philosophy general

Social science {philosophy} can be love of wisdom.


Epistemology unifies knowledge and studies knowledge assumptions, beliefs, truth, and bases. Metaphysics studies origin and meaning of reality. Ethics models ideal society and finds meaning in human existence. Morals is about proper behavior. Axiology studies values. Aesthetics studies beauty. Philosophy can include history, logic, politics, and theology.


Philosophy finds aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, history, metaphysics, and politics principles, using empirical facts and reasoning. Philosophy tries to identify the real and true.


Philosophy depends on logic and reason, as well as experience. Philosophy uses valid reasoning. Philosophy makes things complete and consistent. Philosophy is definite, precise, and methodical. Philosophy analyzes concepts, methodology, language, reasoning, and assumptions. Philosophy eliminates confusion and ambiguities. Philosophy uncovers alternatives. Philosophy states assumptions clearly. Philosophy makes testable hypotheses.


How did consciousness evolve? What are mental laws and relations? How do brains generate sense awareness and consciousness? Why do conscious sense qualities appear as they do? How do brain and body use consciousness? What will organisms that succeed humans be like and do? Can machines have consciousness? How do humans think? How do brains know and remember?

What ethics is best? Do principles indicate how to make decisions in both practical and public affairs? Do principles resolve economic, social, psychological, and political problems?

Why are things beautiful or artistic?

What is universe nature and purpose? What is people nature and purpose? Do principles explain history and predict future? Do principles provide meaning to work, love, life, and existence?

Do principles govern all thought and behavior? Do principles answer fundamental questions about knowledge, truth, and meaning?

Do principles answer fundamental questions about reality?


Philosophy debates include monism vs. pluralism, mind vs. body, determinism vs. free will, realism vs. idealism, realism vs. materialism, faith vs. reason, absolute ethics vs. relative, absolute aesthetics vs. relative aesthetics, matter vs. spirit, and mortality vs. immortality.


Philosophy types are Critical Realism, Dialectical Philosophy, Dialectical Materialism, Dialectical Idealism, Existentialism, Idealism, Materialism or Mechanism, Naturalism or Humanism, New Realism, Objective Idealism, Operationalism, Phenomenology, Pragmatism, Realism, Solipsism, Subjectivism or Personalism, and Teleology.

closed system

Groups can have complete doctrines {closed theory} for members to believe. Theories {closed system, philosophy} can explain all evidence, even evidence that seems to contradict theory, and can question critics' ability, motivation, or understanding. Closed theories can give meaning and goals to life.

simplicity principle

Explanation principles {simplicity principle} can find simplest possible cause or formula. Direct movements are most efficient. The most elegant reasoning requires the fewest steps. Physical systems settle into minimum-potential-energy and maximum-entropy states.



Philosophy includes theory of beauty {aesthetics}|.


Why are things and ideas beautiful? What did art begin? What is purpose of art? What is nature of creativity? What is relation between art and life?

factors: patterns

Aesthetically pleasing patterns use balance, symmetry, flowing lines, golden ratio, order, unity, and variety. They integrate parts and whole. They use religious, sex, and countryside symbolism.

factors: unusualness

Something can be rare, forgotten, or new and involve new perspectives, associations, or ideas.

factors: cleanliness

Cleanliness is aesthetic in Japan and other places.

art creation

Art creation can be play, escape, nature imitation, feeling expression, creative-power exercise, or common-situation idealization.


Art is intentional, causes reactions, and can have meaning. Art can cause transcendent feelings: adventure, affection, awe, beauty, contemplation, creative bliss, confidence, discovery, empathy, friendship, harmony, joy, logic, love, magnanimity, mastery, movement, mystery, perfection, sacrifice, sharing, unity, winning, and wonder. Moral feelings relate to aesthetics.


Art criticism tries to find meaning or to explain aesthetic value, based on beauty, simplicity, forms, or principles. People can assign aesthetic value to objects and events. Competent art judges from different cultures tend to agree on basic aesthetic values, despite differences in materials, styles, subject matter, and intentions.

aesthetic distance

People can observe objects for their sakes, disinterestedly, without emotion, will, desire, or reasoning about utility, value, or morals {aesthetic distance}.


Objects and events can cause higher feelings {sublime}|.

taste in aesthetics

People react differently to objects or events {taste, aesthetics}.



Concepts, things, and events can give pleasure in life or be important for survival {beauty}. Beauty depends on innate mental properties from ancient experience. Beauty creates desire to observe more.

Golden Mean

In beautiful objects, ratio {Golden Mean}| of smaller section to larger section can be same as ratio of larger section to whole.


Life should not have defilement and pollution {tsumi}.


emotive theory of art

People can express what they feel {emotive theory of art}.

institutional theory

History and culture can affect art {institutional theory of art}.

mimesis in art

Art can imitate nature {mimesis, art}|.

value philosophy

Things can have intrinsic and/or extrinsic value {value philosophy}, such as goodness, truth, beauty, and happiness. People can recognize value and respond in various ways. Good values are productive, permanent, not destructive, not temporary, personal, satisfying, liked, enjoyable, and pleasurable. Values can be experiences, perceptions, or attentions. They are not about functional utility, personal desires, truth, or perfection. They can be therapeutic. They can provide moral knowledge. They can explain history and culture.


epistemology general

Knowledge theory {epistemology}| describes how people can know something. People can know things by association and by insight, as information becomes knowledge.


How is something true? How can people detect errors? What are roles of opinion and speculation? What are the knowledge types? What is nature of cause and effect? Do intuitions exist? Do revelations exist? What emotions and feelings exist? What is consciousness?

How can people know that external objects exist if all they know is experience? How do external objects and body generate experience? Can experiences and physical world have no relation?

analysis: logic

Philosophical logic studies term definitions, references, predications, propositions, connectives, operators, and quantifiers. Philosophical logic studies truth, modality, argument, entailment, and inference. Epistemology tries to find necessary and sufficient conditions to establish statement truth. Epistemology is about difference between knowledge and belief.


Knowledge has categories: aesthetical, architectural, circumventional, constructional, dynamical, geometrical, topological, and transportational. All categories are relative and changeable.

categories: event

Events describe object and part motions. Objects and parts can change or stay the same over time. Identical events can be at same time and place, with same object and part changes.

categories: objects

Objects have parts and properties. Physical objects, relations, and motions exist independently of human thought.


Experience has sense qualities, perceptions, and ideas. People can have immediate perceptions and conscious sense qualities.


Goals provide knowledge uses. Ultimate goals do not exist, because goals also serve other purposes. At high levels, goals are circular.


People experience reality as outside body and mind. Physical energies, masses, momenta, positions, and times have quantization. Small energies, lengths, masses, and times are unmeasurable and undetectable.

sense organ

Brains know about sense organs and their controllers, as well as sensed objects and events.


Animals can distinguish food from non-food. Animals can recognize predators. Animals can discriminate to categorize species. Animals can discriminate same-species individuals. Animals can discriminate gender. Insects, birds, rodents, and baboons can learn to discriminate neighbors from strangers.


Sentences, pictures, diagrams, and all linguistic and non-linguistic representations can derive meaning from mental intentions.


Analogy aids understanding. Analysis divides systems, objects, or events to isolate subsystems or system parts, but universe has no simple or isolated systems. Fields, neutrinos, and radiation are everywhere, and even vacuum has activity. Previous learning gives meaning to current thoughts, actions, and language, using symbolic concepts and mechanical habits.

linguistic analysis

Analysis {linguistic analysis} can clarify statements and questions and find criteria and procedures for empirical-fact verification.



Things and events can be possible {possibility} in different ways and can be possible in some ways but not in others. If something is conceivable to reason, it is possible.


Things and events can have no internal contradictions {conceptual possibility}.


Empirical facts can allow things and events {epistemological possibility}.


Perhaps, thing and event negation is contradictory {logical possibility}.


Perhaps, things and events do not contradict physical facts {metaphysical possibility}. Metaphysical possibility derives from metaphysical necessity.


Science laws can allow things and events {nomological possibility}.


Imaginable situations can be consistent with physical laws {nomical possibility}.


Propositions can have possibility {problematic proposition}.


The past can allow things and events {temporal possibility}.


Things can have potential to happen or can be impossible {entelechy, epistemology}. Possibility is separate from whether something actually happened, will happen, or had to happen. Humans can distinguish what is merely possible and what is required.



World can affect mind {telic}.


Mind can affect world {thetic}.

6-Philosophy-Epistemology-Object Properties

emergent property

Mental or physical phenomena can emerge from lower-level element and process relations and interactions {emergent property}|.

realization of property

Object properties have values {realization, epistemology}. Color can be red. Different physical properties can realize the same mental properties {multiple realizability}.

trope of property

Brains can note property instances {trope, property}.

6-Philosophy-Epistemology-System Properties

chaos in systems

Systems and events can have no laws and/or have complex laws and be unpredictable {chaos, epistemology}|.

imperfect community

In groups {imperfect community}, objects can be similar to each other, but group objects share no one property.

insoluble problem

Situations {insoluble problem} can be paradoxes.


Parts relate to wholes, and vice versa {mereology}|, in specific ways. Wholes can be part sums or superpositions. Perhaps, wholes can transcend parts.


Two different sufficient causes can cause effects {overdetermination}.

process and design

Methods {process, epistemology} can obtain outputs from inputs. Descriptions can include designs.


distributed system

Brain can store or detect representation using only one node (grandmother cell) or many nodes {distributed system, epistemology}. Single nodes use one pathway to connect to other nodes and can associate two representations. Single nodes have no parts, events, or information and make only top-level connections. Distributed systems require many connections. They can connect at many places and levels. They can include information about correlations and probabilities. In distributed system, mutually inhibitory nodes or subsystems represent objects, events, and information.

sparse representation

Systems and spaces can have few activated nodes {sparse representation}. Active nodes represent patterns or object features. No information is in inactive nodes. Active-node sets are patterns. Systems or spaces can have many activated nodes {dense representation}. Nodes and their connection pathways represent pattern features. Nodes and pathways have different weights and activities. Node weighted activities represent patterns.


causation in epistemology

Causes {causation} are necessary or sufficient.


Four cause types are material cause, formal cause, efficient cause, and final cause.

space and time

Cause is always necessary to effect, precedes effect, and is spatially and temporally adjacent to effect. Events at only one instant cannot define cause or effect.


Only current thought about past events reveals causal relations. Explanation first describes object structures and movements. Then it explains how object structures and movements caused or constrained current existence, behavior, or structure.


Will or intent can be indirect cause. However, direct causes are physical forces.


Interactions cause effects. Effects typically have several causes.

causal causation

Contributory causes {causal, causation} cause events. Similar causes in similar situations give similar results.

causal generalization

Generalization and causal reasoning can combine {causal generalization}. Antecedent is sufficient for consequent. Consequent is necessary for antecedent.


infinite regress

Events have causes from previous events, which had causes from previous events, ad infinitum {infinite regress}|. To stop infinite regress, beginning cause must be different from later causes.

Prime Mover

Perhaps, causes must have more energy, matter, motion, or purpose than effects. Perhaps, because things move, something unmoved by anything else must start motion. If everything must have a cause, infinite regression leads to a starting or original cause {Prime Mover} {First Cause, epistemology}. Prime Mover must be in physical world but have no cause. Prime Mover must have more energy than later causes and events. However, motion does not have to start with motion, only with force. More than one prime mover can be possible.


agreement method

If phenomena share only one event, event is a cause or effect {method of agreement} {agreement method}. If people know all possible causes, probable cause is the cause that always precedes effect. However, agreement method must test all cases.

difference method

If one event is in phenomenon but is not in not-phenomenon, then event is phenomenon cause, or is necessary to cause or effect {method of difference} {difference method}. If people know all possible causes, probable cause is cause whose removal causes not-phenomenon. However, because physical world is complex, one difference is hard to establish.

agreement and difference method

Agreement and difference methods can combine {joint method of agreement and difference} {agreement and difference method}. However, the joint method does not account for probabilities or strengths. Things can have more than one cause or have not yet known causes.

concomitant variation method

If first phenomenon varies in one way, and second phenomenon varies in the same or opposite way, first phenomenon is cause or effect, or relates to cause, of second phenomenon {concomitant variation method} {method of concomitant variation}. However, unobserved causes and effects are possible.

residues method

Removing or accounting for phenomena parts caused by known antecedent circumstances makes remaining phenomena caused by remaining circumstances {method of residues} {residues method} {subduction, causation}. However, known laws or experiments must confirm residues. Finding causes is hard, because physical world is complex.

common cause principle

Events correlated in space and time have shared causes that happen before events {common cause principle} {principle of the common cause}.


efficient cause

Immediately preceding events and motions {efficient cause}| directly cause effects.

final cause

Possibilities, goals, or purposes {final cause}| can begin effect events.

formal cause

Forms, essences, or ideas {formal cause}| can shape effect events.

material cause

Matter physical forces {material cause}| directly cause effects.


necessary cause

Effects can require prior causes {necessary cause}|. If necessary cause is not present, effect is not present.

sufficient cause

Causes {sufficient cause}| can cause effects all by themselves. If sufficient cause is present, effect is present.


conceptual role theories

Representations have meaning from concept schema {conceptual role theories} {functional theories}. However, such representations can be true or false.

operationalism and meaning

For terms to have meaning, they must be measurable {operationalism, epistemology}|. Observations confer meaning.


Statements are meaningful if and only if observations can deny or confirm them {verificationism}|.

warrantedly assertible

Propositions have definite meaning, and meaning differs from truth {warrantedly assertible}.



Statements are true or not {truth, epistemology}. Only propositions, not terms, can have truth. Statements can be factual, consistent, complete, and coherent.


Truth can be about mental representations, such as beliefs, sentences, and statements, or about propositions, about which statements are instances.


True propositions are analytic or synthetic statements. Analytic propositions are true in themselves. Synthetic propositions are real-world or imaginary-world facts.

statements: meaning

Statement truth depends on statement meaning, not statement words.

statements: time

Statements implicitly include time, and statement truth depends on time.


True knowledge does not lead to false lemmas.


Truth is relation between language expression and physical and social world. The physical and social world is independent of speakers. However, language expression depends on speaker concepts and understanding. Word sense and reference change over time, position, and context. Therefore, necessary truths and a priori truths cannot exist.

Cambridge change

Predicates can be true at one time and not true later, though things in predicates have no real changes, because something else changed {Cambridge change}. Cambridge change is necessary for real change.



Statements can be consistent with all other facts {consistency}.


Statements can correspond with all facts {completeness}.


Statements can relate all facts logically {coherency} with no facts left out.


a posteriori truth

People can know some truths {a posteriori truth}| only after perceiving them.

a priori truth

Before perceiving, knowing, or experiencing, people can know some logic and mathematics truths {a priori truth}|. A priori statements are independent of experience, are necessary, are universal, or are about general laws that seem self-evident but are not provable.


A priori knowledge is untestable. Can people know anything by reasoning alone? Is any statement true in all cases? Perhaps, untrue assumptions underlie a priori statements.


Reasoning can proceed from first principles or from self-analysis and introspection. First principles can use false assumptions and/or invalid tautologies. Personal biases can cause self-analysis and introspection to lead to statements true for only one person.



Subjects can know {knowledge}.


Knowledge can be skills, acquaintances, and propositions. Machines, animals, and people can know skills. Animals and people can know acquaintances. People can know propositions.

types: knowing

Knowledge can mean knowing all parts and relations. It can mean ability to express in words. It can mean ability to express in syllogisms or other logical forms and to know reason relations.


Knowledge can be mental states that relate to external objects and events. Knowledge can self-relate and so be true in itself. Knowledge can be about abstract Forms, Ideas, essences, unchanging things, truth, true beliefs, or reasonable beliefs.


Knowledge can require truth, justification, and/or belief. Perhaps, subjects cannot know false propositions, because they do not exist. Subjects can justify or not justify beliefs. Subjects can believe or not believe propositions. To have knowledge, instead of just beliefs, requires concepts.


Knowledge and belief sources are sense qualities, memories, reasoning, and introspections.


People know if they have knowledge, even if they do not remember facts. People know if they know meaning, even if they cannot make synonyms or define words. People know if they have seen or heard something before, even if they do not remember it. People know if they have found correct answer and feel that something is not right if they have close answers. People feel that they know something, even if they do not know relations or connections. People know contexts of things learned or experienced.

factors: subjectivity

Emotion, body, subjectivity, and personal experience can determine human knowledge.

factors: cultural background

All knowledge has social and cultural backgrounds. Knowledge depends on reference frames.


People can perceive without knowing {thing-perception, knowledge} or can know perception facts {fact-perception, knowledge}. Percept can know sense qualities {proximal stimulus} and transform them to percepts {distal stimulus}. Experience correlates with physical quantities [BonJour, 1985].

perception: illusion

People cannot base knowledge on perception, because senses have illusions. All observers agree on illusory perceptions, but all are wrong.


To verify facts about past, current experience must relate to past. Understanding the past requires evidence. Evidence about past times decrease over time.


Cartesian intuition

Perhaps, first-person present-tense beliefs about consciousness contents are infallible {Cartesian intuition} [Dennett, 1991].


People learn from empirical observation {certainty} {certum}. However, people use mental models to interpret sensory experience.


knowledge under entailment

If people know p and p entails q, then people know q {knowledge under entailment}. Knowledge closure can occur under entailment.

knowledge under known entailment

If people know p and know that p entails q, then people know q {knowledge under known entailment}. Knowledge closure can occur under known entailment.



Knowledge needs justification {justification, knowledge}. Justification is about probable beliefs. Justification does not allow chance truth. Beliefs must match relevant evidence and/or use valid methods. Justification cannot use incorrect reasoning/cognition and cannot use incorrect facts or ignore facts. Evidence and methods can be internal, such as introspections, mental states, or cognitive processes, or external, such as objective reliability tests.


Beliefs can have true evidence {evidentialism}, known by subjects. Evidence comes from perception, introspection, memory, and reasoning.


Reliable methods can justify beliefs {reliabilism}. Beliefs can have valid knowing methods used by subjects. Methods can be perception, introspection, memory, and reasoning. Reliable methods can be their own justification or require further knowledge. Sensory and perceptual beliefs co-vary with external world, based on perceptual abilities, and so can have justification.

Gettier problem

Knowledge is not always justified true belief, because belief can be true and justified but not knowledge {Gettier problem} [1963: Edmund Gettier]. Justification applies to first object, but truth applies to second object. First object can mistakenly seem to be second object.


Justified and true beliefs {Gettier-case} are not sufficient for subjects to know propositions. People can believe true and justified probabilistic statements but not know statement instances. On movie sets, all but one house can be façades, and people not knowing this can look at the real house and state their belief that it is a house. This proposition is true but only by chance. If people do know almost all houses are facades, people state their belief that main house is also not a house.



Knowledge {metaknowledge} about knowledge aids memory and learning.

metempiric knowledge

Knowledge {metempiric knowledge} can be outside or beyond experience or experiment.

objective knowledge

Media can store declarative knowledge {objective knowledge}. If knowledge is only what people understand, there is no objective knowledge. Subjective knowledge differs from objective knowledge, so experience does not relate to objective knowledge.

tacit knowledge

Non-conscious knowledge {tacit knowledge} can produce behavior and mental states.


knowledge by acquaintance

People can gain knowledge only by experience, perceptions, introspections, and certain memory types {knowledge by acquaintance}.

knowledge by description

Knowledge can be communicable by language {knowledge by description}.


declarative knowledge

Knowledge {declarative knowledge} can be about propositions, facts, and concepts. Structural descriptions recognize. Functional descriptions connect structures and functions for action. Declarative knowledge can be for imagination, planning, and other cognitive functions. Perhaps, procedural memory and knowledge evolve to allow kinesthetic perceptions, vestibular, and touch perceptions. Perception becomes possible because brain evolves to detect, use, and remember procedure components or units.

procedural knowledge

Knowledge {procedural knowledge} can be about knowing how to do something.


coherence theory

Statements are true if they are consistent with, proved by, or prove, other complete and consistent statements {coherence theory} {coherentism}. Whole belief sets are the only knowledge. Beliefs belong to complete and consistent belief networks. Belief networks can reinforce beliefs by consistency, completeness, probability, or power. Beliefs can form complete, consistent, and integrated structures. However, completeness and coherence are not the same as truth. Propositions can form complete and consistent sets.

complementarity in system

People cannot observe reality without disturbing it {complementarity, epistemology}|. Brain and mind are two aspects of reality, and people cannot know both at once. Mind is observer, and brain is actor. Observer and actor are the same. Physical law is about experience, not about external physical world and objects.

doxastic voluntarism

Acquiring, maintaining, and deleting beliefs can be by will {doxastic voluntarism}. People can will beliefs themselves, but only if beliefs are not actions.

correspondence theory of truth

Statements are true if and only they are facts about words associated with objects and events in physical world and so correspond to reality {correspondence theory of truth}. However, observations and experiments can have hidden assumptions, obscuring correspondence to reality.

post-modernism epistemology

All human knowledge involves interpretative, subjective, and relative analysis {post-modernism, epistemology}| {neo-pragmatism} {post-structuralism} {linguistic turn}.

pragmatism in epistemology

Perhaps, hypotheses are true if consequences of believing lead to personal well-being, success, and satisfaction {pragmatism, epistemology}| {pragmaticism, epistemology}. The best theory test is what happens when using theory. True beliefs have good practical effects in thinking and acting. They help people, are profitable, correspond to actual events, or are expedient in most situations. Knowledge is adaptive. Propositions are true if they are useful. Self or world experience confirms knowledge.


