JARS V15 N2 - December 2015


Roger Bissell

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 137
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

[DELETED]

If you intended this post to appear that way, it would be really funny!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe this will help. In his Objectivist essay, Nathaniel Branden wrote: "The differences in their actions are caused by differences in their properties. If an automobile collides with a bicycle, it is not 'chance' that the bicycle is hurled into the air, rather than the automobile; if an automobile collides with a train, it is not 'chance' that the automobile is hurled into the air, rather than the train. Causality proceeds from identity." (reprinted in The Psychology of Self-Esteem, p. 55 hc).

Those are both causal interactions, both collisions of two things smashing into each other. The same is true of the baseball smashing into/colliding with the window. In NB lingo, it is not "chance" that the window is destroyed, rather than the baseball. On the other hand, if a raindrop splashes into/collides with the window, it is not 'chance' that the raindrop is destroyed, rather than the window.

It doesn't help any and is irrelevant, since I said nothing about chance.

The asymmetry of the effects in these various causal interactions is utterly irrelevant to the fact that the causal effects are "wholly two-way" in each and every case.

I disagree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe this will help. In his Objectivist essay, Nathaniel Branden wrote: "The differences in their actions are caused by differences in their properties. If an automobile collides with a bicycle, it is not 'chance' that the bicycle is hurled into the air, rather than the automobile; if an automobile collides with a train, it is not 'chance' that the automobile is hurled into the air, rather than the train. Causality proceeds from identity." (reprinted in The Psychology of Self-Esteem, p. 55 hc).

Those are both causal interactions, both collisions of two things smashing into each other. The same is true of the baseball smashing into/colliding with the window. In NB lingo, it is not "chance" that the window is destroyed, rather than the baseball. On the other hand, if a raindrop splashes into/collides with the window, it is not 'chance' that the raindrop is destroyed, rather than the window.

It doesn't help any and is irrelevant, since I said nothing about chance.

The asymmetry of the effects in these various causal interactions is utterly irrelevant to the fact that the causal effects are "wholly two-way" in each and every case.

I disagree.

The fact that results are lop-sided, even grossly lop-sided, in one direction does not change the fact that there are causal effects going in both directions and that the causal effects are thus "wholly two-way." Lop-sided does not mean one-way. The ball affects the glass and the glass affects the ball. There is no universe in which this is not true.

Reb!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Photons traveling through near-vacuum aren't having any reverse effect on the photon source, thus are not interacting with that source.

Nor are photons emitted by your body having a reverse effect on your body as they travel away from you, even if some of them strike some atoms which absorb them and re-emit photons which then strike you.

1. I don't agree with your claim that emitted photons have no "backward" effect on the source that emits them. Whether it's my body or the sun or a tree that emits photons, those photons carry energy away from the emitting body. Those bodies have less energy than before the emission of photons. That is an interactive causal effect, as I understand it. Please correct me, if that's not so.

Roger,

That paragraph of itself is a mind-twister for trying to figure out both what you think is happening in photon emission and how you think of "interactive" causality.

I'll start with your wording "photons carry energy away" and pose a couple comparison cases.

1) Consider a hair shed by one of your body's hair follicles. Would you say of the hair that it's carrying a filamentous extrusion away from your body? I think not, since the hair just is the filamentous extrusion which has been shed. It isn't like a little vehicle or medium transporting that extrusion. Similarly, the emitted photon just is the energy being emitted.

2) On the other hand, contrast with what happens if you apply a soapy lather to your face and then rinse water. There, the soapy lather loosens and enfolds oil particles, flakes of dead skin, and detritus which has settled on your face. Then the rinse water carries away the soapy conglomerate.

In both cases, you could accurately say that your body has "less" of something. (The description isn't accurate of photon emission, but for the moment I'll leave aside discussing what really happens in photon emission.)

In the first case, your body is minus one hair - maybe temporarily, depending on whether or not a replacement hair grows. In the second case, your facial skin is divested for awhile of X amount of accumulated gunk.

By my understanding of "interactive causal effect," you could also speak accurately of two-way effects occurring, for a time, in both cases.

