John M wrote:
> Georges,
> this is to your reflections to my remarks. It starts
> to look like a private discussion on-list,

Not completely. And some may also follow the discussion
an find it interesting even if they do not participate
(as I often do for other threads).

> but I love it.

So do I.

> We are not on 'opposite' sides, just think
> differently.
> Or just express ourselves differently. - 

Does such a distinction really make sense ?

> [...]
> [Reductionist thinking is the way the human mind CAN
> function at our present level. To select portions of
> the wholeness as our 'topics' and regard them
> separately. Where I turn negative about it is the
> habit of science (and other human thinking as well) to
> draw universal conclusions from details learned within
> such models - extending it to the domains BEYOND such
> model.
> That is eg. how geocentric 'findings' were extended
> into the stellar movements in Ptolemistic views, or
> bio-physiologic 'findings' are substituted for mental
> events and their ORIGINATION. Or the physicalization
> of nonphysical sciences. Etc.
> I find reductionist exploration/science successful in
> learning about the 'world' for constructing
> technology. 
> Theoretically, however, I like to 'TRY' to consider 
> the "wholeness" (which I do not identify as TOE or
> Hal's everything. I simply cannot identify it as of
> today, which does not induce me to accept an
> identification I disagree with. Like: omnipotens
> math.]

I agree with Bruno that reductionism is not equivalent to
the idea that our universe has a mathematical structure
or is (isomorphic to) a mathematical object. I do not try
to promote reductionism and have no interest in that.
The view I presented (and that I am not selling either)
is quite strongly related to the approach however because
it reduces phenomenology to biology, biology to chemistry,
chemistry to physics, physics to mathematics and finaly,
mathematics to necessity. Indeed this is speculation or
conjecture at every level. I say that this is a possible
way of thinking and just that: a *possible* way. I do not
intend to exclude any other ways of thinking even if I do
not feel able to understand them. I do not feel it very
satisfactory from many respects (including social). I did
not find any better way but that does not mean to me that
this is the right one and even a good one. I am still
agnostic form this point of view. Fortunately my everyday
life does not depend at all on what should be the issue.

>> [...]
>> You are free to rely on whatever you want. However, it
>> seems that we have no choice about the world we live in.
> [Of course we have: you choose one eplanatory way I
> another. We both assume and hypothesize. Speculate. 
> Then the bullies argue that only THEIR ideas are true.
> What do they do: select a (reductionist) model of ways
> to think (like: mathematical ways) and stone those who
> like another way better. ]

We may have some choice about the way we think the world
(not so much however as I see things) but I meant that
we have no choice about how this world actually is.

>>>> [...]
> (((GQ))):
>> I would say that we discovered them. The argument (a
>> weak one I concede) is that we did not have so much
>> freedom while doing so. We find and proved that the
>> Fermat's conjecture was true and we *could not* find
>> that is was false. This constraint is intemporal and
>> it exists whether there are men or not and even
>> whether there is something or not (but there cannot
>> be nothing because there is least this constraint).
>> The set of such constraints is likely to include or
>> define that natural numbers themselves.
> [Good game with our 'discovery'. WE paly it according
> to the level we can think in. I consider that there
> are other levels, too, different from OUR mathematical
> logic because the totality is unrestricted. So we may
> have an explanation WITHIN math, but there MAY BE (in
> Hal's "all possible cases") other types as well and if
> we close our minds before 'other ways', we incarcerate
> ourselves into our today's stupidity.

There might be, yes.

> Don't ask me about those "other ways": I am not (YET?
> <G>) omniscient. 

Not even an idea about how such speculation could help?

>> (((GQ))):
>>>> not only natural numbers but also real numbers,
>>>> Hilbert spaces and all the "higher level objects"
>>>> that "comes with". 
>>> As you said above: "this is speculation indeed".
> [Hilbert spaces make me genuflect. Did not Hilbert
> himself revoke his teachings when he became old?]

I did not heard about this revokation. What I was
taught about them made sense to me.

>> (((GQ))):
>> Indeed, I identified at least four speculations on
>> which the explanation rely upon. I don't see for
>> any of them any way to rationally make an opinion.
>> I did not find for any of them any decisive argument
>> for or against and I can't even imagine on what such
>> an argument could rely upon (indeed, common sense is
>> excluded). Furthermore, it happens that many people
>> sharing the same biology and even the same culture
>> have very different opinions about them.
> [You see? we are not identically designed machines.]

I should have said "roughly sharing the same ...".
This variety of opinions is puzzling however.

>>>> Let's also consider the possibility that the
>>>> universe in which we live strictly follows some
>>>> "mathematical rules" and that it is completely
>>>> determined by them (this is another speculation).
> [That is a conjecture based on the 2006 limited level
> of our epistemic enrichment. We will become smarter in
> time and will know more, better. There were pretty
> firm notions about how the 'universe' (world?) works
> before and after Copernicus, and they all changed.
> Why do you assume our present level as the perfect and
> omniscient 'total' wisdom achievable at all?]

I do not assume such a thing. We do not exactly know
which mathematical rules our universe actually follows
(if it follows any indeed) and the set of laws we have
identified has changed many times yet. The speculation
here is not about the exact set of rules but about their
existence. We do not even need to refer to rules. The
relevant speculation is that the universe is (isomorphic
to) a mathematical object. The exact nature of this
object is not relevant. Once again we are considering
speculations or conjectures. These might be true or
false (or even be nonsense). My point is that *if* these
conjectures are correct *then* we have an explanation
about existence. Of course, the explanation can be
considered as an acceptable one only by people willing
to accept these conjectures.

> [...]
> [morphology is one way to represent things. Isomorphic
> is a match WITHIN THIS ONE PLANE of view. Try another
> - call it 'dimensiom? - and your isomorphic will be a
> No-Match different pair. 
> I always remember Mr Square from Abbott's Flatland,
> the 2D guy. He was sent to the nuthouse by his 2D
> people because hi considered and spoke about a 3rd
> dimension.

Agreed. Morphology might not be all we can think with.
Now, how the idea of the possilility of something else
can help?


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