Brain in a vat

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by James R, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    This tends to happen with many a complex entity.

    The number of configurations something has rises exponentially with the number of its building blocks, be they neurons or snowflakes. Dump 10^12 snowflakes on the lawn and you will find a vast number of combinations, no two alike.

    There's no question that neurons are even more complex than snowflakes - not the least of which because the properties of snowflakes are not synergistic: they do not enhance each other. Neurons do.

    The brain has been described as the most complex thing in the universe. It is no wonder that it produces complex patterns unrivaled in the universe. That does require it to have any ineffable qualities beyond those we see.
     
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  3. birch Valued Senior Member

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    This simulation conjecture is valid in that nothing is completely solid but something yet undetected is binding matter together into patterns.

    I think i should kind of apologize as i am not trying to say that anything should be considered real. Everything has a mechanism and cause, i was just pointing out there is still a lot yet undiscovered. There is a tendency to consider phenomenon without evidence as non-existent. I see it as there is no way to understand the cause at this current time. But even though i often stress the non-particular most of the time, logic, reason, facts and evidence are of course utmost importance otherwise its unrealistic.
     
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  5. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    That would be me to a T

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    I need to See Touch Hear Smell Slice and/or Dice and probably experience something via a few other senses before I would consider anything to be real

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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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  8. river

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    Obfuscates what we do see as reality .

    We tend to explore this , " illusion " rather than , what is not an illusion .

    We have become confused .
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I highly recommend this book by Discovery Host Jay Ingram.

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  10. birch Valued Senior Member

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  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    And here's a recent book that examines many of the lines of argument that the 'Brain in a vat' thought experiment has spawned. I just encountered it over at University Press Books in Berkeley on Thursday and bought a copy.

    https://www.amazon.com/Brain-Vat-Classic-Philosophical-Arguments/dp/1107643384

    It seem to emphasize the semantics of word reference.

    It talks about the argument that a BIV consciousness could never assert that it is a BIV, since the words the BIV uses would lack the proper causal connection to their referrants that establishes their meanings.

    And it talks about Hilary Putnam's attempted extension of that kind of argument using model theory and the Lowenheim-Skolem theorem (a result in the logical foundations of mathematics).
     

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