Dear Stephen,

I think I catch your point. As it happens the distinction Being/Becoming (as Form/Substance) are very Aristotelian, both in origin
and in the way we use them. If the distinction has any meaning within Platonism is probably as the reverse of the usual sense, i.e.,
Being  only refers to the Forms (eternally) and Becoming to the finite everchanging corrupt reality(=appearance) of which we
(and our souls) are part. Our access to mathematical archetypes is in this sense a "map" to help us "make our way back to the
garden", as Joni Mitchell (that great Platonist) would put it! Existence-in-itself , if you prefer.  I guess that may be what all
commited Platonists are trying to do on their own, (though some think they need a lot more "maps"...).

Let me close (before I mix my metaphores irrecuperably).



Stephen Paul King wrote:

Dear Joao,     Your point is well taken! My failure was to point out that my 'rant' was against those that would claim that dualism can never be a viable alternative, especially to a Numbers-are-all-that-exists-monism. Thank you for pointing out that such is called Pythagorianism.    OTOH, I see a failure in most discussions of Platonism in that nowhere is the concept of Becoming considered to be meaningful. I am trying, unsuccessfully it seems, to argue that it is a mistake to consider "Being" as fundamental and that any form of Becoming is mere illusion. We can use the launguage of Fixed points to show that Beingness, that which is is immutable, can be faithfully identified as fixed points in a space(?) of Becoming. Platonia should be taken as that ultimate level of Existence where all forms of Becoming - not Being! - are fixed points, some kind of unique and irriducible Category of Automorphisms, and not Existence in-itself.     My words are ill-posed here, I apologize. Kindest regards, Stephen 
----- Original Message -----
From: Joao Leao
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2005 11:40 AM
Subject: Re: In defense of Dualism (typos corrected)
Dear SPK

Though I entirely agree with what you state above, I take issue with your
characterization of "Platonism" as some form of mathematical monism.
If you had called "Pythagorianism" to the doctrine that "only numbers
exist" you would most likely be correct. Platonism, however, is very
definitely a form of ontological dualism: Platonists never deny the
existence of the physical world, though they insist that it exists as
a corrupted copy of the world of forms, that one holding the "true"
reality.  It is one think to reject the false, and another one to deny
its existence! Sorry but this is not a pedantic point.

In other words: in all you say above you argue as a true Platonist,
(only one that does not know he is one)!

    Consciousness seems to be more of a functional relationship between the
Physical and the Mental, the Outside and the Inside, as Chalmer's states.
When the two dual aspects are taken to the ultimate level of Existence
in-itself, the distinction between the two vanishes. Russell saw this long
ago, he denoted it as "neutral monism". It is too bad that he made the
mistake of excluding non-well founded sets from consideration.
If that ultimate level of Existence, as you put it, was as accessible to us as
the world of (mathematical) forms is to our minds, than I would take it as
an indication that we (our sould) would had already migrated back to it in
old platonic parlance. Till than dualism seems quite unavoidable.




Joao Pedro Leao  :::  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
1815 Massachusetts Av. , Cambridge MA 02140
Work Phone: (617)-496-7990 extension 124
Cell-Phone: (617)-817-1800
"All generalizations are abusive (specially this one!)"

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