Friday, April 14, 2017

Hegel is wrong about Leibniz

Only because physics eliminates (either through a simplifying assumption or by metaphysical positioning) consciousness and person, since a long time.

Plato's approach is the only approach which does not eliminate consciousness, soul, persons, and can explain why we believe (wrongly) in a physical universe which would be fundamental.  It explains physics where physicists take it for granted.

Now, imo, Leibniz is a coming back to Plato, or to a form of neoplatonism. But he is a complex author, and he seems to have change his mind often on the subject, a bit like Wittgenstein.

OK. Neuro-philosophers are expert in hiding the mind-body problem, and my work shows them inconsistent as they use both materialism and mechanism, but this does not work (and that's the main root of the difficulty of the mind-body problem, our blind belief in primary matter).
Note that Leibniz almost discover the universal languages and machines. theoretical computer science can help to reread ancient philosophers. In fact when a machine looks inward, she develops a discourse close to the neopythagorean and the neoplatonist (themselves quite influenced by Indian and Chinese philosophy (directly and indirectly).

[I also tend to agree that there is not much on this on the chat forums. What I think people miss is that there is good reason to follow Leibniz in thinking that the deeper issues of value and subjectivity should be analysable in terms with precise truth conditions and mathematical regularity just like other aspects of physics, if only we can overcome ascertainment problems that currently beset the field.]

I agree. The separation between science and theology makes science inexact and theology inhuman.
Only bad faith fears reason. Only bad reason fears faith.

Bruno Marchal Apr 13, 2017

Edwards, Jonathan Apr 13, 2017
Dear Stan,
I think you are stuck in pre 1980 quantum physics. Things have moved on to general forms of field theory that are entirely local, although the locality is defined in a different way. It is often said that the Aspect experiments confirm that quantum physics has to discard either realism or locality. But that is fine because quantum physics had to discard the sort of realism, or old fashioned common sense as you put it, that this entails from the outset. Leibniz explains why descriptions of individual dynamic units have to violate the common sense model. The problem with all traditional models of QM is that they try to sneak common sense back in somewhere. They are all wrong. The only interpretation is ‘no interpretation’ in terms of intuitive realism. (Logic is fine, that is quite a different matter. Leibniz got the right answer using rigorous logic alone.)

The current undergraduate text in condensed matter physics (maybe five years old now) points out that QFT is entirely local because the mathematics only relates field values for the mode of excitation to the potential values with the same spacetime co-ordinates. No faster than light communication is needed. The upshot is a set of look up tables (called a wave equation) for the probabilities of causal connections occurring between sets of points in spacetime. Absolutely nothing is implied about anything travelling through slits or anything common sensical like that. 

An interesting aspect of what Leibniz tells us has only recently become clear to me. That is that von Neumann’s idea of a wave progressing linearly and then collapsing is ontologically incoherent. The reason is that the mode of excitation under study has no identity until it is measured. So there is no possibility of it starting off not knowing where it is going. As Leibniz predicts, all indivisible dynamic units have their point of destination decided from birth - which if you like is pretty much what the Aspect result shows so neatly. It is just that we have to discard a common sense view of time. So von Neumann, Bohm, Everett, Zurek, GRW, Penrose and Hameroff, and all the others have got the wrong end of the stick. 

Best wishes


Edwards, Jonathan Apr 13, 2017
Dear Robert,

I am not sure I am prepared to quite down your route of argument in relation to Good but at least I think Good is something that needs some very careful consideration and explanation. You might well be interested in Colin Morrison’s ‘The Blind Mindmaker’ which tries to explain human experience, with a very important place for value and God. Colin and I are arguing about the physics but I like his general approach.

I still think Hegel is wrong about Leibniz. Leibniz clearly understood this consideration. He is not always entirely clear about his ontology, I think because he feels he has to make his language at least possibly intelligible to correspondents who mostly have not grasped his key insights. He makes interesting use of the term Être nécessaire in Monadology. That would translate as necessary being but might be better translated as existent necessity. Leibniz’s God is divorced from any token existence in time and space, being the totality of reasons. Reasons differ from causes in that they are not tied to any time or place. This becomes relevant to a debate about whether creation for Leibniz is tied to a time and place. There are places where it seems not to be. God is just the totality of necessity (which includes room for manoeuvre by monads) and that explains the entire history of the actual world. That means that God is not other than the physical world, because He is an entity of a different category. The physical world is entailed within God. God is not someTHING other than it. In a sense Hegel has fallen into the stuffiest trap and wanting all entities to have the same token status. I suspect this reflects a flaw in natural language that philosophers tend to miss if they are not as obsessional as Leibniz, in making sure the logic actually works for real in a non verbal dynamic analysis.

Dynamic for me is actually more general than what you suggest. It is just the real content of fundamental physics (or what was for Leibniz metaphysics), as opposed to the misconception that  physics deals with stuff. Leibniz explains why he chooses this word in the short paper Reflections on the Advancement of True Metaphysics of 1693.


Robert Wallace Apr 13, 2017
Hi Barry,

Sorry to take so long to respond to your question.

Could it not be said that which is in harmony with the SOFoN is of value and that which is in discord is of detriment?

Sure, you can “say” it.  :-)   Why should we believe it? 

Plato and his successors in philosophy start from Socrates’s critiques of various dogmatic pronouncements about what’s good. (“The Good is pleasure.” “The Good is knowledge.”) They want an answer that doesn’t just add to the list of competing pronouncements. 

I see that the “Journey of the Universe” course is based on Thomas Berry’s writing. Do you have a background in mainline biology? As far as I know, it does not speak in terms of “emergence.” Did the course recognize this fact—that scientists are quite unsure how to deal with such events as the emergence of life and the emergence of consciousness?

Best, Bob W

On Apr 11, 2017, at 11:49 PM, Barry Urie wrote:
Hi Bob,
I recently audited a MOOC from Yale called 'Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding of Life' - a new story to replace the old which no longer satisfies. They talk about emergence and evolution within the context of the 'Self Organizing Force of Nature' (SOFoN).
Could it not be said that which is in harmony with the SOFoN is of value and that which is in discord is of detriment?

Diego Lucio Rapoport Apr 13, 2017
My recent comments on regards of the primality of "consciousness" and mathematics raised by Deepak,  should be regarded in the terms expressed by B. M. Puri below.
Remarkably, in his thesis of the Bicameral Mind by the late Princeton Univ. professor, Julian Jaynes, is elaborated the social nature of "consciousness". However, the very elementary mirror neuron phenomenology indicates that the I comes with the experience of Other.

Savitri Era Learning Forum: By seeking what’s truly Good that a being can be unified

Savitri Era Learning Forum: Understanding the self in a social context

Marketime: No man can surpass his own time

Marketime: Narcissism reduces the exchange of information among team members

Feel Philosophy: Value and perfection are the goals at which the finite aims

What is American greatness now? What makes us exceptional? -@wellman4444 -

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