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Multi-universes (the transcendent is still unknown)

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  • decker150
    Tommy has mentioned David Deutsch, from Oxford who has written about multi-universes. Although his work is not about faith , his ideas reasonate with me. Do
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 16, 2005
      Tommy has mentioned David Deutsch, from Oxford who has written about
      multi-universes. Although his work is not about 'faith', his ideas
      reasonate with me. Do we know what these other universes 'mean'?,
      Why are they there? What are their roles?

      It may be that the realms of 'existence' will turn out to be much
      deeper and more profound than Sartre could have ever had any idea
      of, that these multiverses will reveal power-interlocking
      significance to our one world, that Being and Beings may exist in a
      transcendent plane, beyond the realm of humans as we know them. A
      Christ figure ascending into the heavens seems a little less
      fictitous if it turns out that parts of a human is already morphed
      into other dimensions, parts of our life may be already hid in those
      dimensions. This will not lessen the phenomenological preoccupation
      with our concrete world, but other theories, from another science
      allude to realms profoundly outside our reach and reasonates in me
      with the Christian idea of 'hidden dimensions'. How broad are these
      dimensions, how deep, and how profound? Perhaps our David Deutsch
      will one day prove out, these parallel universes that he believes
      in, even though his is still not believed by everyone.

      Will it lead to a new understanding of the significance of life,
      will the order of the multi-universes reveal 'the eternal' or 'the
      temporal', new concepts in time, greater order, greater symetries,
      implication of greater intelligence, the less-likelihood of
      randomness and an accidental universe? Will thought-itself be less
      restricted to the private-for-itself, or find links to these other
      dimensions? Can we rule out 'heavenly places'; that there are
      other 'places' other than those in this one 'real world'. Faith for
      me is concerned with hidden dimensions, and we do not know how
      interactive the one universe is with the many other, and for that
      matter, what is in those many other places that David Deutsch claims
      is-there; Dasein is vaste.

      Joe
    • Tommy Beavitt
      Hi, ... My interest in multiple universes (or the multiverse as it is sometimes called) stemmed from a realisation of the role of communication in any
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 19, 2005
        Hi,

        On 17 Jan 2005, at 02:14, decker150 wrote:

        > Tommy has mentioned David Deutsch, from Oxford who has written about
        > multi-universes. Although his work is not about 'faith', his ideas
        > reasonate with me. Do we know what these other universes 'mean'?,
        > Why are they there? What are their roles?

        My interest in multiple universes (or "the multiverse" as it is
        sometimes called) stemmed from a realisation of the role of
        communication in any determination of "this world".

        The phenomenological approach (so beautifully enunciated by Jerry
        Philips recently on this list: "in order to say "I know the chair is
        over there," the subject must already have intuited the essential
        meaning of "I," the act of the knowing, the predication of "is-ness,"
        and the concept of "thereness") means that it is necessary to look
        within in order to evaluate that which is without, ie. the world.

        But Sartre's ontology, while emphasising self-knowledge or
        understanding - since at least 500BC the peculiar preoccupation of
        philosophers - does not formally acknowledge the role of communication
        in any determination of "this world".

        Clearly, in order for any phenomenon to be understood - an expression
        of its understanding formulated - it must be capable of being
        communicated. Otherwise we lack the necessary distinction between a
        phenomenon and an imagining, a delusion or a "miracle".

        (Of course imaginings, delusions and miracles are phenomena too, but
        not without explicit reference to the psychological makeup of the
        imagining, deluded or miracle-experiencing subject.)

        Phenomena which exist in this world, therefore, are of interest to all
        of us. They are examples of our thrown-ness, the situation which it is
        our project to make some kind of sense of.

        David Deutsch's popular science title "Fabric of Reality" is strongly
        recommended to all philosophers because it sketches some of the
        implications - both for science and for philosophy - of the
        "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics. Deutsch synthesises
        many-worlds, virtual reality, information and evolution theories to
        provide a challenging basis for a new way of looking at "reality". In
        particular, it is his insistence that our first question when we
        interrogate quantum phenomena should be "in which universe?", which
        strikes the newcomer to this field.

        The basis for his observation that reality must span multiple universes
        is the quantum phenomenon of superposition. This can be observed (ref.
        earlier discussions about phenomenology) by witnessing the interference
        effects on the path of a single quantum particle (eg. a photon) in the
        absence of other "tangible" particles, (eg. other "real" photons). By
        employing statistical methods, it can be inferred that the number of
        "shadow" particles (ie. photon-like particles from other universes)
        which are capable of interfering with a single photon in this universe
        exceeds a trillion. This implies the existence of trillions of
        universes parallel to this one, whose phenomena can only be witnessed
        via "interference effects".

        Strikingly, the collapse of a superposition only occurs, or can be said
        to occur, when witnessed. This is the point at which Schrödinger's
        famous cat is discovered to be either alive or dead.

        One way of thinking about this, especially, according to Deutsch, when
        many-worlds theory is synthesised with information and virtual reality
        theories, is to consider this world (the world containing phenomena
        that we experience) as being "actual" while all the other worlds
        (capable only of being inferred from interference phenomena) are merely
        "possible" worlds.

        What is the difference between possible and actual? Is it that the
        actual world is that which I have witnessed with my own eyes or
        otherwise "directly" sensed?

        But then what if one person perceives one phenomenon, manifested at a
        particular point in space/time, and another person perceives another
        distinct phenomenon at the same juncture? Are we to deduce from this
        that (a) one or other person is wrong or deluded, (b) he or she is
        lying, or (c) we are talking about two different phenomena?

