Part 2: Why Albert Einstein liked David Hume

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Watch this video on YouTube

Video Outline

00:15 – Introductory quotes from Section 2 of “The Pressure of Light: how consciousness creates permanence in an infinite universe”*, from David Hume² and Albert Einstein³




02:26 – Explaining why Albert Einstein liked David Hume:

Hume’s writing on the indivisibility of space and time was likely inspiring to Einstein.

More importantly, Hume accomplished the difficult philosophical task of describing the human mind, from an epistemological standpoint, as an entity that begins learning about the universe without any pre-set knowledge or capacity to learn about the universe, aside from what static snapshots the senses provide.

08:05 – Some quotes from Einstein about David Hume

09:18 – Overview of how the experiments and my own ideas will be presented

10:12 – Hume’s introduction to his experiments:

For the premise of these experiments, let’s suppose I’m in the company of a person whom I formerly regarded without any sentiments either of friendship or hostility. The experiment therefore has the natural and ultimate objects for each set of passions. I myself am the proper object of pride or humility; the other person of love or hatred.

Imagine the four passions placed in a square, each occupying a corner. Pride and humility are connected together by the identity of their object, the self, and so it is with love and hatred and their object, some other person. These two lines of connection form two opposite sides of the square. The top and bottom are also connected: pride and love are passions experienced with an agreeable sensation; and hatred and humility are passions experienced with an uneasy sensation. I identify these connections with my definitions of ideas and impressions: pride is connected with humility, and love with hatred, (the sides of the square) by their objects or ideas; pride is connected with love, and humility with hatred, (the top and bottom of the square) by their sensations or impressions.

What I will prove with these experiments is that nothing can produce any of these passions without bearing that passion a double relation, one between the ideas and the object of the passion, and one between the sensation and the passion itself. 

11:36 – Discussing the Passions as a philosophical subject in Hume’s time, and presenting my take on Hume’s definition of the Passions: 

Passions are unique emotions-of-depth, are identified with specific experiences, and have the capacity to persist and return.

Call for Contributing-and-Lead-Authors (submissions and nominations):

So that my core assertions may be taken from non-academic realms to the realms of academia, I’ve created this call for a lead-author and contributing-authors for a scientific paper that is described by the following hypothetical abstract (please consider submitting yourself as an author, or nominating someone else, by commenting or letting me know in any available way):

Title: How Causation Roots in Remembered-Thinking (an abstract created as an example for a call for contributing-authors: submissions and nominations)

The following hypothesis was made in the 2022 presentation, “Thinking, Remembering-Thinking, Thinking about a Memory of Thinking, and how that Messes with Time”,  to Ajeenkya D Y Patil University:

Perfectly repeatable and connectable remembered-thoughts establish the means for perceiving causal relationships, more so than any remembered-external-event, and therefore causation most likely roots in remembered-thinking. 

The hypothesis breaks down as follows: perfect repeatability and connectability is established through a comparison of remembered-thinking-events and remembered-external-events with the following outcomes: memories of external events have fuzzy boundaries, imperfect repetitions, and are connected through inferred relationships that are vulnerable to disproof by other event-participants and future evidence; remembered-thinking-events have perfect boundaries, perfect repeatability, and are invulnerable to disproof. Because unresolvable-uncertainty about remembered thoughts is what allows for perfect boundaries and repeatability, and because uncertainty increases for two-thoughts-ago, three-thoughts-ago, and so on, infinite repetitions are easy to conceive, and neurological evolution is likely to respond to this mental capability. Furthermore, since the roots of causation are in a mentally created past, this point gives strength to the hypothesis that causation does not exist in the external universe at all.

The presentation was made by Andrew Malcolm, who was presenting the core assertions made in his 2022 non-academic, epistemological essay, “The Pressure of Light: how consciousness creates permanence in a universe of infinite-heterogeneity”. Unlike in the essay, the presentation put the hypothesis in the context of David Hume’s system for understanding consciousness, and his own assertions about causal relationships. The outcome was a strengthening of Malcolm’s hypothesis about remembered-thinking. 

The outcome breaks downs as follows: David Hume deduces that causal relationships are not observable in the external universe, and only inferrable in the conscious space. He also asserts that causal relationships are only inferrable after objects-of-cause and objects-of-effect are witnessed in contiguity in space and time, and remembered, over multiple iterations. If remembered thinking allows for far greater ease in observing perfect iterations than the external universe, and if Hume is correct, then it’s likely causation roots in remembered-thinking. 

For this paper, a number of academics from the fields of neurology, physics, psychology and philosophy were invited to consider Malcolm’s hypothesis in the context of a theoretical framework they were familiar with, and which concerned either causation or consciousness, or both, much as Malcolm did with Hume. The results present a tally of which considerations strengthened the hypothesis and which weakened it. The discussion considers the value of the hypothesis, and the possibilities for verification and falsification through experimentation.

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