Log in

No account? Create an account
The Mad Schemes of Dr. Tectonic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Help Me, Captain Philosophy! [Aug. 16th, 2006|04:51 pm]
I took a relatively interesting philosophy quiz (here) that characterizes me as a metaphysical Realist, an epistemological Subjectivist, and an ethical Utilitarian.

The corresponding viewpoints aren't a horrible match -- they're better than the subcategories listed under the polar opposite "Reductionist/Absolutist/Relativist" type, but still, there were a bunch of questions where none of the answers really fit what I believe. There are lots of these questions to which my answer is really mu -- either the question is ill-posed, or there's not enough context to give a proper answer.

So, not that I actually expect anybody on my flist can answer the question, but: Can you help me find a label for my philosophical outlook?

In a nutshell, here's what I think. There are two kinds of thing in the world: physical things, and informational things. A rock is physical; a 30-60-90 triangle is informational. Your mind is software (informational) that runs on the hardware of your body (physical). Part of your mind is a model of the objective physical universe; this model is imperfect, being fed by your imperfect perceptions of the universe, but there's an isomorphism between model and reality.

Here's the part that seems to be unconventional: I've come to believe that statements about physical things are qualitatively different than statements about informational things. In particular, boolean truth is applicable only to purely informational propositions. Statement about physical things evaluate to what I'll call "floating-point truth".

So what is that? Property dualism? Fuzzy-logic Aristotelianism? Any ideas?

[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-08-17 01:31 am (UTC)
I think what I mean is that a particular arrangements of states of physical components can instantiate an informational entity. But an informational thing has properties independent of its instantiation, and could be instantiated in a different medium.

After you move the rocks, there's a triangle there that wasn't there before. I think 'create' is an appropriate verb for that, but we have to be careful. You didn't create the abstract 30-60-90 triangle pattern, you arranged existing things to make a physical version of the pattern.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2006-08-17 01:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, OK. I think I would say you're not a dualist, except perhaps a semantic one in that you insist on using the word "thing" to describe patterns. Which I can't really blame you for, since "thing" is such a slippery word anyway.

Or, at least, if you're a dualist, so is everybody else who is even remotely living on the same planet as me.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)