April 19, 2017

Hegel’s view seems to be in keeping with Clement, Athanasius, and Augustine

Robert Wallace
I don’t agree that Aristotle is a materialist. Matter is only one of the “four causes” that Aristotle unfolds in his Physics and Metaphysics. Essence, in his view, is form more than matter. And he has a theology that resembles Plato’s. (A good recent book on this Lloyd Gerson’s Aristotle and Other Platonists.)

Materialism was represented in ancient Greece by Democritus and Epicurus, and later by the Stoics, not by the Aristotelians. 

Hegel had high regard for Aristotle, primarily because he thought Aristotle had preserved what was indispensable in Plato and Greek thought in general. I focus on Plato as a way of bringing out this indispensable truth, which tends to get lost in technicalities in Aristotle’s voluminous writings.

Best, Bob W

However, Augustine doesn’t say “knows,” but “is.” There is every reason to think that he is echoing Plotinus (by whom he was inspired, on his route to becoming a Christian), who wrote that the divine One is “in” us (not “knows” us), and clearly intended this as an important fact about us. 

Well, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that I have a different view of Hegel from Russell’s. Hegel does not use the word “understanding” as a term of contempt; only as a term for a limited and therefore insufficient version of Reason. He has complete respect for the Understanding; he simply points out its limits. So when Hegel “pretends” that the world is rational and can therefore be understood, he doesn’t mean that what he calls the “understanding” can understand it. Russell’s point seems to be primarily a verbal one.

I have indicated why Hegel’s view seems to me to be in keeping with Clement, Athanasius, and Augustine.

When you say that “there is no real warrant in the Bible for the claim that God is omnipotent,” I would sympathize insofar as I think “omnipotence” as it’s usually understood involves a poor way of understanding God’s “power.” 

Would you be inclined also to object to the notion that God is “infinite”? 

Best, Bob 

Dear Vinod/Ram/Joe:
” Will it also not mean that all the quantum uncertainty of the quantum world is an apparent one as arising out from the observation ?”


If the relativistic inner workings of quantum mechanics are mathematically formulated correctly, the apparent quantum uncertainty can be shown to be arising from measurements in fixed (Newtonian) space-time while the quantum phenomena occurs in relativistic or dilated space-time. The root cause of uncertainty is the mismatch between the two space-times of classical measuring instruments (observer) vs quantum entity. This has been derived mathematically in my book – “The Hidden Factor”.

Best Regards
Avtar Singh, Sc.D.
Alumni, MIT
Author of "The Hidden Factor - An Approach for Resolving Paradoxes of Science, Cosmology, and Universal Reality"


I really do not understand what classical and non-classical logics and their foundations have to do with any of this. non-classical logics are generally extensions of classical logic to begin with so the foundations remain the same. But what I am not sure about is what you mean by 'foundations of logic.' As a historian of logic, to me, the foundations of logic are the rules of inference. Is there anything going on in quantum mechanics that defies the rules of inference? From what I understand is that in quantum uncertainty a classical law of probability is denied, but this is not a denial of any rule of inference of logic.



Yes, I guess we have quite opposed views of what 'logic' is. 'Logic' as an ordinary word has many uses and one cannot discard any use of the word. But my concern is with the history of logic, particularly of formal logic from Aristotle to Leibniz to Boole and Frege and others. When they developed their logics they bracketed, ontology, metaphysics and epistemology. I never claimed that logic has anything to do with epistemology either. Logic is basically the structure of inferential or computational thinking, which is a major component of the human mind, but surely not the only one. To expect to develop ontology or metaphysics or science out of logic is unrealistic. When Leibniz envisioned a universal logic he was after a universal language in which we could understand everything. It does not mean that physics is reduced to logic or that we can develop physics out of logic. 

I also do not know what you mean by dual logic or non dual logic. What does it have to do with logic as a science of inferences?


As you may know, I hold that consciousness can function in its three regimes: sub-conscious regime, normal everyday regime, and ultra-conscious regime. So, we may rely only on knowledge we get when our consciousness functions in its normal everyday regime. But, it is standing to reason that to study own consciousness presumes to study it as functioning in its all three regimes. 

Then, if I want to study my consciousness-as-an-object-of-study while it functions in its ultra-conscious regime (for example, I want to study some altered states of my consciousness), at the same time this same my consciousness-as-a-tool-of-study can no longer keep functioning in its normal everyday regime. In result, I get the indeterminacy in received research data. In so doing, the more my consciousness-as-an-object-of-study "goes" into ultra-conscious (or sub-conscious) spectrum of its functioning, the more indeterminacy in research data I will get. That is why the effect of the "veils of illusion" appears while meditating.

The Principle of Cognitive Indeterminacy is a serious (if not to say unbridgeable) problem on a way of studying consciousness when applying a first-person approach, but I have found a solution to this problem.

Serge Patlavskiy

As for the concept:  the Klein bottle is related to the four ontological loci: objects, image as objects, imaginal-process, and time.  
Concepts appear to be generated by a similar process of reflection about Other as just described at the most elementary stage of introducing the torsion geometry and its Klein bottle logic  

Either object, image-as-object, imagination-as-process and time  become signified  by the concept produced as a relation between them. But in no case the concept is independent of this relation which is  imaginal, and as such sustained by the four ontoloical loci of the Klein Bottle. However, as a representation, it manifests in a myriad of material (and cognitive) structures !

