Hi Godfrey:

At 03:10 PM 8/24/2005, you wrote:


Hi Hal,
My first comment was directed at your previous sentence which read something like: "The list of course would have properties that seem incompatible as simultaneous properties of a single object, but nevertheless definitions create such objects as the "is not" member of the definitional pair. So the All is - in total - self incompatible, but so what? " I thought, from it, that you meant to say that your Everything list contains contradictory attributions like "X is a car" and "X is not a car" for the same X. I obviously
misunderstood you.

The distinction is between existence and reality. While the whole list is taken as existing the assumption does not hold that every "is" and "is not" definable object can also have reality. I find it difficult to accept some combinations of "X is ***..." and "X is not ***..." as being simultaneous properties of the same object that can have reality or of any of its sub components but "round square" is perhaps not so unacceptable. For example in a discrete point universe where for one of its components half the applicable points are arranged "square" and half "round" this being a state in some sort of transition sequence of states wherein that component goes from being round to being square. Now when this particular state has reality in a sequence of such states does it not contain a "round square"?

About your first assumption, as you restate above, I would venture to say that QM suggests that the existence of such list is very unlikely if by 'reality" one understands "physical reality" as defined by EPR, that is, as composed by distinct elements bearing properties that are independent of the means of observation used to assign them to such objects. This is the gist of Einstein's famous question "Is the moon there when nobody looks?" and all that folklore.

I am making a distinction between existence and reality. Reality is a transitory state that some definable objects can have. Further I think it is incorrect to try to exclusively argue from a very small sub set [sample] of the objects that can have reality - presumably the states of our universe - back to the system that embeds them.

If it turns out that quantum mechanics is part of the valid description of our universe [The issue is I believe an open one] then the embedding system should allow for that. This does not preclude other universes for which quantum mechanics is not part of the description.

Now if by "reality" you mean
platonic reality, I think it is a good question whether such list may exist or not. You will have to ask a mathematician...

I am of the opinion that the line items on my list are just numbers. I believe that most participants in this venue would allow that "Numbers exist" is a possible starting point and that this is could be considered a type of Platonism. I just renamed numbers as "properties" so as to include all their interpretations [sets of other numbers].

(I am assuming it is contains an countable infinity of entries, no?)

Well there is a difference between listing and counting. I may not be able to count the reals [at least in this universe] but I think a mathematician who allows for continuous dimensions in a 3D space will also allow that in such a space I can list the reals just by drawing a line segment of arbitrary length on a note pad. Since my list has no dimensionality restrictions I suspect it can be one for one with the continuum.

Hal Ruhl

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