Usefulness is not the same as truth. People cannot know much about world or practical utility. Utility changes with time and place. Useful fictions are not true.


Perhaps, all statements are only beliefs or opinions, no statements are truths, and no truths are knowable, so people should have no beliefs {skepticism}| {doubt}. Nothing is certain, because knowledge is not absolute. Many consistent and complete alternative explanations are possible. People can only know appearances, not reality, and can be in error about appearances. People can never have knowledge, only beliefs. People must suspend judgment, tolerate other opinions, and avoid dogma.


People can be unable to distinguish true situations from false, so they can never have certain knowledge {knowledge skepticism}. People can be unable to defend strategies and criteria used for truth, resulting in no basis for belief {belief skepticism}.



Perhaps, names and words refer to human linguistic conventions and categories {nominalism}|, not to real things.

realism in metaphysics

Perhaps, reality exists independently of perception {realism, metaphysics}|. Names and words refer to real things and categories.


deflationary theory

Knowing statements are true or not true does not add knowledge but is only useful {deflationary theory of truth}.

redundancy theory

Statements that statements are true are only for emphasis {redundancy theory of truth}.


causal theory and knowledge

True beliefs, and causes related to situations, can give knowledge {causal theory, knowledge}.

justification theory

True beliefs, and their justifications, can give knowledge {justification theory}. However, justification theory is not sufficient for knowledge, because propositions can be illusions or logical-justification steps can be false, though conclusions are true.

reliability theory

Reliable methods of gaining true beliefs can give knowledge {reliability theory}.



Perhaps, people cannot know true nature of reality, objects, or events {agnosticism}|.


People cannot know actual physical things-in-themselves {noumena}.


Physical theories are only for calculations and do not have truths about physical world {instrumentalism, science}|. Science terms describe and predict but do not refer to physical objects, which people cannot know.



Belief meaning and contents are belief-network units {atomism, epistemology}, so beliefs can have many uses.


Belief meaning and contents relate to belief-network regions {molecularism}, so beliefs can have multiple uses with multiple theories.


Belief meaning and contents relate to whole belief-networks {holism}| {mental holism} {semantic holism}, so beliefs are unique and have one use.



Perhaps, knowledge or mental states depends on both internal and environmental events {externalism, epistemology}. This is anti-individualism. People think and speak based on how experts use words [Putnam, 1975] [Putnam, 1981] [Putnam, 1988] [Putnam, 1992].


Knowledge and mental states do not depend on environment, only on minds or brains {internalism, mind} {individualism, epistemology}.



Basic justified facts, beliefs, or mental abilities exist {foundationalism}, from which to deduce other beliefs. However, knowledge relies on concepts, and sense qualities rely on sensory experiences.

intentionalism and mind

Mental states, even qualia, are always representations {intentionalism}.

methodological solipsism

Other people do not necessarily experience the same things as a person does {methodological solipsism}. Many methods and rules rely on this assumption. Only personal introspection and experimentation can give knowledge.

nativism in epistemology

People inherit perception capacities or abilities {nativism, idealism}, rather than learning them.

rationalism in epistemology

Mind has innate fundamental concepts {rationalism, epistemology}|, which allow a priori knowledge and further knowledge.


Knowledge is only personal {subjectivism} {idealism}. For example, colors are visual mental states or properties. Brain opponent processes cause qualitative color similarities, with no correspondence to physical properties. Neural properties that explain qualitative relations among perceived colors can differ from perceived colors themselves. People do not necessarily experience such similarities, or they are not essential, so they differ from color itself. How do brains perceive mental qualitative visual properties as mind-independent object properties? Do mental qualitative properties or states have functions?

Sense data, secondary qualities, primary qualities, space-time universals, and natural laws can be part of absolute self and so be universal and objective, but may be only illusions.

transcendental idealism

Fundamental categories used to understand reality are not real objective features but are mental conceptual structures {Kantian idealism, epistemology} {transcendental idealism}| and make experience possible.

transcendental phenomenology

Perception involves intentions {transcendental phenomenology}.


evolutionary epistemology

Knowledge grows and changes continuously, to higher organization and complexity {evolutionary epistemology}. The best ideas survive. Humans hold knowledge using metaconcepts developed during evolution: logic, simplicity, mathematical relations, and curiosity. Metaconcepts helped people survive.

instructionism in epistemology

Brains are computers with fixed code, registers, and programs {instructionism, epistemology}.

logical atomism

Physical reality is describable by independent propositions, verified independently {logical atomism}. However, propositions about physical reality are not verifiable independently of fundamental propositions. Verification criteria must be consistent and complete, but this is not possible.

logical behaviorism

Mind is functions and works by responses that condition to stimuli to formulate propositions {logical behaviorism} {philosophical behaviorism}. Thinking and doing have different types and cannot compare. Mental states do not exist. Brain has only dispositions to move. Sense qualities are dispositions to behave or to act intelligently, not internal representations. Brain has no person or mentality {ghost in the machine} [Ryle].

logical positivism

Only observations and experiments can establish statement truth or falsity {logical positivism, realism}.

naturalism in epistemology

Mental things are in the physical world {naturalism, epistemology}|. Science can evaluate belief strategies and criteria to give knowledge.

phenomenological critique

Representations do not explain behavior. Knowledge of unconscious skilled actions can explain behavior {phenomenological critique of representationalism}.

physicalism in epistemology

Physical properties can realize mental properties {physicalism, epistemology}.

physical phenomenalism

People can only know sense data {physical phenomenalism}, which is what they experience or describe about objects.


Knowledge is only about observable facts and relations {positivism}|.


Knowledge is passive perception {sensationalism, realism}.

social constructionism

Knowledge and society depend on social relations, subjective human activities, and human values {social constructionism}.

structural realism

People construct internal reality from sense data and cannot know if that reality corresponds to physical world {structural realism}. Evolution has provided space, time, and color categories, which people need in human environments.


Bayesian inference

People reason inductively about what was, is, or will be true. People sample to find outcome frequencies. People have information or feelings about outcome values. Simple algorithms can determine probabilities and risks {Bayesian inference}. Statistical models {Bayesian approach} show how previous events change current or future event probabilities.

bootstrapping in system

Complex systems can build from simpler elements {bootstrapping}|, with nothing from outside system. For each hypothesis, bootstrapping assumes all hypotheses but one are true and uses evidence to support that hypothesis.

formal reasoning

Thinking and knowing methods {formal reasoning} can use deduction, induction, argument, and logic.


Commonsense rules, simplifications, guesses, and trial and error {heuristics}| can discover knowledge or solve problems. Heuristics apply in connectionist nets, neural networks, hidden Markov processes, indefinite integration, semantic networks with Finite State Machine operators and related variables, morphological analysis, focal-objects method, equations, rule induction, fuzzy systems, regression trees, case-based reasoning, declarative languages as opposed to functional languages, graphs, combinatorial geometry, data mining, machine learning, and natural-language understanding.

induction in reasoning

Repetitions, successions, and regular conjunctions can predict next steps {induction, epistemology}|. Induction indicates truth but does not prove. Induction {enumerative induction} can observe many similar cases to find categories that remain constant or have true predicates. Induction {eliminative induction} can observe many different cases to see categories that remain constant, keep predicates true, or remove untrue predicates.

6-Philosophy-Epistemology-Methods-Thought Laws

laws of thought

Three laws {laws of thought} underlie thinking: identity, contradiction, and excluded middle. It is impossible to prove laws of thought true.

law of identity

Something identical to true thing is true {law of identity}, or what is, is.

law of contradiction

Nothing is both true and false {law of non-contradiction} {law of contradiction}, or nothing both is and is not.

law of the excluded middle

Something is either true or false {law of the excluded middle}.



People can know facts about perceptions {fact-perception, epistemology}.


People can perceive without knowing {thing-perception, epistemology}.

argument from illusion

People cannot distinguish hallucination and perception {argument from illusion, epistemology}, except later by comparison and memory.


Brains can know symbolic representations {phenomenon} {phenomena, epistemology} of physical or non-physical things. Phenomena include conscious and non-conscious mental states. Phenomena are perspectives on objects and events. Perspectives indicate object or event essence.


Phenomena are sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, feelings, and limb positions. They are daydreams, talks with self, recollections, and ideas. They are pains, tickles, hunger, thirst, anger, joy, hatred, embarrassment, lust, astonishment, pride, anxiety, regret, ironic detachment, rue, awe, and calm.


Consciousness is experiencing phenomena and qualia, not objects themselves. Consciousness has no intentions or beliefs but just is or has phenomena. All humans appear to have same awareness and consciousness and go through same consciousness-development stages. Perhaps, animals have some consciousness, because they can analyze images to do things that people can do.


Sense information {sense-data} {sense-datum, epistemology} can be about physical objects. Brain processes sense-data to make ideas and categories. Brain can forget sense-data. Perhaps, inner, non-physical, unified images are available to consciousness. Sense-data do not necessarily represent reality.

sense-datum fallacy

Knowledge of appearances requires consciousness of appearance {sense-datum fallacy}.

veil of perception

Senses only know appearances {veil of perception}, not reality.



People unconsciously use assumptions, theories, and concepts {paradigm, perception}| {indexical term} about subjects or objects. Indexical terms can refer to other objects, depending on context, so context sets indexes. Properties can exist without paradigms, so paradigms cannot define properties. To specify paradigms requires specifying a property that makes the paradigm, because paradigms have more than one property, but this is circular reasoning.

contingent attachment

Secondary qualities do not necessarily associate with objects {contingent attachment}.


Paradigms can refer to something, sometimes by pointing {ostension}.

6-Philosophy-Epistemology-Reference Source

authority as reference

Knowledge can come from experts, scholars, or powerful people {authority, knowledge}|, by reading, listening, or being apprentices.

empiricism in epistemology

Knowledge ultimately derives from sensory experience {empiricism, epistemology}|. Perceptions have elementary sensory images or units. Minds build concepts by abstracting common properties from perceptions. Complex ideas {image} are simple-idea combinations. Abstract ideas, such as mathematics or self, come from sensory ideas. Minds can compare, identify, use logic, and actively perform other mental activities.


Knowledge {insight, epistemology}| {intuition, epistemology} can be feelings based on general background, culture, past experience, and present context. Brains can suddenly perceive relations between two statements, stimuli, features, objects, or events, after experience with both objects. Insights are deductions from knowledge, rely on previous experiences with objects and events, and require ordering statements and steps into processes. Minds can perceive or conceive certain self-evident truths, abstract objects, space, or time, without using sensations or perceptions. People can decide without conscious thinking.

personal experience

Knowledge {personal experience} can be personal perceptions and actions, obtained by travel, participation, and observation.

revelation as reference

Knowledge {revelation, knowledge}| {faith, knowledge} can be belief in received knowledge, knowledge supposedly sent from god. People can feel insight into profound truth. Mental stress or relaxation can suppress mental activity and so inhibit questioning and doubting.

testimony as reference

People can attest to their perceptions and self-observations {testimony, epistemology}|.

tradition as reference

Knowledge {tradition, knowledge}| {custom} can be conformity with established culture behaviors and beliefs.

6-Philosophy-Epistemology-Reference Source-Association


Ideas associate {associationism, epistemology} if they are near each other in time or space.

contiguity principle

Ideas near each other in time or space associate {contiguity principle, epistemology}.


causation relation

Causation is not symmetrical for things and properties {causation relation}. If x causes y, then y cannot cause x. If x causes y, x properties are rarely y properties.

companionship relation

Things can always be near, or happen simultaneously with, other things {companionship relation}. This prevents the first thing from having some properties.

correlation relation

Correlation is symmetrical for things but not properties {correlation relation}. If x correlates with y, then y correlates with x. If x and y correlate, x properties are rarely y properties.

identity relation

Identity is symmetrical for things and properties {identity relation}. If x is identical to y, then y is identical to x. If x and y are identical, all x properties are y properties, and all y properties are x properties {Leibniz's law}.

incongruence relation

Objects related by symmetry can be congruent except for one asymmetry {incongruence relation}, such as left-right pairs and clockwise-counterclockwise pairs.

opposites relation

Opposites {opposites relation} have a property that can have two values, share most relations and property values, and presuppose each other.

physical relation

Relations {physical relation} can use different objects and still be the same relation. Physical relations do not affect physical objects.


characterizing term

Terms {characterizing term} can be about properties.

general term

Terms {general term, word} can be about classes.

material term

Terms {material term} can be about uncountable substances.

sortal term

Terms {sortal term} can be counting nouns about same things.

6-Philosophy-Epistemology-Mental State

de se

Mental states are in oneself {de se}.


People have attitudes {desire} toward things.

6-Philosophy-Epistemology-Mental State-Thought


Non-perceptual mental states {thought} assert something about world and are not just concepts or beliefs.


Thoughts assert something about world {assertoric}.


Thoughts must happen {occurrent}, not just be concepts or beliefs.

6-Philosophy-Epistemology-Mental State-Belief


Statements {belief} {doxology} can have content about something. Basic beliefs come from infallible, indubitable, or incorrigible propositions or mental states, or they come from personal experience, perception, introspection, memory, or reasoning. Beliefs are propositions that people think are true. Belief existence does not infer content existence.

Pictures are like beliefs, because both relate to world but are not world. Sentences that describe pictures are like expressed beliefs.

explanatory coherence

Local beliefs justify beliefs {inference to the best explanation} {explanatory coherence}.

positive understanding

All beliefs depend on other beliefs that are valid and appropriate reasons for the belief to be true {positive understanding principle} {principle of positive understanding}.


thinking in epistemology

Talking to oneself and retrieving knowledge {thinking, epistemology} can lead to further thoughts.


Thought processes seem to imply thinking things, selves, or persons.


Thoughts use previous-moment thoughts. Thoughts can arise spontaneously. Thought processes can use categories and meta-qualities. Thought includes self-model.


First thinking stage is to perceive. Second stage is to process perceptions using logic, concepts, and propositions, to form new perceptions, judge existing patterns, and find causes and effects.

First thought stage describes objects and events. Next thought stage describes how objects and events work. Next thought stage explains why objects and events work that way or are that way. Next thought stage relates objects and events to nearby things. Next thought stage relates objects and events to distant things in space, time, or abstract spaces. Next thought stage predicts what objects and events will be or do. Next thought stage demonstrates how objects and events fit theory or principles. Next thought stage is theory construction.


Thought includes all mentation and cognition, conscious and unconscious. Thoughts are mental states and events with content, which people use to know how to perceive and act. They are always changing, are continuous, and are about objects. Thoughts can think other thoughts, so thinkers are thought-systems. Only thoughts have intrinsic value. Human biology makes thought, perception, and relations to world similar, allowing understanding and communication.

thought: mental content

Content is objects, properties, and relations. Mental states and cognitive systems have symbols and representations about something else. Experienced features are intrinsic, non-intentional features that cause phenomena. People can introspect such features. Such features can be different even if representation or intentional content does not change. Such mental features relate to physical-object properties. Beliefs or desires change will, which causes actions.

thought: non-conceptual content

Content {non-conceptual content} can be about abilities and experiences.

thought: infinities

Infinity is uncountable and has parts that have as many terms as whole. People can conceive of all space. People can conceive of being outside space. People can conceive of all time. People can conceive of being outside time, with no past, present, or future.

thought: motions

Animals can know motion directions, speeds, and endpoints. Animals can distinguish living-thing and non-living-thing motions, to protect against predators. Some animals can tell if animals are looking and in what directions.

thought: number

Number is plurality of plurality of pluralities. It is for counting individual objects. It applies to nouns and verbs as countable things vs. continuous amounts {mass noun, number}. Primates have object and number concepts, which allow numerical reasoning.

thought: object functions

Animals have interest in object and event functions, with which they interact. Animals can know other-animal and inanimate-object behavior frequencies. Animals can know other-animal and inanimate-object reactions to actions.

thought: idea relations

Relations conjoin two predicates or are one proposition with two variables. Relations can be about things inside {internal relation} or things outside {external relation}. *Relations are pairs: origin-destination, action-actor, difference-cause, recipient-method, motive-obstacle, trajectory-instrument, object-vehicle, and time-place.

Objects and object parts are connected/disconnected, inside/outside, left/right, vertical/diagonal/horizontal, large/medium/small, and above/below, as well as related by relative distance.

thought: space and cause

Spatial reasoning is causal reasoning, because to explain cause requires space.

thought: communication

Animals use communication to get others into same mental state.

thought: expression

People do not express thoughts with no reports or intentions to report.

doi takeo

People have outward thoughts, what is said in public, and innermost thoughts, what is thought in private {doi takeo}. Their knowledge concepts differ.

psychophysical law

Neural events can cause mental events {psychophysical law}.


theory formation theory

People can think using hypotheses, evidence, and logic {theory formation theory} {theory theory, epistemology}. This thinking determines what third person says. Only humans imagine that others have mental states or intentions. First person is active, is agent, has goals, makes decisions, has intentions, and deliberates, whereas third person is passive and has only functional modules.

simulation theory

People can mentally model how world works {simulation theory, epistemology}.

situation theory

People can think about situation facts from different viewpoints {situation theory}.

proof theory

Syntactical processes simulate semantic relations {proof theory, semantics}.


Beliefs and desires are theoretical {thought-theory}.


Ockham razor

People can use as few concepts as necessary to explain ideas {Ockham's razor} {Ockham razor} {Occam's razor}. The simplest theory that is valid is the preferred theory. The simplest theory requires the least information. Inductive reasoning can find a simple program to use, but it is impossible to prove that the program is minimal.

sufficient reason principle

Nothing happens without adequate reasons or causes {sufficient reason principle}| {principle of sufficient reason}, though people cannot usually know reasons.


productivity of language

People can produce, and think about, new thoughts {productivity, language} {language productivity}.

disjunction problem

People can misrepresent {disjunction problem} {problem of misrepresentation} {misrepresentation problem}.

doxastic state

States {doxastic state}| can be about beliefs and similar things. Mental-information states can be non-conscious {subdoxastic state, non-conscious} or have non-mental information {non-doxastic state}.

linguistic physicalism

Physical things can use basic-science languages {linguistic physicalism}.

naturalized semantics

Semantic ideas, such as references, can be explainable by non-semantic ideas, such as correlation, causation, resemblance, structure, or teleology {naturalized semantics}.

Plato beard

People can refer to non-existent things and events {Plato's beard} {Plato beard}.

scope of expression

Words are in larger expressions or link expressions to make larger expressions {scope, expression} {expression scope}. Scopes can be noun phrases, complex sentences, or predicates. If sentences rearrange or make inferences, words often have ambiguous scope or change scope, causing fallacy {scope fallacy, philosophy}. Statement, subject, or predicate negation changes scope. Reference change changes scope.

Socratic method

Questioning others {Socratic method}| {elenchus method} {refutation method} {method of elenchus} {method of refutation} can obtain agreement on facts and definitions; find contradictions, fallacies, and incomplete ideas; end false beliefs; obtain understanding; and reach agreed conclusions.


Descriptions can use logical particles, connectives, and other logical constants {syncategorematum}.

thought experiment

People can imagine experiments {thought experiment}| to test physical theories. Thought experiments are complex, because mind has hidden variables and results are not directly verifiable. Computers and/or people can perform mental experiments, to see actual results, note pitfalls, and propose better experiments. Experiments can also have control groups, with which to compare results, to verify that no other variables affected experiment except intended variable.

topic-neutral analysis

Analysis {topic-neutral analysis} can state something is similar to something else, but state nothing about objects, events, states, or properties.

verbal thinking

Thinking {verbal thinking} can be in words without talking to oneself.


symbolic representation

Mental states can be about something else {representation, symbolic} {symbolic representation}. Representation is neither reflexive nor symmetric.


Representations are beliefs, hopes, fears, or ideas.


Representations can be linguistic, non-linguistic, or other mental states. Representations can use gestures, sounds, marks, or natural phenomena.


The same representation can be about several different objects or events, depending on interpretation. Different interpretations can make different representations. Representations do not necessarily resemble the represented. Representations are not necessarily about real external objects or concepts but about perceptions, experiences, history, or actions relative to external objects. Representations can represent concepts, as well as things.

Similarity representation does not imply representation similarity. Representation absence is not the same as absence representation. Representation presence is not the same as presence representation.


Representations are not just labeling and not just associations between arbitrary symbols and the represented. Outside rules or other agents do not assign representations. Representations use agent structure or configuration, with functions. Representations have meaning to agents, because structures or functions associate with agent history, memory, structures, and functions. Agents can use representations, such as goals or reasons.

process: information

Representations include only parts and relations necessary to act for survival and omit most information about objects and events. Principles include how objects construct. Representations build through multiple eye fixations and so involve memory. Representations have hierarchies, in which larger patterns inhibit smaller ones.


Representations store general shapes at low resolution and parts at higher resolution. Representations include features and feature probabilities. Surfaces can be ellipsoidal segments, so objects and events can be like generalized ellipsoids, whose equation is a*x^2 + b*x + c*y^2 + d*y + e*z^2 + f*z + g = 0. Networks need 10 to 100 units to represent all possible three-dimensional-object views. Representations can include viewer-centered and object-centered properties.


People can introspect about representation {higher-order thought theory, meta-representation} (HOT theory) and so make consciousness {meta-representation} (Rosenthal). However, why should consciousness require thinking about mental states? Is culture necessary to have higher-order thoughts?

systematicity argument

Cognitive representations have intrinsic connections {systematicity argument}. Reasoning is systematic.

two-factor theories

Representations have both causal factors and conceptual-role factors {two-factor theories}. However, why do the factors match?