        If many-worlds is true and we are to talk about this world (rather than
        any possible world) then I believe we can only fix which world that is
        by first using language to establish a shared understanding of
        phenomena that more than one person has experienced. Hence the rather
        basic need to communicate with each other.

        In order to know the world it is necessary to know oneself; in order to
        know oneself it is necessary to know the other.

        Tommy
      • decker150
        Tommy wrote: My interest in multiple universes (or the multiverse as it is sometimes called) stemmed from a realisation of the role of ... communication in
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 19, 2005
          Tommy wrote: My interest in multiple universes (or "the multiverse" as
          it is sometimes called) stemmed from a realisation of the role of
          > communication in any determination of "this world".
          >
          > The phenomenological approach (so beautifully enunciated by Jerry
          > Philips recently on this list: "in order to say "I know the chair is
          > over there," the subject must already have intuited the essential
          > meaning of "I," the act of the knowing, the predication of "is-ness,"
          > and the concept of "thereness") means that it is necessary to look
          > within in order to evaluate that which is without, ie. the world.
          >
          > But Sartre's ontology, while emphasising self-knowledge or
          > understanding - since at least 500BC the peculiar preoccupation of
          > philosophers - does not formally acknowledge the role of
          communication in any determination of "this world".

          Joe: Good points. With 'this world', 'our world', the one we
          encounter in the natural everyday way, we strive to know that a 'chair
          is over there' and in turn communicate to others what one is
          experiencing. And this is collaborated by others who are able to
          check this out for themself that our 'knowing' approximates 'their
          own' experience, and people come to agree that there-is as chair over
          there. This is a correspondence. But I have 'chairs' that you know
          nothing of, that are not 'there' where you are, but are 'here' in my home.

          The point about communication-between-others concerning 'this world',
          what it is, what it means, Wittgenstien said "whereof one cannot
          speak, thereof one must be silent." However, this does not keep us
          from wanting to muse over it nontheless. Whatever I cannot speak of,
          that is what I want to ponder, so that in the struggle to understand,
          there might be some progress. Many people have come to 'silence', not
          knowing what to think, and others have paved the way into new realms
          of insight. I consider Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre to have been
          these trail brazers, pathfinders, etc, but not the only ones.

          And, yes...we cannot speak about the trillion of possible worlds as we
          would like. But, for those who ponder, they wonder, and are mystified
          by the grandness of what we do not know, what we cannot speak of. We
          are 'at home' in this world, that is true, but with the multi-universe
          possibility, we do not know enough to make absolute statement about
          the cosmos, as absurd. On ultimate matters, "whereof one cannot
          speak", Sartre went ahead and spoke anyway, instead of remaining
          'silent' in the mystery of it all; so even a trailbrazer is not
          infallible.


          Tommy wrote: Clearly, in order for any phenomenon to be understood -
          an expression of its understanding formulated - it must be capable of
          being communicated. Otherwise we lack the necessary distinction
          between a phenomenon and an imagining, a delusion or a "miracle".

          Joe: And hopefully people will appreciate the point that a private
          'miracle' has a phenomenal basis for the one experiencing it in it's
          mere instance, if only for one person. I remember some early Greek
          philosopher writing about 'the coming in and the going out of Being.
          Some aspects of existence are extremely transitory, like clouds, that
          are here one moment and gone the next. My radio, for instance, was
          broken, the CD player simply would not work. I experienced this for
          over 3 months. I put my damn hands on it, prayed for it, and 1 minute
          later, I put a cd in it and it began to play. Now this 'magical
          moment' has already elapsed, I have no way of redemonstrating this
          transitory event. However, I do have my working radio. Now, I
          directly witnessed this event (experienced it), am telling you about
          it (communication), but cannot be duplicated, cannot be boxed in an
          experiment, so it is not anything other than a report unacceptable to
          the phenomenological community, which will not believe it, nor does it
          have to be believe by anyone. So Phenomenology, while dealing with
          'chairs' that are 'there', can be shared experiencially, and can be
          shared through communication. And there are many private experience,
          (non)miraculous one, that cannot be duplicated in a shared experiment,
          but 'are' generally accepted. I have no idea what you 'feel' when you
          write your music, but I believe you felt something, I would not
          minimize it and go on to conclude that all musicians are delusional,
          that because we cannot duplicate or fit your experience into the
          structure of the phenomenological framework, that it has no validity
          within the existential world.

          Tommy: (Of course imaginings, delusions and miracles are phenomena
          too, but not without explicit reference to the psychological makeup of
          the imagining, deluded or miracle-experiencing subject.)

          Joe: Right, just as in the psychological makeup of songwriting falls
          into the imagining, deluded or songwriting experiencing subject.
          Perhaps the subjectivity of consciousness, the intuited I, that
          witnesses miracles and writes song has been given a secondary role,
          while the hard-edged realism of chairs and the concrete world too much
          value. Even 'communication' is suspect. Wittgenstein again wrote "a
          main source of our failure to understand is that we do not command a
          clear view of the use of our words: He also said that the way our
          conversations construct our psychological reality, captures our
          imagination, confuses us, that philosophy is "a battle against the
          bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language."

          Tommy: Phenomena which exist in this world, therefore, are of
          interest to all of us. They are examples of our thrown-ness, the
          situation which it is our project to make some kind of sense of.

