logic, thinking and language. One might only be able to state, “it is” and not even that. Isness. One could only be it but not say anything about it. No-thing would quite be a suitable description of that.
An ontology however that would spin off from a self-referential strange-looping Being as the ontological primary would be even more parsimonious than a Mind at Large that requires being and awareness in its base. And if an ontology that considers the whole of existence as a non-substantial dissociative process of the ontological base could take all of physics, chemistry and biology as the science of that dissociative process, it might even be explanatory more powerful. Exsistence (and thinking) would actually be an infinite regress in action...
well said.
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AshvinP
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Re: I understand why BK is upset with Rovelli

Post by AshvinP »

j.joerg@posteo.de wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:33 am I could well imagine that talking of subject and object, of mind and matter, only makes sense in a relational framework and that a non-relational ontological primary (neither subject nor object and jet both at the same time) cannot be described, understood and made sense of in linguistic terms.
Sure they can - we just make distinctions rather than divisions. I can distinguish my "foot" from my "head" even though I consider them both essentially one in my "body". Our thinking and language is definitely up to the task of "making sense" of relational ontology.
j.joerg wrote:An incomprehensible ontological base that cannot even be thought of, would not be satisfactory to the intellect and would naturaly upset the mind. But I would suggest sitting with this fundamental discomfort and let it sink in deeply. Otherwise one might fall prey to corner oneself in a place that would remind me of the place where materialist corner themselves today. Especially when ones intellectual and social identity is intertwined with the philosophical path of finding truth or even with a certain position towards truth like materialism or idealism.

I could imagine, that Rovelli´s stance would ultimately end up for example in some sort of whiteheadian, non-substance process ontology where the ontological primary cannot be made sense of in terms of logic, thinking and language. One might only be able to state, “it is” and not even that. Isness. One could only be it but not say anything about it. No-thing would quite be a suitable description of that.
An ontology however that would spin off from a self-referential strange-looping Being as the ontological primary would be even more parsimonious than a Mind at Large that requires being and awareness in its base. And if an ontology that considers the whole of existence as a non-substantial dissociative process of the ontological base could take all of physics, chemistry and biology as the science of that dissociative process, it might even be explanatory more powerful. Exsistence (and thinking) would actually be an infinite regress in action...

I have noticed this a lot - 20th century philosophers are randomly referenced as support for "mystical" positions they did not hold. Especially with Heidegger and Whitehead. Yet the Stanford philosophy encyclopedia says:


https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/#Meta
In his later metaphysics, Whitehead revolted against the bifurcation of the world into the objective world of facts (as studied by science, even a completed science, and one not limited to physics, but stretching from physics to biology to psychology) and the subjective world of values (aesthetic, ethic, and religious), and he promoted the harmonization of the abstractions of science with those of art, morals, and religion, as well as the inclusion of more concrete intuitions offered by our experience—stretching from our mathematical and physical intuitions to our poetic and mystic intuitions. Closely linked to this completion of the metaphysical scheme of thought (cf. Part I of Process and Reality), Whitehead refined his earlier ontology, and generalized his earlier theory of perception into a theory of feelings. Whitehead’s ultimate ontology—the ontology of ‘the philosophy of organism’ or ‘process philosophy’—is one of internally related organism-like elementary processes (called ‘actual occasions’ or ‘actual entities’) in terms of which he could understand both lifeless nature and nature alive, both matter and mind, both science and religion—“Philosophy”, Whitehead even writes, “attains its chief importance by fusing the two, namely, religion and science, into one rational scheme of thought”
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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Re: I understand why BK is upset with Rovelli

Post by coexistence »

