Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent meeker writes:
>>>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 
>>exist as 
>>some brain process.  I understand Peters objection to regarding a "mere 
>>bundle" of 
>>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,...
> Saying that there is a material substrate which has certain properties is 
> just a working 
> assumption to facilitate thinking about the real world. It may turn out that 
> if we dig into 
> quarks very deeply there is nothing "substantial" there at all, but solid 
> matter will still be 
> solid matter, because it is defined by its properties, not by some mysterious 
> raw physical 
> substrate.

But I don't think we ever have anything but "working assumptions"; so we might 
well call our best ones "real"; while keeping in mind we may have to change 

>>>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 - you 
>>might be hallucinating.  And you can't see an electron, or even a microbe.  
>>So what 
>>exists or not is a matter of adopting a model of the world; and the best 
>>models take 
>>account of a consistent theory of instruments as well as direct perception.
> By "gold standard" I did not mean just direct sensory experience, but every 
> possible 
> empirical test or measurement. A hallucination is a hallucination because 
> other people 
> don't see it, it does not register on a photograph, and so on. A 
> hallucination which 
> passed every possible reality test would not be a hallucination.
> Stathis Papaioannou

True.  But if we knew enough about how brains work we might be able to detect 
processes within one having an hallucination and identify them as presenting, 
say an 
illusion of a pencil.  In that case we would say that it was a *real* 
hallucination - 
because then we have fitted it within our model of the world.

Brent Meeker

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at

Reply via email to