          Joe: I agree. And we have not yet made much sense out of the 'hidden
          dimensions of 'other places', multi-universes, the superstring
          dimensions beyond height, width, depth and time . That is not to say
          we never will, but until then, I not only relate to and communicate my
          experience of 'chairs' and 'objects' that are there, but also exercise
          faith to achieve my private validations, to get my broken CD player
          (here in my world only) fixed.


          Thanks - Joe
        • madleen_ranspach
          ... multiverse as ... Jerry ... chair is ... essential ... ness, ... look ... of ... a chair ... over ... know ... my home. ... world , ... of, ...
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 20, 2005
            In Sartre@yahoogroups.com, "decker150" <decker150@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Tommy wrote: My interest in multiple universes (or "the
            multiverse" as
            > it is sometimes called) stemmed from a realisation of the role of
            > > communication in any determination of "this world".
            > >
            > > The phenomenological approach (so beautifully enunciated by
            Jerry
            > > Philips recently on this list: "in order to say "I know the
            chair is
            > > over there," the subject must already have intuited the
            essential
            > > meaning of "I," the act of the knowing, the predication of "is-
            ness,"
            > > and the concept of "thereness") means that it is necessary to
            look
            > > within in order to evaluate that which is without, ie. the world.
            > >
            > > But Sartre's ontology, while emphasising self-knowledge or
            > > understanding - since at least 500BC the peculiar preoccupation
            of
            > > philosophers - does not formally acknowledge the role of
            > communication in any determination of "this world".
            >
            > Joe: Good points. With 'this world', 'our world', the one we
            > encounter in the natural everyday way, we strive to know that
            a 'chair
            > is over there' and in turn communicate to others what one is
            > experiencing. And this is collaborated by others who are able to
            > check this out for themself that our 'knowing' approximates 'their
            > own' experience, and people come to agree that there-is as chair
            over
            > there. This is a correspondence. But I have 'chairs' that you
            know
            > nothing of, that are not 'there' where you are, but are 'here' in
            my home.
            >
            > The point about communication-between-others concerning 'this
            world',
            > what it is, what it means, Wittgenstien said "whereof one cannot
            > speak, thereof one must be silent." However, this does not keep us
            > from wanting to muse over it nontheless. Whatever I cannot speak
            of,
            > that is what I want to ponder, so that in the struggle to
            understand,
            > there might be some progress. Many people have come to 'silence',
            not
            > knowing what to think, and others have paved the way into new
            realms
            > of insight. I consider Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre to have been
            > these trail brazers, pathfinders, etc, but not the only ones.
            >
            > And, yes...we cannot speak about the trillion of possible worlds
            as we
            > would like. But, for those who ponder, they wonder, and are
            mystified
            > by the grandness of what we do not know, what we cannot speak of.
            We
            > are 'at home' in this world, that is true, but with the multi-
            universe
            > possibility, we do not know enough to make absolute statement about
            > the cosmos, as absurd. On ultimate matters, "whereof one cannot
            > speak", Sartre went ahead and spoke anyway, instead of remaining
            > 'silent' in the mystery of it all; so even a trailbrazer is not
            > infallible.
            >
            >
            > Tommy wrote: Clearly, in order for any phenomenon to be
            understood -
            > an expression of its understanding formulated - it must be capable
            of
            > being communicated. Otherwise we lack the necessary distinction
            > between a phenomenon and an imagining, a delusion or a "miracle".
            >
            > Joe: And hopefully people will appreciate the point that a private
            > 'miracle' has a phenomenal basis for the one experiencing it in
            it's
            > mere instance, if only for one person. I remember some early Greek
            > philosopher writing about 'the coming in and the going out of
            Being.
            > Some aspects of existence are extremely transitory, like clouds,
            that
            > are here one moment and gone the next. My radio, for instance, was
            > broken, the CD player simply would not work. I experienced this
            for
            > over 3 months. I put my damn hands on it, prayed for it, and 1
            minute
            > later, I put a cd in it and it began to play. Now this 'magical
            > moment' has already elapsed, I have no way of redemonstrating this
            > transitory event. However, I do have my working radio. Now, I
            > directly witnessed this event (experienced it), am telling you
            about
            > it (communication), but cannot be duplicated, cannot be boxed in an
            > experiment, so it is not anything other than a report unacceptable
            to
            > the phenomenological community, which will not believe it, nor
            does it
            > have to be believe by anyone. So Phenomenology, while dealing with
            > 'chairs' that are 'there', can be shared experiencially, and can be
            > shared through communication. And there are many private
            experience,
            > (non)miraculous one, that cannot be duplicated in a shared
            experiment,
            > but 'are' generally accepted. I have no idea what you 'feel' when
            you
            > write your music, but I believe you felt something, I would not
            > minimize it and go on to conclude that all musicians are
            delusional,
            > that because we cannot duplicate or fit your experience into the
            > structure of the phenomenological framework, that it has no
            validity
            > within the existential world.
            >
            > Tommy: (Of course imaginings, delusions and miracles are phenomena
            > too, but not without explicit reference to the psychological
            makeup of
            > the imagining, deluded or miracle-experiencing subject.)
            >
            > Joe: Right, just as in the psychological makeup of songwriting
            falls
            > into the imagining, deluded or songwriting experiencing subject.
            > Perhaps the subjectivity of consciousness, the intuited I, that
            > witnesses miracles and writes song has been given a secondary role,
            > while the hard-edged realism of chairs and the concrete world too
            much
            > value. Even 'communication' is suspect. Wittgenstein again
            wrote "a
            > main source of our failure to understand is that we do not command
            a
            > clear view of the use of our words: He also said that the way our
            > conversations construct our psychological reality, captures our
            > imagination, confuses us, that philosophy is "a battle against the
            > bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language."
            >
            > Tommy: Phenomena which exist in this world, therefore, are of
            > interest to all of us. They are examples of our thrown-ness, the
            > situation which it is our project to make some kind of sense of.
            >
            > Joe: I agree. And we have not yet made much sense out of
            the 'hidden
            > dimensions of 'other places', multi-universes, the superstring
            > dimensions beyond height, width, depth and time . That is not to
            say
            > we never will, but until then, I not only relate to and
            communicate my
            > experience of 'chairs' and 'objects' that are there, but also
            exercise
            > faith to achieve my private validations, to get my broken CD player
            > (here in my world only) fixed.
            >
            >
            > Thanks - Joe

