At 10:39 12/01/04 -0500, John M wrote:
Bruno, in the line you touched with 'numbers:
I was arguing on another list 'pro' D.Bohm's "there are no numbers in nature" position ...
But what is "nature" ? I have never said that numbers exist in nature. The word "nature" or the word "universe" are sort of deities for atheist or naturalist (as I said in the FOR list recently). Such concept, it seems to me, explain nothing, and I have not yet see definitive evidence for those things to exist. Now, when I say that number property exist independently of me, just mean that 2+2 = 4 wil remain true even if Eugen kill me. The concept of life-insurance would not have meaning without such an act of faith. To believe that "2+2=4" would be meaningless aafter a meteor strikes earth seems to me a very large anthropomorphism.
... when a listmember asked: "aren't you part of nature? then why are you saying that numbers - existing in your mind - are not 'part of nature'?" Since then I formulate it something like: numbers came into existence as products of 'our' thinking. (Maybe better worded).
OK John, you are not the only one, but you know I try to explain thinking in term of turing programs which relies on number properties. Also I believe that 317 is a prime number, even when no one thinks about it. That the AR (Arithmetical Realism) part of comp, which I *postulate*.
You wrote: > What I mean is that their arithmetical property are independent of us. ..< That may branch into the question how much of 'societal' knowledge is part of an individual belief - rejectable or intrinsically adherent? (Some may call this a fundamental domain of memes). With the 'invention' of numbers (arithmetical, that is) human mentality turned into a computing animal - as a species-characteristic. I separate this from the assignment of quantities to well chosen units in numbers. Quantities may have their natural role in natural processes - unconted in our units, just mass-wise, and we, later on - in physical laws - applied the arithmetical ordering to the observations in the quantized natural events.
But I do not the nature postulate at all. I follow Plato, not Aristotle.
Such quantizing (restricted to models of already discovered elements) renders some processes 'chaotic' or even paradoxical, while nature processes them without any problem in her unrestricted (total) interconnectedness (not included - even known ALL in our quantized working models).
Sorry for the "physicistically" unorthodox idea.
It seems to me physicalism is quite orthodox these days, honestly.