The work of James T. Cushing is among the most important (fundamental) work that has been done in philosophy of science. He shows how the Copenhagen interpretation was driven by wishes and pre-set commitments coming out of Weimar culture in Germany, and was forced upon the physics community and the alternative -- a picturable, deterministic, continuous particle path -- was shut out by force, not be reason. But now the truth is coming out -- quantum physics can be explained and pictured and is not beyond rational comprehension. The Copenhagen interpretation is an arbitary and weak form of interpretation, one that revels in throwing up one's arms and saying "it's just incomprehensible"!
When traditional quantum physics falls, a huge part of philosophy of science falls with it, and then, a huge part of philosophy falls, in turn. Science is held as the queen of fields of knowledge, and physics is held as queen of the sciences, and quantum mechanics is held as the queen of the physics areas. So when QM falls, our overall system of knowledge falls. Fortunately, unlike traditional QM, this is a fall into reason, not away from reason.
The cosmic holistic equation idea, that fits so well with determinism, is a mainstream idea. Have you read David Bohm? Throw out those mystifying quantum physicists, Bohm is the new kid on the block. He has written about mysticism and physics better than the establishment quantum mechanics, who are fuzzy-headed, logic-hating New Agers at heart. There is a book of conversations between Bohm and a well-known guru-theorist, Krishnamurti I think. Bohm points out what I aim to amplify: Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle does not say:
We know that the particle has no fixed [position &
It does not. (Therefore, nature is indeterminate, whimsical, etc.)
It actually says:
We can't know for certain whether the particle
has a fixed [position & vector].
It might or might not. (Therefore, nature might be or might not be indeterminate, whimsical, etc.)
This is a big difference, the difference between brain-killing lust for mystification, and respect for reason.
The cosmic equation idea resonates with Bohm's thinking, and you should keep an eye out for new theorists' interpretations of Bohm. Bohm is very new to the scene. Look at a hundred QM books, and only the newest 3 will even mention Bohm. He's that new -- that is, people are finally realizing that he popped the Copenhagenists' balloon. The Copenhagenists were driven by hatred of logic. Why do New Agers and Copenhagenists hate logic and reason? Because logic and reason conclude that everything is a rigid equation and "we have no freedom". In their lust to save freedom (a shallow notion of it, that is), they sacrifice and demonize logic. Yes, reason = evil. Reason = unfreedom. Save freedom! Burn reason!
The rough mental associations historically are:
Reason = determinism = no freedom. (also = realism, positivist materialism)
Illogic = free will = freedom. (also = metaphysical Idealism)
Some have said that the latter quest to prop up freedom together with the reality-creating power of the mind has also fed into fascism, historically, but that's another posting. Rand and Peikoff, however, are freewillists but do not go over the brink into saying that "There is no reality; the mind creates reality" as so many spiral-eyed, freedom-drunken metaphysical Idealists have.
There are really multiple senses of the term 'freedom' that tend to get lumped together due to lack of semantic refinement. It is logically legitimate to promote political freedom while being a determinist or "anti-freewillist". Libertarianism is distinct from free-will-ism. Libertarians might be afraid that determinism implies the divinely preordained king with his hierarchy of rule, or control, and the political unfreedom that has historically been involved in that system.
I get the impression that many New Agers are looking for a divine king who is self-ordained and metaphysically free, to be the global leader/dictator. The Protestants say this king will rule over the popes through the Catholic church, and he is the antichrist. For peace, we must have a global government headed by one ruler. It's the only way. But this hierarchy would not be based on the essentially deterministic assumptions underlying the divine king and his hierarchy -- the oppressive system of aristocracy. Without oppressive, freedom-crushing determinism and its associated political system, we will have a peaceful utopia in which both metaphysical and political freedom reign.
Try differentiating metaphysical freedom ('free will') and political freedom and try various combinations of positions.
The East is essentially deterministic in outlook, though perhaps inconsistently so. One could consider separately whether the East is metaphysically deterministic, and politically deterministic, in China, Japan, India, and Tibet.
'Variables' -- now that is a suspect idea. I don't believe in
variables. The universe is entirely made of constants. That is,
variability is not absolute; things can only "vary" in a restricted
sense. Everything is frozen along the time axis, as in Rudy Rucker's
well-illustrated semi-comic-book format _The Fourth Dimension_. This
is what William James and the turn of the century Einstein gang refer
to as the "block universe".