True statements {fact} about reality are possible. Facts can be true or false, based on perceptions and explanations.


Names {name, epistemology} are singular, like proper nouns, or general, like common nouns.

synthetic statement

Statements {synthetic statement}| can state empirical facts.


counterfactual belief

Facts or beliefs have negations {counterfactual}|. Beliefs can be true if negations are false {counterfactual theory}. The statement "If P happens, then Q happens" {causation, conditional} can invert to "If Q does not happen, then P does not happen" {counterfactual conditional}.

equivalence thesis

For all a and b, "a is true if and only if b" and "b is true if and only if a" are true {equivalence thesis}.


Proving statements false {falsification}| can gain knowledge.


Reasoning can use difficult sentence types, rhetorical argument tricks, or emotional tactics {sophism}|.

valid inference

Logical inferences {valid inference} can have conclusions that are true in any interpretation in which premises are true. Valid inferences, and logic, depend on word references, not uses.



Two inductions can lead to the same cause, or two testimonies or experiments can state the same fact {consilience}|.


Statements and opposites can combine into higher-level statements {dialectic}|.


Explanations {explanation} describe how parts work, how parts interact, and how interactions combine to give system output from input. Explanations describe units that interact and interaction rules. Rules include goals and representations. Explanations involve reasons and methods to recognize or evaluate reasons. Explanations must leave something out.


Knowing how to use something is not the same as knowing how it works.


Understanding requires actually saying or writing explanations.


Explanations include function from structure, means to ends, conclusion from premises, effect from causes, and body from support.

interpretation of words

Interpreting {interpretation, word} {word interpretation} can assign semantic values to all statement words.

judgment epistemology

How mind acquires knowledge, and how people judge knowledge {judgment, epistemology}, are two different processes. Beliefs are concepts about whether perceptions are real.


If people know p, people know that they know p {KK-thesis}.


Causal explanations require general concepts {meta-account} about units and laws.

salva veritate

In rules, equivalent-thing substitution should preserve truth {salva veritate}. However, some situations do not substitute this way.

self-reference of statement

Statements can refer to themselves {self-reference, statement}. Self-reference causes some paradoxes.



Particulars {particular} are class examples or object properties. Experiences are only about particulars.


Mental constructs {universal, epistemology} depend on inductive inference from experiences of particulars.


Statements can include "all...", "some...", or "at least one...".


Universal statements are actually predicates. They mean, "The objects exist, and, if there is such object, then..." Asserting existence requires subject. Asserting essence requires predicate. Only particular nouns can be statement subjects.


Universals, Ideas, or Forms are actually particulars. For example, beauty is not itself beautiful. Beauty is not pattern for beauty or the beautiful itself. Universals are relative, not absolute. They are object qualities.



Beliefs, desires, and perhaps thoughts are statements that contain propositions, mental ideas, or situations {intentionality}|. They point to something, imaginary or real, inside or outside self. Intentionality logically relates person and objects, events, and statements. People can pay attention to, track, speak about, and know about objects, events, and statements.

Intention relates represented and representer. Agents have beliefs or wants about representations.


Reference can happen only in languages. Reference to something else is the foundation for all languages. Different symbolic representations can use different languages.

mental states

Perhaps, all mental states and events are intentions. For example, hopes, fears, ideas, beliefs, desires, thoughts, perceptions, dreams, and hallucinations are about, or of, something else. Sentences, questions, poems, headlines, instructions, pictures, charts, films, symphonic tone poems, and computer programs are intentions.

mental states: non-intentional

Mental phenomena, such as pain and pleasure, can be only about themselves, not intentional. Conscious states can be non-representational. However, pains and itches can be about body locations, orgasms can be about body changes, and emotions and moods can be body states.


Representations can be non-conscious. Before uttering or comprehending, sentences seemingly represent. Perhaps, they represent only after conscious understanding. Unconscious beliefs represent. Perhaps, they represent only by association with conscious beliefs. Cognitive processing uses unconscious representation. Controlling machines use representations. Lower animals and plants represent environmental properties.

Consciousness can be about representation type, for example, behavior that controls representations (Tye) (Dretske). Consciousness selects from behavior sets or ranges. However, unconscious processes control most behavior (Libet) (Goodale).

comparison to relations

Because they reference something else, beliefs and hopes differ from ordinary relations like nouns or spatial relations.

intentional idiom

Intentional relations {intentional idiom} are referentially opaque relation subsets.


Messages {message, epistemology} explain intentionality using information-theory concepts.

6-Philosophy-Epistemology-Knowledge Argument

knowledge argument

If machines can perceive, think, and feel, people can study parts and motions but never know about perception, thinking, or feeling {argument from knowledge} {knowledge argument} [Leibniz, 1840].

color scientist

Mary lives in the future and knows everything about human vision structures and processes, including color perception, and visible light and surfaces, but she has never seen color because her environment has only blacks, grays, and whites, including her skin and clothes. When she first sees red roses, she learns something she did not know before, sensations [Jackson, 1977].

knowledge argument

Knowing all physical facts does not include personal experiences, therefore physicalism is not correct. Phenomena require knowledge of feelings and cannot be just functions [Jackson, 1982] [Jackson, 1986].

People can know all physical facts about other people but not know or feel their experiences, so experience has non-physical properties. Experience provides knowledge that people cannot obtain in other ways. However, people can learn more, physical or non-physical, about physical-facts parts. Perhaps, people actually do not learn more at all.

Mary knows all about color vision and physical colors, such as stimuli, responses, causes, effects, similarities, and differences, but has never experienced color. Complete physical information is only sentences about physical things, properties, and relations. However, complete physical information can mean sentences deduced from physical description about non-physical things, properties, or relations.

People can acquire physical knowledge without perception. Mary knows the colors things have. If she can see colored objects, she experiences colors whose names she knows. She then learns something more about color. At least she has acquired new information. Does she learn about subjective, phenomenal qualities, which differ from objective, physical qualities? She definitely learns something about experiences, because environment is new. Does she know conditions that result in experiences, which experiences have which qualities, and facts about experiences?

Does Mary learn phenomenological concepts, such as representing or thinking methods, and can now look at same facts in different ways? Does she learn new properties about world, physical or non-physical? She does not use memory. People can only remember experiences after they happen. She does not use recognition. People can only recognize phenomena after experiences happen. However, learning environment is new, so fact is new.


If Mary has cones, she will see colors from refractions and diffractions anyway.


Perhaps, Mary's cones have damage from no use. Perhaps, she can imagine colors but only knows imagined color, not real color. Perhaps, imagination requires different faculties than knowledge. Inability to imagine does not preclude color perception. Perhaps, Mary realizes that sense qualities are concepts but also then learns such associations. Perhaps, some physical facts have no statements, and some phenomena have no expressions, only experiences. Perhaps, she sees either arbitrary colors or colors associated with objects known to her.


Fundamentally, Mary will be in a new situation, and interactions between body and environment are too complex for anyone to know completely beforehand, at same time, or in the future.

new color

Fred can see color that others cannot perceive. Other people cannot know what he sees, unless they can see it already, no matter how much they know about brain and color [Jackson, 1982] [Jackson, 1986].

ability hypothesis

People who first experience qualities learn only practical knowledge {know-how}, but not facts, and gain abilities like imagining, remembering, and recognition {ability hypothesis}, with all other knowledge learned obtainable in other ways [Jackson, 1977] [Jackson, 1982] [Jackson, 1986]. Mary at least knows what it is like to experience at instant she is experiencing, though she probably cannot use the exact knowledge later. She knows phenomenal quality associated with name, and experience seems like a new fact about a mental state [Jackson, 1977] [Jackson, 1982] [Jackson, 1986].

acquaintance hypothesis

In the knowledge argument, does Mary learn only by acquaintance and does not learn propositions or abilities {acquaintance hypothesis}? To know phenomenal quality seemingly needs acquaintance, and acquaintance often changes beliefs [Conee, 1994].

imagination in Knowledge Argument

Perhaps, when Mary sees red roses, she learns new concepts and thinking methods {imagination, Knowledge Argument}, separate from brain states that she had before.


Perhaps, when Mary sees red roses, she learns to re-create or re-enact brain states {re-enactment}, because she learns to imagine.



Philosophy includes study of morals {ethics}.


What is the best living style? What are good and evil? What responsibilities do people have? Which rewards and punishments work? Are thoughts and behavior determined by genetics and environment only, or can will, emotion, and thoughts operate independently when choosing? What effects do people have on universe and other people? What values do things and events have?


Ethical theories can use "golden rule" or "categorical imperative". They can be about utility, such as "utilitarianism" with "greatest good for greatest number". They can be about what works best, such as "pragmatism", to make practical and effective decisions. They can depend on physical law, natural law, or "God's law". They can be about personal fulfillment or knowledge, such as "existentialism". They can depend on moderation or harmoniousness.

ethical development

Ethics develops as cognition develops. People first obey rules and authority, to avoid punishment. Then they conform, to get rewards and exchange favors. Then they conform, to avoid dislike and rejection or to be good. Then they conform, to avoid censure by authority, maintain order, or do duty. Then they follow shared rules and respect others' rights or follow required rules. Then they follow principles, standards, or conscience.


Education is necessary for effective ethics. People must know general principles by which to act. To understand action consequences and be aware of alternative actions, people must know world and people facts. People need to practice decision-making to apply facts and principles to situations correctly.

purpose in ethics

People do not necessarily know their purposes. They can have conflicting purposes. People can act to avoid pain, not to gain happiness. Accidents, body failures, or sickness can cause bodies to fail to take actions ordered by wills. Opposite courses can reach goals indirectly. Immediate goals can contradict farther goals.


Time affects ethics. One must act after short time. Taking too much time changes act. Taking too little time is irresponsible. Time does not allow thoroughly considering all factors and consequences. Therefore, time to decision must relate to action nature and importance.


Goods include order, experience intensity, security, variety, intelligence, wisdom, activity, peace, power, love, holiness, patience, calmness, unhurriedness, caring, oneness, enthusiasm, low anxiety, low egoism, worthy purpose, intimacy, and success. Values relate to emotions, such as pleasure. Values relate to personality and character. People can accept responsibility, be honest, be punctual, be objective, be tolerant, be open to new things and ideas, be creative, have self-respect, be self-confident, care for others, respect others, and have interest in others.

People typically agree about items to optimize, but differ on amounts, because they can conflict or compete for resources.

Minimize pollution. Maximize recycling and reuse. Minimize resources used. Minimize population level.

Maximize invention. Maximize diversity. Minimize extinction.

Maximize wealth and income. Maximize justice. Maximize equity. Maximize education. Maximize employment. Maximize health. Maximize nutrition. Maximize safety. Maximize security.

Minimize housing, food, health, heating, cooling, education, security, transportation, utilities, and insurance costs. Transportation is roads and cars. Utilities are water, sewer, trash collection, gas, electricity, and telephone. Insurance is for health, car, house, life, disability, liability, and old age. Minimize taxes.

Minimize interference with other people. Minimize crassness. Minimize greed. Minimize violence. Minimize prurience. Minimize psychologically damaging ideas and actions. Maximize compassion. Maximize tolerance. Maximize respect for others. Maximize openness. Maximize opportunity. Maximize cooperation.

Maximize happiness. Minimize sadness. Maximize pleasant experiences. Minimize unpleasant experiences. Maximize meaning in life. Maximize hope. Minimize hopelessness. Maximize love, intimacy, friendships, companionship, affection, and sexual pleasure.

Minimize anxiety and fear. Minimize hate and anger. Minimize frustration. Minimize irritation. Minimize conflict. Minimize crime.

Minimize boredom.

Maximize freedom. Minimize action restrictions. Minimize religion in government. Minimize government secrecy. Maximize peace.

Maximize transportation ease.

Maximize market fairness.

cultural relativism

Cultures, systems, behaviors, and theories have equal value {cultural relativism}| {post-modernism, ethics}. None is more rational than others. Knowledge and opinion depend on society in general, rather than elite groups.

Euthyphro problem

Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because they love it {Euthyphro problem}? Either piety has no reason or has reason, but authority does not apply in either case.


Group customs, traditions, and conveniences {morals} relate to basic human drives and needs. Sexual and other morality {morality} can be about duty, care, virtue, or consent. Duty is no extramarital sex and no homosexuality. Care is no casual relations and no prostitution. Virtue is to relate to people as persons, not objects. Consent is no relations with children or people with mental illness or deficiency. Religion closely links with morality.

quality of life

Indexes {quality of life} (QOL) can account for met needs, satisfaction, happiness, and social factors, such as nutrition, air pollution, water pollution, disease rates, crime rates, health, education, divorce rate, unemployment, income, and savings.


means and ends

Actions are means to achieve ends or goals {means and ends} {ends and means} {means/ends}. Means can be ends. Good goals can use questionable means. Does end justify means?

slippery slope argument

Marginal acts, once allowed, can lead to bad acts, by small continual extensions {slippery slope argument}|.

moral turpitude

People can have dishonesty, injustice, immodesty, or bad morals {moral turpitude}|.

value judgment

Judgments {value judgment} can state how things should be, not how they are.


People have right to make decisions about themselves {autonomy, ethics}|.

lazy sophism

If something is going to happen, it will happen, so people do not need to do anything {lazy sophism} to protect themselves.


altruism in ethics

People must recognize other people as people, not objects, and so not interfere with their interests and recognize limits to self-interest {altruism, people}|. People can realize that they are not special persons among all people.

biographical life

People are aware that they have past and future, have ideas about past life and future life, and affect other people, such as relatives, friends, and community {biographical life}.


People make negative reports {blame}| about bad behavior. Blame requires responsibility, but responsibility does not require blame or praise.


People think about, feel, become motivated, and act on problems, responsibilities, roles, worries, and necessities {concern}|. Satisfying concerns is executing actions appropriate to problems. Concerns can be fundamental to identity or temporary problems. Ethical questions concern what people expect of each other and whether to do unethical acts. What other people think affects concerns. Concerns cause thoughts, motives, and actions but are not desires or drives. Satisfying concerns does not release tension from needs or drives.


Human ethical faculties {conscience}| can know right and wrong directly.


All actions have negative and positive, foreseen and unforeseen, effects {consequences} in present, near future, and far future.

double effect

Action consequences can be secondary to intended consequence {double effect}. Correct acts can have bad secondary consequences. Incorrect acts can have good secondary consequences. Secondary consequences affect action choices.


People can use other people's weaknesses to gain advantage {exploitation}|. In some situations, this behavior is unjust or unethical. In other situations, it is appropriate to winning competition.

fear of death

People fear death {death fear} {fear of death}, which can cause anxiety.


People can always follow moral standards {integrity}, even if they can get away with bad behavior, have strong desires, or have need to take advantage.


Actions resulting in good consequences can produce rewards, and actions resulting in bad consequences can receive punishments, in proportion to responsibility and consequences {justice}. Justice results when everyone has fair returns for achievements and efforts. Justice results when all products and services offered are good as a whole. Justice results when opportunities are equal for all people and groups. Justice results when people receive compensation for torts, broken contracts, or other injuries.


People can be faithful to people or ideas {loyalty}|, by religious faith or personal fealty.

moral ideal

People can aspire to higher morality {moral ideal}| in actions, motives, or virtues. Moral ideals are praiseworthy and admirable. If people do not reach higher plane or do higher action, they have no blame or shame.


Agents have a duty {responsibility, ethics} to consider consequences. People's responsibilities to future generations are environment, population, and no radiation. Responsibility requires belief that personal actions are voluntary. People's actions and movements can cause responsibility.


Different societies have different risk assessments {risk-taking}.


In wealthy societies, people can afford to take monetary risks but avoid personal risks, because individuals are important. In poor societies, people take personal risks but not monetary risks.


Personal beliefs about God determine personal attitudes towards risk. Believers believe that God knows everything and can control everything. People can believe gambling is sin, because sinners do not trust in God to provide and hope to gain by others' misfortunes. People can gamble often, believing that fate is in God's hands anyway. People can believe that God disfavors opponents and favors believers.


After gambles, immediate results are all that counts. Long-term risk-taking results depend on immediate outcomes. To prevent repeat gambling, immediate results must be losses.


People try to maintain homeostasis and avoid pain {self-preservation}|.


Moral actions can be positively done for the good of other people, not self {supererogation}|, sometimes with difficulty, risk, or sacrifice.


Virtues {virtue}| are dispositions, not abilities or capacities, that typically have good results for society. The ancients had four main virtues: prudence or practical wisdom, fortitude or courage, justice, and temperance. Christians added faith, hope, and charity or love.


People can feel good overall {well-being}|, which depends on relative health, security, housing, fuel, food, pollution, and ecology.


Through reflection and experience, people can understand world and people and act efficiently, productively, helpfully, and intelligently in all situations {wisdom}|.



Things {evil}| can be against God's will, against custom or convention, against nature or natural law, or against happiness. Actions and states can be evil.


Evil has negative value, because the good or right has positive value. Evil is good's lack, incompleteness, deficiency, or non-existence.


Evil is an available choice among alternatives.


Evil is conflict, incompatibility, or low harmony. Religious evil is blasphemy, unorthodoxy, sins against church, and failures in religious duties, such as prayer, tithing, or penance. Educational evil is frustration, boredom, and misdirection. Intellectual evil is untruth and insincerity. Moral evil is harm to others or rights deprivation. Social evil is actions against whole groups or social order. Material evil is starvation, no shelter, no warmth, and no medical care. Aesthetic evil is insincere, unskilled, or evil-encouraging art.


Evil is or causes pain and suffering. Pain and suffering {natural evil} can result from acts of nature. Pain and suffering {human evil} can result from human actions. People can choose to cause pain and suffering, cause them indirectly by pursuing goals that harm others, or cause them accidentally.


Perhaps, limited human reasoning and perception makes evil only illusory. Evil can be necessary to allow existence or to bring about greater good.


People can try to show why evil exists and what the greater good is {theodicy}. Perhaps, God uses evil as tests, correctives, or motivators, to accomplish ends. Perhaps, God has right to use evil and cause pain and suffering.

freewill defense

Evil can be necessary to allow free will {freewill defense}.

higher-order goods defense

Natural evil can be necessary to bring about such things as courage, patience, sympathy, and other high-level thoughts, actions, and feelings {higher-order goods defense}.


agent-relative morality

Correct behaviors can differ depending on people's natures {agent-relative morality}.

axiological ethics

Ethics can be about value {axiological ethics} {axiology}, as opposed to morals or justice.


Morals are not truths {descriptivism}.

ethical standards

Ethics {ethical standards} can be moral absolutism, deontologicalism, consequentialism, or agent-relative morality.

existentialism in ethics

People have no essence or property that defines their lives or constrains their freedom {existentialism}. The first truth of which humans are aware is that they exist. People must choose actions based on this knowledge.


Women can have equality and justice {feminism}. Women have not been in public life, partly because they have greater roles in private life. Private life can have value and merge with public life, so women can have justice, equality, care, and concern. Societies have typically subordinated or oppressed women. Perhaps, social structures depend on oppression or exclusion of women {radical feminism}.

ideal observer theory

Morals are what impartial observers, such as God, say or do in situations {ideal observer theory}.

life after death

People can act morally only if they have souls that survive death {life after death, ethics}, because people do get rewards in life from acting morally.

naturalism in ethics

Ethics can depend on nature, or ethical properties are natural properties {naturalism, ethics} {ethical naturalism}. However, perhaps, oughts should come only from oughts.


emotive theory ethics

Morality is about approval and disapproval {emotive theory, ethics}.

emotivism in ethics

Ethics is about feelings, attitudes, and emotions {emotivism, ethics}.

ethical egoism

People ought to do only what is in their self-interest {ethical egoism}.

ethical voluntarism

Will is basis of morals {ethical voluntarism}.


Pleasure is the only rational good, all actions can be pursuits of pleasure, or pleasure is the only goal that people desire {hedonism}. However, people pursue many goals and drives. Pleasure cannot describe all good things, such as freedom.


Personal value can be the greatest good {heroicism}.

operant conditioning ethics

Good actions are positive reinforcers, and bad actions are negative reinforcers {operant conditioning, ethics}. Operant conditioning can teach ethical behavior.


Ethics {Eudaemonism} {perfectionism} can depend on individual personal growth, as they use all their abilities, powers, and ideas, keep well-being and confidence, and find their true selves through experience and action. People can be morally excellent, powerful, or achieving, rather than doing wasteful or useless activities.

psychological egoism

Self-interest is the motivation for human actions {psychological egoism}. Desire wills voluntary actions, which are for self even if they are altruistic, emotional, or rational. However, self-interest is too general, and interest is actually about direct interests. Many motives are not about self, such as reasons and emotions for donating money. Self-interest is about present and future interests, so people must know both.



Communities are the basis of values {communitarianism}, because social customs and institutions develop individual activities, including social relations. Values develop from community, not by imposition from outside sources, such as ideologies. Completely individualistic societies are impossible. Communitarianism {value communitarianism} can emphasize shared values, such as trust, group feeling, give-and-take, and intimacy, and public goods, such as air, markets, and government.


