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Mental Causation
James Symposium
The Information Philosopher has established that quantum mechanics and thermodynamics play a central role in the creation of all things. This finding has enormous implications for philosophy and metaphysics.
Instead of a closed universe that is winding down deterministically from an initial state of high information, we find the universe is open and increasing information indeterministically from an initial state of relatively high entropy and low information. Information is being continuously created in the universe, not least by human beings who are just learning that they are part of the cosmic creative process.
An open indeterministic universe with increasing information suggests three testable philosophical ideas:
  • a model for free will and creativity that may satisfy determinists and libertarians

  • a value system based on providential processes in the universe

  • an epistemological explanation of knowledge formation and communication.
All three ideas depend on understanding modern physics, cosmology, biology, and neuroscience.
All three have strong connections to information science. They are contributions to a new information philosophy.
If these ideas are accepted, they could change some well-established philosophical positions. Even more important, they provide a new view of how humanity fits into the universe.
Information philosophy also proposes solutions for a number of philosophical and scientific puzzles, such as the problem of evil, the existential status of universals, and the paradox of Schrödinger's Cat. It also throws considerable light on deriving ought from is, the problem of induction, the idea of progress, and the problem of quantum measurement.
Information philosophy offers a mind model that transcends flawed "brain as computer" models. The brain is not a digital electronic computer, though it has information circuits. It is not a Turing machine of deterministic states. The brain is not a mechanism in the seventeenth-century sense of a time-reversible system obeying Newtonian laws of physics. Time is of the essence in the mind. The arrow of time traces the irreversible development of unique biological individuals with increasing consciousness of self, others, and a nurturing environment.
Information philosophy sees the brain as a magnificent information processing and decision system. It is orders of magnitude more capable than the whole of today's internetworked system of computers and multimedia communications channels - at accumulating actionable knowledge, which is the brain's natural purpose, or telos.
Information philosophy is a systematic philosophy, with a triadic architectonic that would have pleased Kant and Peirce. It is an idealist philosophy, but it is worldly, not other-worldly. Its information super-structures are properly constructed on a material base.

Information philosophy is a radical philosophy. It identifies information as the new root (radix) on which to base language, logic, and science. Although it undercuts language analysis as the main method of philosophizing, information may provide a deeper understanding of how language and more general communications work.

Information philosophy identifies and establishes the existence of the Cosmic Good as constructed information structures. Kant's search for a categorical imperative, for a universal duty, them becomes "Be good. Preserve the Good. Do good unto others. Life is Good." The creative ergodic processes generate emergent phenomena that contain all we need to examine not only Kant's God, Freedom, and Immortality, but also his Platonic dreams of Truth and Goodness, as well as the Enlightenment idea of Progress.
Evil is not merely the absence of Good, but the destruction of ergodic information structures, always fragile in the presence of entropic forces.
Information philosophy explains how humans are free to do good. Just as an individual character becomes good through good works (Karma in the Atman), the Sum of all human good works is seen as the manifestation of a "world soul" or matrix of information (Brahman) which can encode the immortality of each individual.
Information philosophy is a world-historical moment in Hegel's sense of Absolute Spirit, a peak of the meditation in the Nietzsche/Heidegger metaphor, a process philosophy in the Whitehead sense of a return to temporality, and a natural noosphere in Teilhard's image, when the mind realizes and recognizes itself as part of the cosmic ergodic process of information accumulation, as co-creator of the universe.
Man is Free. God is the Good. And you can Know.
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