Monday, August 20, 2012

blow your mind

Wanna make your brain explode? Read this profound post by Peter, over at Conscious Entities, on the nature and origin of the universe, and on the various interwoven ontological necessities that propel it forward through time-- all in an attempt to explain the difficulty we have of reckoning with a phenomenon like qualia (i.e., subjective, phenomenal components of experience). My head is spinning. A quick sample of what you're in for:

Why do the contents of the world seem so arbitrary and random? I suggest there are two reasons. First, the ongoing transcendence which drives the universe is nomic as well as ontic. It’s not just that there’s more stuff, there are more, and more complex, underlying laws. Our view of the long-term past and future is therefore obscured: the ancient universe was not just physically smaller but metaphysically impoverished or cramped, too, and long-term extrapolations are systematically thrown off by this. If we could understand the process properly, it may be that things would look less random – though I grant that for the moment this must be an optimistic article of faith rather than a rigorously deduced conclusion.

Ontic means real; nomic means law-governed. I'm not sure I either follow or agree with Peter's contention that (meta)physical laws continued to come into being as the early universe unfolded itself; to me, it seems more likely that the laws were all "in place" at the moment of the Big Bang. Far from onto-nomic impoverishment, the beginning was a moment of primordial plenitude.


No comments: