Topic: Philosophy/Metaphysics

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๐Ÿ”— Boltzmann Brain

๐Ÿ”— Physics ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics

The Boltzmann brain argument suggests that it is more likely for a single brain to spontaneously and briefly form in a void (complete with a false memory of having existed in our universe) than it is for our universe to have come about in the way modern science thinks it actually did. It was first proposed as a reductio ad absurdum response to Ludwig Boltzmann's early explanation for the low-entropy state of our universe.

In this physics thought experiment, a Boltzmann brain is a fully formed brain, complete with memories of a full human life in our universe, that arises due to extremely rare random fluctuations out of a state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Theoretically over a period of time on the order of hundreds of billions of years, by sheer chance atoms in a void could spontaneously come together in such a way as to assemble a functioning human brain. Like any brain in such circumstances, it would almost immediately stop functioning and begin to deteriorate.

The idea is ironically named after the Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann (1844โ€“1906), who in 1896 published a theory that tried to account for the fact that we find ourselves in a universe that is not as chaotic as the budding field of thermodynamics seemed to predict. He offered several explanations, one of them being that the universe, even one that is fully random (or at thermal equilibrium), would spontaneously fluctuate to a more ordered (or low-entropy) state. One criticism of this "Boltzmann universe" hypothesis is that the most common thermal fluctuations are as close to equilibrium overall as possible; thus, by any reasonable criterion, actual humans in the actual universe would be vastly less likely than "Boltzmann brains" existing alone in an empty universe.

Boltzmann brains gained new relevance around 2002, when some cosmologists started to become concerned that, in many existing theories about the Universe, human brains in the current Universe appear to be vastly outnumbered by Boltzmann brains in the future Universe who, by chance, have exactly the same perceptions that we do; this leads to the conclusion that statistically we ourselves are likely to be Boltzmann brains. Such a reductio ad absurdum argument is sometimes used to argue against certain theories of the Universe. When applied to more recent theories about the multiverse, Boltzmann brain arguments are part of the unsolved measure problem of cosmology. Boltzmann brains remain a thought experiment; physicists do not believe that we are actually Boltzmann brains, but rather use the thought experiment as a tool for evaluating competing scientific theories.

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๐Ÿ”— Ship of Theseus

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Logic ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Contemporary philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Ancient philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of mind ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Modern philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Analytic philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Folklore

In the metaphysics of identity, the ship of Theseus is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. The concept is one of the oldest in Western philosophy, having been discussed by the likes of Heraclitus and Plato by ca. 500-400 BC.

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๐Ÿ”— Dialetheism

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Logic ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics

Dialetheism (from Greek ฮดฮน- di- 'twice' and แผ€ฮปฮฎฮธฮตฮนฮฑ alแธ—theia 'truth') is the view that there are statements that are both true and false. More precisely, it is the belief that there can be a true statement whose negation is also true. Such statements are called "true contradictions", dialetheia, or nondualisms.

Dialetheism is not a system of formal logic; instead, it is a thesis about truth that influences the construction of a formal logic, often based on pre-existing systems. Introducing dialetheism has various consequences, depending on the theory into which it is introduced. A common mistake resulting from this is to reject dialetheism on the basis that, in traditional systems of logic (e.g., classical logic and intuitionistic logic), every statement becomes a theorem if a contradiction is true, trivialising such systems when dialetheism is included as an axiom. Other logical systems, however, do not explode in this manner when contradictions are introduced; such contradiction-tolerant systems are known as paraconsistent logics. Dialetheists who do not want to allow that every statement is true are free to favour these over traditional, explosive logics.

Graham Priest defines dialetheism as the view that there are true contradictions. Jc Beall is another advocate; his position differs from Priest's in advocating constructive (methodological) deflationism regarding the truth predicate.

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๐Ÿ”— Bertrand Russell

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Mathematics ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Logic ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Social and political philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Biography/science and academia ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of science ๐Ÿ”— Linguistics ๐Ÿ”— Linguistics/Theoretical Linguistics ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophers ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Epistemology ๐Ÿ”— Sociology ๐Ÿ”— Politics of the United Kingdom ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of language ๐Ÿ”— Chicago ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics ๐Ÿ”— Linguistics/Philosophy of language ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Analytic philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Atheism ๐Ÿ”— Biography/Peerage and Baronetage

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 โ€“ 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he also confessed that his sceptical nature had led him to feel that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense." Russell was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.

In the early 20th century, Russell led the British "revolt against idealism". He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G.ย E. Moore and protรฉgรฉ Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create a logical basis for mathematics, the quintessential work of classical logic. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy". His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science (see type theory and type system) and philosophy, especially the philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics.

Russell was a prominent anti-war activist and he championed anti-imperialism. Occasionally, he advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed and he decided he would "welcome with enthusiasm" world government. He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, Russell concluded that war against Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany was a necessary "lesser of two evils" and criticised Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought".

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๐Ÿ”— Mathematical Universe Hypothesis

๐Ÿ”— Physics ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of science ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics

In physics and cosmology, the mathematical universe hypothesis (MUH), also known as the ultimate ensemble theory, is a speculative "theory of everything" (TOE) proposed by cosmologist Max Tegmark.

