Thought vs Matter/Energy

Discussions on the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences.

Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby lateralsuz on November 30th, 2019, 2:56 am 

In his book 'Our Existence Part 1 : The Nature and Origin of Physical Matter", Christophe Finipolscie explores a major distinction between the alternate philosophies of Existence - relating to 'Causality'. One phrase he gives us is this:-

"Thought is the only thing that can cause Matter/Energy to deviate from its inevitable chemical path."

I love this quote, but I'm intrigued to see whether you feel this might be true?

To provide a context, Finipolscie argues that ….

Materialism and Determinism are firmly based on the strict scientific principle that "A single precise starting point can only have one precise outcome'. From this, many senior physicists will talk about the inevitability of activity within matter/energy. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that this is true within Matter/Energy, and it is a prime reason why science is able to use mathematics to define its theories.

All alternate viewpoints, to varying degrees, suggest that true change is possible, and therefore outcomes are not inevitable. Indeed, this is the basis of Free Will - on which we structure the laws of our society.

Finipolscie argues that true/fundamental change either requires

Spontaneity - actions without a prior cause
Randomness - actions where more than one outcome is possible

ie. the opposites of cause & effect.

He is effectively placing the old philosophical debate on a scientific footing.

While he acknowledges that the easiest examples of spontaneity or randomness are potentially found in Thought, he also he provides a series of scientific findings from the past 50 years or so, which suggest that randomness or spontaneity may truly be occurring - although they seem rare events in the purely physical rather than mental realm.

Do you feel that the old philosophical debate is still valid?
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Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby davidm on December 2nd, 2019, 12:39 pm 

Based on what you have written here, it seems your author thinks that the only choices on offer are agent-causal (contra-causal) libertarianism, or else hard determinism. This is a bifurcation fallacy. Has he ever heard of compatibilism? Or neo-Humeanism?
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Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby charon on December 2nd, 2019, 3:02 pm 

I don't quite see why it should be thought versus matter/energy. Isn't thought also matter/energy?
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Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby lateralsuz on December 5th, 2019, 8:29 pm 

davidm

The author doesn't present a binary choice.

If you read the books, he takes a very pro-science approach but explores the different ways in which the evidence might be interpreted - leaving the reader to choose their preferred interpretation while being aware of the others.

He uses materialism/determinism vs 'Idealism' to mark different extremes along the full range of different philosophies.

I like this approach - and I like some of his one liners, but I'd say he was 'an' author rather than 'my' author.
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Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

Postby lateralsuz on December 5th, 2019, 8:49 pm 

Hello charon

I don't quite see why it should be thought versus matter/energy. Isn't thought also matter/energy?


The argument presented in the books is that Thought has some familiar characteristics which might not be explained by strict causality. If you accept those examples, then he suggests that logically, Thought may not come entirely from matter/energy if the latter is entirely bound by strict causality.

He then presents more potential examples of randomness and spontaneity from scientific findings in a range of fields - and if these are also not unreasonable to consider that way, then he argues that there would be more evidence of this broader capability as a real factor in existence as a whole. It could explain a lot of things that currently defy explanation.

Referring to this factor as 'another type of stuff' with different capabilities to matter/energy, (as a simple way of considering the possibilities), he acknowledges that if we truly see randomness and spontaneity at the quantum level of existence then the notion of another type of stuff may actually just represent different levels of existence. However there is a real question over whether the unpredictability of quantum effects truly represents randomness or a merely the causal influence of an unknown factors

He also indicates how the different factors might fit within different philosophies.

Hope this makes some sense.
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