Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Hi Peter,
> I am no more sure you read the post, nor am I sure you really search
> >> Le 18-août-06, à 17:38, 1Z a écrit :
> >>> That is an explanation of mind-independence, not of existence.
> >>> The anti-Platonist (e.g. the formalist) can claim that
> >>> the truth of mathematical statments is mind-independent,
> >>> but their existence isn't.
> >> "Their" existence ? Mathematical statements needs "chatty" machines.
> > Mathematics proceded for centuries without any machines at all.
> Here you don't answer the question. In "their existence" you conflate
> many things making your statement ambiguous.
No, "their" refers to mathematical statements.
"The anti-Platonist (e.g. the formalist) can claim that
the truth of mathematical statments is mind-independent,
but also that the existence of mathematical statments is not
. Also I was in the comp
> context, and I was just saying that the mathematical statements need
> the" human machine".
> > If AR makes no existential commitments, it cannot lead
> > to the existential conclusion that there is no such thing
> > as matter.
> No scientific theories can prove the non existence of *anything*.
Of course they can, within the scientific standard
of proof. Perpetual motion machines, for instance.
> have made clear comp just shows that primary matter cannot have
> explanatory purpose.
If minds are made of Platonically existing comptutations
or numbers, they don't need to be made of matter as
well. In that sense matter would we without purpose.
But that depends on the assumption that there is such
a thing as Platonic existence in the first place,
which needs ot be justified or at least clearly stated.
> Have you read the Universal Dovetailer Argument?
How important is the stuiff about Plotinus ?
> >> Of course! But that is what I am currently explaining. If you have
> >> follow the UDA, then, even if you could not yet be completely
> >> convinced
> >> by each steps, you should at least be able to figure out in which
> >> sense
> >> "you", here and now, in the "shape" of an OM, to borrow the list
> >> vocabulary, exist as a relative number.
> > I cna't be persuaded of that without first being
> > persuaded that numbers exist.
> In which sense? We have already discussed this. I am not using the
> expression "such number exists" in a sense stronger than any
> mathematical user.
Then you have no agument against matter.
> You are the one adding unnecessary magic here. I am
> such you believe numbers exist. Of course you don't believe in
> "physical numbers", neither I do, giving that "physical" will already
> be a "property" defined by infinities of relations between numbers,
If numbers don't exist in the sense that I exist,
then I cannot be a number.
> You are the one assuming some "primary matter" without much precision.
The empirical approach does not need as much precision as
the rationalist approach.
> You told me it has no property of its own, but you never did answer the
> question of how could it could give rise to any property at all.
Some properties are instantiated and others are not. What matter
lends is the instantiation itself.
Matter is a bare substrate with no properties of its own. The question
may well be asked at this point: what roles does it perform ? Why not
dispense with matter and just have bundles of properties -- what does
matter add to a merely abstract set of properties? The answer is that
not all bundles of posible properties are instantiated, that they
What does it mean to say something exists ? "..exists" is a meaningful
predicate of concepts rather than things. The thing must exist in some
sense to be talked about. But if it existed full, a statement like
"Nessie doesn't exist" would be a contradiction ...it would amout to
"the existing thign Nessie doesnt exist". However, if we take that the
"some sense" in which the subject of an "...exists" predicate exists is
only initially as a concept, we can then say whether or not the concept
has something to refer to. Thus "Bigfoot exists" would mean "the
concept 'Bigfoot' has a referent".
What matter adds to a bundle of properties is existence. A non-existent
bundle of properties is a mere concept, a mere possibility. Thus the
concept of matter is very much tied to the idea of contingency or
"somethingism" -- the idea that only certain possible things exist.
The other issue matter is able to explain as a result of having no
properties of its own is the issue of change and time. For change to be
distinguishable from mere succession, it must be change in something.
It could be a contingent natural law that certain properties never
change. However, with a propertiless substrate, it becomes a logical
necessity that the substrate endures through change; since all changes
are changes in properties, a propertiless substrate cannot itself
change and must endure through change. In more detail here
> does that "primary matter" comes from?
The empricial evidence indicates that there was never a time when it
> Why and how would that suddenly
> explain qualia,
The Hard Problems boils down to the problem of reducing qualia
to mathematical strutures. If mathematical structures is not all there
the problem can be evaded. If qualia are fundamental properties
of matter, alongside structural-mathemaitcal ones, they do
not need to be reduced.
> and quanta,
Quanta are an observed, empirical fact. Empricists (Somethingists)
accept that there are facts which cannot be explained by
apriori reasoning. There is no particular reason
why matter should not behave quantum-ly or why
it should behave classically.
> and more precisely how do you associate
> consciousness to it without introducing actual third person infinities
Why would you think I am assuming infinities ? If you make
the assumption that everything is mathematical, and someone
claims that some things are not Turing-emulable, I suppose
that would force you to the conclusion that they
exceed they are unemulable becasue they
exceed the capacity of TMs quantitively.
But if it is a brute fact that some things are fundamentally
mathematical, that is all you need to explain
why they ar nto emulabe. A mathemtical reason
is not needed, and would in fact be paradoxical.
> (by UDA you can't, unless you throw up comp, that is, unless you do
> introduce actual infinities in the third person description of minds).
> (With comp the infinities appears or interfere with the 1-person views
> only, through local probabilities).
> If you really want to keep both "standard comp" *and* aristotelian
> materialism/naturalism, you should better find some weakness in the UD
No I don't. The UDA cannot show we are products of a UD
unless it can show that the UD has the same kind of
existene we have. Computationalism could be true
in a material universe. It could be a brute fact that matter
exists and Platonia doesn't. Or vice versa. Either way,
it would be a brute fact and not an entailment of
> There are subtler points where your criticism could be more
> constructive it seems to me.
Arguments cannot lead to conclusions that are nto already implicit in
premisses. That is as subtle as I need to be.
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