On 3/13/07, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> You could say that a hydrogen atom cannot be reduced to an electron +
> > proton because it exhibits behaviour not exhibited in any of its
> > components;
> Nor by any juxtaposition of its components in case of some prior
> entanglement. In that case I can expect some bits of information from
> looking only the electron, and some bits from looking only the proton,
> but an observation of the whole atom would makes those bits not
> genuine. It is weird but the quantum facts confirms this QM prediction.

Quantum weirdness is an observed fact. We assume that it is, somehow, an
intrinsic property of subatomic particles; but perhaps there is a hidden
factor or as yet undiscovered theory which may explain it further.

> or you could say that it can be reduced to an electron + proton
> > because these two components appropriately juxtaposed are necessary
> > and sufficient to give rise to the hydrogen atom.
> In general this is not the case.

You could get a neutron at high enough energies, I suppose, but I don't
think that is what you mean. Is it possible to bring a proton and an
electron appropriately together and have them just sit there next to each

> And if the atom is just a part of UD*, well, that's just another, more
> > impressive reduction.
> But just comp, without the quantum, makes it implausible that an atom
> can be individuated so much that it makes sense to say it is just a
> part of the UD. And QM confirms this too. To compute the EXACT (all
> decimal) position of an electron in an hydrogen atom, soon or later you
> have to take into account of white rabbit path, where the electron
> will, for going from position x to the position y you are computing,
> follow the path x too earth, reacts locally and transforms itself into
> a white rabbit running for the democrat election in the US, loose the
> election and come back to y. Same with the UD, the object "atom of
> hydrogen" is only defined relatively to an infinity of first person
> plural expectation dependong on the WHOLE UD*. There is no sense to say
> an atom is part of the UD. It is "part" of the necessary discourse of
> self-observing machine. Recall comp makes physics branch of machine's
> psychology/theology.

Isn't that the *ultimate* reduction of everything?

> As for knots, can't any particular physical knot be described in a 3D
> > coordinate system? This is similar to describing a particular physical
> > circle or triangle.
> Not really because the knot is a topological object. Its identity is
> defined by the class of equivalence for some topological transformation
> from your 3D description. If you put the knot in your pocket so that it
> changes its 3D shape (but is not broken) then it conserve its knot
> identity which is only locally equivalent with the 3D shape. To see the
> global equivalence will be tricky, and there is no algorithm telling
> for sure you can identify a knot from a 3D description.
> People can look here for a cute knot table:
> http://www.math.utoronto.ca/~drorbn/KAtlas/Knots/index.html

I was thinking of a physical knot, which is not the same as the Platonic
ideal, even if there is no such thing as a separate physical reality.

> Only if God issues everyone with immaterial souls at birth, so that
> > reproducing the material or functional structure of the brain fails to
> > reproduce consciousness, would I say that reductionism does not
> > work...
> OK, but then you identify reductionism with comp. I identify
> reductionism with the idea that something is entirely explainable in
> some finitary theory. From this I can explain that comp can be used to
> refute all reductionist theory of both matter and mind (and their
> relation).
> I am aware it is a subtle point, but if you understand the Universal
> Dovetailer Argument (UDA) from step 1 to 8, in the version:
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/publications/SANE2004MARCHAL.htm
> then you should, I think, understand that the idea that there is
> anything made of something, although locally true and useful for many
> practical purpose, is just wrong, globally. Even with just comp, but
> this is also entailed by the quantum empirical facts (even with the
> many-worlds view: if not they would not interfere). People can ask if
> they are not yet convinced by this. I have refer this by saying that if
> comp is true, physics is a branch of bio-psycho-theo-logy. matter
> emerges (logico-arithmetically, not "temporally") from mind and number.
> You can attach a mind to a body, like children does with dolls, but you
> cannot attach a body to a mind, you can and must attach an infinity of
> "relative bodies" to a mind. "relative bodies" are only defined by
> infinity of arithmetical relationships, not by sub-bodies.
> (I know this contradicts Aristotle notion of Matter, but see Plotinus
> for old platonist reasons, a priori independent of comp and QM, to
> already suspect that Aristotle was wrong).
> > unless you add the soul as an element in the reduction.
> Of course, but *that* would make any explanation a reductionism.

The term is most commonly used in a pejorative sense against scientists, eg.
"you can't reduce the mind to neurophysiology". Perhaps "physical
reductionism" would be a better term for this criticism.

Stathis Papaioannou

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