People achieve happiness by their decisions as agents motivated by values {distributism}, so people must have private ownership and personal liberty. Distributism is communitarianism against capitalism and socialism.


absolute ethics

Ethics {absolute ethics} can depend on moral duties and religious laws. Relative ethics depends on situations.

deontological ethics

People can have duties, responsibilities, or obligations {deontology}. Perhaps, certain actions are themselves right or wrong {deontological ethics} {deontologicalism}. Circumstances and results do not matter. People can know what people can do or not do in all situations, including action timing. In deontological ethics, actions are intrinsically right or wrong and people must or must not do them, no matter what the consequences.

divine command ethics

God commands some behaviors and forbids some acts {divine command ethics} {command ethics}.

ethical formalism

Ethics can have laws and absolute ethical standards {ethical formalism} {formalism, ethics}, rather than have judgments. Kant had formal ethics, from which he deduced everything.

moral absolutism

Certain actions are always right or wrong, and people must always do them or not do them {moral absolutism}. Circumstances and results do not matter.


Morals are commands to do or not do something {prescriptivism}.



Actions can be right or wrong depending on consequences {consequentialism}. Actions can be right or wrong depending on result rightness or wrongness {act-consequentialism} {direct consequentialism}. Consequences can be personal or social, can be effects or states, can involve optima or only improvements, can lead to equitable distributions, or can surpass minimum thresholds. Utilitarianism is consequentialist. Actions can be right or wrong depending on consequences of choosing certain rules {indirect consequentialism} {rule-consequentialism}. However, people cannot know, pay attention to, or weigh all consequences. Perhaps, people cannot affect others much.

evolutionary ethics

People value actions, goals, and people that contribute to survival {evolutionary ethics}.

instrumental value

Things can have value {instrumental value} because they help reach goals.

pleasure theory

Ethics {pleasure theory} can depend on the most net happiness or pleasure, which can include the most equal sharing of happiness and pleasure, as in Mill's utilitarianism.

pragmatism in ethics

Right actions lead to good consequences, and wrong or bad leads to bad consequences {pragmatism, ethics}.

utilitarianism in ethics

Ethics can include the most equal sharing of happiness and pleasure {utilitarianism}, as in Mill.



Philosophy includes study of nature of reality {metaphysics}.


How did universe begin and how will it end? Does universe evolve? Why are there universes? Is universe monistic, dualistic, or pluralistic? How many different substances, like mind and matter, are there? Is this the only possible universe? How do people and life fit into universe? Is reality more about substances or processes? Is there anything supernatural, such as God, soul, spirit, or ideals?


Perhaps, God created universe, out of itself or nothing. Perhaps, universe is static and unchanging and has always existed. Perhaps, universe has continuous creation, out of nothing or itself. Perhaps, universe makes new things, from old things or out of nothing, at specific times, by pure chance, by selection, by life principle, or by spirit. Perhaps, universe is returning to original perfect state after perturbation. Perhaps, universe originated from physical processes. Universe has allowed brains to develop, perceive, and act.


Matter, motion, energy, force, and space-time form one relativistic and quantum-mechanical system. Time, space, matter, and energy are discontinuous, with gaps between quanta. Universe regions can be like other regions. However, finite universes cannot be homogeneous. Universe is the same in all directions.


Essences can be specific to things {haecceity} and to no other things.


Materials {substance} have properties.


Can reality be nothing {void}?


Interactions cause different positions and momenta {change}. Interactions exchange energy, particles, or information. Particle interactions can be with other particles or with themselves.


All things are always in motion. Motions use least action, follow geodesics, and are deterministic.


Only interactions can cause new effects, by perturbing system from outside to make new things or relations.


Even if determinism is true, no one can predict events before they happen, because people cannot know all positions and momenta precisely.


Universe began with low entropy, unified forces, symmetry, radiation, no matter, and low potential energy, because distances were very small. Interactions caused expansion and changes, with asymmetries, matter, and potential energy.


Matter motions cause collisions that tend to spread matter apart. Forces can pull matter together and change potential energy into kinetic energy. Spreading out causes cooling. Kinetic energy causes heating. Cooling allows matter to stabilize. Heating provides energy for new combinations. Relatively small complex regions can arise. In very large systems, relatively small regions can be planet size.



Universe as whole {macrocosm}| compares to human life or microscopic worlds.


Universe as whole compares to human life or microscopic worlds {microcosm}|.


existence in metaphysics

Subjects and objects have a property {existence} {being} of being in nature. Being is about objects and substance, as opposed to process and change. Existences are descriptions or predicates. Existences are not object essences, names, or particular things. Laws or principles do not make existences.

First-order existence indicates that objects are real. Second-order existence indicates that objects act real. Fictional objects have second-order existence, because they are not actually real. Because signals take time to travel, particles have no clear beginning or ending of existence.

ontology metaphysics

Metaphysics can study which substances exist {ontology}|. Ontology is about being and existence. Being can have different modes. Beings can be abstract, concrete, universal, or particular. Beings can occupy space and time, be outside space and/or time, be independent of other being, be parts of other being, be parts of hierarchies, or be otherwise dependent.


is existence

Copulas {is, existence} can ascribe existence to something. "Is" as copula can ascribe being {attribution, copula} as classes or categories, of which things are examples {instantiation, copula}.


Used as copula, "is" can ascribe being as a quality {copulative}|.

class inclusion

Used as copula, "is" can ascribe being as a class {class inclusion}.

constitution as substance

Used as copula, "is" can ascribe being as a substance {constitution, substance} {existential}.

equivalence as identity

Used as copula, "is" can ascribe being as substitutability or equivalence {identity, equivalence} {equivalence, identity} {numerical identity}.


object in metaphysics

Substances {object, metaphysics} have modes and attributes. Objects maintain integrated structures and functions, irrespective of element changes.

identity of objects

Things are identical if they have same class and have same relation, or if they have same class and have reciprocal relations {identity criterion} {criterion of identity} {identity, metaphysics}.


Things {instantiation, metaphysics}| are class or category examples.


abstract object

Objects {abstract object} can be not observable, have no space or time locations, have no matter, have no cause, have no effects, and exist only necessarily. Abstract objects are opposites of concrete actual physical things.

ideal object

Ideals {ideal} are perfect, unchanging, and universal objects, or abstract ideas of particular objects. Extrapolation from the particular can create perfect-object representations. Mathematical knowledge is about ideals.


attribute as class

Objects have classes {attribute, class}.

mode as property

Objects have properties {mode, property}.

capacity of objects

Objects try to do something or are action objects {capacity, object} {object capacity}. People capacities are their mental possibilities. Contexts can prevent capacity expression.


emergence and existence

Perhaps, higher existences or processes can form from lower existences or processes {emergence}| [Beckerman et al., 1992].


Parts can combine by aggregation or by configuration. Aggregation adds parts to make larger things. Configuration relates parts to make new thing, such as wheels. Emergent phenomena are larger and more complex.


For emergence in systems, parts or event eliminations must affect other events or parts (J. S. Mill). Chemical reactions can be emergent when reactants combine into new configurations. Reactant elimination prevents configuration.

new substances or properties

Emergent phenomena make new properties or substances. Combining non-round parts can make something circular. Combining reactants can make new molecule types. New substances and properties are new configurations, not sums of existing physical properties. Emergent phenomena are not existing-property value changes. Summation is not emergence. Becoming warmer is not emergence. Beat frequencies and wave interference patterns result from wave summations and are waves and so not something new. However, emergence does not make new fundamental properties or substances. Low-level quarks, leptons, and their properties do not change.

physical laws

Emergence does not make new physical laws. Emergence applies physical laws. Emergent properties, objects, and events are theoretically predictable from physical laws. However, they may be too complex to predict.

no emergence

All physical phenomena are physical-component interactions according to physical laws. True emergence requires that new substances and properties be not explainable by lower level laws, substances, and properties. Therefore, there is no real emergence in the physical world, unless physical laws themselves emerge.

examples: evolution

Evolution makes new species and biological properties. However, evolution processes are not new. Evolution results from low-level feeding, reproductive, and defense activities of varying species members in competitive environments. Physical laws cause species evolution. Evolution theory is an abstract way of looking at survival. Evolution theory is shorthand for complex physical-law actions. No evolution-theory principle is an evolution requirement.

water and molecules

Hydrogen and oxygen can combine to make water. Water has new physical properties that are not sums of hydrogen and oxygen physical properties. However, chemical laws are not emergent. Chemical laws are shorthand for complex physical-law actions. No chemical law is a requirement for chemistry.


Biological parts and configurations have combined to make larger and more complex brain structures and functions and so mind, which has new properties. Mind appears to be a whole and a new thing. Perhaps, complex physical-law actions make mind. Perhaps, mind is not directly explainable from brain parts, events, and properties and requires something truly new in universe.


Perhaps, objects have underlying, fundamental, and defining characteristics {essence, metaphysics} {essentialism}. Essence categorizes objects. Essentialism includes realism.


There are different possible worlds {modality} {modal realism}.


Modality can be certain or eternal {epistemic modality}; depend on current, past, or future {temporal modality}; or be necessary, impossible, or possible {logical modality}.


If something is necessary, it is true in all possible worlds. If it is possible, it is true in at least one possible world. If it is impossible, it cannot be true in any possible world.


World can be different at different times. Something can be true at all possible times. Something can be true outside time.


Models and interpretations can allow people to know possible worlds.

possible worlds

Perhaps, other universes {possible worlds}, with different substances, exist. Example is fictional things.

process philosophy

Events can relate to make processes. Relations and events cause object-property transformations. Objects are always changing properties or property values {process philosophy}. Since no properties persist for significant periods, processes and relations are more important than matter, time, and position.



Past events cause current events {determinism}| {necessitarianism}. Determinism relates to fatalism, logical determinism, and predestination.


Past events logically determine all events, and so events are necessary. There is no purpose. Freedom is only feeling, because people cannot detect action causes {strong determinism}.


Laws, which act through cause and effect, govern all events, but events are not logically necessary {weak determinism}.


If human actions are deterministic, there is no free will, hope, feelings, moral responsibility, right or wrong, attitudes, real knowledge, choice, or use for deliberation.


Universe is not mechanistic or determined, because fundamental-particle behavior has randomness.


Perhaps, physics allows masses and energies that were not in systems at previous times to enter systems later {indeterminism}|. Gravitational forces allow singularities. Singularities and infinities terminate determinism.


Perhaps, acts and wills can have no causes, and humans can make free choices using minds or wills {strong indeterminism}, so different futures are possible. Perhaps, humans can originate acts and wills inside themselves and to this extent have self-determination and free choice {weak indeterminism}, so different futures are possible.


Indeterminism includes libertarianism, quantum probabilities, random events, miracles, and human free will.


Perhaps, Actions are free, people have will, and people can originate ideas and actions {libertarianism}.

logical determinism

Perhaps, all events are already determined and unalterable {fatalism, determinism} {logical determinism}, and no human action can have any effect, good or evil.


Perhaps, God has decreed all events by his will and knows all outcomes, and God's will is final {predestination}|.


naturalism in metaphysics

Perhaps, matter is the central reality {naturalism, metaphysics}|.

reductionism in metaphysics

Perhaps, all physical processes are fundamental particle movements {reductionism, metaphysics}|.



Perhaps, world is only mental construct {anti-realism}.

philosophy of organism

Perhaps, universe is a living thing {philosophy of organism}.

rationalism in metaphysics

Perhaps, reason or mind is the central reality {rationalism, metaphysics}.

solipsism in metaphysics

Perhaps, reality and physical world are just mind constructs or models {solipsism}|. Perhaps, people can only be sure that self exists. They cannot know if anyone else exists.


However, people cannot then use "I" or "my", because they have no relation to outside world or other minds. Brain seemingly needs outside information to perceive and cannot create all perceptions using only its own resources. People rarely create coherent and consistent stimuli. People can have amusement and surprise, so they do not already have all knowledge inside. Universe seems to have been here before people existed [Fichte, 1794].

substance hierarchy

Perhaps, mind has higher reality level than matter {hierarchy, substance} {substance hierarchy}.


Perhaps, universe runs by ideal, moving, and living force {vitalism}| {life principle} {entelechy} {élan vital} {vital spirit} {Form, spirit} {will to live}.


mind and philosophy

Philosophy includes brain and mental-phenomena study {mind, philosophy}.


Mind theories must choose among reductionism or non-reductionism, monism or dualism, and mentalist, materialist, physicalist, and dualist mind and body theories [Biro and Shahan, 1982] [Dennett, 1978] [Dennett, 1987] [Dennett, 1995] [Dennett, 1996] [Dennett, 1998] [Dennett, 2004] [Durant, 1926] [French et al., 1979] [Seager, 1999] [Tye, 1995].


Is consciousness real? How can matter with positions, momenta, times, and energy cause or be sense qualities? [Churchland, 2002] [Dennett, 1991] [Farber and Churchland, 1995] [Searle, 1992] [Searle, 1997].

mental state

Mind states represent ideas and cause linguistic responses. Mental states can be conscious or unconscious and are about similarity or relation, which determines linguistic responses, which are conscious. Language reports mental states using signs. Because mental states vary widely, natural occurrences have incompatible linguistic explanations [Kripke, 1980].


Non-intentional intrinsic physical or non-physical features available to consciousness can cause phenomena.


Perhaps, people can know all physical facts about other people but not know or feel their experiences, so experiences have non-physical properties. Experiences provide knowledge that people cannot obtain in other ways. Mind can be substance: soul, immortal, indivisible, conscious, or self-conscious.


Minds can be mental constructions.


Behaviorism, Gestalt psychology (Wertheimer, Koffka, and Kohler), and other psychologies can study mind.


Minds can be organism adaptive behaviors.

Minds can be capacities to cause things, not containers.

Minds can be like algorithms and computer programs.

Minds can have sense qualities, perceptions, imaginings, feelings, and thoughts, which are not elementary, primary brain properties. Mental processes can be complex information-processing activities [Carlson, 1999] [Lycan, 1989] [Lycan, 1990] [Lycan, 1996] [Marcus, 2004] [Nagel, 1974] [Nagel, 1986] [Pickering and Skinner, 1990] [Seager, 1999].

Minds can be experience associations, idea and impression collections, or sense-quality sets.

three parts

Perhaps, mental structure has psyche, reason, and intellectual intuition. Mind has cognition, emotion or affect, and motivation or conation.


Mind can be an organic or personal unity, with matter and thoughts: Form, organizer, life principle, self, thinking agent, or subject and self experience unity.

control system

Minds are control systems, from top down and from bottom up, so behavior does not emerge, but brain regulates it. Mind is both program and data, states and processes, contents and procedures, and controlling and controlled.

empiricism and mind

Conscious sense qualities can be of physical objects.

ESP and mind

Experiments in ESP, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis, have flaws. Experimenter suggestions caused positive results [Rhine, 1934] [Rhine, 1947] [Stein, 1996].

humanism and mind

Only human minds have intentionality {humanism, mind}. Minds gain knowledge only through education and socialization. Minds tolerate other mind's ideas, because ideas relate to education and socialization. Human minds create and project God.

software and mind

Minds are like equations and algorithms, and brains are like computer electronic workings. Minds are like messages, and brains are like ink. Perhaps, brains are like computers, and minds are like programs.

mind-body problem

How do physical and mental relate {mind-body problem}? What brain and body physiological and/or anatomical changes cause sense qualities? [Adler, 1952] [Adler, 1990] [Adler, 1992] [Aristotle, -350] [Blackburn, 1999] [Marcus, 2004] [Poggio, 1990] [Seager, 1999] [Shear, 1997].

possibility argument

People can imagine that their minds/souls can exist after bodies die {argument from possibility} {possibility argument}. If mind and body are the same, they cannot be separate. Ghosts, souls, and minds, by themselves, do not contradict physical laws (Descartes). Philosophical zombies can be physically the same as people but with no consciousness (Kripke).


bundle theory

Personal identities can be just grouped personal characteristics {bundle theory}.

intelligent nature

Minds can be organism actions {intelligent nature} (Gilbert Ryle).



People can imagine consciousless humans {zombie}| {philosophical zombie} that can act and think like normal people [Campbell, 1970] [Chalmers, 1996] [Chalmers, 2000] [Davis, 1988] [Kirk, 1974]. Philosophical zombies are people replicas, except with no experiences. Haitian zombies act like sleepwalkers or drugged people, but philosophical zombies have no behavior differences, with no drowsiness or half-consciousness. Philosophical zombies are the same as humans functionally. In same environments, both have same physiological and psychological states and behaviors, but only one has beliefs, thoughts, and desires. Instead of consciousness, zombies have higher-level knowledge about lower-level knowledge.


If zombies are possible, phenomenal states and physical states are not the same, because same physical states can both have and not have phenomena, so physical states do not determine phenomena.

However, zombies apparently contradict facts about human reports of internal states. Zombies seem not to be consistent with physical laws, because their action causes are not enough or are incomplete. Calling something mental when it is not can make zombies seem to have internal contradictions.


If consciousness has functions, evolution processes built abilities needed to have consciousness and changed neurons or neural structures accordingly.


If people {swampman} duplicate, duplicates have no evolutionary history and no external-thing representations. Such duplicates have no consciousness according to theories requiring external representation [Davidson, 1987].


brittleness of symbol

Because symbols are either present or absent and have no partial effects or gradations {brittleness, symbol}|, symbols are not apt for images, tastes, sounds, touch, and smell. Unlike sense qualities, symbols do not form or strengthen statistically. Symbols are about high-level wholes, not about parts. Symbols are for propositions and knowledge structures. Small local changes can affect concepts and accuracy greatly.


Minds have motivations {conation}.


Minds have emotions {affect, mind}.

intention in mind

Minds have beliefs, hopes, fears, ideas, and other symbol collections {intention, mind} that are about something else. Physical objects cannot themselves be about something else. Conscious sense qualities and subjective experiences can be intentions.


Intentions do not have to be conscious, because mental states, linguistic representations, and non-linguistic representations can be about something else but are not necessarily conscious. Conscious states, such as moods, can be not intentional. Lowest-level parts are intentional, so higher levels do not explain intentionality.


Computations are only syntactical, but intentions are semantic.


Only people have desires, hopes, beliefs, and attitudes about what they are, are capable of, want to do, like to be, and ought to be.


other minds problem

Other humans {the Other, Mill} seem to have consciousness, but how can minds know that there are other minds {problem of other minds} {other minds problem}|. Perhaps, people can know that other objects have or do not have minds by comparing similarities and differences in structure and function.

theory of mind

Perhaps, people believe that others have mental states, because people explain human behaviors using causes in wills and minds {theory of mind, philosophy} {theory theory, mind}.

simulation theory of mind

Perhaps, people believe that others have mental states, because people can imagine mental states in imagined situations {simulation theory, mind}.


emergence of mind

Perhaps, new properties can arise {emergence, mind} that system units and relations cannot predict.


Perhaps, higher principles can describe complex systems too complex to allow predictions {benign emergence}. Perhaps, complex systems can create entirely new objects, events, structures, or functions {radical emergence}.


Minds can be new things with new properties, derived from brain-part relations and combinations. Brains have components, and mind is the whole, with laws and phenomena that are not explainable just from brain parts and properties.

Like music from instruments, mind comes from brain but is not like brain. If instruments break, they can make no music, just as minds depend on functioning brains. Music resonates in instruments but does not actually affect music production, just as mind resonates in brain but does not affect brain function. However, mind does affect brain function.


Perhaps, consciousness is an emergent, self-regulatory, goal-directed brain-state or brain-process property, rather than brain faculties or structures.


Complex systems have new causation types {emergent causation}. Higher existences or processes form from lower existences or processes [Beckerman et al., 1992].


Perhaps, conscious experience associates with, is supervenient upon, or is a property of physical objects and events, but mind does not affect body or brain {epiphenomena} {epiphenomenalism}. Body and brain can act upon, control, and result in mind, consciousness, and conscious experience, or mind can be a byproduct. Perhaps, conscious experiences have effects in the mental world.

object and sense

People can report on their consciousness, and sense qualities do not correspond to physical objects or events. Senses have different logic for representing physical properties, such as for sound and light wavelengths [Ramachandran, 2004].

no causation

Mental and conscious events have no physical or mental effects {methodological epiphenomenalism}, because the physical world can have no outside causes. Mental events that seem to cause have physical causes.

evolutionary adaptiveness

Perhaps, human abilities evolved to meet hominin needs {evolutionary adaptiveness}.

new realism

Perhaps, reality is neither mind nor matter {new realism}. Mental and physical events have different causal laws. Mind and matter differences are only different arrangements or organizations of same fundamental constituents.

operationalism and mind

Perhaps, what consciously happened is whatever people remember to have happened {operationalism, mind theory}. Operationalism requires belief or memory. In conscious experience, the "for me" {fur mich} and the "in itself" {an sich} are same thing.

quantum mechanics and mind

Perhaps, classical physics has no role for consciousness. Quantum mechanics requires mind to set variables to observe {quantum mechanics, mind}.

Gödel Incompleteness

Halting problems prove that mind does not use algorithms. Mathematicians can understand non-computable-function truth, but computer programs cannot. Quantum computing can be non-algorithmic and non-recursive.


Wavefunctions collapse at large-scales by non-local gravitational process (objective reduction). Such gravitational effects happen in tenths of seconds and are not algorithmic.


Perhaps, quantum mechanics affects nerve microtubules. However, time before quantum state decoherence is too short, 0.1 milliseconds or less [Grush and Churchland, 1995] [Hameroff and Penrose, 1996] [Hameroff et al., 1996] [Hameroff et al., 1998] [Lockwood, 1991] [Penrose, 1989] [Penrose, 1994].

