Lee Corbin wrote:
> Stephen writes
>
> > it seems that we have skipped
> > past the question that I am trying to pose: Where does distinguishability
> > and individuation follow from the mere existence of Platonic Forms, if
> > "process" is merely a "relation" between Forms (as Bruno et al claim)?!
> >
> >     In my previous post I tried to point out that *existence* is not a
> > first-order (or n-th order) predicate and thus does nothing to distinguish
> > one Form, Number, Algorithm, or what-have-you from another.
>
> I don't know about that; I do know that 34 and 3 are not the
> same thing, nor are they very similar. I wonder if you are
> joining those who might say that I cannot speak of 34 or 3
> without mentioning the process by which I know of them. (In
> my opinion, that puts the cart before the horse. A lot more
> people in history were more certain, and rightly so, that there
> was a moon than that they had brains.)
>
> > The property of
> > individuation requires some manner of distinguishability of one "thing",
> > "process", etc. from another. Mere existence is insufficient.
> >     We are tacitly assuming an observer or something that amounts to the
> > same thing any time we assume some 3rd person PoView and such is required
> > for any coherent notion of distinguishability to obtain and thus something
> > "to whom" existence means/affects.
>
> Well, I just disagree. Before there were people or even atoms, quarks
> and leptons were not the same thing. They didn't have to be perceived
> by anyone in order for that to be true. I know that you disagree with
> this: they didn't even have to affect anything in order for that to
> be true. If there had been just one quark and one electron in the whole
> universe, and if they were separately by almost infinitely many light-
> years, then there would still have been one quark and one electron.
>
> Unfortunately, I probably can be of no more assistence to you on this
> question.
>
> Lee
>

Lee, Bruno, Stephen,

I think this is an issue that lies at the heart of the matter.  (I
don't know if it's the same as Smullyan's heart of the matter, but in a
sense it very well could be.)

The difference between a quark and a lepton can be described with
mathematics, even though perhaps it's harder to pin down than the
difference between 3 and 34.  I think most of us wouldn't have a
crucial problem with that.  But alas the difference between 3 and 34 is
in the counting.  Here is the heart of the matter, I believe.  It takes
an observer to count, since it takes an observer to decide when to
start counting, or to define a group of things.  This is where meaning
and affect comes in.  Even numbers require an observer.  Bringing in
prime numbers and multiplication doesn't prove that you don't need an
observer.

(=>) Yes, numbers are observer-independent (hence the success of
"looking for invariance"), but this doesn't necessarily imply that you
don't need an observer in the first place!  (<=)

Extra, to Bruno:  In my view, we define numbers with invariance, by
recognizing, when we make sense of what is around us, or even when we
make sense of our own thoughts.  On the TV program "Sesame Street" they
have small children singing "One of these things is not like the
others" even before they introduce numbers.  This is what I mean by
"looking for invariance".

Tom


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