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๐Ÿ”— Religious Views of Isaac Newton

๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— Mathematics ๐Ÿ”— Religion ๐Ÿ”— Physics ๐Ÿ”— London ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— England ๐Ÿ”— Biography/science and academia ๐Ÿ”— Astronomy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of science ๐Ÿ”— History of Science ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophers ๐Ÿ”— Biography/politics and government ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics ๐Ÿ”— Physics/Biographies ๐Ÿ”— Christianity ๐Ÿ”— Christianity/theology ๐Ÿ”— Lincolnshire ๐Ÿ”— Anglicanism

Isaac Newton (4 January 1643 โ€“ 31 March 1727) was considered an insightful and erudite theologian by his Protestant contemporaries. He wrote many works that would now be classified as occult studies, and he wrote religious tracts that dealt with the literal interpretation of the Bible. He kept his heretical beliefs private.

Newton's conception of the physical world provided a model of the natural world that would reinforce stability and harmony in the civic world. Newton saw a monotheistic God as the masterful creator whose existence could not be denied in the face of the grandeur of all creation. Although born into an Anglican family, and a devout but unorthodox Christian, by his thirties Newton held a Christian faith that, had it been made public, would not have been considered orthodox by mainstream Christians. Scholars now consider him a Nontrinitarian Arian.

He may have been influenced by Socinian christology.

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๐Ÿ”— Neutral Monism

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of religion ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of mind ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics

Neutral monism is an umbrella term for a class of metaphysical theories in the philosophy of mind, concerning the relation of mind to matter. These theories take the fundamental nature of reality to be neither mental nor physical; in other words it is "neutral".

Neutral monism has gained prominence as a potential solution to theoretical issues within the philosophy of mind, specifically the mindโ€“body problem and the hard problem of consciousness. The mindโ€“body problem is the problem of explaining how mind relates to matter. The hard problem is a related philosophical problem targeted at physicalist theories of mind specifically: the problem arises because it is not obvious how a purely physical universe could give rise to conscious experience. This is because physical explanations are mechanistic: that is, they explain phenomena by appealing to underlying functions and structures. And, though explanations of this sort seem to work well for a wide variety of phenomena, conscious experience seems uniquely resistant to functional explanations. As the philosopher David Chalmers has put it: "even when we have explained the performance of all the cognitive and behavioral functions in the vicinity of experience - perceptual discrimination, categorization, internal access, verbal report - there may still remain a further unanswered question: Why is the performance of these functions accompanied by experience?" The hard problem has motivated Chalmers and other philosophers to abandon the project of explaining consciousness in terms physical or chemical mechanisms (only 56.5% of philosophers are physicalists, according to the most recent PhilPapers survey).

With this, there has been growing demand for alternative ontologies (such as neutral monism) that may provide explanatory frameworks more suitable for explaining the existence of consciousness. It has been accepted by several prominent English-speaking philosophers, such as William James and Bertrand Russell.

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๐Ÿ”— Unintended consequences

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Systems ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Social and political philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Sociology ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Ethics ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics

In the social sciences, unintended consequences (sometimes unanticipated consequences or unforeseen consequences) are outcomes of a purposeful action that are not intended or foreseen. The term was popularised in the twentieth century by American sociologist Robert K. Merton.

Unintended consequences can be grouped into three types:

  • Unexpected benefit: A positive unexpected benefit (also referred to as luck, serendipity or a windfall).
  • Unexpected drawback: An unexpected detriment occurring in addition to the desired effect of the policy (e.g., while irrigation schemes provide people with water for agriculture, they can increase waterborne diseases that have devastating health effects, such as schistosomiasis).
  • Perverse result: A perverse effect contrary to what was originally intended (when an intended solution makes a problem worse).

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๐Ÿ”— Omega Point

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of religion ๐Ÿ”— Alternative Views ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics

The Omega Point is a theorized future event in which the entirety of the universe spirals toward a final point of unification. The term was invented by the French Jesuit Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881โ€“1955). Teilhard argued that the Omega Point resembles the Christian Logos, namely Christ, who draws all things into himself, who in the words of the Nicene Creed, is "God from God", "Light from Light", "True God from True God", and "through him all things were made". In the Book of Revelation, Christ describes himself thrice as "the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end". Several decades after Teilhard's death, the idea of the Omega Point was expanded upon in the writings of John David Garcia (1971), Paolo Soleri (1981), Frank Tipler (1994), and David Deutsch (1997).

๐Ÿ”— Holon

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Systems ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of mind ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics

A holon (Greek: แฝ…ฮปฮฟฮฝ, from แฝ…ฮปฮฟฯ‚, holos, 'whole' and -ฮฟฮฝ, -on, 'part') is something that is simultaneously a whole in and of itself, as well as a part of a larger whole. In other words, holons can be understood as the constituent partโ€“wholes of a hierarchy.

The holon represents a way to overcome the dichotomy between parts and wholes, as well as a way to account for both the self-assertive and the integrative tendencies of organisms. The term was coined by Arthur Koestler in The Ghost in the Machine (1967). In Koestler's formulations, a holon is something that has integrity and identity while simultaneously being a part of a larger system; it is a subsystem of a greater system.

Holons are sometimes discussed in the context of self-organizing holarchic open (SOHO) systems.