Bruno Marchal wrote:

> If grandmother asks for recalling the main difference between Plato and
> Aristotle's theories of matter, I would just say that in Plato, the
> visible (observable, measurable) realm is taken as appearances or
> shadows related to a deeper unknown reality.

A question from grandma:

Since this deeper, unknown reality must forever be inaccessible to our
direct probing, I agree when you suggest that this may better be
thought of as theology, or at least metaphysics. This grandma, for one,
can't find any *literal* meaning in the independent existence of Number
in a Platonic realm (though Penrose believes in something of the sort,
as did Popper), but it does convey a metaphorical or poetic sense.

Would it be possible to put it more like this:

The effectiveness of mathematics may be demonstrable by comp to be so
'unreasonable' as in fact to provide a basis for modelling 'relational
reality' that is effectively complete. This would be true even if one
regarded mathematics not as emanating from an independent realm, but
being inferred in its totality from the study of the relata to whose
behaviour it is then reflexively applied. The metaphysical payoff of
taking it to be 'primitive' is to render superfluous further fruitless
speculation about 'primitivity', thereafter consigned to Wittgenstein's
resounding silence.

I would still have to ask what this then has to say about the
non-relational - 1st-persons as experienced - as opposed to the
inference of relational 1st-persons from comp (I won't resort to my
acronyms, but I think by now you know what I mean).

David

> ...but I send it anyway .... It is a way to recall that I think the
> main point I want to convey has already be defended by many thinkers a
> long time ago.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Hi,
>
> Interrupting a thread which was going much too technical, George asked
> me to explain the main points like if I was talking to a grandmother. I
> guess he means someone with some motivation but with no background in
> math, physics or computer science. Now this is not so much difficult,
> but I guess it will be disappointing for those who asks a little more.
> So I will begin by a short explanation to the "grandmother" and I will
> finish by extending the grandmother to ...well, hopefully you all :),
> and that will be a roadmap, that is not only a summary, but a plan for
> progressing (in my work and in our discussion).
>
>
> Now if the grandmother knows about Aristotle and Plato, I can sum up by
> saying that about the nature of matter, we can show that if we assume
> that we are (numerical, digital) machine then Plato's theory of Matter
> is correct and Aristotle's theory of Matter is incorrect.
>
> If grandmother asks for recalling the main difference between Plato and
> Aristotle's theories of matter, I would just say that in Plato, the
> visible (observable, measurable) realm is taken as appearances or
> shadows related to a deeper unknown reality. Aristotle's theory is more
> subtle. Matter corresponds to what can take any shape, and as such is
> defined by its indeterminateness. This is an impressive progress, but
> alas, Aristotle will reify that indeterminateness, and will suppose the
> independent existence of a substrate (defined as something entirely
> determinable by its parts when we act upon it), and in that manner will
> be at the origin of naturalism, physicalism, materialism, and we know
> the success this idea will have.
>
> And now if Grandmother is interested, probably I would offer her an
> exemplar of Plotinus Enneads, and suggest she read the Ennead 3
> treatise II, where he corrected Aristotle theory's of matter
> (indeterminateness, obscurity, privation, ...) with respect to the
> Plato theory. And that's it.
>
> "And what about the formidable success of modern physics?" asks the
> grandmother.
> No doubt that as a methodology, Aristotle hypothesis has been a clever
> simplification which has without doubt played a key role in the
> development of "modern" science. But if you look in the details, modern
> physics does not even rely on Aristotle's reification of matter, it
> just ease the mind for the ontological background.  Now, when you do
> that reification, even just in "modern physics" you will suffer many
> form of "hallucinations", like wave packet collapsing at infinite speed
> or like proliferation of "classical physical worlds" (some "naïve" view
> on the many worlds), etc.
>
> But what if grandmother does not care about history, and would like a
> sketch of the "modern" reasoning? OK that's for tomorrow ...
> 
> Bruno
> 
> 
> 
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


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