August 03, 2006

Flirting with incurable view of emptiness

Anand Rangarajan Says: August 2nd, 2006 at 5:06 am Hi Mark, Thanks for that explanation of both interior/exterior and individual/collective. You say “These are not made up categories - they are forms of perceiving, knowing being and doing that all knowledge quests describe in some way.” [edited] I’ve wondered for a while if this - Wilber’s taxonomy - was not a dual-aspect (or perhaps quad-aspect) theory in disguise. From my (physicalist) perspective, these distinctions cannot be basic - they have to be naturalized. That is, there has to be something basic that entails these distinctions and you cannot begin with them.
I also find the notion of holons to be very problematic and if all holons have an interior, it sounds as though Wilber is a panpsychist or at least headed in that direction. Having said all this, recently Wilber seems to be becoming a pan-perspectivist. If so, can’t he ditch all this earlier stuff about holons, interior/exterior, individual/collective etc.? He could begin with perspectives and a naturalistic base (that generates familiar things like particles, fields and spacetime) and use it to entail everything else. Of course, I could be wrong about the way he uses the word perspective and consequently may have misunderstood him.
Anand Rangarajan Says: August 2nd, 2006 at 6:18 pm Edward: Thanks for the TSK link. I know someone who knows TSK inside out and will check with him. Oddly he’s pro Dennett and thinks that Dennett has solved the mind-body problem - weird - I know.
Andy: I don’t understand why Wilber should say that “everything is perspective” unless he means something else by perspective. But we don’t need to worry about the way he uses the word. There’s no reason why we can’t follow Stoljar and begin with the idea that a new physics is required to accommodate experience - and this stems from his ignorance hypothesis. We set up the new physics - a naturalistic “bottom up” base that generates the familiar world of particles, fields, spacetime etc. - and then add a top down aspect - namely perspectives.
The “interaction” of perspectives with the bottom up content generates experience. For example, I find it quite natural to believe that a perspective constrains a set of bottom up possibilities. If the perspective is 1st person, you’ll get experience in the interior of the perspectival boundary. You could even get quite cheeky and posit a null perspective that doesn’t constrain any possibility - resulting in an emptiness perspective - but that’s probably flirting with an incurable view of emptiness.
While the above is unbelievably speculative, it follows Stoljar and Seth Lloyd - the naturalistic base - and adds perspectives in a “top down” fashion. What do y’all think? I asked Chalmers if this made sense and while he thought it was wild, he didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. Could be a clean approach to the problem of accommodating experience.

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