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INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
The Road To Reason
Dear Mr Smith
Thank you again for taking the time to reply to my message Andy, it is always a pleasure to be able to have the opportunity to engage in discourse of this manner. I'd first like to answer your question concerning my need for anonymity. This particular topic has been addressed by some others, but I thought I'd share with you my personal reasons for doing so. As you are probably aware by now there are some aspects of Illuminism which are somewhat controversial. Some elements in particular are quite offensive towards the Islamic faith, and due to the nature of some of the fanatical adherents of Islam, I think it is unwise to publicly promote Illuminism using my real name. I do not wish to be the next Lee Rigby, which is a very real possibility given the high numbers of Muslims in and around the area where I live. Islamist's are not the only group who would have a problem with Illuminism, there are many deranged and bordering on mentally ill conspiracy theorists who would no doubt find this material offensive and provoking. I know of one individual that was foolish enough to publicly promote himself as an Illuminiatus who was subsequently assaulted and questioned over his involvement with the Illuminati. That is just not a risk I'm willing to take, not at present anyhow.
So now that that's cleared up, I will attempt to rectify some of the mistakes I made in my previous reply. Mistakes made in haste because of my eagerness to contact you in hopes of making up for my friends rather direct response to your original review. You're quite right, that your criticism of Hockney's over reliance of the negative usage of the PSR was not your main objection to his work, but merely a conceptual objection. I apologize for that mistake and in retrospect I should have taken more time to formulate my response before I sent it, time unfortunately was not on my side that evening. Your main criticism's concerned Hockney's apparent failure to prove that Euler's formula necessarily implies the existence of Monads and the PSR, and how monads and Euler's formula can create space and time respectively.
Leaving these main objections aside for the time being I will set out to answer your initial disagreement with my statement that illuminism uses synthetic evidence to support a priori truth. Throughout the God series there's repeated references to empirical evidence to support Hockney's view of monads. Quantum mechanics is one such example which is repeatedly brought to light. It is the Copenhagen interpretation of QM that Hockney dismisses as nonsensical and irrational, not the experiments that have led scientists to those conclusions. Hockney even speaks favorably towards the late John Bell, and uses the implications of his inequalities to bolster the view that objective reality is non-local, deterministic and crucially based upon the PSR, which is the exact conclusion in which John Bell leaned towards also. Hockney also invokes Pauli's exclusion principle to show how "Every particle is aware of the energy state of every other particle in the universe", and how this necessarily implies a non-local domain of mind outside space and time.
Perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough in my last message when I said that some reasoning is flawed, I did not by that mean that all reasoning is flawed. Where reason fails is when it is employed in order to make sense of sensory input without the underpinning of mathematical ontology. Reason never fails when it is reduced to pure mathematics, indeed it is the only true form of reason. Kant's critique of pure reason is ironically itself a failed attempt at reasoning because it wasn't sufficiently mathematical enough. Leibniz stated that all truths of reason are analytic, which means that they must contain the predicate in the subject. It is often said that the statement "every event has a cause" is synthetic a priori, since the predicate is not contained in the subject, but Illuminism asserts that this is actually false. Existence certainly IS a predicate for the ontological units of existence which are in themselves entirely mathematical and platonic. Cause and effect are "programed" into the concept of all mathematical tautologies; for instance... 1+1=2 contains the concept that by causing one to be added to one, it has the effect of producing two. Mathematics itself is the genesis of cause and effect. Causality defines mathematics. As soon as you stray from this line of thinking you're in deep trouble, because reason based on anything other than mathematics is automatically flawed. So to be clear, I'm not subtly conflating reason with mathematics, I'm explicitly stating the two are synonymous! There are in fact two forms of reason: Hyperreason (analytical, tautological reason), and fallible reason (reason purely based on sensory input), which is only true to the degree it reflects hyperreason.
As the physicist Eugine Wigner argued in his paper The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences, mathematical discoveries frequently and quite remarkably turn out to be absolutely critical to our understanding of the phenomenal world. This is not unreasonable as Wigner's paper title suggests, it is perfectly reasonable if we concede that mathematics itself is the reality, and what we perceive via the senses is just a shadow of that reality. We cannot perceive mathematics directly. We cannot detect it with our senses, but we most definitely CAN see the effects that that reality produces.
You asked for an example where the PSR.... "or something similar, led to a belief in something that at the time was at odds with the scientific or prevailing academic view, and was ultimately vindicated."
To this I would simply say that the history of science is littered with presuppositions of a weak form of PSR without explicitly acknowledging it. As the philosopher Tomas Nagel said about the sciences... "the assumption of intelligibility has led to extraordinary discoveries...one cannot really understand the scientific world view unless one assumes the intelligibility of the world, as described by the laws that science has uncovered, is itself part of the deepest explanation why things are as they are.". The assumption of intelligibility is a form of PSR, indeed without this, science wouldn't have been driven to make any such discoveries in the first place. The trouble is that scientists very rarely push PSR to its logical conclusions. Einstein said... "the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it's comprehensible", but why is this so? If our minds are entirely mathematical and the universe itself is entirely mathematical there's no mystery at all.
Hockney has great respect for Gödel which is evident through out their writings. Contrary to what you think Hockney hasn't proven Gödel wrong. I'd agree with them that they've actually provided a supreme vindication of his views. The incompleteness theorem states that no finite set of axioms can be both consistent and complete. What people fail to realize is that this doesn't apply to a *non-finitary* set of axioms. Any consistent and complete mathematics MUST include the numbers zero and infinity, which is implicit in Euler's formula. Mathematics itself is consistent and complete, precisely because at its heart it contains the monad, which is itself a subject and an object. As a side note Gödel believed that Leibniz had figured out the key's to existence, only his writings had been suppressed due to some age old conspiracy to keep man stupid. The Illuminati wouldn't have disagreed with Gödel on this one, only his writings had been suppressed by himself due to their controversial implications.
Due to the contentiousness of the issue of free will I will be brief and say that any "honest" examination of freewill should include the assimilation of the two references I gave in my first reply. Them being... the implications of the incompleteness theorem on he way we perceive the brain to work, as examined extensively by John Lucas; and the "Free will theorem" as put forth by John Conway and Simon Kochen. You, however Andy, chose not to address this, so for your consideration I will provide links to both the lectures given by Conway in Princeton and the paper by Lucas below.