In the case of the shed hair, there are electrostatic effects. Those could be such that the hair, although no longer anchored in the hair follicle, clings to other hairs or to your skin (or clothes).

If the hair does fall wholly or partly away from your body, there are brief slight air-current effects, and there's a minute redistribution of gravitational interaction.

Let's suppose, for the sake of a maximally uncluttered comparison to an emitted photon, that the hair is shed when you're outdoors and where a breeze carries it well away from your bodily proximity. It's now beyond the range of its having any electrostatic, air current production, or gravitational effect on your body.

Would you say that it still has an interactive effect because your body is now minus that hair?

Likewise in the case of your having washed your face with soapy lather and then rinsed off the soapy conglomerate, would you say that the accumulated gunk which is now no longer on your skin still has an interactive effect on your skin by virtue of its having been carried away from your skin?

Ellen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Photons traveling through near-vacuum aren't having any reverse effect on the photon source, thus are not interacting with that source.

Nor are photons emitted by your body having a reverse effect on your body as they travel away from you, even if some of them strike some atoms which absorb them and re-emit photons which then strike you.

1. I don't agree with your claim that emitted photons have no "backward" effect on the source that emits them. Whether it's my body or the sun or a tree that emits photons, those photons carry energy away from the emitting body. Those bodies have less energy than before the emission of photons. That is an interactive causal effect, as I understand it. Please correct me, if that's not so.

Roger,

That paragraph of itself is a mind-twister for trying to figure out both what you think is happening in photon emission and how you think of "interactive" causality.

I'll start with your wording "photons carry energy away" and pose a couple comparison cases.

1) Consider a hair shed by one of your body's hair follicles. Would you say of the hair that it's carrying a filamentous extrusion away from your body? I think not, since the hair just is the filamentous extrusion which has been shed. It isn't like a little vehicle or medium transporting that extrusion. Similarly, the emitted photon just is the energy being emitted.

2) On the other hand, contrast with what happens if you apply a soapy lather to your face and then rinse water. There, the soapy lather loosens and enfolds oil particles, flakes of dead skin, and detritus which has settled on your face. Then the rinse water carries away the soapy conglomerate.

In both cases, you could accurately say that your body has "less" of something. (The description isn't accurate of photon emission, but for the moment I'll leave aside discussing what really happens in photon emission.)

In the first case, your body is minus one hair - maybe temporarily, depending on whether or not a replacement hair grows. In the second case, your facial skin is divested for awhile of X amount of accumulated gunk.

By my understanding of "interactive causal effect," you could also speak accurately of two-way effects occurring, for a time, in both cases.

In the case of the shed hair, there are electrostatic effects. Those could be such that the hair, although no longer anchored in the hair follicle, clings to other hairs or to your skin (or clothes).

If the hair does fall wholly or partly away from your body, there are brief slight air-current effects, and there's a minute redistribution of gravitational interaction.

Let's suppose, for the sake of a maximally uncluttered comparison to an emitted photon, that the hair is shed when you're outdoors and where a breeze carries it well away from your bodily proximity. It's now beyond the range of its having any electrostatic, air current production, or gravitational effect on your body.

Would you say that it still has an interactive effect because your body is now minus that hair?

Likewise in the case of your having washed your face with soapy lather and then rinsed off the soapy conglomerate, would you say that the accumulated gunk which is now no longer on your skin still has an interactive effect on your skin by virtue of its having been carried away from your skin?

Ellen

Ellen, I wouldn't say that *anything* "still has an interactive effect" on something else, once it's no longer interacting with that other thing. E.g., once the dead skin/soapy conglomerate is no longer on my face, it has no backward, interactive effect on my face.

However, while it's there, still adhering to my skin, it does have such an effect (of some kind or other, mainly the physical adhesive bond, I'd guess).

When I said "backward" effect, I didn't mean an effect once something is apart from something else - I meant that there is an action/reaction, a transfer of energy, a two-way causal effect happening in every action, including photon emission, ball meets window, raindrop meets window, arrow meets target or body, arrow leaves archer, etc. world without end, amen.

I do not see how something like this can ever not be the case.

