On Feb 23, 3:59 am, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> On 2/23/07, Tom Caylor <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > My point in quoting Kronecker was to simply to allude to the fact that
> > the foundations of mathematics are axiomatic in a similar way that
> > ultimate meaning is ultimate.  We have a feeling that the foundation
> > of math is ultimately right, even though we can't prove it.  In my
> > "logical reason" (reason #1 a few posts back), I am simply arguing for
> > realism (vs. positivism).  Your arguments that you are trying to
> > enforce here would apply equally well (if valid) to realism in general
> > (not just God), and therefore put you in the positivist camp.
> > Tom
> Positivists don't like metaphysics, but even if you allow that metaphysics
> isn't all just nonsense, you have to maintain some sort of standards. How do
> you weed out those metaphysical beliefs which *are* just nonsense?
> Stathis Papaioannou

I agree that positivists don't like metaphysics, and they actually
don't believe in it either.  The problem with this is that science is
ultimately based on (and is inescapably in the context of) some kind
of metaphysics, since it is in the context of the universe as a whole.

There are some ways of sorting out metaphysics.  In fact these
criteria are mostly the same as how we sort out science (since, again,
science is based on metaphysics).  These are such things as
fundamentality, generality and beauty.  However, the fact that science
conventionally has been limited to the "material" (whatever that
means!) implies that the criteria of naturality (a viscious circle
actually!) and reproducibility (another vicious circle) that we have
in science cannot be applied to the universe as a whole or to

[Side note: But even more important is to recognize that metaphysics,
as well as science, is filtered for us: we are part of the universe
and we are limited.  So this filters out almost everything.  This
limits more than anything the amount of "sense" we can make out of

However the criterion that you are trying to enforce, that of all
things having a cause even in the context of Everything and Everyone,
is a positivist criteria, treating metaphysics as science.  It assumes
that Everything has to be part of this closed system of cause and
effect.  There are plenty of criteria to sort out Everything (as I've
mentioned above) without getting into the positivist viscious circle.


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