Epistemology yet again

Walter Kant Asked about Epistemology

[ 27/October/22 Walter Kant asked:
Why are epistemological (philosophical) opinions wrong?

(e.g. materialism and idealism are not only contradictory but also wrong)

My opinion:
Because they are based on the illusions of metaphysics and faith (and not knowledge)!?]

It seems very likely to me that reality is more complex than any computational entity can deal with, and also contains aspects that are fundamentally uncertain.

It seems that we exist at a scale, and in a set of contexts, where very large collections of these fundamentally uncertain entities can very closely approximate “classical causality” and allow for the emergence of complex entities like ourselves, through a deeply recursively complex suite of processes that is evolution by natural selection. Contrary to simplistic popular dogma, the emergence and survival of new levels of complexity seems to actually be predicated at every level upon new levels of cooperation, and that rapidly get deeply complex in recursive strategic probability spaces.

Given all of that, it is necessary that all entities start out making simplifying assumptions in order to make any sense of anything.

Many classes of those simplifying assumptions are actually “hard coded” into the structure of our neural networks by the evolutionary process.

Many more classes are “soft coded” into the structures of language and culture that we each get born into, and form part of the complex hierarchy of structures that give us the properties, abilities and freedoms that we have, and our limited and fallible abilities to each make whatever sense we can of ourselves, our situation and the nature of the existence within which we find ourselves.

Many different classes of entity exist that attempt to maintain boundaries of “Truth”, and many social groupings and sets of social acceptance are predicated on the acceptance of some level of “Truth” and some degree of “Faith”. There is a certain level of strategic necessity in that, and it does seem to actually be deeply more complex and fundamentally uncertain than any such simplistic set of heuristics can possible accommodate; but very few individuals are able to explore beyond the bounds of social acceptance to gain much appreciation of what seems to be present.

Thus all classes of logic, even the simplest of binary logic (True/False), can be useful approximations in some sets of contexts, and all seem to fail in other contexts. Fundamental uncertainty delivers that unsettling result.

So it seems very probable to me that the simple idea of “Truth” is a simplistic notion that has a degree of utility but no actual direct referent in reality (reality always having some levels of fundamental uncertainty present – for many different classes of reasons). This is why I prefer the term “useful approximation” over “Truth” in respect of anything “real”, as distinct from anything that is a logical construct from some set of propositions (which can be a useful application of the term “Truth”).

[followed by Walter Kant – What causes this complexity? How is this complexity created?]

This existence we find ourselves in seems to be a balance between the lawful and the random.

That seems to underlie all complexity.

That seems to me to be a great thing, because only in such a universe is it possible for some real degrees of freedom to exist alongside complex entities.

In a universe totally bound by classical causality, there is no space for freedom, everything is always and necessarily bound by prior causes.

Only where pattern can coexist with the random, to some degree, and within some sets of constraints, can we get both sufficiently close approximations to classical causality for the emergence of complexity such as us, and also for there to be meaningful degrees of freedom and choice at boundaries.

That does seem to be what we find ourselves in.

That does seem to me to be the most interesting of all possible universes – with both reasonable degrees of security, and eternal novelty; demanding of us the greatest degrees of responsibility we can manage if we wish to survive in it.

[followed byWalter Kant Are there coincidences (arbitrariness) outside of the quantum world? E g.?]

What do you mean by coincidence?

What are you implying?

Most of what most people call coincidence seems to be artifacts of the necessarily simplistic models that we have of whatever reality actually is.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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