Re: Thoughts and Perceptions

Date: Mon Apr 22 2002 - 18:39:25 BST

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    Subject: Re: Thoughts and Perceptions
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    In a message dated 4/18/2002 8:48:58 PM Central Daylight Time,
    Wade T.Smith <> writes:

    > On Thursday, April 18, 2002, at 08:24 , Bill Spight wrote:
    > > Or do you think that
    > > there are true memes? If so, what?
    > Well, perhaps, but, who cares? As a standee upon the memes are behavior
    > side of the fence, all memes are true inherently by virtue of having
    > been performed....
    > And if one is on the memes as artifact side, artifacts which have strong
    > representational truth are true, truth being a correspondence sort in
    > this instance, although, as with behavior, its very existence is a truth.
    > If one, however, is dedicated to memes as brain/mind items, then, who
    > cares? Since when does a brain/mind need truth to work?
    > If one thinks that memes are beliefs, then, one has to decide whether
    > any belief can be true. (Personally, I view all beliefs as false, but,
    > that's me.)

    Hi Wade.

    Setting aside the question of whether "memes are beliefs," one
    still faces the question of whether beliefs can be analyzed as
    replicators. I happen to view it as quite useful to analyze beliefs
    as replicators. However, I do not think that pure replicator
    analysis can be used as a substitute for all the other branches
    of knowledge that one uses to decide whether a belief (or for
    that matter, a proposition) is true. The truth value of a belief or
    a proposition is exists only with respect to the system of
    abstractions and postulates. For example, the Pythagorean
    theorem is may be considered "true" within the system of
    postulates and basic abstractions of Euclidean geometry.
    Many people can be regarded as holding "the same belief"
    about the relationship of the length of a right triangle's
    hypotenuse to the length of its other sides. Yet this sort of
    analysis is only done with respect to some system of abstractions
    that allows for consideration of "people" who have such things as
    "beliefs," "concepts," "ideas," "memory items," "ongoing internal
    brain behaviors," etc.

    Judging from your previous comments, you seem to be
    comfortable with the notion that "particles" can have "wave
    functions." Perhaps you are also aware of the complex numbers
    used in such functions. Maybe you are even comfortable with
    theories that refer to n-dimensional membranes. Given such wide
    reference to theoretical constructs of things that are not directly
    observable (if, indeed, anything is directly observable, but that is
    a major area of philosophy in its own right), invoking concepts of
    "belief," "memory item," etc. in analysis of social phenomena
    strikes me as fairly unremarkable in the world of scientific postulates.

    I try to imagine what physics would be like if people tried to stamp
    out reference to abstract attributes of particles, etc., and collapse
    everything into a discussion of, say, the behaviors and artifacts
    of particles. Perhaps there would be a school of physicists insisting
    that "the wave function is the behavior," and the like. A confusing
    and unproductive mess, in my opinion.

    --Aaron Lynch

    > In other words, I don't think truth is a necessary quality for a meme to
    > have, in any of its infestations.
    > Truth may indeed be material in some aspects of some informational
    > propagation- in science, in particular, since falsehoods are only
    > historical curiosities in science- but, in other realms, falsehood is a
    > necessary and sufficient condition for continuance, as in any theistic
    > religion.
    > Now, being strict, there is no such thing as a false fact, and thus no
    > need for true facts.
    > - Wade

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