Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Summary of Recent Thoughts

1. A fully deterministic world featuring physical laws of the usual sort would be time-symmetric (i.e. no way to objectively distinguish past from future). In a God’s eye view of the world time would not exist; also, from such a view one would see connections, but not causality. Time asymmetry and causation itself arise from the perspective of a point of view within the world.

2. Quantum mechanics shows us that an indeterminate future is brought into the causal past of the subject of experience as it interacts with the rest of the world.

3. The world is not a machine whose pieces obey deterministic laws with causality linking past to future. The world is a network of pieces which each have a subjective point of view as they interact with each other.

4. A subject’s interactions with the rest of the world constitute experience. Having first person, subjective experience is therefore part of what it means to be something existing in nature.

5. Our own human conscious experience is built up from the fundamental first-person experience of our constituent parts.

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