Would this be correct, the Klein Bottle logic does provide a locus  for concept. As for "essence", this impresses me as the noumenal being categorized in terms of Inside and Outside, i.e. dual logic again. Perhaps i am being overtly rash (and rushing at that). My apologies for my ignorance. 

 (But, for the KBL and HKBLs the implicit interiority that essence elicits is phenomenological, rather than explainable and conceiveable as a given, an apriori.) I withdraw at this point.

Thank you for your comments.



Edwards, Jonathan
Dear Vinod,
I see no reason why the absence of non-locality should be relevant to the mathematics or logic of the dynamics. It is simply a matter of all the mathematical relations operating locally, or if you like, no information travelling faster than the rate of propagation required by the parameters of the system.

‘Wave’ and ‘particle’ are lay metaphors that really have nothing much to do with quantum physics. The physics describes modes of excitation or action which are indivisible and therefore by definition UNENVISAGEABLE in familiar terms, because to envisage is always to break down into components. No waves or particles go through slits. Causal connections occur in domains of fields according to the math and the reality of such connections is defined by the potential to determine content of experience for an observer. No stuff and no wavy stuff either.

But the uncertainty of the quantum world is a priori necessary, as understood by Leibniz. If you have a set of rules of dynamic disposition that are continuous and symmetrical in a 3 dimensional space, as both classical and quantum dynamic rules are, and those rules are instantiated by discrete indivisible events or quantised modes, then you have to have randomness. As far as I can see the reason is remarkably simple. In order for the overall dynamic to be symmetrical, you have to ‘share out’ events fairly. And you cannot do that by dividing all the events up because they are indivisible, so you have to have a rule that on average shares fairly but for any given instance adds a new event in a random direction. The only alternative is to have a systematic rule of sequence of events progressing across all directions. However, this creates an infinite mathematical regress so can never be accomplished with truly continuous and symmetrical rules. So, as Leibniz says, the rules of nature will lay down what events are possible, but there will be scope within those rules for random variations. You cannot get the maths to work otherwise as far as I can see.

There is no defined boundary between quantum and classical scales because the distinction is not one of scale at all. A photon going from one galaxy to another has a domain of billions of cubic light years - no way is that small. In fact the photon has no size, only its domain. A nucleus is an aggregate of Fermions, and so does have size (a left side and a right side at different places) and therefore has largely classical dynamics - despite being tiny. Scale is irrelevant. The difference between classical and quantum is again very simple and told us by Leibniz. It is the difference between descriptions of aggregates, which instantiate ‘efficient causes’ and individual indivisibles, which instantiate a form of ‘final cause’. That is why the physics of light has always seemed like quantum theory, right back to Huygens and Newton, because light does not aggregate. It is why indivisible modes of action of large structures, such as the vibration of a violin string, are quantum level phenomena with their own quantum numbers.

Randomness is only required for individual dynamic units. Once you have an aggregate everything is shared fairly and so fits the continuous equations more or less smoothly.

So quantum uncertainty is a priori necessary, nothing to do with ‘measuring devices’.


Dear Jo

I think that is a brilliant argument for inherent randomness in QM.  Where can I find it in Leibniz's works? 

From what I remember hearing about Bohm's interpretation of QM, he at first included a randomising potential but removed it later thinking it was not needed.  He was wrong!  As you have demonstrated, it is essential.

For me,  whatever the equations of quantum field theory describe,  that entity is determining the qualia experienced by particular particles. And the resultant experiences are determining how likely each such particle is to be found at each position in spacetime (which really means the subjective location of its effect within the experience of other particles -another view I think Leibniz would support).

The reason for the randomness is because each one of these particles is free to choose any one of these possible positions at each moment in its private time experience.  And the reason its QFT-determined qualia fixes its probability of being found in a particular small volume element in space at a given time is because each particle does not think or plan where to go. It just freely chooses. And it is consequently twice as likely to choose region A over a similarly-sized region B if the qualia in region A are twice as salient/intense as those in region B.

That is the bare essence of my theory of Position Selecting Interactionism (PSI), to which the explanation for consciousness contained in my book THE BLIND MINDMAKER very clearly leads.  It is as far as I can see the only way of explaining all the facts about human experience that does not invoke any functionalism or other supernatural forces. Since functionalism is totally indefensible in the light of what science has revealed, I am convinced PSI is the correct hypothesis.

Although it would entail some highly complex neurobiology,  I do not think that is any reason to doubt the hypothesis. After all, nature had 100 billion neurons to play with in every human brain. I have absolutely no doubt she can create a pattern of potentials that we experience as different types of qualia (due to differences in the particles that give rise to it rather than in the functions it is adapted for), and that the patterns of 'probability' formed by these potentials are isomorphic with those of the appropriate qualia in our subjective space.

My book identifies selection pressures that would result in just such a pattern of potentials under the mere assumption that it is possible for something in the brain to cause a particle to exist in a spread-out quantum state and then measure its position through random interactions with regularly spaced detectors that are each capable of sending their output signal to a different part of the brain.

However implausible that may seem,  it doesn't require any functionalism - a principle that we have absolutely no scientific reason to believe in. Moreover,  the use of quantum tunneling in our sense of smell and the impressively long-lasting entanglement between electrons in a robin's eye shows that nature can generate the sort of spread-out particle state that my theory requires even within warm and wet biological structures.

Best wishes, 

(C.  S.  Morrison,  author of The Blind Mindmaker: Explaining Consciousness without Magic or Misrepresentation)

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