Re: Determinism

Date: Fri Apr 13 2001 - 23:18:19 BST

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    Subject: Re: Determinism
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    References: <3AD5F6E0.16979.29DF38@localhost>; from on Thu, Apr 12, 2001 at 06:41:36PM -0500
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    On 13 Apr 2001, at 20:30, Robin Faichney wrote:

    > On Thu, Apr 12, 2001 at 06:41:36PM -0500, wrote:
    > > On 12 Apr 2001, at 19:34, Robin Faichney wrote: > > > If higher
    > level entities are lower level ones, aggregated, then there > > can be
    > no causal flow top-down *or* bottom-up. Causation has an > >
    > ineliminable element of time, and in this model, time is horizontal >
    > > while hierarchy is vertical, restricting causation to the horizontal
    > > > dimension. This is very simple, and, I think, absolutely > >
    > unanswerable. > > > Actually, umm, err, no. A cause does not become
    > a cause > until it causes an effect, and an effect is only an effect
    > once it is > caused. These terms are correlatively defining, and
    > their referents > are correlatively grounding. A cause becomes a
    > cause at the > same precise moment that an effect is effected; it is a
    > > simultaneous event with respect to the two entities involved.
    > Sure, the cause only actually acts as such at the same time as the
    > effect is "actively" being an effect. No prob.
    > > The
    > > causal entity may exist prior to becoming a cause, with the
    > > potential of becoming a cause, and the effected entity may perdure
    > > after it is caused, with the history of once having been caused, but
    > > the happening - causation - necessarily involves the spatiotemporal
    > > contiguity of the two.
    > Absolutely.
    > > Causational happenings do not require the
    > > passage of time or changes in space, for causation is
    > > instantaneous;
    > No, there is no reason to believe that. Perhaps you're thinking of
    > the classic (and classically misleading) billiard ball illustration,
    > where the period of contact is, in human terms, extremely brief, but
    > even there it's far from infinitesimal, and I'd guess that it's quite
    > easily measured, using modern techniques.
    You might be confusing a string of causations in the same
    direction for a single one. Every tiny slide of a textonic plate
    generates its own pressure; together they are enough to cause an
    earthquake, but each, while related to the others in a
    concatenatory chain, is its own entity. One may logically
    subdivide pressing of billiard balls, deformation, rebound and
    springing into a series of related but distinct cause-effect relations.
    But perceptually, we perceive a flow to these things, not a series of
    snapshots. This has persuaded us to include pre- and post-causal
    relations into an illegitimately expanded causality.
    > > spatiotemporality is occupied solely by the previous
    > > and subsequent history of the entities concerned.
    > Seems to me, even if the duration of causation were always absolutely
    > instantaneous (though I'm convinced it's not -- is anything?), that
    > the concept of causation requires the causal entity to precede that
    > instant, and the caused one to survive it. I'd say it's part of the
    > definition of causation, as that word is normally used, that cause
    > precedes effect. Now, I can't deny that there might be some
    > specialised usage, of which I'm not aware, in which that's not the
    > case. But I'd seriously question the utility of any such usage.
    In fact, all the relevant interacting entities usually both pre-date and
    post-date such a moment existentially, and what occurs between
    them is mutual alteration, where one cannot be labeled the cause
    and the other the effect. let us look at P-E pairs, however. When
    they come together, what entity survives their mutual annihilation?
    > And you're still a long, long way from establishing vertical
    > causation.
    I'm actually establishing that simultaeous cause-effect relations are
    the only kind we have, so if we don't have simultaneous causation,
    we are in a world of shit, because sequential causation is an
    illusion. Also, what's the problem you have with top-down
    causation that you don't seem to have with bottom-up causation?
    They are BOTH vertical, and the fact that one's decisions affect
    which parts of the brain are accessed to effectuate them does not
    even transgress an entire level; the dynamically recursive reflection,
    born of the material substrate and reflecting back upon it, is not a
    completely different level that is absolutely nonrelated to the ground
    from which it emerged, although they are not seamlessly blended
    into an amorphic unsignifying nonselfconsciousness, either. They
    are neti, neti (not one, not two).
    > --
    > Robin Faichney
    > Get your Meta-Information from
    > (CAUTION: contains philosophy, may cause heads to spin)
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