I suppose it depends on what is covered by the term "metaphysics". Theists sometimes profess absolute certainty in the face of absolute lack of evidence, and are proud of it. I wouldn't lump this in together with the interpretation of quantum mechanics (I'm sure you wouldn't either, but I thought I'd make the point).
On 2/24/07, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > > Stathis Papaioannou wrote: > > > > > > On 2/24/07, *Tom Caylor* <[EMAIL PROTECTED] > > <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>> wrote: > > > > > > On Feb 23, 3:59 am, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED] > > <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>> wrote: > > > On 2/23/07, Tom Caylor <[EMAIL PROTECTED] > > <mailto:[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 > > metaphysics. > > > > [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 > > Everything.] > > > > 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. > > > > > > The universe is not under any obligation to reveal itself to us. All we > > can do is stumble around blindly gathering what data we can and make a > > best guess as to what's going on. Science is just a systematisation of > > this process, with guesses taking the form of models and theories. > > However, it's all tentative, and the scientific method itself is > > tentative: tomorrow pigs might sprout wings and fly, even though this > > has never happened before. I would bet that pigs will still be > > land-bound tomorrow, because there is no reason to think otherwise, but > > I have to stop short of absolute certainty. A metaphysical position > > would be that flying pigs are an absurdity or an anathema and therefore > > pigs absolutely *cannot* fly. But it is arrogant as well as wrong to > > create absolute certainty, absolute meaning, or absolute anything else > > by fiat, just because that's what you fancy. If there are some things we > > can't know with certainty or can't know at all, that may be unfortunate, > > but it's the way the world is. > > > > Stathis Papaioannou > > You seem to take metaphysics to be an absolutist theory. Maybe Tom does > too. But I think of metaphysics to be the interpretation we put on top of > our mathematical theories, e.g. Bohm's pilot wave and Feynman's multiple > particle paths are two different metaphysics we can use to explain what the > formalism of quantum mechanics refers to. But we're *less* certain about > them than about the formalism. In fact they don't even matter in > applications. Their usefulness, if they have any, is in suggesting > extensions to the theory. > > 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 email@example.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---