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Constructing the World Week 7

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1 Constructing the World Week 7
David Chalmers

2 Minimizing the Base So far I’ve argued that all truths are a priori scrutable from PQTI- microphysics, phenomenology, that’s-all, indexicals How much further can we narrow the base? Is there a principled minimal basis?

3 Heuristics Heuristics for suggesting that B is scrutable from A
Knowability: Knowing A enables knowing B Conceivability: A without B is inconceivable Analysis: B-expressions are approximately analyzable in terms of A-expressions.

4 Conceptual Priority A heuristic for further narrowing the base
Aim for conceptual priority in a base A is conceptually prior to B when... Grasping B requires grasping A? Articulating B requires articulating A? B can be approximately defined in terms of A?

5 Twin-Earthability A is twin-earthable when intrinsic duplicates can use A nondeferentially with different content ‘water’, ‘Godel’ not ‘philosopher’, ‘circle’, ‘conscious’? Arguably: Twin-earthable truths are scrutable from non-twin-earthable truths plus indexical truths Aim for non-twinearthable expressions and indexicals in the base

6 Microphysics Microphysical expressions are approximately analyzable, by the Carnap-Ramsey-Lewis method, in terms of observable and nomic expressions Charge = what plays the charge role Repeat for various theoretical terms Grounded in laws, primary and secondary quality expressions?

7 Observational Truths Observational truths involving secondary qualities Functionalist view: Analyzable via and scrutable from phenomenal and causal truths e.g. redness = normal cause of red experience, or disposition to cause red experience Primitivist view: Not analyzable in this way red is a primitive concept, such that red things normally cause red experiences is not a priori

8 Spatiotemporal Truths
Are spatiotemporal truths scrutable from nonspatiotemporal truths? Functionalist view: a priori scrutable from phenomenal and nomic truths e.g. length/distance = what causes experiences as of length/distance Primitivist view: Not analyzable/scrutable in this way. Primitive spatiotemporal concepts.

9 Spatiotemporal Twin-Earthability
Spatiotemporal Twin Earth cases (Brad Thompson): Doubled Earth: Everything is twice as big. Big Oscar is a functional/phenomenal duplicate of Oscar. Claim: When Big Oscar says ‘That is two meters long’ he speaks truly. So Big Oscar refers to two meters with ‘one meter’. Suggests: ‘one meter’ = (roughly) what normally causes experiences as of one meter.

10 El Greco World What about shape and relative size?
El Greco World: Everything is stretched out by a factor of two on one dimension. Stretched Oscar is twice as tall as Oscar. Claim: When Stretched Oscar says ‘That is square’ he speaks truly. So his ‘square’ refers to what we call rectangles.

11 Intuition Pump Say that we turn out to be in Stretched Oscar’s situation: our galaxy is stretched relative to rest of the world, macrophysical length is nonuniform with respect to microphysical length. Claim: even if so, our ordinary claims re squareness are true and experiences are veridical. We’d distinguish macrosquareness from microsquareness (etc), and hold that ‘square’ refers to macrosquareness. Even better: if fundamental physics doesn’t use spacetime (cf. the Matrix).

12 Choice Point Functionalist view: Spatiotemporal expressions are Twin-Earthable and analyzable, like color (on functionalist view): spatiotemporal properties = those properties that normally cause relevant experiences Primitivist view: Spatiotemporal concepts are primitive, non-Twin- Earthable, unanalyzable spatiotemporal expressions in base

13 Causal and Nomic Truths
Humean scrutability: Nomic truths are scrutable from non-nomic truths (e.g. spatiotemporal truths) Base involves spatiotemporal mosaic? Non-Humean view: Nomic truths are not scrutable from non-nomic truths Base involves laws of nature?

14 Conceivability Heuristic
Test case: Can we conceive that all the non-nomic truths obtain and the nomic truths are different? E.g. conceivability of Giant Cosmic Coincidence world Pair of Tooley worlds with different laws of nature for uninstantiated interactions

15 Which Nomic Expressions?
If we need nomic expressions in the base, then which? Arguably, law (or it is naturally necessary that) is more fundamental than cause? If the world is nondeterministic, we may also need chance.

16 Phenomenal Truths Type-A materialist: Phenomenal truths are a priori scrutable from physical truths (and from nomic/spatiotemporal truths?) analytic functionalist, eliminativist, ... Phenomenal realist: Phenomenal truths are not a priori scrutable from physical truths (or...) Type-B materialist, dualist, panpsychist, ...

17 Analyzing Phenomenal Truths
Are phenomenal concepts analyzable in some other (non-functionalist) way? Intentionalist: phenomenal redness = phenomenally representing (external, primitive?) redness Naive realist: phenomenal redness = veridical perception of red object, or hallucination thereof? Panprotopsychist: phenomenal truths scrutable from protophenomenal truths?

18 Quiddities Quiddities: The “hidden” categorical bases of fundamental microphysical dispositions E.g. property X plays the charge role View 1: No quiddities distinct from roles View 2: Numerically distinct quiddities View 3: Substantial graspable quiddities View 4: Substantial ungraspable quiddities

19 Quiddistic Scrutability
Are all quiddistic truths scrutable from role truths? Arguably yes on views 1, 2, 4 (though...) Plausibly no on view 3 (thick quidditism) View 3 involves conceptual quidditism and plausibly leads to epistemological quidditism It’s conceivable that X plays the charge role and that Y plays that charge role

20 Quiddistic Expressions
If epistemological quidditism is correct, we’ll need quiddistic expressions in the base Phenomenal? (panpsychism) Protophenomenal? (panprotopsychism) Secondary qualities? (pancolorism) Other? (humility re intrinsics)

21 Compression Using Laws
Given determinism: boundary conditions plus laws? Given probabilistic laws: boundary conditions plus laws plus ... Specifiable using description of countable length?

22 Other Minimization Issues
Which indexicals? Which logical expressions? Which mathematical expressions? Categorical expressions? That’s-all expressions?

23 Packages Four major choice points:
Spatiotemporal expressions: yes or no Nomic expressions: yes or no Phenomenal expressions: yes or no Quiddities: yes or no Sixteen resulting potential bases? N.B. Pluralism remains possible, depending on issues about conceptual priority.

24 Sixteen Packages SNPQ, SNP, ..., S, N, P, -
-: yields Newman’s problem? P: yields phenomenalism or Humean panpsychism? S: Lewis’s Humean scrutability? N: nomic structuralism My view: NP, or NQ (with protophenomena), or perhaps NPQ

25 Principled Scrutability Bases
Narrow Scrutability: Base is non- Twinearthable Primitive Scrutability: Base involves primitive concepts Acquaintance Scrutability: Base involves objects of acquaintance (epistemically rigid concepts?) Fundamental Scrutability: Base involves metaphysical fundamentals (plus...) Structural Scrutability: Base involves relations

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