Copenhagen interpretation

In Copenhagen quantum-mechanics interpretation, quantum mechanical laws specify what knowledge/information people can have about systems. Actions that gather information about relations among observations gain knowledge. Physical laws are not about reality, particles, or energy.

Classical systems use real numbers, whose operations are commutative, to specify particle and energy properties. Quantum-mechanical laws use complex numbers, with non-commutative operations, to specify dynamical-system changes and state/observation probabilities. Quantum-mechanical mathematical descriptions are about wave events rather than numbers.

events: Process 1

Observation causes wavefunction collapse and makes one of the possible states appear. Observations are conscious and/or psychological events. Mind must choose question to answer, observable to measure, and location and time to measure. Observation requires mind, which chooses what to observe by choosing experiment and observes directly or by instrument. Observations have experimental conditions and measurement variables, described the same as in classical physics, that instruments can communicate to people.

Observing systems, including measuring instruments, can be quantum mechanical or classical. Measuring instruments typically are classical, while atomic systems are quantum mechanical {Heisenberg cut}. Quantum-mechanical descriptions approximate continuous classical states with probabilities. Observable instrument states must be countable, and states have probabilities.

events: Process 2

System physical processes proceed according to mathematical laws, until another observation. Observed systems are quantum mechanical. Physical processes do not cause choices. Mathematical laws do not require choices.

Von Neumann

Brain, measuring apparatus, and physical system to measure are in one physical system. Brain chooses what to observe, the variable. In Process 1 {Heisenberg Choice}, observers choose variables to observe using consciousness. Variables are measurable and have specific discrete states. In Process 2, system evolves quantum mechanically, deterministically, and locally. Lengths and times become more uncertain. In Process 3 {Dirac Choice}, quantum jump puts variable in state and mind in knowing state.

quantum Zeno effect

Quantum effects only persist for 10^-13 seconds. However, in some physical conditions, making same observation process repeatedly at high-enough rate causes observations to repeat {quantum Zeno effect}. Experiment timing affects observed-state probabilities. Perhaps, in mind, attention is rapid probing and holds mental states for prolonged periods.

representational theory

Conscious mental states represent in a specific way {representational theory}. Conscious mental states do not require brain representation.

higher-order-monitoring theory

Conscious mental states have a specific brain representation {higher-order-monitoring theory}. Conscious mental states do not necessarily represent.

self-representational theory

Perhaps, consciousness requires self-reference {self-referentialist theory} {self-reference, mind} {self-representational theory} {self-representation} [Hofstadter, 1979] [Hofstadter, 2007]. Conscious mental states represent in a specific way and have a specific brain representation.

Besides having sensations, conscious mental states can refer to themselves. Consciousness indirectly includes some self-consciousness. Perhaps, subjects' conscious mental states also represent those conscious mental states. Perhaps, subjects' conscious mental states include unconscious thoughts about the mental states. Perhaps, by extrinsic higher-order theory, subjects that have conscious mental states must have unconscious mental states that represent the conscious mental states.

Besides having sensations, conscious mental states can refer to conscious subject/person/self/soul, which can have no or some self-sensations.

Besides having sensations, conscious mental states can have associated unconscious thoughts about the sensations or self.


Perhaps, mental changes or states have changes or states at lower, physical levels, but physical changes and states do not necessarily always subserve mental changes or states {supervenience} {realization, mental}. The physical determines the mental in general ways. Conscious processes are supplementary effects in complex causal neural networks. Because mental events supervene on physical events, mental events are reducible to physical causes. Physical reduction is possible for functions. Intentional states have functions, can be behavior causes, and are reducible to physical explanations. Phenomenal states do not have to have functions or affect behavior and so are epiphenomenal. However, similarities and differences among experiences affect behavior and so have functions [Kim, 2005].


functionalism and mind

Perhaps, mental states are brain functions {functionalism}. Consciousness is inputs, processing, and outputs about stimuli, behaviors, beliefs, goals, and algorithms. Functionalism uses input-output relations to explain physical and biological processes. If mental states are conscious, they have special functions [Armstrong and Malcolm, 1984] [Armstrong, 1962] [Armstrong, 1968] [Armstrong, 1980] [Churchland, 1986] [Churchland, 1988] [Churchland, 1995] [Churchland, 2002].

The same functional process can have different physical representations. The same physical state can represent different functions.

mental states

Mental states do not necessarily correspond to anatomy or physiology, but are like software and algorithms. Mental states are internal, with no public behavior. Mental states are objective, with no need for subjective feelings. Mental states are perception, memory, emotion, and will effects. Mental states cause motions.

phenomenal functions

Phenomena can cause behavior by translating stimuli into goals, energies, or actions. Different physical states can have same phenomena.


Perhaps, having conscious experience is mental functioning, and having particular experience is neurophysiological {physicalist-functionalism}. Perhaps, mental properties are identical to functional properties {psychofunctionalism}. Perhaps, conscious system must have functions, selected for in the past {reductive teleofunctionalism}. Perhaps, both conscious and unconscious mental capacities are for adaptation {teleological functionalism}. Perhaps, functional brain parts can explain mind {decompositional functionalism}. Perhaps, mind can be computer programs {computation-representation functionalism}. Perhaps, mental states can be functional states {metaphysical functionalism}, based on input, output, and causal relations.

types: interactionism

Interactionism includes functionalism and has non-physical reality {mind-stuff} to provide mental states. However, it is typically materialist, involving hardware, such as brain {wetware}.

causal theory of reference

Perhaps, mental states represent ideas and cause linguistic responses. Mental states, which can be conscious or unconscious, are about similarities or relations, and relations determine linguistic-response patterns, which are conscious. Language reports mental states using signs. Because mental states vary widely, natural occurrences have incompatible linguistic explanations. People react to natural occurrences to establish conscious linguistic responses {causal theory of reference} [Putnam, 1975] [Putnam, 1981] [Putnam, 1988] [Putnam, 1992].

cognitive pandemonium

Perhaps, brain agents compete for expression and control {cognitive pandemonium}. Local and global winners emerge. Global winner becomes conscious {cerebral celebrity} [Dennett, 1991].

computational functionalism

Perhaps, non-conscious information processing can perform all processes needed for survival and all processes performed by consciousness {computational functionalism} {conscious inessentialism} {computational theory} {computational hypothesis}.


Symbol manipulation causes thoughts. Symbols represent high-level concepts and directly relate to knowledge structures. Symbols are either present or absent. Symbols in combination make propositions. Computational manipulations follow language syntax. Syntax and symbol meaning can give overall meaning.


Computers are general symbol manipulators. If symbol manipulation can cause thoughts, computers can think like people.


However, symbols cannot represent images, tastes, sounds, touch, and smell. Symbols are either present or absent and do not have magnitude or certainty. Symbols have no partial effects or gradations {brittleness, function symbol}. Symbols do not have meaningful parts or units. They do not have formation or development process. Symbols do not receive more certainty by repetition or conjunction. Statistical processes do not affect symbol meaning or relations. Small symbol changes typically greatly change meaning or accuracy.

Symbols can be complex wholes, whose meanings depend on pattern parts. Sense qualities combine fundamental features, and similar sense qualities have similar combinations.

executive system

Perhaps, consciousness is an executive system {executive system} that focuses attention, issues reports, and guides actions.

first-order representation

Perhaps, mental outputs become conscious when they are available for concepts/thoughts {first-order representational theory}. However, all brain system outputs are similar in physiology and can travel indirectly to all brain regions.

global workspace

Perhaps, consciousness and subjective experience are viewpoint-specific functions in thalamocortical complex {global workspace} [Baars, 1988] [Baars, 1997] [Baars, 2002] [Changeux, 1983] [Dehaene and Naccache, 2001] [Dehaene, 2001] [Dehaene et al., 2003]. Consciousness is shared workspace, representation system, or working memory that communicates with brain modules/agents that perform unconscious functions. Global workspace allows information exchange and coordination.


Brain algorithms get information from global workspace, broadcast their information there, compete and cooperate to place information there, and interact in global workspace to resolve uncertainties in interpretation and action. Unconscious processing is parallel processing and uses large memory.


Eventually, global workspace reaches consensus, makes output, and stores representation or will in long-term memory.


Attention systems make global workspace contents known to consciousness, so global-workspace information is consciousness contents. Consciousness involves information exchange. Conscious processing integrates unconscious processing.


There can be more or less consciousness, as shown by comparing conscious and unconscious brain processing {contrastive analysis}. Fugue, multiple personality, and depersonalization have amnesia and changed sense of self. Brains have beliefs, goals, and consciousness {self-concept}. Self-concept is consciousness contents. Bodies are agents and perceivers {self-system}. Self-systems have sense qualities, which are fundamental context {deep context} in the context hierarchy. However, sense-quality salience or intensity does not relate to high-level processing. People can have more than one consciousness, rather than one context hierarchy. Even early mammals have senses and brains that can allow consciousness.

higher-order sense theory

Perhaps, conscious states are higher-level perceptions about lower-level perceptions {higher-order sense theory} {HOS theory} {inner-sense theory}. Brain has a faculty that works on sense perceptions to make perception about perception. Perceptions do not have intentions/concepts and are analogs. Perceptions can be non-conscious, and no perceptions are necessarily conscious. However, no evidence for brain inner-sense exists. Higher-order sense is a representational theory. First-order theories say that consciousness happens when outputs are available for concepts.

higher-order thought theory

Perhaps, conscious states are higher-level thoughts about lower-level states {higher-order thought theory, functionalism} {HOT theory} {higher order monitoring theory}. Perhaps, conscious states are mental states about which people have higher-level beliefs that people have mental states. Higher-order thought is a representational theory.


Perceptions do not have intentions, but thoughts have intentions. Consciousness can link current perceptions in occipital and other lobes to concepts, emotions, plans, memories and values in frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes. Only mental states can be conscious. People can be, but are not typically, conscious of beliefs. Perceptions can be non-conscious.


When perceiving or emoting, people can have thoughts that they are perceiving or emoting, and thoughts bring experience {actualist higher-order thought theory}. Thoughts can happen at same time as perceptions or can be about memories. People have higher-order thoughts, and some perceptions and emotions are available for use {dispositionalist higher-order thought theory}. Percepts can be both first-order and higher-order {dual-content theory}. Higher-order thought system can use information, and such uses determine experience {inferential-role semantics} {consumer semantics}. Semantics can be only about input information and symbol grounding {informational semantics} {input-side semantics}.


Conscious states can have no thought [Rosenthal, 1991].

holonomic theory

Perhaps, visual sensory information goes to many brain places, where dendrites detect spectral and time information about perceptions. Brains can later extract and transform stored information to give conscious awareness {holographic brain theory} {holonomic theory}. Holograms can change {holonomy}. People cannot know both spectral and time values exactly. Neurons minimize information loss by reorganizing their structures to have minimum entropy and maximum information. Consciousness is experiencing stored spectral-information transformation. No one or thing views holographic images [Pribram, 1971] [Pribram, 1974] [Pribram, 1991].


Perhaps, brains can make holograms without using reference signals. They can record scene wavefronts and later restore wavefronts by reversing calculation.

information integration

Perhaps, consciousness is information integration {information integration theory}. More integration makes more consciousness. Integrating different neuron types and modules makes more consciousness. Different integration types make different consciousness types.


Thalamocortical region integrates information from various and many neurons and modules, whereas other brain regions have smaller integration.


Integration takes 0.1 to 3 milliseconds.


Scenes are scene selections and so have high information. Integration measures are effective information passed from system part to system part. Effective information is second-part entropy when first-part output is noise, and vice versa. Their sum is integration amount.

information: system

Systems have parts. Part pairs are whole-system subsystems. Complexity depends on pair and integration amounts. Subsystems can have lower information integration than others {minimum information bipartition}. Parts can make subsystems. Whole brain has maximum entropy and integration. Systems that integrate enough information are conscious.

instructionism and mind

Perhaps, brains are computers with fixed code, registers, and programs {instructionism, mind theory}. Coded brain input, from environment and body, makes coded brain output.

Intelligent Distribution

Programs {Intelligent Distribution Agent} {intelligent distribution} based on global-workspace architecture can assign jobs to sailors [Franklin et al., 1998].


Perhaps, phenomenal properties are representational properties {representationalism}.

causes: stimulation

Stimuli make sense-data. Perception sense-data, ideas, and impression are mental internal representations. Representations are mental states and are like phenomena.

causes: intention

Alternatively, people need no stimuli, only intentional statements. Intentions and representations are about external things or possible external things. Intentions can make representations but are not mental states. Representations are not like phenomena but are coded information.

representation: similarity

Something can represent something else by being similar to it. Similarity is reciprocal. However, real representations have only one direction. Similarity can be more or less. Similarity relations need similarity-level information.

representation: covariance

Something can represent something else by being caused to co-vary by second thing. Covariance is reciprocal. However, real representations have only one direction. Covariance has strength. Covariance relations need causation-strength information.

representation: function

Something can represent something else using representational functions. Such representation requires indicating function and strength. Systems have basic representational functions {systemic representation} that can change to create new representations {acquired representation}. Natural representations evolve.

representation: function and evolution

Something can represent something else, because evolution shaped it to do so. Such representation requires evolutionary benefits and selection strengths.


Perhaps, representations completely specify conscious phenomena {exhaustion thesis}. Perhaps, representations need other mental attributes.

phenomena: external or internal

Conscious phenomena appear in environment {externalism, phenomena}. Conscious phenomena are in mind {internalism, phenomena}. If consciousness is a mental state, representations can project {projectivism, phenomena} onto external surfaces {literal projectivism} or seem to do so {figurative projectivism}.

phenomena: higher order

Perhaps, representational mental states can be "perceived" by higher-level mental abilities {representational theory, representationalism} {higher-order perception}. Consciousness links perceptions, in occipital lobe, to concepts, emotions, plans, memories, and values, in frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes.

phenomena: consciousness

Perhaps, consciousness is natural representations. However, some conscious states have no perception [Dretske, 1988] [Dretske, 1995].


Perhaps, machines can mimic mental functions in logic and language, using symbols and rules {symbolicism} {Good Old-Fashioned Artificial Intelligence} (GOFAI) {rule-and-symbol AI} [Barr and Feigenbaum, 1981].


Perhaps, matter and energy predate mind and consciousness. Brain evolved to create symbols {symbolism, mind theory} to make representations used for action. Mind is distinct from matter, because complex organization brought forth new properties.

Mind forms matter and energy representations from matter and energy. Representations use matter and energy structures, just as music is physical-energy patterns, electrochemical-signal patterns, and mental experience. Because mental states are complex matter-and-energy patterns, they can act on matter at all levels. People cannot be conscious of symbol creation, use, or representation processes.


strong AI

Perhaps, computers with complex enough programs have minds {strong AI}.

weak AI

Perhaps, computers with complex enough programs simulate mental functions {weak AI}.



Simple unit interconnections can receive input and make output {connectionism, mind} {connectionism theory} {parallel distributed processing} {neural net}. Connectionist systems have no symbols, concepts, or representations [Anderson, 1964] [Arbib, 1972] [Arbib, 1995] [Bechtel and Abrahamsen, 1991] [Clark, 1989] [Clark, 1993] [Fahlman, 1979] [Feldman and Waltz, 1988] [Hillis, 1985] [Hinton and Anderson, 1981] [Hinton, 1992] [Hopfield and Tank, 1986] [Kableshkov, 1983] [McCulloch and Pitts, 1943] [McCulloch, 1947] [Pao and Ernst, 1982] [Pattee, 1973] [Pattee, 1995] [Pitts and McCulloch, 1947] [Rumelhart and McClelland, 1986].


Input can be nodes or node sets, with different weights.


Connectionism can dynamically use constraint satisfaction, energy minimization, or pattern recognition. Intermediate nodes process representations in parallel. Network nodes can have multiple functions and contribute to many representations or processes. Connections and/or node patterns can contain information. Representations are vectors in space. Distributed information allows parallel processing, increasing learning, and continuous variables. Connectionist networks have little recursion, much inhibition, artificial learning algorithms, and simple transfer functions.

process: layers

Software models use three layers of neuron-like units for pattern-matching. First layer receives input pattern. Units in second and third layers typically receive input from all units in previous layer. Third layer outputs display or file. Units can be On or Off. If total input to unit is above threshold, unit is On. Inputs can have adjustable weights. Experimenters set weights, or programs adjust weights based on matching between "training" input patterns and their output patterns.

Neural nets do not have programs or operations. Neural-net architecture provides information. Controllers go from layer to layer, processing all units simultaneously, by parallel processing. Distributed information tolerates degradation. Neural nets can still detect patterns if some units fail and so are more robust than algorithms.


Outputs are vectors, possibly with many dimensions. Outputs statistically derive from inputs. All outputs have equal weight. Similar outputs have similar coordinates. Output regions define category examples. Average or optimum examples define categories. Region boundaries change with new examples.

Neural nets can distinguish more than one pattern, using the same weights. Units can code for several representations, and many units code each representation {distributed representation}. Neural nets can recognize similar patterns and in this way appear to generalize.

activation function

Outputs can perform functions {activation function}.


Systems can start with random weights, input training pattern, compare output to input, slightly reduce weights on units that are too high and slightly increase weights on units that are too low, and repeat {backpropagation, connectionism} {backward error propagation}. For example, after neural networks have processed input and sent output, teacher circuits signal node differences from expected values and correct weighting. System performs process again. As process repeats, total error decreases.

wake-sleep algorithm

In unsupervised neural networks {Helmholtz machine} {wake-sleep algorithm} with recurrent connections, first information comes from inputs to outputs and affects recurrent strengths. Then information comes from outputs to inputs {output generation} and affects original strengths.


distributed output

Outputs can distribute among nodes {distributed output}.

localist output

Outputs can be nodes {localist output}.


monism and mind

Perhaps, reality has only one substance: matter, mind, or God {monism}. Mind and brain are the same. However, monism is untrue, because no mechanism can describe purely mental and purely physiological functions [Delbruck, 1986] [Feigl and Scriven, 1958] [Feigl, 1958] [Fischbach, 1992] [Honderich, 1988] [Honderich, 1999] [Ryle, 1949] [Stich, 1991].

neutral monism

Perhaps, reality is neither mind nor matter {neutral monism}. Mental and physical events have different causal laws. Mind and matter differences are only different organizations of same fundamental constituents. Physical, non-physical, or other substance can include both brain and mind. However, matter and brain units do not correspond to mind, consciousness, or sense-quality units.


anomalous monism

Perhaps, mental properties and events are not explicable by physical properties and events {anomalous monism}. Mental states are token-identical to physical states.


Perhaps, only mind exists, and matter does not exist {cognitivism}.

homunculus fallacy

Perhaps, internal brain agents {little man} {homunculus} explain psychological properties {homunculus fallacy} [Attneave, 1961] [Rosenblith, 1961].


Perhaps, consciousness is only about sense qualities and concepts {immanentism} and gives no physical-object knowledge.


Perhaps, only mind exists, and matter does not exist {mentalism}.


Naturalistic terms cannot explain consciousness {non-naturalism}.


Perhaps, all physical things have mental or subjective parts, aspects, or properties, typically in different degrees, or are consciousness parts {panpsychism}. It is not clear how such combinations/interactions make high-level consciousness or stay unified. However, all things then have relations between physical and mental inside them. Perhaps, electrons, quarks, and virtual particles have consciousness [Nagel, 1988].


Perhaps, physical objects are "permanent possibilities of sensation" {phenomenalism}. Mental phenomena statements are equivalent to empirical statements or mathematical laws. However, mental-phenomena statements depend on physical environment and perceiver state.


Perhaps, mind has conscious processes and states, which people can study {phenomenology} without necessarily considering body or world [Heidegger, 1996] [Husserl, 1905] [Husserl, 1907] [Husserl, 1913] [Merleau-Ponty, 1945] [Richardson and Velmans, 1997] [Stevens, 1997] [Stevens, 2000]. People can train themselves to try to suspend all judgments and hypotheses while they attend to subjective experiences.


Mind cannot know things in themselves but can experience appearances or representations, as sense qualities or thoughts {phenomena, phenomenology}. Phenomena are perspectives on objects. Perspectives hint at object essences. All conscious perspectives, working together, are indirectly object essence.


If essences are conscious acts, objects exist. In particular, consciousness becomes itself from all perspectives on all objects. Subject and object of consciousness become the same, because no object is without consciousness, and no subject is without objects and relations. Consciousness is a circular, self-referencing concept: it is a phenomenon and makes phenomena.

psychical monism

Perhaps, only mind exists, and matter does not exist {psychical monism}.

spiritualism and mind

Perhaps, only mind exists, and matter does not exist {spiritualism, mind theory}.


Perhaps, accessing perceptions renders them conscious, people have this ability, and consciousness is real but is not object and is not in space {transcendentalism, mind theory}. Consciousness is an act or process that makes phenomena [Rowlands, 2001].


mind-brain identity

Perhaps, mind and brain are identical {psychophysical identity} {mind-brain identity theory}. The same property can be both mental and physical. They are like two names for same thing. In the possibility argument, philosophical zombies cannot exist, because they must have the mental state if they have the brain state. However, brain-state and mental-state identity has no plausible mechanism or meaningful connection (McGinn) (Nagel).


They only seem different, because different language is for objective and subjective descriptions. Mind and brain can unify by relating both descriptions.


Perhaps, brain and mind share third substance or property, to provide underlying unity. For example, signals entering, or inside, brain can be sense data that can combine into physical objects or into mental objects. Alternatively, physical objects can have mental essences.