>this is not about determinism or free will, but about the nature of variables:
>all things are variables, doing whatever they do in relationship to one another. these variables can be referenced as change between a third "constant". however, this "constant" is really in change in reference to the first two objects. there is nothing that can be defined without reference to something else(this effect is similar to someone trying to define a word without using other words). to go further, the reference that exists between things is the nature of _change_. change, is in fact, a reference between two things, ie, the difference that two things have in reference to an "outside"(that also changes). the variability of something is the change that it has from other reference points.
That reminds me of the general concepts of 'relationship' and 'moving frame of reference'. I like these ideas about reference points and change; I don't feel they imply that change is "absolute". It's hard to communicate unambiguously because all the involved terms have taken on at least 2 networks of associations, or overtones. When I say "change" I'm not implying that the future is really open and doesn't exist yet. I see spacetime as a frozen cube, with 2 axis representing the 3 space dimensions and 1 axis representing time. The things in this cube are all sitting statically, with reference to eternity. This block contains that which we may label 'change', but the nature of this change is that the changes are fixed in time. Change does not itself change, you might say.
Change is in the eye of the observer as the eye moves along some trajectory of reference points -- along a reference trajectory, or moving frame of reference. A fence along a field "changes" from high to low as you drive past... but the fence "does not change." It just sits there.
A road "changes" from straight to windy, or from uphill to downhill, as you drive along. But the road "does not change" -- it just sits there. See how squirrely language is.
In some sense, there is change.
In some sense, there is no change.
What then is the nature of change?
>If you want to go a step further, you can consider "total existence of everything, including existence itself", as an equation of infinite variables, all dependant on other, infinite variables. We, as humans, in this limited universe only look at a tiny tiny piece of this equation; we call it reality/nature/being/existence. It is, still, however, interpretted by the variables our minds can comprehend, and thus, even a full human model of that "section" of the full equation would be lacking in variables incomprehensable to us. (Sort of borders on chaos theory, distantly... or does it oppose it?)... All "decision" is, is abiding by the variables. Your choice is yours, since you percieve it as such; but you in yourself are a small variable, influenced by everything (not limited to human-comprehensable variables), so your choice was really just following the infinite-dimension 'curve' that flows with the one equation. Everything affects everything. Who knows, you are probably affecting unpercievable variables in another universe right now, and your actions now may be, in fact, influenced by variables that cannot be comprehended or seen. My god, trying to explain this as a human sucks.
Does your 'variables' model agree with or disagree with the standard free will position?
Does your 'variables' model agree with or disagree with the standard determinism position?
'Variables' -- now that is a suspect idea. I don't believe in variables. The universe is entirely made of constants. That is, variability is not absolute; things can only "vary" in a restricted sense. Everything is frozen along the time axis, as in Rudy Rucker's well-illustrated semi-comic-book format _The Fourth Dimension_. This is what William James and the turn of the century Einstein gang refer to as the "block universe".
I think my explanation is crystal clear, and I have warded off the usual misunderstandings. There's nothing more to say; I have solved the great puzzle. Decisions and full existential freedom remain, any freedom beyond that does not exist, causality and predictability may or may not be true, but in any case, all thoughts and events are fixed eternally.
Mystic perception of change as frozen. Fatedness of intermediate actions. Weaknesses of conventional determinism.
I've posted about about philosophy, science, and the mystic
Determinism connects with mystic insight into the nature of self and self-control, and the relation of self and world.
I find it much easier to post on the net than to write articles and books, because there is so little responsibility and risk.
The theory that I have discovered is about Ego Death (and ego transcendence) in the confrontation with the intellectual apprehension of fatedness. It is The Cybernetic Theory of Ego Transcendence, which I have also called the Cybernetic Revelation, because it is so self-integrated that it is practically bound to be discovered soon. I see all knowledge converging toward it.
I've posted in:
science vs. mysticism
God is dead
humanism is alive in today's world!
determinism and rationality
the self-aware universe
the death of ego
free will is bunk
Every letter I typed and decision I made in this email sits here for all eternity. I am a vehicle for the world's eternal acts, a vehicle that is in some sense active and powerful, and in some sense passive and impotent, a slave of the changeless time axis.