Bruno Marchal wrote:

> Le 16-mars-06, à 23:46, [EMAIL PROTECTED] a écrit :
>
> > is it ? we might be able to ground meaning in causal interactions,
> > for instance, but can we ground causal interactions in the
> > timeless world of maths ?
>
> I think Hal Finney just gave a nice answer through the notion of block
> universe.
> I do think physics, in great part, does try (at least) to ground causal
> interactions in the timeless world of maths.

Well, that is the only tools at its disposal. Arguably, it does not do
a good job of capturing the passingness, the dynamism of time.

Some would urge us that the timeless Block-Universe is the reality,
and our sense of passing time is an illusion. However, if we
are to believe in physics then we must believe that consciousness
is unmagically generated by a physical brain -- which is as timeless
as anything else, if the Block Universe is true.

> "Causality" is a very hard and fuzzy notion. It has a very large range
> of applications from physics to human responsability. It makes no sense
> to take it as primitive.

If we can't reduce it to anything else, we have no choice. It may
be fuzzy with regard to the tools we are using, but that may
be the fault of the tools.

> In logic notion of causality can be
> axiomatized by some modal correction of material implication: like B(p
> -> q), i.e. p implies q in all possible universes. Then we can say
> roughly that there are as many causality notion than there are modal
> logics.

On the other hand it may be
1) a fundamentally mathematical notion..
2) ...which is nonetheless intrinsic to the world...
3) ...meaning the world is not essentially mathematical.

> Bruno
> 
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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