People can imagine that no physical world exists, and the physical world is only sense qualities in the mental world. People can imagine that no mental world exists, and the mental world can be disposition to perform certain behaviors in certain circumstances.

mental state

The mental world can be physical mind state, making physical mind.

mental unity

Objects can have minds. Objects can be in one mind.

central-state identity

Perhaps, mental states correspond to neural states {central-state identity}.

mind-brain correspondence

Perhaps, mental states are factually identical with brain states but do not have to be logically identical {mind-brain correspondence}.

physicalism and mind

Perhaps, sense qualities are objective non-relational physical-object properties or are the same as brain electrochemical, biophysical, and relational events {physicalism, mind} [Baker, 1987].

token-identity theory

Perhaps, particular mental states, such as pain, are identical to particular brain states, such as nerve firing, but they are not necessarily identical in general {token-identity theory, monism} {token-identity thesis} {token physicalism}. Because mental events can have different neural pathways, they can be instances, not types. Mental events have physical events. Mental states include beliefs and pains.

type-identity theory

Perhaps, neural states are state types that only brains can have {type-identity theory, monism} {type-identity thesis} {identity theory} {type physicalism}. Mental states, such as pain in general, and brain states, such as nerve fiber firing, are identical in type but are not necessarily identical in particular instances. Mental variables have physical variables.



Perhaps, mind is only material {materialism}. Materialistic explanations are simple. They have always worked before, are consistent with science, do not have to explain how physical and non-physical interact, fit with evolutionary theory, explain all mental phenomena, explain complex systems, and match all evidence. Consciousness requires only physical explanations.


All existing substance is material or physical. Psychological properties are identical to physical-property conjunctions. Psychological properties depend on physical properties but are not material {non-reductive materialism, monism}. There are no phenomena, just ideas, beliefs, or feelings.

action consciousness

Perhaps, mind is interaction among brain processing, body, and environment {action consciousness} {behavior-based robotics} {enactive consciousness} {enactive cognition} {embodied cognition} {radical embodiment} {sensorimotor consciousness} {situated cognition} {situated robotics}. Consciousness depends on action. Simple rules can result in complex behaviors [Clark, 1980] [Clark, 1993] [Clark, 1997] [Varela et al., 1991].

biological materialism

Perhaps, only organisms can be conscious, because consciousness depends on complex biological structures and movements {biological materialism}.

Cartesian materialism

Perhaps, brain locations manifest consciousness by code type or other property {Cartesian materialism} [Dennett, 1991].


Perhaps, mental processes are identical with physical central-nervous-system processes {centralism}.

central-state materialism

Perhaps, mental processes are brain states and interact causally with body {central-state materialism}.

chauvinism in sensation

If brain states can be physical or physiological properties, other animals can have different sense qualities than people {chauvinism, sensation}, because their structures and physiologies are different.

dynamical systems theory

Perhaps, physical forces act on molecules over time under physical laws and cause thoughts {dynamical systems theory} {dynamical hypothesis}. Dynamics does not involve computation or representation. All events are deterministic and coupled. Systems described by equation systems change over time.

eliminative materialism

Perhaps, there are no psychological concepts {eliminative materialism}, and intentions and mental states do not correspond to physical brain states.

functional materialism

Perhaps, mental states are both experiences and brain states. For example, temperature is also average random kinetic energy. However, you can measure temperature, in degrees, without measuring average random kinetic energy, in joules. You can use temperature values in many ways separate from their energy values. If mental states are physical states, they can have physical effects without violating physical law. Brain states can be physical or physiological properties. Brain states can be structural properties, like software, caused by something physical and causing something physical {functional materialism}. Machines can simulate human intelligence, so objective language and behavior can be similar. However, machine parts and motions seemingly affect perception, behavior, and consciousness.

naive realism

Perhaps, external physical world exists, and people perceive it as it truly is {naive realism}.

naturalism and mind

Perhaps, mental events exist and have effects, but science cannot study effects {naturalism, mind theory}. Naturalistic terms can explain consciousness, but concepts like consciousness, qualia, and subjectivity are unhelpful {eliminativist naturalism}. Naturalistic terms can explain consciousness, and concepts like consciousness, qualia, and subjectivity are helpful {constructive naturalism}. Naturalistic terms can explain consciousness, but people can never find explanation {anticonstructive naturalism} [Dretske, 1988] [Dretske, 1995].

network thesis

Perhaps, sense qualities correspond to cerebral processes and change brain {network thesis}. Identical sense qualities cannot recur, because brain changes at first sense qualities.

neuronal group selection

Perhaps, in neuron sets, neurons directly or indirectly interact with all other neurons and themselves. Neuronal groups vary, compete, and undergo selection {neuronal group selection} {neural Darwinism} {somatic evolution} {selectionism, neuron} {theory of neuronal group selection} (TNGS).

neuronal groups

Neuron groups make stimuli into responses and so have input and output. They are functional groups. During development, brain makes various neuron groups by protein regulation, cell division, cell migration, cell connection, myelination, and synapse changes, in response to developmental signals and environment. Brain has many neuron groups for each input-output task {degeneracy, brain}. Neuron groups vary in processing. Neuron groups have regulatory mechanisms and can adapt.

In response to input, brain compares results and prunes neuron groups by making cells die, disconnecting synapses, and reducing synapse strength. Feedback, feedforward, reward, punishment, regulation, and integration make optimum neuronal-group configurations.


Selection strengthens connections that aid survival. Brain uses selection, not logic. During brain development, synapse pruning based on experience reduces overgrowth {developmental selection}. Later, experience strengthens or weakens synapses {experiential selection}.


Reciprocal neuron connections use signal reentry feedback to coordinate neural events over space and time. Error-correcting control systems are in neuronal groups. Interaction times are typically hundreds of milliseconds. Interactions involve all neurons.


Input-output results depend on body morphology, hormones, emotions, memory, and existing brain structures.


A functional group {dynamic core} is for consciousness and is dynamic, unified, private, and complex.

not computers

Brains are not computers, because they receive ambiguous input, have variable structures, have reciprocal connections {reentry}, and have complex output that integrates sense modalities [Edelman, 1989] [Edelman and Tononi, 2000] [Tononi and Edelman, 1998] [Edelman and Mountcastle, 1978] [Edelman, 1987] [Edelman, 1992] [Edelman, 2003] [Edelman, 2004].

neuroscientific realization theory

Perhaps, conscious and unconscious mental event types have representations in nervous system {neuroscientific realization theory}.


Perhaps, external physical world exists, and people perceive it as it truly is {objectivism}. Alternatively, physical world has properties or events that directly cause experience. For example, surfaces can have properties that always cause red sense qualities.

peripheralist behaviorism

Perhaps, mind is complex behaviors exhibited in matter structures {peripheralist behaviorism}.

reductionism about mind

Perhaps, particle positions and momenta completely define physical systems {reductionism, mind theory}. Knowing particle times and energies is equivalent to knowing positions and momenta.

Position and momentum information can predict all future positions and momenta.


Does everything that happens in the physical universe result only from elementary-particle interactions? Are all events and objects determined by current particle and wave positions and momenta, or times and energies? Can higher-level cause affect particle and wave positions and momenta? Can there be something fundamental that is not particles and waves, positions and momenta, times and energies? Do sense qualities have extra information, more than brain anatomical, physiological, psychophysical, and biochemical information?


Under reductionism, brain-particle and environment-object positions and momenta completely define future brain states.


Perhaps, physical information can specify non-physical things, properties, or relations. Sentences about non-physical can derive from physical description. Mental processes are explainable by physical brain structures and functions. Facts about people and oneself can use more-elementary terms, without persons or first person. For example, people can be animals with physical and chemical processes.

silicon chip replacement

Pylyshyn [1980] imagined that chips can replace neurons one by one {silicon chip replacement}. Is there any difference in mental events? If not, causal relations determine mentality, and functionalism is correct.

twin Earth

Putnam imagined worlds {twin Earth} in which people and things were identical except that water had different chemical composition. Thought difference depends only on environment. However, different thoughts make twins different.



Perhaps, minds and brains are separate substances or properties {dualism}.


Perhaps, physical objects have non-physical or mental properties, like essence or sense qualities. Perhaps, objects and events have this property in different amounts, levels, or qualities. Perhaps, minds or brains are primary and other secondary. Perhaps, brains are special organs for mind or soul knowledge. Perhaps, brains have reached complex forms that can generate mental states. Perhaps, mind influences brain [Descartes, 1641] [Eccles, 1965] [Eccles, 1977] [Eccles, 1986] [Eccles, 1989] [Eccles, 1994] [Libet, 1993] [Popper and Eccles, 1977].


Dualism has no method to show how mental and physiological substances affect each other deterministically, which all observations require. Dualism does not state why substances have two different property types, or only two property types.

bundle dualism

Perhaps, individual mental processes succeed each other and are non-physical, but physical world exists {bundle dualism}.

Cartesian dualism

Perhaps, bodies are extended material substance, and minds are unextended spiritual substance {Cartesian dualism} [Descartes, 1641].

epistemological dualism

Perhaps, mental ideas and images are copies of physical sense data or objects {epistemological dualism}.

explanatory gap

Objective, physical objects and events cannot explain subjective, non-physical states and events {explanatory gap}. Perhaps, subjective, non-physical qualities are irreducible. Concepts used for one cannot be concepts used for the other [Levine, 1983] [Levine, 2001].

explanatory-gap analysis

Perhaps, some physical qualities are subjective and irreducible {explanatory gap analysis}. Perhaps, more knowledge will allow physical connections. Perhaps, more knowledge allows physical connections, but people cannot know them. Perhaps, no connection exists, but reason is only phenomenal concepts. For example, phenomenal concepts are only indexes or are special in another way. However, both physical objects and events and non-physical states and events have states and events, so objective and subjective certainly overlap.

substance dualism

Perhaps, mind and brain are two separate and distinct substances {substance dualism}.

6-Philosophy-Mind-Theories-Dualism-Mental Property

non-reductive materialism

Perhaps, psychological properties depend on physical properties but are not material {non-reductive materialism, dualism}.

property dualism

Perhaps, mind and body are two aspects of one basic reality, and neither is derivable from the other {double aspect} {property dualism}. Conscious properties are pains, emotions, and sense qualities. Consciousness is not a different substance.

adverbial theory

Experiences have perceivable properties or events {experience events} {adverbial theory} {adverbial analysis}. There are no mental objects. Experience only happens in special ways, such as bluely. Appearances present real objects to mind, but they have no qualities.

attribute theory

Brain processes have physical and non-physical properties {attribute theory} {dual-attribute theory}. The non-physical properties make mental processes.



Perhaps, mind and brain are two separate substances, or properties expressed at different levels, which can affect each other, directly or indirectly {interactionism}.


Effects can be one-way or two-way.


Levels have different laws. Organization levels have cause types, which act at that level and control lower-level component motions.


Components influence whole, or whole influences components. Mind can move brain matter and cause and control neural and chemical events by high-level patterns and processes but not interact with matter at lower levels, just as organisms controls atoms by overall movements, not direct interactions.


Interactionism is untrue, because it has no method for deterministically describing mental functions in terms of physiological functions, or physical functions in terms of mental functions, because only physical things can affect physical things.

logical equivalence

Perhaps, neural objects and events and psychophysical objects and events do not have same structures and functions but are necessary and sufficient to each other {logical equivalence, mind theory}.

parallelism in mind

Perhaps, mind and brain are separate and do not interact but synchronize and work in parallel, because they closely coordinate {parallelism, mind theory}. Laws of God or nature keep them parallel. However, what keeps them parallel can be a third substance.

pluralism and mind

Perhaps, mind and brain interact through some third object, substance, or function {pluralism, mind theory}, such as God.

6-Philosophy-Mind-Theories-Dualism-Matter Into Mind

combination problem

How do physical combinations and interactions make unified high-level consciousness {combination problem} [Seager, 1999].

no sign problem

No units of reality have been detected to have mentality or consciousness {no sign problem} [Seager, 1999].

not-mental problem

Perhaps, mental and consciousness properties are new physical property types, rather than non-physical properties {not-mental problem} [Seager, 1999].

unconscious mentality

How do unconscious mental units make consciousness {unconscious mentality problem}, unless units are conscious [Seager, 1999].


causal completeness

Mental and conscious events have no physical or mental effects, because the physical world can have no outside causes {causal closure} {causal completeness}. Mental events that seem to cause have physical causes.

causal impotence

If mental states are not just physical states and can have physical effects, physical changes happen without physical laws. However, physical laws account for all observable physical changes [Seager, 1999]. Therefore, non-physical mental states have no physical effects {causal impotence}. In the pre-established harmony (Leibniz), mind and matter do not affect each other but always synchronize, localize to same place, and correlate in intensity, through God. In epiphenomenalism, matter causes mind {mental smoke}, but mind cannot affect matter. In philosophical zombies, all behavior about conscious experience can happen without consciousness.

completeness problem

The physical world seems to have causal closure, with no cause or effect left for mental or conscious forces or events {completeness problem} {causal completeness problem} {causally complete}. Brain physiology seems able to account for all brain functions and all behavior, so mental states, causes, and effects are unnecessary. Human brain examinations never show evidence of mental forces or states. Mental forces or states never have causes or effects.

configurational force

Newtonian gravity has action at a distance. Perhaps, complex human-brain structures and functions can make new forces {configurational force} (Broad). However, all physical forces involve contact through exchanged particles, and only properties inherent in matter can cause forces. Mental forces cannot be the right type to influence matter. Quantum-mechanical action-at-a-distance phenomena are not like mental forces or states.


Structural properties can only cause physiological properties {epiphobia} that actually cause physical behavior.



Perhaps, mind is just natural phenomenon or has no explanation {anti-reductionism}.


Perhaps, consciousness has no explanation or understanding {mysterianism}. People have no valid concepts about consciousness. Perhaps, people can never understand it, just as monkeys can never understand calculus. Perhaps, people can learn new concepts or evolve to be able to understand [Flanagan, 1992] [Flanagan, 2002].

principled agnosticism

Perhaps, people cannot understand consciousness and brain relations in naturalistic terms {principled agnosticism}.


Hormic psychology

Motives and purposes {Hormic psychology} can understand mind (William McDougall).

organismic psychology

Psychology {organismic psychology} (Kurt Goldstein and J. R. Kantor) can study mind.

personality science

Science of personality {personality science} (Gardner Murphy and Gordon W. Allport) can study mind.


Psychology based on self {self-psychology} (Stern) can study mind.

6-Philosophy-Philosophy Of Investment

philosophy of investment

Philosophy of investment {philosophy of investment} {investment philosophy} covers all life aspects.


Philosophy should have ethics, politics, epistemology, logic, and metaphysics. Philosophy could have aesthetics and theology.

Philosophy should answer questions by moving discourse to another level, such as resolving differences between liberals and conservatives by changing dialogue dichotomies using new variable, such as investment.

general: action

Philosophy should suggest actions or action principles. Actions taken are experiments, to test value and/or consequences. Humans use reasoning, emotion, will, perception, and other abilities to act.

general: causes

Philosophy should explain why universe, physical laws, and people exist. Philosophy should explain all physical and mental objects and events and provide all causes. Philosophy should answer real problems, as well as explain facts. Philosophy should explain what is the best way to live. Philosophy should explain how to find meaningful and rewarding job. Philosophy should explain how find intimate companion in life. Philosophy should provide goals and ends for action.

general: effects

Philosophy should have testable hypotheses and conclusions, which can be examined to test theory truth, and to judge and improve philosophy. Philosophy should have consequences, to test in human lives.

general: explanation

Philosophy should explain the history of ideas. Philosophy should explain innate and linguistic ideas. Philosophy should explain abstract and mathematical ideas. Philosophy should account for past, present, and future methods and practices in research and applications, including teaching and learning. Philosophy should explain how people get ideas and how to judge their truth.

general: experimentation

Human actions are experiments. People can continually re-examine everything, using current and past evidence in open and scientific manner. Actions are tests. Before test, people can consider hypothesis and expected outcome. After test, people can review results and compare them to expected ones.

Acts have consequences to continually test and evaluate. At optimum time, people can consider best course before acting. At optimum time, people can gauge success and compare alternatives after acting.

Perhaps, the best action involves maximizing return and minimizing risk.

Actions in similar situations change with time, location, and context.

Experimenters can test samples against enzyme, cell, or other target. Typical people {experimental group} receive different stimulus than other typical people {control group}. Experimenters observe response.

general: rational

Philosophy should have and use valid accepted forms of formulating problems and questions, making statements or answers, and reasoning about statements.

general: simplicity

Philosophy should be understandable. Philosophy should be as simple as possible. Philosophy should be complete. Philosophy should be consistent. It should avoid contradictions, perhaps by making contradictory cases distinct.

general: truth

Philosophy should use consensus facts determined by observation and experiment. Revelation, ideology, opinion, speculation, testimony, authority, and tradition have no standing as to truth, only as to background. Philosophy should use valid reasoning from established fact to conclusion.

general: error

Inappropriate human behavior has typically worked against optimization and perhaps can be so defined.

general: ethics

Investing behavior is required behavior, both to achieve the best consequences and because other behaviors are intrinsically immoral.

general: method

To optimize future universe, and so obtain maximum numbers, types, and interaction complexities, opposing forces and tendencies must perfectly balance globally. All physical attractions globally balance by physical repulsions. To optimize future universe, all biological attractions globally balance by biological repulsions. What people perceive as good globally balances what people perceive as bad or evil. Attraction feelings globally balance repulsion feelings. Periods of love and peace globally equal times of war and aggression. In families, bonds between people match desires to be independent. Even between friends, sharing balances selfishness. Human actions are not pure extremes but are always mixtures. Moderate, average, or conforming actions involve local conflict mediation.

general: optimization

Universal optimum is to maximize interactions, by increasing object and event number, movements, and directions. Physical, biological, and other universe laws tend to optimize the future. Human actions should optimize the future. Optimization is not for individual or species, but for universe as whole. Future optimization involves many variables. Universal laws optimize over all variables, which have different ranges and weights, so only variable set optimizes, not particular variables. Optimization is over all objects and events at once, not individuals, species, or ideas. Human actions should optimize all variables, objects, and events, forcing all actions to both harm and help most objects and events. Quantities tending to increase are entropy, kinetic energy, interaction frequency, states, symmetry breakdowns, number, and diversity. Processes can maximize numbers, varieties, and interactions, or one or two can decrease while other two or one increases. In general, it is best to invest short-term, to allow investment changes to optimize return.

general: optimization margin

Optimization involves number, variety, and interaction marginal change at all times and locations, or for all objects and events. Holding other things constant can find marginal changes.

general: physical

Universal optimum is purely physical thing. For humans, it can translate into physical, and so also mental, gains for humans: health, wealth, love, and happiness.

general: proactivity

Investment should be pursued actively, as conscious goal, with time set aside to consider the best investment before acting. After acting, experiments can monitor actions, to gauge success and compare alternatives.

general: change rate

Optimizing investment maximizes positive-change rate and so yields best return. Return is not about single objects or events, but about all simultaneously.

general: relation to other philosophies

Successful previous philosophies can be explained using optimization and investment. Similar to utilitarianism, investment results in greatest good for greatest number. Similar to pragmatism, investment chooses the most practical and effective decisions. Investment selects the most rationally and emotionally true actions. Previous morals and ethics theories, such as Categorical Imperative, Golden Rule, and similar statements that people should do that which they would have all people do, are like investment. Optimization and investment explain aesthetics theories, as complex-system real properties. Investment resolves conflicts between empiricism and idealism, by establishing genuine ideal to which natural phenomena conform and social phenomena should conform. Investment understands free will as ability not to invest and/or to invest wisely.

Optimization and investment establish mathematics, complex-system, natural-science, biological-science, politics, social-science, and history principles. Optimization and investment answer questions about Mind and Theology, reinterpreting traditional answers. This is not new philosophy, but previous-philosophy interpretation and integration. Knowledge unifies in one idea, from which people can interpret natural and social phenomena correctly and by make decisions wisely.

general: summary

Universe sets tend to disperse, through internal motions. Motions cause particles to try all possible states, and groups to try all possible arrangements, variations, combinations, and interactions. New objects, events, and relations arise, and existing objects and states dissolve. As dispersal continues, change rate can increase exponentially.

Universe sets tend to agglomerate, by natural forces. Gravity, electromagnetism, and nuclear forces tend to lessen distances between things. Attractions concentrate things and reduce thing, state, and event numbers. Independent things become dependent or become larger-thing parts. As concentration continues, change rate can increase by power.

Outward motions and inward attractions interact kinetically and dynamically to result in equilibrium or steady state system. Outward motions and inward attractions interact kinetically and dynamically to result in cycles in system. Perhaps, cycles have net gain or loss over period. Outward motions and inward attractions interact kinetically and dynamically to result in optimized systems, but individual particles, particle groups, states, events, and subsystems do not necessarily optimize. Overall dynamic can optimize marginal quantity or something like complexity or change rate.

Human activities can work with or against universe principles. Presumably, if they work together, they have best results. Human activities take into account whole system, rather than just individual, group, or region.

Physical processes have tension between breakdown and synthesis, expansion and contraction, dispersal and concentration, slowing and speeding, attraction and repulsion, looking out and looking in, and radiating and focusing. Physical processes have phase changes, chemical reactions, and erosion and tectonic processes.