            Madleem:I read your text about your last Phenomena,which will always
            stay where we met it at first place,in our mind,and which doesnt
            wear any make up to disguise any communication it could give people
            in order to make itself clear or more clear at any stage,in or at
            any kind.
            But thats no news.
            Anyway i just wanted to say hello,because iam a new member.
            Thanks Mads
          • Jerry Phillips
            Tommy Beavitt wrote: My interest in multiple universes (or the multiverse as it is sometimes called) stemmed from a realisation of the
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 20, 2005
              Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...> wrote:

              My interest in multiple universes (or "the multiverse" as it is
              sometimes called) stemmed from a realisation of the role of
              communication in any determination of "this world".


              Jerry's: As far as I can tell, the notion of "the multiverse" belongs in a metaphysics that would have held little interest for Sartre. No doubt consciousness can intend into deep space, but out there--among the stars--the existential aspect of Sartre's philosophy breaks down. Sartre's analysis of the body, as bound to the facticity of matter, is his way of consolidating Heidegger's dictum that dasein is always "there" in the world. When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, he was still in our world--in the sense that he was wholly dependent on human technics for his survival. Now it is most unlikely that we will ever come near another universe. It has no more "existential" reality than a unicorn. In short, it can be thought and that is all. And Sartre (contra Berkeleyan idealism) was adamant that thought, unto itself, is insufficient to constitute reality. The "for itself" makes there be a world, but only because the "in itself" is always already there. For me, talk of other
              universes is more like poetry than philosophy.




              Tommy: The phenomenological approach means that it is necessary to look
              within in order to evaluate that which is without, ie. the world.

              Jerry: The juxtaposition of "within" and "without" courts idealism (pace the Lockean/Cartesian model of mind). Recall that the "for itself" is a hole or vent within the "in itself." Technically speaking, it isn't a closed interior at all. The "for itself" is an intentional power, out in the world.

              Tommy:But Sartre's ontology, while emphasising self-knowledge or
              understanding does not formally acknowledge the role of communication
              in any determination of "this world".

              Jerry: Doubtless Sartre underplays the communicative dimension of "being-for-others." But one context in which communication is clearly presupposed is in the formation of the "we" under the gaze of the Other.

              Tommy: Clearly, in order for any phenomenon to be understood
              it must be capable of being
              communicated.

              Jerry: I agree. But one does not need Derrida to tell us that communication is apt to fail in its office of capturing the essence of our experience.




              Tommy: David Deutsch's popular science title "Fabric of Reality" is strongly
              recommended to all philosophers because it sketches some of the
              implications - both for science and for philosophy - of the
              "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics.

              The basis for his observation that reality must span multiple universes
              is the quantum phenomenon of superposition.

              Jerry: I think the word "reality" as used in this statement is much too vague. Whatever "reality" Deutsch has in mind it is not the reality of our body as it is given to us in our experience. There is something Platonic or Cartesian about the concept of "multiple universes"; it supposes the journey of a pure mind without the "phenomenal body" (Merleau-Ponty). It was for exactly this reason that Sartre rejected metaphysics. Metaphysics too easily leads to philosophical bad faith because the adventures of pure thought into the realm of "What if?" often terminate in a specious essentialism (consider Spinoza's claim that the universe is one substance: spirit). Sartre's philosophy, like logical positivism, is resolutely opposed to metaphysical grandiosities that are ultimately ungrounded in human experience.



              Yours,

              Jerry







              Tommy



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            • decker150
              Jerry, I would like to pause for a moment and make a note about your skill in expressing ideas. I agree with Tommy, that you do an excellence job bring points
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 21, 2005
                Jerry, I would like to pause for a moment and make a note about your
                skill in expressing ideas. I agree with Tommy, that you do an
                excellence job bring points to the table of discussion.

                Your last post in particular struck me, and I do appreciate your
                effort in this discussion group.

                Thank you for taking part - Joe


                >
              • Tommy Beavitt
                Hi Jerry, Once again, may I comment what a pleasure it is to have you on this list. ... Well, I would have to object to your claim that the notion of the
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 24, 2005
                  Hi Jerry,

                  Once again, may I comment what a pleasure it is to have you on this
                  list.

