Rational Scientific Theories from Theism

Physics Approach to Theistic Science

Derivative Dispositions, and
Multiple Generative Levels

Derivative Dispositions

Derivative dispositions arise when the accomplishment of a given disposition requires the operation of successive steps of kinds different from the overall step. The original disposition on its operation therefore generates from itself the 'derived dispositions' for the intermediate steps, which are means to the original end. An original 'disposition to learn', for example, can generate the derived 'disposition to read books', which can generate further 'dispositions to search for books'. These dispositions would then generate dispositions to move one's body, which in turn lead ultimately to one's limbs having (physical) dispositions to move. These successively generated dispositions are all derived from the original disposition to learn, according to the specific situations. 

That such derivative dispositions can be formed means the original disposition was not a simple disposition, but had considerable complexity in its first appearance. However, the 'disposition to search for a book' is not strictly a component of a 'disposition to learn', in the sense of being always an actual part of that disposition, as it is only derived in appropriate circumstances. For this reason we talk of 'derived' rather than 'component' dispositions, as the 'disposition to learn' is not simply the mere aggregate of all the dispositions that can be derived from it, just as any disposition or cause is not merely an aggregate of all its possible effects. Rather, the original disposition is more like a 'higher order' disposition to generate its derived dispositions according to circumstances. Just as the effects of a disposition are not contained within it, but are generated from it according to circumstances, so derived dispositions are not contained within a higher-order disposition, but are generated from it according to circumstances. 

The detailed selection of derived dispositions may be quite complicated in general, as it depends not only on the initial state prior to any of the successive steps, but also on each individual kind of the original disposition. 

Multiple Generative Levels

Description of ordinary quantum mechanics requires the idea of ‘multiple generative levels’. 

General idea

  • ‘Multiple generative levels’ are a sequence A » B » C  » .. in which A ‘generates’ or ‘produces’ new forms of B using the present form of B as a precondition.
  • Then B generates C in the same way,
  • and so on until end when nothing is active.

Multiple Generative Levels II: Reality

  • In the general case, Multilevel Propensities are ‘parallel processes’ all equally real.
  • Level B, for example, is not just an approximate description of successive forms of other levels A or C.
  • Neither is B a microscopic constituent of either of levels A or C.
  • Rather, levels A, B, C,... are real processes ‘in parallel’ that interact with other by relations of ‘generation’ and ‘pre-condition’.

Principles, Causes and Effects

The sequence ‘energy    propensity    actual event’, does not have the three levels playing homogeneous roles as in the general case A   B   C 

If we look in more detail, we see: 

  • energy = ‘principle’
    • Conservation of energy via H governs the process
  • propensity = ‘cause’
    • Time evolution and propagation of influence
  • actual event = ‘effect’
    • The final result

Pattern appears to be: Principle    Cause    Effect

www.TheisticScience.org Author: Ian J. Thompson, Email: IanT at TheisticScience.org