Hello all,
I find what Rivolli says in "Helgoland " perfectly logical and clear and so is the M@L theory of Bernado.
I can see the existential reality and how both are explaining parts of the same.
I,the observer is clearly something that exists as an ontological life atom/soul with special characteristics which can be understood and seen with my knowledge eyes.
How do I understand a relationship of a sibling or with parents? How do I feel good?
I coexist with this physical body made up of infinite atoms and use it to understand and experience the physical world around me.
All that happens is the result of a set of rules that I can understand.
And both me and my physical body are immersed, contained in, soaked in, a field of infinite static energy.
It is uniform, never depleting and just is. I can understand its existence and feel no need to ask irrelevant questions about it.
It coexists with everything as well as in space where nothing else is there.
I would love to get on a call with anyone interested to discuss the same and learn and share the knowledge to get to the existential reality that exists irrespective of whether we or the whole humanity understands the same or not :)
Best regards,
Anand Damani. ( A resolved Human being )
SanteriSatama
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Re: I understand why BK is upset with Rovelli

Post by SanteriSatama »

DandelionSoul wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 4:33 am
Brian Wachter wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 4:15 am I extrapolated can opener to mean an assumed device that bails one out of an empty ontology.
Right, exactly. And what irritates me is not really that he's imported an experiential dimension into his materialism. What irritates me is that, standing on his experiential materialism (if only there were a word for that!), he dismisses the Hard Problem, as though that isn't the very insight the Hard Problem was meant to push us toward. Like, "Oh we don't need panpsychism etc. if we assume matter is experiential in nature!" It's like a Timon and Pumbaa bit, where Pumbaa will say something and Timon will go, "No, that's dumb. Hey, I have an idea!" and then say the same thing Pumbaa just said.
So, Rovelli's philosophy is equivalent with process philosophical animism, he transforms objects into subjects, but instead of calling spade a spade, still plays tricks with language? Why would he do that...?

"Hi, science community. I'm Rovelli, and I just found out that the savage animists were right all the time..."
Jim Cross
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Re: I understand why BK is upset with Rovelli

Post by Jim Cross »

Brian Wachter wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 6:40 pm In "Helgoland," Carlo Rovelli steers his magnificent Relational Quantum Mechanics straight into the void. He follows the threads of "interactions," his former ontological primitive, into the null space created in materialism when the material is removed and all that is left are reflections of objects that no longer exist.

The funny thing is this is extremely parsimonious--Occam's Razor is used to cut off the very hand of philosophy itself: "There is no ultimate or mysterious essence to understand--that is the true essence of our being."

So mind at large explicitly doesn't exist for Rovelli.

I would be mad too, if M@L were my ontological primitive.
Brian,

My reading of Helgoland is that Rovelli rejects the idea that there is an ontological primitive. In his view, existence consists solely of relationships and there is no absolute substance underlying them. Matter and mind, both, are relative, neither absolute.

He has a chapter on Nagarjuna that goes through the doctrine of emptiness.

Of course, BK starts his whole approach with the assumption of an ontological primitive. Rejecting that assumption undercuts the entire framework.
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AshvinP
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Re: I understand why BK is upset with Rovelli

Post by AshvinP »

Jim Cross wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 11:59 am
Brian Wachter wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 6:40 pm In "Helgoland," Carlo Rovelli steers his magnificent Relational Quantum Mechanics straight into the void. He follows the threads of "interactions," his former ontological primitive, into the null space created in materialism when the material is removed and all that is left are reflections of objects that no longer exist.

The funny thing is this is extremely parsimonious--Occam's Razor is used to cut off the very hand of philosophy itself: "There is no ultimate or mysterious essence to understand--that is the true essence of our being."

So mind at large explicitly doesn't exist for Rovelli.

I would be mad too, if M@L were my ontological primitive.
Brian,

My reading of Helgoland is that Rovelli rejects the idea that there is an ontological primitive. In his view, existence consists solely of relationships and there is no absolute substance underlying them. Matter and mind, both, are relative, neither absolute.

He has a chapter on Nagarjuna that goes through the doctrine of emptiness.

Of course, BK starts his whole approach with the assumption of an ontological primitive. Rejecting that assumption undercuts the entire framework.

I posted a response in the general discussions section.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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