Thursday, 14 August 2014

New Scientist rejects Scientism


TOP DOWN REDUCTIONISM...



...ENDS UP BEING CIRCULAR!



I came across this short New Scientist video (preceded by an even shorter sponsor's ad) illustrating some ideas that have been bouncing around the Buddhoblogosphere for a few years in one form or another.

The video points out the logical contradictions of reductionism ("the mind is nothing but the brain, which is nothing but a biological machine, which nothing but etc..."). This is something of a change of direction for this magazine, which has previously tended to support physicalism and scientism.

What the video is saying is that all attempts at reductionism end in circularity, and you need consciousness to explain consciousness (a philosophical position known as Ontologicial Mysterianism). 

I have a few quibbles about oversimplification, but maybe this is necessary to get the message across. The video concentrates exclusively on structure, and ignores process and operations.  This becomes apparent in the oversimplification of the Von Neumann derivation of numbers, where numbers spontanously appear out of nothing.  In fact it is the operation of the mind on the empty set which produces these numbers.


The video is saying that...

- Mathematics is reducible to mind.

- Mind is reducible to biological macromolecules.
 

- Biological macromolecules are reducible to organic chemicals.

- Organic chemicals are reducible to atoms.

- Atoms are reducible to mathematics.

-
Mathematics is reducible to mind.

... which is where we came in!



I would reformulate this as ...

- The structures and operations of mathematics are reducible to the concepts and operations of the mind.

- The structures and  operations of the mind are reducible to the structures and operations of biological macromolecules.
 

- The structures and operations of biological macromolecules are reducible to the structures and operations of organic chemicals.

- The structures and operations of organic chemicals are reducible to the structures and operations of atoms.

- The structures and operations of atoms are reducible to the structures and operations of mathematics.

- The structures and operations of mathematics are reducible to the concepts and operations of the mind... 
(deja vu)

This is, of course, another illustration of emptiness, in that no rock-bottom foundation for any phenomenon is findable. 

 
Here it is enjoy WHAT IS REALITY



 ...and if you are interested in further disproofs of materialistic reductionism, then consider that...

The behavior of all machines, computers and physical systems is reducible without remainder to the operations of a Turing machine.

The behavior of the mind shows at least two functions - 'aboutness'  and qualitative experience - that cannot in principle be reduced to the operation of a Turing machine.

Therefore, there are some aspects of the mind that are non-mechanistic and non-physical.
  


Read more at Buddhist Philosophy

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am from Australia. I came across your site via unkel fester's blog.
Please find a unique Illuminated Understanding of Reality via these references.

www.adidam.org/teaching/gnosticon/spirit-of-buddhism.aspx

www.dabase.org/Reality_Itself_Is_Not_In_The_Middle.htm

www.dabase.org/up-1-7.htm

http://spiralledlight.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/4068

www.adidam.org/teaching/17_companions/paradigms/real_god_is.html

Anonymous said...

Please also find an essay on how the Indivisible Unity (thus described) relates to politics

www.dabase.org/p9rightness.htm

Also on Zero & Infinity

www.beezone.com/AdiDa/Aletheon/zero_point.html