"David Nyman" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:
> 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.

BTW Plato followed Heraclitus, who was already onto this.

Surely Plato's view more astute model to assemble an understanding of the
natural world than the assumption of Aristotlian/atomism thinking... that
the universe is made of chunky bits of stuff that literally are the
appearances we get and our descriptions of it....furthemore

The arisotlian view is clearly anatomically untenable anyway! If the
universe was literally made of appearances then when we opened up a brain
we would see them. We do not. What we see is the brain in the act of
delivering appearances. No 'appearance' of a brain is in any direct
relation to the appearances it delivers to us in the 1st person. Ergo the
structure and the appearances are not the same thing or at least are
validly explored on that basis.

This is empirical proof that at least in this small piece of thought
Plato's position was correct and Aristotle is just plain wrong. And Kant
too. The noumenon is most definitely real and scientifically
tractible.(see below)

The practical upshot of this is that the universe does not,  for example,
have atoms in it. It is made of some underlying structure behaving
"atomly" within our appearances. It is only us that insist on making it a
'thing'. That structure also behaves 'neutrino-ly' outside the scope of
our direct perceptions (qualia). The appearances (qualia) are likewise
delivered as behaviour of the very same structure. Plato's position
unifies matter and qualia as different behaviours of the same underlying
structure. So simple and obvious and practical and fits the evidence.

> 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.

Juicy stuff here:

"Since this deeper, unknown reality must forever be inaccessible to our
direct probing"

The words 'direct probing' assume that indeed we are at some point
"directly probing". If you can justify any account that we directly probe
(whatever that means!) anything I'd like to see it! I would hold that the
'apprearances' we have and the 'underlying structure' are on an _equal_
epistemological footing in that

a) Depictions of regularity in appearances
b) Depictions of structure of a putative underlying natural world

both have equal access to qualia as evidence. It is the underlying
structure that delivers qualia into the brain. The two descriptive realms:
appearances and structure are on an equal footing and qualia unifies them
into a consistent set. The 'evidence', qualia, is evidence for BOTH
domains. Whatever the structure is, it must simultaneously a) deliver
qualia and all the rest of the structure in the universe and b) deliver
the contents of qualia (appearances) that result in our correlations of
appearances that we think of as empirical laws.

Therefore we have not one but 2 scientifically accessible realms of
scientific description of the natural world:

1) Statistics that are correlation of appearances
2) Statistics that are depictions of structure

Qualia are produced by 1) and enable 2) and tie both descriptions
intimately together as a consistent set. Currently we call 1) science and
slag off at 2) as 'mere metaphysics' or theology. This is just soooo
wrong! Indeed at least in a linguistic sense 2) is physics and 1) is
meta-physics (about it)! :-)


"Since this deeper, unknown reality must forever be inaccessible to our
direct probing"

...is quite correct, but that does not stop us doing valid science on the
structure! Put another way this limitation in access does not justify
calling attempts to formulate theories of the structure as non-science.

Can you see how riddled with historical baggage our thinking is, how
biased our language is? This crazy situation has been going on for 2500
years. enough already!

colin hales

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