Evolution increases variety and reduces poor adaptations. Anabolism synthesizes and catabolism breaks down. Predation increases synthesis and breakdown. Reproduction mechanisms seek to widen search for mates and concentrate the mechanics.

Philosophy can use ideas of consumption, savings, and investment. Consumption uses goods and services for people or group needs and desires. Saving reserves money, goods, or services for later consumption. Investment uses money, goods, or services specifically to produce more money, goods, or services.

All human activities can tend to be investments. Consumption and savings can be minimal. All human activities try to get the best return for system as whole, taking into account personal, psychological, social, economic, political, and other factors. For example, will can optimize future for all people and account for psychology, sociology, economics, and politics.

Governments can invest. Research can assess return and risk for many investment types, both short-term and long-term. Government can build infrastructure, favor investment by others, promote research, educate and train workers and leaders, and invest in other institutions.

Universe activities optimize investment. Activities tend to optimize parameters through physical motions and forces.


Art works abstract or model thought, perceived reality, or mental playing. Art explores physical media. Different art types emphasize different variables and have different variable values. Composition uses ordering. Art includes architecture, painting, sculpture, music, dance, photography, movies, video, radio, and literature.

aesthetics: beauty

The beautiful is that which combines the maximum observable object-interaction number and variety.

aesthetics: literature

Plots model different human narratives. Characters abstract people types and classes. Themes abstract folk wisdom about how to live. Ironies model opposing local attractions and repulsions.

Literature explores human fears of animals, places, and people and how to ignore, face, or compromise with them. Poetry explores syntax and semantics. Rhetoric explores thinking and reasoning methods, including figures of speech. Novels explore life styles.

aesthetics: music

Classical music explores theme variations. Jazz explores musical embellishments. Popular music explores words and music combinations, to link music and language. Rhythm explores cycles and repetition. Harmony explores timbre and grouping. Scales explore ways to apply same organization to different foundations.

epistemology: linguistics

Language has phonology, phonetics, syntax grammar and inflection, and semantics. Parts work with symbols. Language ability optimizes human communication. Language numbers, varieties, and interactions result from implementing optimization. Phonology elaborates speech sounds. Phonetics combines sounds. Syntax expresses mental processes in sound structures. Semantics expresses mental representations.

epistemology: linguistics - communication

All communications use symbols. The same symbols send and receive communications. Symbols translate from and into events in mechanism. Conscious message understanding is also communication.

Humans learn to translate, and machines can learn. Symbols can group. For example, words are letter sequences. Symbols must have physical form, context, and causes and effects. Communication requires pattern transmission across time and space, which means energy flows along channels. Channels are contexts. Energies are causes and effects.

Patterns are representations in register or memory switches. Switch settings change over time to mirror energy flows in channels. Switch-setting patterns are symbols. Symbols are artificial means to cause effects. Only human interpretation assigns concept to symbol. All symbols have interpretation, but human interpretation is a new mechanism.

Concepts are not about communication or processing. Concepts are secondary. Concept formation produces mental states.

Bee "dances" at hives, used to describe food distances and directions, are codes to cause physical reactions in hive bees. Bees do not know about direction, distance, or dancing. Communication is mechanical. Human mind sees the "dance" and is able to give meaning to the dance. Human mind only recognizes symbol when it already has interpretation.

epistemology: mathematics - axiomatic theories

Axiomatic theories explore organization formal systems, using mathematical laws. Universe and complex systems either are formal systems or can approach arbitrarily close to formal systems.

epistemology: mathematics - complexity

Systems evolve to become more complex, with more numbers, varieties, and interactions. Processes in complex systems always return to original starting points, and so are always recursive. Recursion allows feedback and feedforward. System recursion can allow rewards and punishments.

epistemology: mathematics - game theory

Game theory explores inputs, processes, interactions, and outputs that characterize competition and cooperation.

epistemology: mathematics - geometry

Mathematics can model and explore space and time.

epistemology: mathematics - information theory

Information theory explores symbol coding and message transmission. Information and entropy concepts mirror each other. Both are central to optimizing numbers, varieties, and interactions.

epistemology: mathematics - logic

Logic explores sentences, language combinations, rhetoric, and sentence sequences.

epistemology: mathematics - sets

Sets explore number, variety, and interaction groups.

epistemology: mathematics - statistics

Statistical means and fluctuations reflect individual objects and events and so follow same laws. Statistical laws can describe mass actions.

epistemology: physics - interactions

Systems have interactions among parts. Interactions are processes. Interaction is about time. Interaction is a main optimization variable. At successive moments and positions, number of actual and possible interactions increases. Interaction increase allows complex local systems and smoothes whole system. All systems are open systems, and radiation, neutrinos, gravity, heat, electromagnetic fields, and universe expansion cause changes. Natural processes are complex-system thermodynamic, statistical, local, and system-wide interactions.

epistemology: physics - number

Numbers can be set properties. Numbers can be references to counting. Numbers can be references to sequencing. Numbers can be relations among numbers. Number definition began at universe beginning. Number is a main optimization variable.

epistemology: physics - varieties

Systems have different parts. Variety is objects and events. Variety is about space. Variety is a main optimization variable. Objects or events are part patterns and relations. Simple patterns are elements in spaces. Elements have fixed distances and angles from each other. Similar patterns have similar distances and angles. Similar patterns result when pattern magnifies, turns, stretches, compresses, moves, or twists in any direction. Patterns can have top, bottom, right, left, front, and back, so elements cannot interchange through symmetry axes to make similar patterns. However, many artificial patterns are the same after interchanges through symmetry points, axes, or planes. Patterns and elements can have subpatterns. Typically, groups are non-associative, non-commutative, and non-distributive. Grouping operations include pairing, tripling, quadrupling, lining up, clustering, and establishing space and time frequencies. Patterns have higher order, similar subpatterns, more elements, more linear relations, more symmetry, fewer freedom degrees, lower temperature, higher fields, higher concentrations, and more ideas.

epistemology: psychology - modeling

People have knowledge because brain and body can model universe. Brain and body can use movements with precise causes and effects as representation bases. Brain uses recursion to analyze physical laws and patterns.

epistemology: psychology - will

Wills are decision-making processes affected by rewards and punishments, emotions, and reasoning. Wills should want to take actions that optimize and invest.

ethics: biology - aging

Aging is continuous process which goes from conception to death in all living things. Aging is a fundamental consideration in investing.

ethics: biology - development

Development is continuous process which goes from conception to death in all living things. Development is a fundamental consideration in investing.

People have right to human development, partially because maximum development comes from equal development.

ethics: biology - ecology

People's responsibilities include things needed for children health and welfare. Children need optimum population level, with no inflation or recession, and optimum environment, with no poisons, radiation, waste products, and manmade chemicals. Optimum-ecology value is very high, because cost to recover is very high and optimum is necessary for all other future benefits.

Complex-system interactions tend to minimize pollution, encourage recycling and reuse, minimize resources used, encourage diversity, and maintain life forms. Simplifying complex systems is harmful to ecology, partially because it decreases investment. Good investment husbands Earth, emphasizing investment in, and wise use of, resources.

ethics: biology - mating

People have right to human mating and sexual satisfaction. Society should facilitate meeting and provide tools to find compatible people. Finding companions should be an education goal. Mating behaviors are continuous process that goes from conception to death in all living things. Mating behaviors are a fundamental consideration in investing.

People have right to human mating behaviors, partially because maximum mating behaviors come from equal mating behaviors.

ethics: biology - predators

Predation breaks down food into molecules, which disperse energy and so interact with many more molecules. Predation allows building complex molecules. Predation builds attack mechanisms to increase behavioral complexity.

ethics: biology - prey

Prey builds defense mechanisms to increase behavioral complexity.

ethics: biology - rhythms

People need contact with natural world at all times, to participate in hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly rhythms, because body requires this. Many behaviors should be rhythmic to optimize effort.

ethics: economics - businesses

Business should optimize interactions, numbers, and varieties. Monopolies, oligopoly members, or competitive-market components can optimize. Nationalized companies can optimize. Corporations, partnerships, or single owners can optimize. The test of good business is the same for all business types.

ethics: economics - competition

Competitive economy has failed enterprises. Competitive economy has non-productive expenditures, such as advertising, image-making, and financial maneuvers. Competitive economies have distribution, production, and demand inefficiencies. Competitive economies emphasize incorrect social values, such as greed and winning at all costs. Economies based on greed can have no justice. Economies based on winning encourage monopoly, cheating, unethical selling practices, unethical buying behavior, substandard products, production values based on inessential factors such as sex and power, and differential pricing.

ethics: economics - cooperation

Optimization rarely requires competition. Rather, optimization depends on smooth and frictionless working of many complex-system processes. Optimization is cooperative. Cooperative economy recognizes that society is complex system, best run smoothly and efficiently by effective personal, social, economic, and political methods. Cooperative economy uses sharing among all, maximizing end results for all. Cooperative economy has wise consumers and sellers, who know they depend on each other and who wisely help each other to succeed. In cooperative economy, prices, wages, goods, services, demand, supply, investment, government revenue, government payments, government services, savings, money supply, exports, imports, and interest rates are determined by freely flowing information designed to align supply and demand with no discontinuities in open manner. Information sharing optimizes outcomes for all.

ethics: economics - cycles

Community, nation, and planet economies have contraction and expansion cycles. Cycles can have short or long durations and involve small or large amplitudes. Previous-cycle part effects cause next-cycle part. War, catastrophe, and invention add new numbers, interactions, and varieties to cycle. Economy should optimize cycle durations and amplitudes. Complex system should have mechanisms to anticipate effects and causes, so they are self-correcting, through previous integration into complex system. Causes and effects should readily dissipate in system and so optimize cycle. Cycles are in larger cycles and optimizations.

ethics: economics - factories

Factories make things for profit only, not for people's optimum benefit. In factories, people come together only to produce goods. Workers receive as little as possible. Workers work only for others' goals. If products do not sell, workers lose jobs, without relation to worker skill, quality, or purposes. Workers do not control their time or social interactions. Such conditions are inhuman and thwart basic human needs. There is no love, community, personal expression, or creativity.

ethics: economics - governments

Government should only invest. Government should never consume nor save.

ethics: economics - homes

Buying homes should be as easy as buying cars or TVs. Owners fully disclose all item particulars and set prices. Buyers name prices and fully disclose payment ability. Owner and buyer agree on price and sale terms. People have loan money available, known immediately. Buyer and seller know all about loans. All documents related to anything sellable are current, public, and deemed to be correct at that time, requiring no copies, searches, warranties, inspections, and insurance. Deposits transfer openly by agreement, through permanent third-party arrangements. Money and house exchange through third party, who adjusts taxes, utilities, and interest and records transfer at agreed transfer time.

ethics: economics - labor

Human labor optimizes numbers, interactions, and varieties. Reward for labor differs in pay, benefits, and job satisfaction. Labor supply differs with time worked, skill, and motivation. Labor demand and supply should be optimum. Optimization for the whole requires that workers receive unequal pay, benefits, job satisfaction, unequal time worked, skill, and motivation. Even within job types, workers cannot be equal in time worked, skill, and motivation. People should be free to move to change jobs worldwide, in transparent, open market.

ethics: economics - labor guilds

Guilds are communities, for example neighborhood, church, city, county, state, college, union, insurance company, HMO, co-op, investment group, bank, company, credit union, association, club, or housing complex. Guilds provide security and safety for members. Guilds should guarantee monthly pay, retirement, disability insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, eye insurance, food, heat, cooling, telephone, water, sewer, garbage, car, car insurance, fuel, maintenance, life insurance, clothes, housing, and education. Guilds receive member base pay. Bonuses and overtime are for individuals. Guilds should be bonded and insured. Guilds use economies of scale to get best prices for all services at lower rates than individuals can get. Guilds are corporations with one vote per member, since member contributions are equal. All business uses voting. Members manage guilds, perhaps with outside consultation. New members require voting. Administrative fees are 1% or less. People should belong to guilds or form guilds specialized to needs. Governments should encourage guilds.

ethics: economics - labor unions

Laborers should be free to associate, and to unassociate.

ethics: economics - markets

Markets are where people exchange goods and services, typically using money. Brokers set up markets. Individual buying or selling should not affect markets. Markets can be anonymous or face-to-face, but the only factors involved are price and quantity, not personality or other goals. In markets, labor products have only trade value, no other worth such as intrinsic quality, responsibility, community, teamwork, or personal relations. Markets cause and encourage competition among people for goods and services.

ethics: economics - necessities

People in societies have basic needs, which should be met for society to avoid crime, have justice, and use human potential maximally. Food/fuel/rent/medicine stamp program can provide stamps only for such necessities, modeled on USA Food Stamp program. All people are eligible. Consumers can freely choose necessity providers. Stamp program is like negative income tax. Monthly stamps use current, yearly, and five-year income basis. Income-tax forms eliminate need for interviews and home visits. IRS can manage program just like tax refund, needing no new bureaucracy. Because taxes are confidential, more privacy and dignity result. There is no stigma, because stamps are checks, bearing person's signature, name, and address. Checks have electronic tags to allow payment only to listed provider for listed service or product. Stamps cannot trade, because they are checks. Punishment for fraud can affect only person, not family. Stamp system has no local component, so everyone in society can participate equally and confidentially. No particular city would be more attractive to welfare recipients. Stamp program can be loan to individual or family, to pay back in the future. Wage garnishment can collect loans from future taxes. Recipient can have confidential obligations, which do not reflect on credit histories. Government never just spends, but always and only invests in people.

ethics: economics - retirement and disability

People can own a society part, so society and people prosper equally. Newborn children, and/or all people, can receive pooled company and mutual-fund shares.

Families or social groupings do not have shares.

People can receive direct returns from shares. Such shares are savings for individuals. Businesses can use them directly for investment. Some shares guarantee retirement money. Some shares are for emergencies and disabilities. People can borrow against shares, for house, education, or business. People are investors in society. All people are capitalists and presumably learn more about business and finance. Government buys shares and maintains ownership in person's name. Investing is by mutual fund-like organization within government. Pool management optimizes society. Pool can invest in special projects, such as alternative fuels or basic sciences. Well-run publicly owned businesses have regular capital inputs. Amount is great, so it can influence corporation policy, just as do large pension funds. Amount can also correct stock and other markets in case of recession or inflation.

ethics: economics - supply and demand

Setting prices by supply and demand is an optimization example.

ethics: economics - taxes

Taxes are optimum when people pay equal marginal value, as subjectively felt by people and as objectively calculated. Sales tax, property tax, or other regressive taxes are illegal, because tax burden cannot be fair. The only taxes should be progressive taxes, correlated with income and/or wealth. Progressive taxes exactly correlate, so they are exactly fair, which probably requires sliding scales with no tax categories. Deductibles, credits, and all other adjustments to income and wealth can remain, if they help find fair tax burden, rather than further other purposes. Businesses and people have different calculations, because one is producer and one is consumer, so optimization profiles differ. Single-ownership businesses, partnerships, and corporations have people as owners, so actual tax burdens involve complex calculations. Tax burden should be fair for all people and/or families, so all business taxation is subordinate to this principle, possibly requiring complex income, expense, asset, and liability calculations for single-ownership businesses, partnerships, and corporations.

ethics: economics - trade

International and internal trade should be absolutely free.

ethics: education - classrooms

Classroom education is rarely an optimum, except for test, demonstration, or lecture. Student learning includes work, practice, modeling, tutoring, reading, writing, and playing, which can be inside or outside class.

ethics: education - general

Education should use children to do good. Students can perform public services while they learn. Formal schooling is not productive or efficient. Students should be in society, not separate from society in separate and immature subcultures.

ethics: education - jobs

Education should help people find suitable, meaningful, and rewarding jobs, both before and/or upon graduation and throughout life.

ethics: education - meaning

Education should provide useful, true, and meaningful philosophy. Students and parents should like and respect education. Student and parent opinion and feedback can provide even more meaning and usefulness. Students should be able to talk directly and privately to teachers at all times, for optimum efficiency.

ethics: education - practice

Education should involve practice and subsequent discussion in different ethical dilemmas, language uses, work environments, social situations, family relations, political activities, economic transactions, and dyadic relations.

ethics: education - problem-solving

Education should provide study and practice in problem-solving skills, as applied to different ethical dilemmas, language uses, work environments, social situations, family relations, political activities, economic transactions, and dyadic relations.

ethics: education - schools

School should be like home, not like institution. There should not be regular classes, just required activities, since classes do not prepare anybody for anything. School should proceed at student pace, with no grade levels. Students receive tutoring when they need help. Curriculum is mostly projects and independent study, using problem and finding solution. Projects and study teach everything to learn. School emphasizes cooperative action, not competition, among individuals, to practice what happens at work. Schools as institutions should contract for support with teachers.

ethics: education - senior year

High-school senior year is superfluous. Senior year should be for work practice, college preparation, or college.

ethics: education - tasks

School prepares students to be successful for all society tasks, such as working at occupations, raising families, buying and selling all goods and services, and participating in political activities. Schools are investments in efficient and cooperative societies.

ethics: education - teaching

Teaching requires subject, general-information, and student knowledge. Teaching requires excitement about teaching, subject, and students. Teaching requires skill in speaking, acting, solving problems, recalling, and working with people. Teaching requires patience, humor, ethics, and physical stamina. Few people have these skills. Teachers should complement each other, in order to provide all resources to students. Schools need aides to masters.

ethics: education - thinking

By writing and speaking, students explain to others what they are thinking. Speaking and writing provide practice in thinking and mental organization. Speaking and writing structure is mental-organization structure. Mental-organization structures are definition, description, illustration, narration, spatial organization, temporal organization, comparison and contrast, process, analysis, and synthesis. Ability to optimize and to understand optimization depends on knowing mental organizations.

ethics: general

Traditional ethics typically embodies principles of investment and optimization. However, many cases lead to surprising conclusions when subject to new analysis. New analysis can explain all cases.

ethics: general - choice

Proper and effective ethics requires that, at each decision, choice is to invest, rather than merely to consume or to save. Typically, investment choices are available. Typically, the best choice involves combining all possible investments. Combination chosen should have highest probability of maximizing return and minimizing risk. This optimum combination changes with time, location, and situation. People need understanding of complex systems, optimization, and statistics to invest wisely. Investing is always wiser than merely consuming or saving.

ethics: general - meaning

People need to help others or be creative to give life meaning.

ethics: general - negentropy

Investment is negentropy, opposite of entropy. Investment decreases disorder. People should act to add negentropy to universe, as much as possible. People should act to minimize entropy-increase rate. Investment minimizes increase in disorder and so helps preserve universe and people.

ethics: general - value

Standard of value is optimization and investment, accounting for personal, community, economic, and social factors in present and future.

ethics: history

History works out optimization in human actions, law, invention, religion, economics, and politics.

ethics: law - courts

Courts interpret law. Courts should proceed using equity and justice.

ethics: law - general

Law includes civil law, maritime law, international law, criminal law, government regulations, and copyright and patent law.

ethics: law - international

International and maritime law should treat all parties as equals. Nations both compete and cooperate, and these should balance.

ethics: law - legislatures

Legislatures make laws. Statutory and customary law should use equity and justice. Because humans are similar, laws in different countries are similar.

ethics: law - police

Police enforce statutory laws. Police should proceed using equity and justice.

ethics: law - rights

Human rights include civil, economic, political, and personal rights. Human rights apply to all people.

ethics: personal affairs - death

Death is an added dimension of life, which provides tension to increase action and interaction. Having no death removes life's main reason for action. Death also evokes many emotions.

ethics: personal affairs - games

Athletic games explore physical competition and cooperation and new muscle combinations. Intellectual games explore strategy, tactics, and abstract ways of thinking, competition, and cooperation.

ethics: personal affairs - health

People have right to health level that allows others same level.

ethics: personal affairs - housing

People have right to housing level that allows others same level.

ethics: personal affairs - insurance

Insurance is wise investment, so everyone should be optimally insured for health, car, house, life, disability, liability, and old age. People have right to insurance level that allows others same level.

ethics: personal affairs - marriage

Marriage is not wise time or money investment, because it sacrifices control for no gain. Marriage is too static for dynamic society. Alternatives to marriage are better investments. People can achieve companionship, sexual satisfaction, intimacy, friendship, security, and safety in simpler and more satisfying ways. Marriage involves optimizing two people's futures at once, which is difficult.

ethics: personal affairs - moving

Moving often is good to maximize interaction. People keep as few goods as possible, only needed ones. People have easily movable modular goods. Moving happens when marginal return rate falls, not for change's sake.

ethics: personal affairs - nutrition

People have right to nutrition level that allows others same level.

ethics: personal affairs - safety

People have right to safety and security level that allows others same level.

ethics: personal affairs - selling

Selling should involve honesty, fairness, genuine needs, high quality, functionality, simplicity, fair labor practices, and modest profit. Buying should honor contracts.

ethics: personal affairs - will

Will should optimize futures of affected people.

ethics: political science - abortion

All people have right to have abortion, because abortion is better for people and society.

ethics: political science - affirmative action

Affirmative action should optimize the future.

ethics: political science - authority

Authority is a necessary government property. Legitimate authority can come from investment and optimization.

ethics: political science - conflicts

Religion, politics, work, education, and economics differences should minimize by investment.

ethics: political science - constitution

How does Constitution compare to ideas of investment and optimization?

ethics: political science - feminism

Feminism should optimize the future.

ethics: political science - foreign policy

Governments should have frank and open dialog and cooperation with all countries and international organizations. Governments should ratify all international treaties. Governments should honor all human rights. America should be open to world and world should be open to America, especially because America reflects world. Nationalism is not optimum. Multicultural diversity should be national policy.

