Monday, June 5, 2017

Aaronson rejects reductionism

I submitted an essay to FQXi
Dissecting Human Social Purpose
Science is remarkably successful on many fronts, but has failed miserably on matters of freedom, consciousness, and purpose. ...

Reductionism cannot explain freedom ...
It was rejected without explanation, but presumably because I used some political examples that offended the folks at FQXi.

Now Scott Aaronson draws on current politics to post this:
Despite everything I said above, the real purpose of this post is to announce that I’ve changed my mind.  I now believe that, while Hoel’s argument might be unsatisfactory, the conclusion is fundamentally correct: scientific reductionism is false.  There is higher-level causation in our universe, and it’s 100% genuine, not just a verbal sleight-of-hand.  In particular, there are causal forces that can only be understood in terms of human desires and goals, and not in terms of subatomic particles blindly bouncing around.
Wow, I actually agree with him, altho his political examples are much different from mine.

My essay was based on me similarly changing my mind against scientific reductionism in favor of human causal forces.

1 comment:

  1. From what I gather from his post, he believes that there is a malevolent force running the universe, because Trump was elected.

    Most people can't get past reductionism. This is great progress.