                  On 21 Jan 2005, at 03:05, Jerry Phillips wrote:

                  > Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > My interest in multiple universes (or "the multiverse" as it is
                  > sometimes called) stemmed from a realisation of the role of
                  > communication in any determination of "this world".
                  >
                  >
                  > Jerry's: As far as I can tell, the notion of "the multiverse" belongs
                  > in a metaphysics that would have held little interest for Sartre. No
                  > doubt consciousness can intend into deep space, but out there--among
                  > the stars--the existential aspect of Sartre's philosophy breaks down.
                  > Sartre's analysis of the body, as bound to the facticity of matter, is
                  > his way of consolidating Heidegger's dictum that dasein is always
                  > "there" in the world. When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, he was
                  > still in our world--in the sense that he was wholly dependent on human
                  > technics for his survival. Now it is most unlikely that we will ever
                  > come near another universe. It has no more "existential" reality than
                  > a unicorn. In short, it can be thought and that is all. And Sartre
                  > (contra Berkeleyan idealism) was adamant that thought, unto itself, is
                  > insufficient to constitute reality. The "for itself" makes there be a
                  > world, but only because the "in itself" is always already there. For
                  > me, talk of other
                  > universes is more like poetry than philosophy.

                  Well, I would have to object to your claim that the notion of the
                  multiverse is inherently "metaphysical". It doesn't treat what
                  metaphysics treats - the science of being qua being, theology or
                  universal science (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics). On the
                  contrary, it follows the principle of Occam's Razor in being the
                  simplest unfalsifiable explanation of a demonstrable phenomenon (the
                  interference in the path of a single quantum particle).

                  When you refer to the facticity of matter you are referring in Sartrean
                  terms to being-in-itself. Of course being-in-itself is part of the
                  thereness of the world in which we find ourselves, but what of it?
                  Being-in-itself is not the being of the phenomenon. In order to
                  constitute the whatness it is necessary to refer to being-for-itself
                  and its projects.

                  Positing the existence of many "universes" as the best explanation for
                  the interference in the path of a single quantum particle is
                  emphatically not the same thing as thought constituting reality. But
                  having accepted the many worlds interpretation - which, incidentally,
                  is far less conducive to idealism than its main contender, the
                  Copenhagen interpretation - it then becomes necessary to refer to
                  communication in order to know which world this quantum phenomenon is
                  taking place in. Otherwise it is perfectly possible that a different
                  observer might be observing a quantum particle from a different
                  universe than the one I am observing.

                  [I am aware that I am conflating worlds and universes here, but so does
                  the literature to which I refer.]

                  > Tommy: The phenomenological approach means that it is necessary to look
                  > within in order to evaluate that which is without, ie. the world.
                  >
                  > Jerry: The juxtaposition of "within" and "without" courts idealism
                  > (pace the Lockean/Cartesian model of mind). Recall that the "for
                  > itself" is a hole or vent within the "in itself." Technically
                  > speaking, it isn't a closed interior at all. The "for itself" is an
                  > intentional power, out in the world.

                  Ok, I accept that I stepped slightly outside the tent there, with talk
                  of internal and external. But it remains the case - even to remain
                  strictly consistent with Sartre's ontology - that knowledge (of the
                  world) is the same thing as knowledge of self because it is in terms of
                  for-itself's projects that the world is constituted in phenomenal
                  terms.

                  > Tommy:But Sartre's ontology, while emphasising self-knowledge or
                  > understanding does not formally acknowledge the role of communication
                  > in any determination of "this world".
                  >
                  > Jerry: Doubtless Sartre underplays the communicative dimension of
                  > "being-for-others." But one context in which communication is clearly
                  > presupposed is in the formation of the "we" under the gaze of the
                  > Other.

                  True. I should have made this point more explicit in my argument.
                  Thanks for pointing this out.

                  > Tommy: Clearly, in order for any phenomenon to be understood
                  > it must be capable of being
                  > communicated.
                  >
                  > Jerry: I agree. But one does not need Derrida to tell us that
                  > communication is apt to fail in its office of capturing the essence of
                  > our experience.

                  Ah, essence! But what Derrida can tell us is that in order to have any
                  chance whatsoever of there being a correspondence between what I
                  experience, perceive to have been the phenomenon, and what the Other
                  experiences, it will be necessary to deconstruct each other's
                  linguistic assumptions. I affirm that understanding can be transmitted
                  in this way. Flowing equally from one side to the other, in the case of
                  equal levels of understanding, but when one party has a greater
                  understanding, having previously submitted to such a deconstructionist
                  discipline, it will flow in the direction from the most deconstructed
                  to the least.

                  > Tommy: David Deutsch's popular science title "Fabric of Reality" is
                  > strongly
                  > recommended to all philosophers because it sketches some of the
                  > implications - both for science and for philosophy - of the
                  > "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics.
                  >
                  > The basis for his observation that reality must span multiple universes
                  > is the quantum phenomenon of superposition.
                  >
                  > Jerry: I think the word "reality" as used in this statement is much
                  > too vague. Whatever "reality" Deutsch has in mind it is not the
                  > reality of our body as it is given to us in our experience. There is
                  > something Platonic or Cartesian about the concept of "multiple
                  > universes"; it supposes the journey of a pure mind without the
                  > "phenomenal body" (Merleau-Ponty).

                  I entirely disagree with what you are saying here. Deutsch is the
                  ultimate empiricist, a Popperian, who is at home with the principle of
                  falsification rather than the easily discredited positivisms. But in
                  order to find out, it will be necessary to read him! If you have the
                  stomach for it, there are some of his papers freely available on the
                  web. But it will be easier to grapple with his ideas through the
                  popular title which has been well edited to be more easily assimilable
                  by mere philosophers like ourselves.

                  > It was for exactly this reason that Sartre rejected metaphysics.
                  > Metaphysics too easily leads to philosophical bad faith because the
                  > adventures of pure thought into the realm of "What if?" often
                  > terminate in a specious essentialism (consider Spinoza's claim that
                  > the universe is one substance: spirit). Sartre's philosophy, like
                  > logical positivism, is resolutely opposed to metaphysical
                  > grandiosities that are ultimately ungrounded in human experience.

                  But it is human experience that a single quantum particle is interfered
                  with! Since we can rule out the other quantum particles which would
                  cause the interference in a wave function (by eliminating them from the
                  experimental situation that quantises the single particle) we have to
                  refer to other concepts. Probability waves are another way of thinking
                  about parallel universes. But then we are going beyond empiricist
                  territory anyway. Probability waves aren't things which actually happen
                  in this world, they are a way of intermediating between this actual
                  world and many possible worlds.

                  I don't agree either that Sartre's philosophy has anything in common
                  with logical positivism - other than being its nemesis. Logical
                  positivism is forever tainted by the failure of mathematical formalism
                  to achieve anything remotely resembling its stated aims (Gödel) and has
                  never recovered from its association with that doomed project. Even
                  Wittgenstein knew when to leave well alone and retreated into the world
                  of linguistic puzzles.

                  But Sartre's ontology was consistent with Gödel's insight as was
                  Heidegger's, which anticipated it.

                  Tommy
                • Jerry Phillips
                  ... Well, I would have to object to your claim that the notion of the multiverse is inherently metaphysical . It doesn t treat what metaphysics treats - the
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 26, 2005
                    Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...> wrote:

                    > Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...> wrote:
                    >


                    Well, I would have to object to your claim that the notion of the
                    multiverse is inherently "metaphysical". It doesn't treat what
                    metaphysics treats - the science of being qua being, theology or
                    universal science (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics). On the
                    contrary, it follows the principle of Occam's Razor in being the
                    simplest unfalsifiable explanation of a demonstrable phenomenon (the
                    interference in the path of a single quantum particle).


                    Jerry's Reply: My point was that the concept of the "multiverse" does not derive from our original experience of the world, and so it cannot be an object for phenomenology. Phenomenology can neither confirm or deny that there are other universes, but what it can do is show how scientific consciousness works to constitute its objects. I think you will agree that many scientific concepts are in fact idealizations. For example, Newton's notion of absolute space, a space devoid of all things, is not an original or intuitive correlate of consciousness; it is an ideal object specifically derived from the consciousness of the physicist. Newton's space is "metaphysical," in the sense that it is not a phenomenon within ordinary nature. Of course that doesn't mean that it cannot be employed to great effect within the factual realm of knowledge. Pure numbers are also "metaphysical" but we could hardly do without them! A "single quantam particle," is from the phenomenological perspective, an
                    ideal concept, because it represents an abstraction from all that is.


                    Tommy: David Deutsch's popular science title "Fabric of Reality" is
                    > strongly
                    > recommended to all philosophers because it sketches some of the
                    > implications - both for science and for philosophy - of the
                    > "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics.
                    >
                    > The basis for his observation that reality must span multiple universes
                    > is the quantum phenomenon of superposition.
                    >
                    > Jerry: I think the word "reality" as used in this statement is much
                    > too vague. Whatever "reality" Deutsch has in mind it is not the
                    > reality of our body as it is given to us in our experience. There is
                    > something Platonic or Cartesian about the concept of "multiple
                    > universes"; it supposes the journey of a pure mind without the
                    > "phenomenal body" (Merleau-Ponty).

                    Tommy: I entirely disagree with what you are saying here. Deutsch is the
                    ultimate empiricist, a Popperian, who is at home with the principle of
                    falsification rather than the easily discredited positivisms.

                    Jerry's reply: But wait: cosmological extrapolations from a given physical phenomenon are not empirical--they do not entail the sensual experience of the situated body.

                    >

                    Tommy: I don't agree either that Sartre's philosophy has anything in common
                    with logical positivism - other than being its nemesis. Logical
                    positivism is forever tainted by the failure of mathematical formalism
                    to achieve anything remotely resembling its stated aims (G�del) and has
                    never recovered from its association with that doomed project. Even
                    Wittgenstein knew when to leave well alone and retreated into the world
                    of linguistic puzzles.

                    But Sartre's ontology was consistent with G�del's insight as was
                    Heidegger's, which anticipated it.

                    Jerry's Reply: I agree that Sartre and the positivists are basically philosophical enemies, but they shared in common a deep distrust of metaphysics and both tried to return philosophy to a clarification of experience.



                    Yours,

                    Jerry

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                  • Tommy Beavitt
                    ... I understand the distinction you are making here and agree with it. The concept of the multiverse is not an object for phenomenology, it is the
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jan 26, 2005
                      On 26 Jan 2005, at 21:16, Jerry Phillips wrote:
                      > Jerry's Reply: My point was that the concept of the "multiverse" does
                      > not derive from our original experience of the world, and so it cannot
                      > be an object for phenomenology.

                      I understand the distinction you are making here and agree with it. The
                      concept of the multiverse is not an object for phenomenology, it is the
                      phenomenalisation of such an object.

                      > Phenomenology can neither confirm or deny that there are other
                      > universes, but what it can do is show how scientific consciousness
                      > works to constitute its objects. I think you will agree that many
                      > scientific concepts are in fact idealizations.

