Philosophy White-Papers

This section presents a series of white-papers on a range of philosophical subjects including, epistemology, ontology, metaphysics and logic through to conciousness, ethics, aesthetics, post-modernism, politics and death.

Many of the papers are original work, resulting from many years of research, discussion and contemplation of the issues involved. Others are important contributions from professional philosophers and are provided here by way of reference and background reading.

The idea is to undertake a completely unbiased, neutral philosophical investigation and discover in what ways, if any, physicalism is adequate and/or inadequate; just what can and cannot be satisfactoriliy explained within the physicalist framework. What are the limits of knowledge for the physicalist position, and which kinds of phenomena, such as conciousness, is it 'difficult' to understand from the physicalist perspective? Are there any reasonable ways that the physicalist can accomodate these 'difficult' cases, and what are the implications that result from these positions? Does physicalism necessarily result in the degradation or de-humanizing of human-kind?

Our aim is to hold nothing sacred; have the courage to ask any question, and gently, methodically and modestly attempt to clarify the issues, and maybe even answer some of the philosophical problems that might arise. Everything in principle is 'up for graps'. Everything we know is 'revisible' in as much that should a better explanation or clearer position be encountered, or we make a mistake accepting something as true which later proves to be doubtful or unacceptable, we will have the courage to back-track, to change our mind, in our attempt to 'really see what is'.

Some might claim that a completely unbiased or neutral philosophical investigation is impossible. Although we agree that this might be true, we can neither prove or disprove, agree or disagree with this claim at this stage; but our intention is to undertake our researches with the utmost integrity. Not having professional philosophical reputations at stake, or the problems associated with commercial publication (i.e. the 'content-homogenisation' of editors keen to sell popularized texts), should actually help to maintain the authenticity and depth of our thinking.

We hope the papers you find here will be interesting, thought-provoking and maybe even challenging, but we genuinely wish this material cause no offence, and hope that you find truth and happiness wherever you might seek it.

Spoof Social Science Paper by Alan Sokal

This paper is an absolutely brilliant attack on postmodernism. It is written by a physicist and contains utter garbage; scientifically meaningless text that parodies typical social science papers, and was submitted to a prestigious social science journal, peer reveiewed and accepted for publication! . The way Sokal exploits the common prejudices of many post-modernists on 'science' and 'power' is truly hilarious. Seriously enjoyable!

Postmodernist Simulation using RTNs by Andrew Bulhak

Another very funny paper which serves to undermine the seriousness of the postmodernist writing typified by Lacan, Kristeva or Lyotard. The author has implemented a program, called the Dada Engine, that generates simulated postmodern texts using Recursive Transition Networks. While the results are not as convincing as the work of Sokal, they are nevertheless amusing forays into the egotistical obsfucation that is so common in the social sciences, and has wasted the intellectual talents of a generation.

The Physics of Now by James Hartle

The world is four-dimensional according to fundamental physics, governed by basic laws that operate in a spacetime that has no unique division into space and time. Yet our subjective experience of this world is divided into present, past, and future. What is the origin of this division? What is its four-dimensional description? Is this the only way experience can be organized consistently with the basic laws of physics? This paper reviews such questions through simple models of information gathering and utilizing systems (IGUSes) such as ourselves. A stimulating and accessible paper which suggests ways we can begin to understand how our experience of 'a present now' is dependent on our physical structure, and the nature of space-time.