|Ontology: is the set of material or immaterial objects, of which a theory assumes that it can make statements about them. According to classical logic, an existence assumption must be assumed. In other fields of knowledge, the question of whether relations really exist or are merely mental constructs, is not always regarded as decisive as long as one can work with them. Immaterial objects are e.g. linguistic structures in linguistics. See also existence, mathematical entities, theoretical entities, theoretical terms, reality, metaphysics, semantic web._____________Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments. |
David Chalmers on Ontology - Dictionary of Arguments
Ontology/Aspects/Information/Psychological/Physical/Chalmers: If we speak of phenomenal and physical (physically realized) information, how seriously do we have to take ontological implications? To what extent is information here reified? Does it mean that the physical, the phenomenal or both are ontologically dependent on the information?
Ontology/Chalmers: if we regard information as something with two aspects, which one is primary? Are information spaces and informational states merely useful constructs or are they ontologically fundamental, is information primary or the physical and the phenomenal?
Property dualism/Chalmers: I want to go beyond it, because the two aspects are merely separated in him. I would like to take the role that the information plays more seriously. We will pursue speculative metaphysics.
In physical theories, fundamental states are individuated as information states.
While physics does not tell us what mass or charge is, it has to do with differences and localizations in the corresponding information spaces. Physics does not make any statements as to how the information states are realized, as long as the causal or dynamic structure is correctly captured.
So the universe could be a gigantic computer.
Fredkin: (1990)(1) Thesis: the universe could be a huge cellular automaton.
Leckey: (1993)(2) Thesis: the space-time could be based in a computer process with different registers with appropriate causal relations between them for every basic property of the world.
Ontology/Chalmers: then one would have a picture of the world as a world of pure information. According to this point of view, it is a mistake to want to say more about the world.
VsWheeler/VsFredkin: 1. Phenomenal properties have an intrinsic nature that is exhausted by localization in the information space.
2. The concept of a pure flow of information is not coherent. Could not there be differences which, on their part, are not again based in differences of some underlying property? Differences must always be differences in something.
Solution/VsVs/Chalmers: We could have direct knowledge about an intrinsic nature in the world and this might be used to justify informational states.
Chalmers: so we can pick up Russell's suggestion and say that the unknown intrinsic properties of the world are phenomenal (or proto-phanomenal) properties. Russell needed them as the causal characteristics underlying physics, we need them for the foundation of informational states. We can solve two problems at the same time with this.
Chalmer's thesis: the information spaces that physics demands are themselves based on phenomenal or proto-phanomenal properties. Each time a mass or charge is realized, this is based on micro-phenomenal property behind it. The final differences are micro-phenomenal differences. Thus, we have two aspects. > Phenomenology/Chalmers, >Proto phenomena.
1. E. Fredikin, Digital Mechanics. Physica D45, 1990,: pp. 254-70
2. M. Leckey, The universe as a computer. A model for prespace metaphysics. Ms Philosophy Department, Monash University, 1993._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
The Conscious Mind Oxford New York 1996
Constructing the World Oxford 2014