                      Again, due to the inherent speciousness of the idealist vs. realist
                      argument, which I believe Husserl was concerned to get away from, I
                      would prefer to use the more general phrase "phenomenalisation" rather
                      than "idealisation". Phenomenalisation being the operation performed
                      upon objects (being-in-itself) by consciousness (for-itself) causing
                      what is generally described as the (phenomenal) world.

                      > For example, Newton's notion of absolute space, a space devoid of all
                      > things, is not an original or intuitive correlate of consciousness; it
                      > is an ideal object specifically derived from the consciousness of the
                      > physicist. Newton's space is "metaphysical," in the sense that it is
                      > not a phenomenon within ordinary nature.

                      This sounds very Kantian to me. Nothing wrong with that! But to me what
                      phenomenology represents is an attempt to get away from what could
                      easily become a form of naturalism. The physicist is no different from
                      you and I in that what she perceives is the world and objects in it,
                      but we have no choice other than to represent these objects to
                      ourselves and each other in terms of their phenomena. These phenomena
                      are necessarily understood (albeit imperfectly) - there is no
                      phenomenon that is not also an understanding of a phenomenon. Newton's
                      notion of absolute space is just such a phenomenalisation. It is
                      exactly the same as normal space, with bits and pieces of debris,
                      atoms, that kind of thing, in it - only with fewer such things in it;
                      precisely, none at all.

                      > Pure numbers are also "metaphysical" but we could hardly do without
                      > them!

                      But similarly, numbers (can be used to) represent phenomena or
                      understandings of phenomena. If you tell me that you saw hundreds of
                      wild geese flying overhead, that would be a phenomenon of a different
                      kind than several flying geese. "Hundreds" is a concept that is used to
                      understand such phenomena, but without such enumerative phenomena, as
                      you imply, there would be little use for numbers. Given that geese do
                      exist as small groups of several and flocks of hundreds, and that other
                      phenomena also exist in terms of quantity, it is necessary to have the
                      concept of number in order to be able to understand (phenomenalise)
                      such phenomena.

                      > A "single quantam particle," is from the phenomenological perspective,
                      > an ideal concept, because it represents an abstraction from all that
                      > is.

                      Well, actually I would have to beg to differ. A single quantum particle
                      has the same kind of existence as an asteroid, in the sense that both
                      represent kinds of actual objects which can be more or less directly
                      sensed. In the case of the asteroid we need a telescope to aid our
                      "natural" eyesight, in the case of the quantum particle, we need some
                      even more sensitive representational apparatus.

                      Now, if you were talking about microcosmic versus macrocosmic
                      considerations, that might be a different argument. But from the
                      perspective of phenomenology, a phenomenon is a phenomenon is a
                      phenomenon.

                      > Tommy: David Deutsch's popular science title "Fabric of Reality" is
                      >> strongly
                      >> recommended to all philosophers because it sketches some of the
                      >> implications - both for science and for philosophy - of the
                      >> "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics.
                      >>
                      >> The basis for his observation that reality must span multiple
                      >> universes
                      >> is the quantum phenomenon of superposition.
                      >>
                      >> Jerry: I think the word "reality" as used in this statement is much
                      >> too vague. Whatever "reality" Deutsch has in mind it is not the
                      >> reality of our body as it is given to us in our experience. There is
                      >> something Platonic or Cartesian about the concept of "multiple
                      >> universes"; it supposes the journey of a pure mind without the
                      >> "phenomenal body" (Merleau-Ponty).
                      >
                      > Tommy: I entirely disagree with what you are saying here. Deutsch is
                      > the
                      > ultimate empiricist, a Popperian, who is at home with the principle of
                      > falsification rather than the easily discredited positivisms.
                      >
                      > Jerry's reply: But wait: cosmological extrapolations from a given
                      > physical phenomenon are not empirical--they do not entail the sensual
                      > experience of the situated body.

                      You could be right about that. I probably shouldn't have used the word
                      "empirical" at all here. I should have stuck to "phenomenological"
                      since here I am on much surer ground. Empiricism, in its extreme form,
                      means direct sensual experience of existing objects - using only
                      inductive a posteriori reasoning rather than deductive logic to form
                      any understanding of the "whatness" of these objects. Although, in its
                      extreme form, allowing no a priori reasoning whatsoever, I think it is
                      obvious that empiricism could allow no knowledge or understanding ever
                      to develop.

                      I also realise now that being a Popperian is to not be bound to the
                      more extreme philosophical implications of empiricism. Indeed, his
                      principle of falsifiability, seems in some ways more rationalistic than
                      empiricist and can provide a ground from which these extreme forms of
                      empiricism can be avoided. For Popper, empiricism is no more than the
                      means by which successive falsifiable (therefore scientific) theories
                      can be rejected and successor theories selected in their stead
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

                      > Tommy: I don't agree either that Sartre's philosophy has anything in
                      > common
                      > with logical positivism - other than being its nemesis. Logical
                      > positivism is forever tainted by the failure of mathematical formalism
                      > to achieve anything remotely resembling its stated aims (Gödel) and has
                      > never recovered from its association with that doomed project. Even
                      > Wittgenstein knew when to leave well alone and retreated into the world
                      > of linguistic puzzles.
                      >
                      > But Sartre's ontology was consistent with Gödel's insight as was
                      > Heidegger's, which anticipated it.
                      >
                      > Jerry's Reply: I agree that Sartre and the positivists are basically
                      > philosophical enemies, but they shared in common a deep distrust of
                      > metaphysics and both tried to return philosophy to a clarification of
                      > experience.

                      Yes, you have made a good point here. There are some things which both
                      schools have in common.

