Intelligent Systems And Their Societies Walter Fritz

Materialism

 

Materialism says, "All reality consists only of matter".

Reality here means the "cause of all sensations" and the mind. When we say that, according to Einstein, matter and energy are the same, then it is correct that all the universe, including the cause of all sensations outside our IS and the IS itself is composed only of matter and energy. So what materialism says is quite true. But how useful is it? When we say that a book consists only of paper and oily graphite, is that a good description of the book "Gone with the Wind"? It seems that the shape of the graphite, in the form of letters, that we can interpret as words and which then give sense to the paragraphs, is quite important. It is true that they are only matter, but by the form they have, they represent much more than matter without shape. They are a communication, used for transmitting information. They are "matter or energy organized by and for us to signify something" (the author is quoting Charles Francois). The same is true of the numbers representing concepts and experiences within the artificial mind. Sure, they are only electrical energy, but by their interrelations they represent much more than what simple unformed matter or energy can represent.

So what materialism says is true, but is it a useful vision of this world?

 

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Last Edited 30 July 2013 / Walter Fritz
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