Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Peter Jones writes:
>>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.
> But even existence can be defined as a bundle of properties. If I am
> wondering whether the pencil on my desk exists I can look at it, pick it up,
> tap it and so on. If my hand passes through it when I try to pick it up
> then maybe it is just an illusion.
Maybe it's a holographic projection - in which case the projection (a certain
of photons) does exist, and other people can see it. Even an illusion must
some brain process. I understand Peters objection to regarding a "mere bundle"
properties as existent. But I don't understand why one needs a propertyless
substrate. Why not just say that some bundles of properties are instantiated
some aren't. Anyway, current physical theory is that there is a material
"substrate" which has properties, e.g. energy, spin, momentum,...
>If it passes all the tests I put it through
> then by definition it exists. If I want to claim that some other object
> like Nessie, what I actually mean is that it exists *in the same way as this
> pencil exists*. The pencil is the gold standard: there is no other, more
> profound standard of existence against which it can be measured.
I agree. But the gold standard is not just that you see and touch that pencil
might be hallucinating. And you can't see an electron, or even a microbe. So
exists or not is a matter of adopting a model of the world; and the best models
account of a consistent theory of instruments as well as direct perception.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to email@example.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at