                      Do you think that the projects of the for-itself could ever have arisen
                      (leading to the phenomenalisation of objects) using only sensual
                      experience and a posteriori inductive reasoning?

                      On an additional side note, do you think that it can be correct for me
                      to use the verb "to phenomenalise" in its active sense, requiring a
                      phenomenaliser to perform a conscious operation on objects? Or did
                      Husserl and Sartre mean to imply that a phenomenon could exist in the
                      absence of such?

                      Tommy
                    • Jerry Phillips
                      Tommy Beavitt wrote: Jerry. I think you will agree that many ... Tommy: due to the inherent speciousness of the idealist vs. realist
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jan 28, 2005
                        Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...> wrote:

                        Jerry. I think you will agree that many
                        > scientific concepts are in fact idealizations.

                        Tommy: due to the inherent speciousness of the idealist vs. realist
                        argument, which I believe Husserl was concerned to get away from, I
                        would prefer to use the more general phrase "phenomenalisation" rather
                        than "idealisation". Phenomenalisation being the operation performed
                        upon objects (being-in-itself) by consciousness (for-itself) causing
                        what is generally described as the (phenomenal) world.

                        >Jerry's Reply: Husserl was not an idealist in the traditional sense, but in many ways he was an idealist. In "Ideas" and in "Cartesian Meditations" he speaks of phenomenology as a "transcendental idealism." And in a very Kantian fashion, he supposed a "transcendental ego" behind the positings of consciousness. The tendency towards idealism in Husserl's thought is implicit in his method of the phenomenological reduction: for insofar as consciousness is present to its own noema, it is present to an "idea" and not an existent object. Both Heidegger and Sartre saw the danger of this model, and that is why their emphasis falls on existential phenomenology rather than Husserl's transcendentalism.

                        Jerry: Newton's space is "metaphysical," in the sense that it is
                        > not a phenomenon within ordinary nature.

                        Tommy: This sounds very Kantian to me. Nothing wrong with that! But to me what
                        phenomenology represents is an attempt to get away from what could
                        easily become a form of naturalism. The physicist is no different from
                        you and I in that what she perceives is the world and objects in it,

                        Jerry's Reply: You might well be right about the Kantian undertone. But then again, the line between Kant and Husserl isn't always clear. I don't think phenomenology is concerned so much with "getting away from naturalism." Its goal is to ground naturalistic statements in an apodictic realm of intentionality. In my view, the consciousness of the physicist is very different from the ordinary person's. The objects which the physicist's consciousness are present to, do not fall into the intentional range of the ordinary person in quite the same way. In other words, doing physics, like writing poetry, entails a specific kind of consciousness with its own noetic structures. Of course, we are all "physicists" to the degree that we understand (pre-ontologically) that if the ball goes up, it must come down. But this kind of "naive" or intuitive understanding should not be equated with the meat and potatoes of theoretical physics.


                        Tommy: there is no
                        phenomenon that is not also an understanding of a phenomenon.

                        Jerry's reply: Agreed. Even if the white car that I see turns out to be grey, I still understand the car as a phenomenon bearing color!





                        Tommy: from the
                        perspective of phenomenology, a phenomenon is a phenomenon is a
                        phenomenon.

                        Jerry's reply: True. But phenomena are radically different AS phenomena. The consciousness of remembering is different from the consciousness of forgetting. The correlation between intentional act and intentional object is always radically specific. And this is common sense. For an adult the dinner table seems "just the right height," but for the infant child the table seems made for a giant! The same phenomenon of the table appears to the two consciousnesses, but it appears precisely as intended.

                        Tommy:. Empiricism, in its extreme form,
                        means direct sensual experience of existing objects - using only
                        inductive a posteriori reasoning rather than deductive logic to form
                        any understanding of the "whatness" of these objects. Although, in its
                        extreme form, allowing no a priori reasoning whatsoever, I think it is
                        obvious that empiricism could allow no knowledge or understanding ever
                        to develop.


                        Jerry's reply: I agree.
                        >
                        Tommy: Do you think that the projects of the for-itself could ever have arisen
                        (leading to the phenomenalisation of objects) using only sensual
                        experience and a posteriori inductive reasoning?

                        Jerry's reply: Strictly speaking for Sartre the "for itself" is not present to an object through "sensual experience"; it is present to the object through intentional freedom, and the sensual is only an aspect of that initial project. In other words, I make the lemon "be there" by intending it before I see it. Sartre rejects the empiricist model of "sensual experience" because it implies that the object has the causal power to "impress" itself upon me, and nothing, says Sartre, can act upon consciousness. In truth, I don't find Sartre wholly convincing upon this score. Your second question concerning the inductive reasoning is very complex. I'll have to give it some thought...



                        Tommy: an additional side note, do you think that it can be correct for me
                        to use the verb "to phenomenalise" in its active sense, requiring a
                        phenomenaliser to perform a conscious operation on objects? Or did
                        Husserl and Sartre mean to imply that a phenomenon could exist in the
                        absence of such?


                        Jerry's Reply: I'm not sure that the word "phenomenalise" is all that useful. Phenomenalism, the sensuous apperception of the phenomenon, was exactly one of the targets of Husserl's phenomenology. However, I agree with you that in the absence of human beings there might be events but there wouldn't be phenomena. Recall Heidegger's argument that the phenomenon is that which appears--and if something appears it must appear to a human being who, as far we know, is the only creature capable of registering an event as such.



                        Yours,

                        Jerry



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