The emission of the photon from the sun or tree or apple or person involves a causal effect on both the emitter and the emitted. The apple pushes against the photon, and the photon pushes back(ward) against the apple. The "backward" effect happens during the emission, not afterward when the photon is scurrying off toward whatever it next encounters.

So, I'm referring to the same phenomenon you're referring to when you say above (highlighted): "By my understanding of "interactive causal effect," you could also speak accurately of two-way effects occurring, for a time, in both cases." I completely agree with that, and that is all I have been trying to say for some time now.

There is no distal "one-way" causal effect that cannot be analyzed into a chain of two or more two-way, causal interactions (with some motion between them). The "backward" effect occurs during each of those interactions, not between them.

Reb!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ellen, I wouldn't say that *anything* "still has an interactive effect" on something else, once it's no longer interacting with that other thing. E.g., once the dead skin/soapy conglomerate is no longer on my face, it has no backward, interactive effect on my face.

To the contrary, you do say that an emitted photon "'still has an interactive effect' on [the photon source], once it's no longer interacting with that [source]." You say that when an emitted photon strikes something in its path, this constitutes "blocking" of the emitting source's action.

When I said "backward" effect, I didn't mean an effect once something is apart from something else - I meant that there is an action/reaction, a transfer of energy, a two-way causal effect happening in every action, including photon emission, ball meets window, raindrop meets window, arrow meets target or body, arrow leaves archer, etc. world without end, amen.

But you are saying that there's "an effect once something is apart from something else" when you claim an effect on a photon source (via "blocking") once that photon is apart from the source.

So, I'm referring to the same phenomenon you're referring to when you say above (highlighted): "By my understanding of "interactive causal effect," you could also speak accurately of two-way effects occurring, for a time, in both cases." I completely agree with that, and that is all I have been trying to say for some time now.

But it isn't what you have been saying. See above.

There is no distal "one-way" causal effect that cannot be analyzed into a chain of two or more two-way, causal interactions (with some motion between them). The "backward" effect occurs during each of those interactions, not between them.

Ixnay on the "with some motion between them." That's the fudge which you slip in there in order to claim that "blocking" of a photon separated from the source has an effect on the source.

Ellen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Photons traveling through near-vacuum aren't having any reverse effect on the photon source, thus are not interacting with that source.

Nor are photons emitted by your body having a reverse effect on your body as they travel away from you, even if some of them strike some atoms which absorb them and re-emit photons which then strike you.

1. I don't agree with your claim that emitted photons have no "backward" effect on the source that emits them. Whether it's my body or the sun or a tree that emits photons, those photons carry energy away from the emitting body. Those bodies have less energy than before the emission of photons. That is an interactive causal effect, as I understand it. Please correct me, if that's not so.

Roger,

That paragraph of itself is a mind-twister for trying to figure out both what you think is happening in photon emission and how you think of "interactive" causality.

I'll start with your wording "photons carry energy away" and pose a couple comparison cases.

1) Consider a hair shed by one of your body's hair follicles. Would you say of the hair that it's carrying a filamentous extrusion away from your body? I think not, since the hair just is the filamentous extrusion which has been shed. It isn't like a little vehicle or medium transporting that extrusion. Similarly, the emitted photon just is the energy being emitted.

2) On the other hand, contrast with what happens if you apply a soapy lather to your face and then rinse water. There, the soapy lather loosens and enfolds oil particles, flakes of dead skin, and detritus which has settled on your face. Then the rinse water carries away the soapy conglomerate.

In both cases, you could accurately say that your body has "less" of something. (The description isn't accurate of photon emission, but for the moment I'll leave aside discussing what really happens in photon emission.)

In the first case, your body is minus one hair - maybe temporarily, depending on whether or not a replacement hair grows. In the second case, your facial skin is divested for awhile of X amount of accumulated gunk.

By my understanding of "interactive causal effect," you could also speak accurately of two-way effects occurring, for a time, in both cases.

In the case of the shed hair, there are electrostatic effects. Those could be such that the hair, although no longer anchored in the hair follicle, clings to other hairs or to your skin (or clothes).