ethics: political science - freedom

Freedom can mean no action restrictions or action abilities. People have many biological abilities and learn many more abilities. Action restrictions come from self, family, and society. Physical restrictions block actions. People in various situations have different numbers and varieties of possible actions. Society provides more options for actions and, perhaps necessarily, imposes more restrictions. In general, society and individual should allow the most-possible freedom, which increases investment and optimization. Society and individual should not be in opposition, but should cooperate. People should control their own labor and property. People should feel that they are part of political systems and societies. Liberty and justice should maximize. Personal-freedom restrictions should be minimum. Equality in all opportunities and actions, including economic, legal, political, social, psychological, religious, historical, educational, and ethical, should be maximum.

ethics: political science - government

Government should look for ways to invest better and more. For example, government should work cooperatively with all institutions, businesses, and groups, and vice versa, to pursue the best investments. Government should perform research to assess investment values. Projects have varying time scales to judge short-term and long-term returns and risks. Government should promote and be ready for society changes, because previous investments cause faster and faster changes, which continual judgment checks for best current investments. Government systems should optimize political, social, and economic goals. Government should maximize free interaction, increase number of people frictionlessly, and ensure diversity, justice, fairness, and openness.

ethics: political science - health

All people have right to optimum health care, to same level as others.

ethics: political science - immigration

All people should be free to travel.

ethics: political science - individuals

Investment is for people to reach goals. People should have athletic bodies. People should know how to control minds and bodies. People should be prepared for, and have available, work which matches their talents and motivations. People should be able to play as much as possible.

ethics: political science - leadership

Leadership depends on rewards and punishments. Leader can use rewards and punishments to get people to serve purpose. Higher leaders can manage larger and larger groups. Leadership needs investment to optimize rewards and punishments.

ethics: political science - officials

All elected and appointed officials and hired staff should act according to investment.

ethics: political science - revolution

Revolution can be an optimization method. However, people knowing the ideas of investment and optimization preclude revolution by already meeting goals.

ethics: political science - rights

Human rights are necessary for wisest investment and include all civil, economic, political, and personal rights, for all people and people categories.

ethics: political science - spending

Military spending, educational spending, and all government spending should be an investment. Investment should be in people, organizations, and all society units. Consumption and mere saving are not good.

ethics: political science - taxation

Taxation should relate to measured ability to pay. There should be no regressive taxes. Taxes paid should be an investment in government services and insurance. When people retire, are unemployed, or are disabled, investment interest can be used.

ethics: political science - totalitarianism

Totalitarianism represents antithesis of investment. Investment requires maximum diversity, interaction, and number for the whole, whereas totalitarianism is for the few, has few ideas, does not allow diversity or difference, and optimizes limited things.

ethics: political science - voting

Voting methods should optimize result desired by voters. Voting should allow opinion strength, as in opinion polls. Result desired by voters should always be in accord with investment and optimization.

ethics: political science - war

War and peace balance, to optimize interaction.

ethics: political science - welfare

All recipients of government money, services, and products should pay back government through work, money, or public service. Governments should help people and businesses. Governments can work through partnerships, build economic infrastructure, supply venture capital, and use efficient regulation. Investment opportunities include research, education and training, venture capital and startups, pilot projects, modeling, and infrastructure. Overseas investment is also good, because problems are global.

ethics: political science - well-being

Investment value measurement is not just by money, but by well-being indices using health, security, housing, fuel, food, pollution, and ecology. Value compares to other investments.

ethics: psychology - aggression

Aggression and submission should be in balance.

ethics: psychology - anxiety

Anxiety and security should be in balance.

ethics: psychology - awareness

Awareness optimizes Mind.

ethics: psychology - behavior

People should be brave, be dignified, be unselfish, be hopeful, have will to live, be unique, be responsible to others, and work. All human activities work together to optimize.

ethics: psychology - boredom

Boredom makes you think and joke, to entertain yourself, and so is necessary to creativity and problem-solving.

ethics: psychology - dreams

Dreams explore imagination.

ethics: psychology - emotions

Emotions are rewards and punishments that allow decisions.

ethics: psychology - experience

People have right to experience all life's activities, feelings, and people, as long as others can do the same.

ethics: psychology - family

Families promote greater numbers and variety and provide the basis for human interactions.

ethics: psychology - goals and rewards

Goals and motivations are necessary to increase actions. Rewards are goals, and punishments are negative goals.

ethics: psychology - learning

Learning increases interactions.

ethics: psychology - lifestyles

Different people should lead different lifestyles to optimize their lives. Expression of different abilities needs different lifestyles. Variety of lifestyles itself is optimum.

ethics: psychology - love

Love and hate should balance. Love and hate increase interactions. Bliss comes from contemplating beloved. Love is the highest cause and the highest effect, and so is the best motivation and energizer.

ethics: psychology - meaning

Life should have meaning. Meaning comes from experiencing all life's activities, feelings, and people. Meaning comes from choosing attitude toward life or way of living. Meaning comes from successfully cooperating with others to achieve goals. Meaning comes from successfully sharing with others to have companionship, love, and security. Meaning comes from identification and intimacy with one or more other people. Meaning comes from successfully working toward personal goal or creating something.

ethics: psychology - memory

Memory increases interactions.

ethics: psychology - personality

Personality and self integrate goals and abilities. Personality should work cooperatively with other personalities.

ethics: psychology - suicide

Suicide results from decreased interaction.

ethics: religion - conversion

Conversion results from pent-up frustrations.

ethics: religion - cults

Cults entice people who need more interactions.

ethics: religion - good vs. evil

To achieve future optimization, to obtain maximum interaction, what people perceive as good balances what people perceive as evil.

ethics: religion - life after death

There is no life after death, because such interactions do not count.

ethics: religion - sin

Sins and good works should balance. Sin is destructive, and good works are constructive. People do not typically sin using the idea of investment, but sometimes sin is the wise course of investment and what some people consider sin is really good work.

ethics: religion - soul

There is no soul because life before or after death does not count.

ethics: religion - theory

Religion is an attempt to give meaning to all life's actions under one theory. Religions include miracles, and so cannot be true, because there are no miracles. Religions each speak of modified history. Religions include the beautiful, for imagining gods and sacred. Investment and optimization supply meaning to life and answer all questions without false history, miracles, gods, or sacred. Investment and optimization display beauty.

ethics: sociology - behaviors

All behavior should optimize the future of everything and everyone.

ethics: sociology - cities

Cities result from optimization processes applied to groups. Cities optimize people and thing numbers, varieties, and interactions. Cities should reduce process friction. Transportation should be smoothly flowing and immediately available. Housing should be near work and education. Markets should be open and fair. Predators should not exist. All districts should be equal in resources and people.

ethics: sociology - classes

Class bases are income, education, and other factors. Investment requires eliminating classes per se. Investment and optimization result in many classes using many variables. Along variables, there are Boltzmann distributions.

ethics: sociology - cooperation

Cooperation encompasses whole society, not just economic sector. Education, health, environment, crime, religion, ethnic issues, immigration, welfare, old age, children's services, political processes, psychology, and sociology can use cooperation.

ethics: sociology - countries

Countries and civilizations result from optimization processes applied to political organizations. Countries allow the most numbers, varieties, and interactions. Countries should reduce process friction. Taxes should be fair and of equal burden, collected with no work by citizens. Services should be equal for all districts, groups, and individuals. Defense involves cooperation with neighboring and other countries.

ethics: sociology - crime

Crimes are diseases of criminals and societies. Criminals should face quarantine until disease cures and they can return to society safely, for sake of criminal and society. Penalty for crimes is quarantine and treatment. There is no fixed jail term for crimes. Medical practice, not judges, determines crime treatments. Police, courts, and probation authorities ensure that quarantine and treatment complete satisfactorily. Before criminal release, doctor panels should certify that treated persons will not commit future crimes. Panels are liable for their decisions. Jails are for psychological and biological methods to change criminal, not for holding, recreation, or petty work. Quarantine requires full-time active participation in rehabilitation by criminal, to shorten time and maximize results. Criminal must approve treatments. Failure to approve can result in longer quarantine. Probation monitors all released criminals. Criminals must provide community service to pay back society for victimless crimes, must provide full restitution to crime victims, and pay fines equal to damage caused, even if restitution takes a lifetime. There is no physical or capital punishment. Convicts can stand guard, survey, or otherwise perform public services for low pay, not stay in jail just to serve time. When crime happens, society should reform, to prevent future crimes, repair damage to society, and help affected individuals.

ethics: sociology - family

Families should provide basic human needs to individuals. Families should not cause stresses and frustrations. Family organization should meet people's needs and allow maximum freedom. Families can then satisfy conflicting desires, by moving among states, hourly, daily, monthly, or yearly.

People should have private locations in residences: house, room, cube, or partition. Partitions should have storage, sleeping, sitting, eating, and bathroom-like spots.

People should have private times: quiet times, active times, times for events with one person, times for events with two people, and times for events with more than two people. There is no fixed schedule, but opportunity for indoor and outdoor events. People should be free to choose activities, times, and locations.

Conflicts should resolve by arbitration, mediation, rules, and separations. Crises should finish by control over time, space, and activity. Nobody should control other people's lives. Family members should spread domestic work fairly, based on time and motivation. People should learn compromise and delayed satisfaction.

ethics: sociology - groups

People have right to free association in groups as long as others have same rights.

ethics: sociology - guns

Second Amendment guarantees that right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, based on need for well-regulated militia. Upholding Constitution can use creative solutions to contemporary problems, based on cooperation and compromise. National Rifle Association could run militia, which would regulate members and itself in conformance with Constitution. Thus, NRA would work with government, and so make gun-owners and gun-opposers happy.

ethics: sociology - institutions

All current institutions should be allied in cooperation. Church institutions cooperate relative to their social roles, not religious ones. Maintaining church and state separation promotes diversity and tolerance and avoids dogma.

ethics: sociology - love

People seem to need to be intimate with someone else and have someone loyal to rely on and be with. Sexual relations with that person are natural concomitant. People need to have respect from other people and to respect other people, so both people can tolerate each other. Both people should share activities that they both like. Both people should trust each other, so there is no fear. Both people should be somewhat alike in intelligence and education, personality, likes, dislikes, social class, and age, so they can understand each other and communicate. It is best if they really like each other deep inside.

Both people should have free time to be together, with no one else around. Both people should be able to meet all needs of each other. People need someone to care for them when they are sick or incapacitated. Both people should be willing to sacrifice money and time for each other.

ethics: sociology - majority

Age of majority should 16, which would be age of sexual consent. People could marry and work full time at age 16. Teenagers are ready now and will be more ready in the future.

ethics: sociology - pets

Though pets might seem to add to diversity and number of interactions, same number of interactions with humans has more diversity, variety, and number. Therefore, human interaction is optimal. Pets are only good for times when humans are not available, or when they substitute for humans who could be engaged in greater numbers of interactions elsewhere. For example, seeing-eye dogs might be optimal because humans cannot do that job, and if they did it, it would be limited in optimization. Pets might be good for people who are alone, if they cannot get to other people or people cannot come to them, such as elderly or confined.

ethics: sociology - privacy

People need to be alone and have time just for themselves. People do not want to spend time on things they do not like. People want to live life as they individually determine it. People do not want to have someone else change their thoughts or actions. People want to be true to their principles, without contradiction from others. People want to create, alone and unbothered. People want to have time to think on their own. People want to make and spend money individually, without constraint. People do not want to spend mutual money on certain things. People do not want relatives they do not like. People want to communicate with, have sexual relations with, and just be with others, when they want to, without pressure or worry. People want to rest or be active when they are ready.

ethics: sociology - punishments

Governments punish crimes fairly. Failures cause deprivations. Governments should compensate for injuries.

ethics: sociology - rewards

Societies should reward achievements.

ethics: - technology

All technology should be for investment and optimization, by increasing number and variety of objects, movements, and directions.


Universe formed and exists as defined by investment and optimization.

metaphysics: biology - evolution

Evolution manifests optimization: increasing object, movement, and direction number and variety. Evolution depends on interaction mechanisms: predator-prey, sexual and asexual reproduction, crossing-over, sheltering, and healing.

metaphysics: biology - metabolism

Anabolism builds new larger molecules from other molecules. Large-molecule interaction complexity, number of units, and diversity of forms are greater than for small and dispersed molecules. Catabolism breaks down molecules to increase interactions. Anabolism and catabolism balance optimizes interactions.

metaphysics: biology - origin of life

Polymers are products of physical and chemical laws. Life originated from polymers, which combined to make cells containing genes, which could reproduce. Life is complex electrochemical processes among molecules. Universe electrochemical processes can make life, so life expresses physical laws. Life greatly contributes to interactions and complexity. Possibly, life will eventually affect physical laws.

metaphysics: chemistry - phase changes

Phase changes are mass actions. Phase changes have entropy and potential-energy changes. Spontaneous changes decrease potential energy and/or increase entropy. Phase changes maximize interactions, numbers, and varieties. Phase changes involve individual particle movements. Particles follow physical laws, which optimize.

metaphysics: chemistry - reactions

Chemical reactions are mass actions. Chemical reactions have entropy and potential-energy changes. Spontaneous changes decrease potential energy and/or increase entropy. Chemical reactions maximize interactions, numbers, and varieties. Chemical reactions involve individual particle movements.

metaphysics: chemistry - reactions polymers

In polymerization chemical reaction, subunits polymerize to maximize interactions, numbers, and varieties, as in chemical reactions. Polymers also break down to maximize interactions and numbers. Polymerization balances formation and reformation. Polymer reactions allow new and more complex interactions, numbers, and varieties.

metaphysics: earth science - planet earth

Earth minerals, water, and gases are products of many chemical, electrical, and physical reactions. Reactions optimize object and event numbers, varieties, and interactions. Reactions involve plate tectonics and erosion. Reactions involve gas, water, and mineral properties. Earth atmosphere, oceans, and land optimize.

metaphysics: physics - atom

Atoms are optimal substance building blocks.

metaphysics: physics - energy

Universe allocates energy evenly. Universe maximizes matter and energy flow. Energy is dispersed mass. Energy properties derive from masses used to transfer physical forces. Mass is concentrated energy. Mass properties derive from physical-force energies.

metaphysics: physics - entropy

At the beginning, all was unified and symmetric at zero entropy. Alternatively, there was no possibility of entropy. After initial break in symmetry, universe had entropy because it had two phases. The necessity of interactions causes continuous entropy increase. Universe must evolve toward infinite entropy.

metaphysics: physics - forces

Forces and energies perfectly balance to optimize universe. There must be more than one force and energy. All forces and energies relate at high energies.

metaphysics: physics - heat

Thermodynamics illustrates theory of investment.

metaphysics: physics - inflation

Universe has angular momentum, which causes cosmological constant. Antimatter caused original inflation.

metaphysics: physics - kinetics

All is in motion, and kinetics defines space and time. All motions in universe use least action, follow geodesic, and are determined. Universe minimizes space and time used.

All matter and energy are in motion. Nothing is static. Objects at rest have atom heat motions. Atoms have subatomic particle motions. Subatomic-particle constituents are also kinetic and dynamic.

metaphysics: physics - origin

Universe began from absolutely nothing: no energy and no matter, no space and no time. However, nothing is not static, nor unstructured, nor without dynamic. The state of nothing or void is perfectly symmetrical, maintained by same physical laws as now. This symmetry caused high order at universe beginning. Symmetry breaking happened, without cause except for its own required random fluctuations. Break created quanta of space, time, matter, and energy, as symmetries broke. First break led to universe origin, and universe has undergone more breaks ever since.

metaphysics: physics - quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanics is non-local and deterministic. Quantum mechanics is necessary to investment.

metaphysics: physics - relativity

Relativity is local and deterministic. Relativity is necessary to investment.

metaphysics: physics - simplicity

Universe uses simplest possible physical and mathematical laws. Laws cannot be simpler, when taken from correct perspective, or there could be no universe. Laws cannot be more complex, or there could be no universe.

metaphysics: physics - space

Space derives from necessity of motion, which creates and requires three readily observable dimensions.

More than three spatial dimensions are logically and necessarily equivalent to three spatial dimensions. More than three spatial dimensions provide too many possibilities and are unstable.

Space and time dimensions are essentially similar, are orthogonal, and are complementary. Space and time dimension meaning changes at symmetry breaks.

metaphysics: physics - substances

Physical laws optimize object and event number, variety, and interactions. Substances include subatomic objects, atoms, molecules, crystals, solids, fluids, gases, plasmas, earthly objects, and astronomical objects. Optimization involves all objects and events simultaneously.

metaphysics: physics - systems

At all instants and positions, particles and energies interconnect into complex system, with numbers, varieties, and interactions. Complex systems, including universe, have finite number of particles and finite number of energy states available to particles. Total energy determines particle-energy distribution.

One distribution has, by far, highest probability, because it has the greatest number of possible energy states. Particles therefore have specific probabilities of being in energy states. Particles exchange energy states, but distribution is constant, until total system energy changes. Total system energy depends on previous state and outside influences.

Systems and universes evolve in one possible way. This evolution can alter by intelligence, because intelligence is in system. Thus, things, processes, and events participate in making universe, as both inevitable and as participant. Things build universe, but none is at center or has real importance. Species thus become extinct inexorably, and replacements evolve just as inexorably.

metaphysics: physics - time

Time derives from necessity of motion, which creates and requires only one time dimension.

More than one time dimension is logically and necessarily equivalent to one time dimension. More than one time dimension provides too many possibilities and is unstable.

metaphysics: physics - waves

Waves radiate outward from sources and so optimize interactions.


Brain and body create mind. Brain and body must work together.


People have political attitudes.

politics: cooperation

Society elements can cooperate and compete in the way that results in justice. Conflicting parties can cooperate and compete in the way that results in justice. Working outside or against governments, military, ethnic groups, religious groups, business, or labor is counterproductive in terms of reaching best solutions.

politics: reason

In all human activities, people must use their minds to make the best investment. Mind can change situations through motivation changes. Emotion and all other mental tools are for advantage. Unwise choices have terrible consequences for many people.

Actions that people take have seemingly negative and positive aspects. It is necessary to examine action groups, taking account of all reactions, substitute actions, and action alterations, to find the best investment. It demands knowledge of psychology, sociology, politics, law, and economics.

politics: security

Protection {security, nation} measures can be unobtrusive but complete, including government employment of all security personnel at public places. Intelligence gathering can use people, American and foreign, who actually know, like, and understand world's peoples.

politics: society

Remove crass, greedy, violent, prurient, and psychologically damaging things. All products and services can be good for all people, and everyone can get only fair return. Media editors, businesses, entertainment producers, and public leaders can consider the public good and have high standards of good conduct.

All world societies need justice, law, openness, education, and good economies. Poverty, anger, irritation, hopelessness, and frustration must be low.

All societies can be strong, intelligent, rational, respected, moral, upright, and compassionate.

Drug traffickers, organized crime, religious and other cults, and terror organizations are outside allowed society, are parasites on society, and pose dangers to normal society. They cannot exist independently of society, though they are separate from it. They control money and people. Society can rid itself of parasites by removing demand. Retaliation and punishment can deter crime, but do not remove crime's causes. Retaliation and punishment can push group more tightly together.

politics: sociology

If people believe that God knows and controls all, people can believe gambling is sin because one does not trust in God to provide and one hopes to gain by other's misfortune, or one can go ahead and gamble since God can be on your side and fate is out of one's hands anyway. For the latter, believing that God disfavors opponent and wants to inflict misfortune also encourages gambling. Gamble's immediate result is what counts. If one gambles and has short-term success, that means gamble was good thing and can repeat or escalate.

Future circumstances can explain long-term results and so have no weight.

Therefore, after gambles, for some personality types, loss and punishment must be immediate and large.

Countries can have highest justice, opportunity, morals, and ethics, to show that they have the best social system. Economic wealth is a good sign, but if illegally gained, it is not sufficient. Countries can also have respect for other traditions and not be arrogant or insistent, but be humble.

politics: experiments

Societies can experiment with innovative social programs to improve people's lives. Meeting basic needs can help society avoid crime, have justice, and use human potential maximally. Government can invest in people, not just spend.

Perhaps, people can own, or eventually own, shares in society's corporations. In this way, corporations and people, and their prosperity, link more. For example, citizens, at birth, can receive shares in mutual fund that owns representative corporations. Government or non-profit agency manages it. Social Security can invest in stocks owned by people directly but with stock management governed by Social Security.

Perhaps, USA Food Stamp program can expand to other problems. Stamp program can provide coupons for food, fuel, rent, and medicine. Such program benefits businesses that provide basic services. Coupons also allow people to choose the best provider. Government can select beneficiaries in same way that it selects food stamp recipients now. Alternatively, eligibility can depend solely on income tax information. All people in society can be eligible for necessities. Electronic stamps can have deposits and credits like credit card.

Perhaps, group can pay for necessities. Monthly pay, retirement, disability insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, eye insurance, food, heat, cooling, telephone, water, sewer, and garbage, car, car insurance, fuel, and maintenance, life insurance, clothes, housing, and education money goes through association. Association can be city, county, state, community, neighborhood, church, college, union, insurance company, HMO, co-op, investment group, bank, company, credit union, association, club, or housing complex. Group can get better prices than individual. Group can get better investment return than individual.

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Date Modified: 2015.0704

Description: 6-Philosophy