If the hair does fall wholly or partly away from your body, there are brief slight air-current effects, and there's a minute redistribution of gravitational interaction.

Let's suppose, for the sake of a maximally uncluttered comparison to an emitted photon, that the hair is shed when you're outdoors and where a breeze carries it well away from your bodily proximity. It's now beyond the range of its having any electrostatic, air current production, or gravitational effect on your body.

Would you say that it still has an interactive effect because your body is now minus that hair?

Likewise in the case of your having washed your face with soapy lather and then rinsed off the soapy conglomerate, would you say that the accumulated gunk which is now no longer on your skin still has an interactive effect on your skin by virtue of its having been carried away from your skin?

Ellen

Ellen, I wouldn't say that *anything* "still has an interactive effect" on something else, once it's no longer interacting with that other thing. E.g., once the dead skin/soapy conglomerate is no longer on my face, it has no backward, interactive effect on my face.

However, while it's there, still adhering to my skin, it does have such an effect (of some kind or other, mainly the physical adhesive bond, I'd guess).

When I said "backward" effect, I didn't mean an effect once something is apart from something else - I meant that there is an action/reaction, a transfer of energy, a two-way causal effect happening in every action, including photon emission, ball meets window, raindrop meets window, arrow meets target or body, arrow leaves archer, etc. world without end, amen.

I do not see how something like this can ever not be the case.

The emission of the photon from the sun or tree or apple or person involves a causal effect on both the emitter and the emitted. The apple pushes against the photon, and the photon pushes back(ward) against the apple. The "backward" effect happens during the emission, not afterward when the photon is scurrying off toward whatever it next encounters.

So, I'm referring to the same phenomenon you're referring to when you say above (highlighted): "By my understanding of "interactive causal effect," you could also speak accurately of two-way effects occurring, for a time, in both cases." I completely agree with that, and that is all I have been trying to say for some time now.

There is no distal "one-way" causal effect that cannot be analyzed into a chain of two or more two-way, causal interactions (with some motion between them). The "backward" effect occurs during each of those interactions, not between them.

Reb!

So, in other words, the sun does not interact with us, an archer does not interact with the target that his arrow strikes, a pitcher does not interact with the bat which hits the ball that he pitched, etc.

It only took just over a hundred posts on this thread for Roger to get where everyone else was to begin with.

Still that's pretty good for an Objectivish-type. I've seen others go into the thousands of posts.

I rate Roger as having a Stubbornness Quotient of 146 on this thread.

J

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roger,

Your divvying up into arbitrary "steps" doesn't get rid of the problem with your analysis when Y is not having a reverse effect on X.

I agree. It seems 'X acts on Y' and 'Y acts on Z' is Roger's "blind spot." "Interact" means X affects Y and Y affects X. That cause and effect requires two entities does not imply it is wholly two-way. I use baseball again for examples. The home run hitter's bat reverses the directional momentum of the ball, not vice-versa. If Aroldis Chapman throws a baseball 100+ mph at a window, the ball destroys the glass, not vice-versa. Those are the major effects, and they are one-way . In my view one-way effects are cognitively primary. They grab the most attention.

Merlin,

Although the particular effects you mention aren't equal in the two directions, the examples aren't examples of one-way causality. There are reactions in both cases.

The situation with the hitter's bat is further complexified by the batter's being engaged in intentional action, and, being able to assess how far the ball will go, and able to feel the impact through the bat, interrupts completion of the forward swing and drops the bat in order to head off running.

Ellen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect multiple causes of the dispute on this thread. Prime candidates are stubbornness, the aspect of causality that is emphasized, uncommon terms like "wholly two-way interactive", and last but not least:

Type 1 Type 2
Proximate Always two-way. May also be one-way in some respect.
Distal Always one-way. May also be two-way in some respect.
For a provisional dividing line between proximate and distal, the latter has intermediate cause-effect relationships, whereas the former does not. Using a chain as an analogy, intermediate cause-effect relationships means multiple links in the chain. A distal cause-effect involves multiple proximate causes-effects. Also, distal cause-effect relationships may be quite remote in space and/or time, e.g. my father's paternal grandfather and me, or the sun and my perceiving it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now