On Aug 19, 12:26 am, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> This all makes sense if you are referring to the values of a
> particular entity. Objectively, the entity has certain values and we
> can use empirical means to determine what these values are. However,
> if I like red and you like blue, how do we decide which colour is
> objectively better?
No, that's not what I'm referring to. I'm referring to 'Abstract
Universals' - Platonic Ideals that all observers with complete
information would agree with.
"What they have to be are inert EXPLANATORY PRINCIPLES, taking the
form: 'Beauty has abstract properties A B C D E F G'. 'Liberty has
abstract properties A B C D E F G' etc etc. None the less, as
explained, these abstract specifications would still be amenable to
indirect empirical testing to the extent that they could be used to
predict agent emotional reactions to social events."
> You could make a similar claim for the abstract quality "redness",
> which is associated with light of a certain wavelength but is not the
> same thing as it. But it doesn't seem right to me to consider
> "redness" as having a separate objective existence of its own; it's
> just a name we apply to a physical phenomenon.
I don't agree that 'redness is just a name we apply to a physical
phenomenon' (although I agree with you its not an objectively existing
primative). I thought about these issues hard out for a long long
long long long long LONG time before finally nailing 'em.
Unfortunately the answers are not something I easily explain in short
sentences on Internet messageboards ;)
'redness' is not a *thing* it's a *process* - as a phenomenal
(subjective) quality it's a *mathematical* property associated with
the running of an algorithm (or computation) . But this is NOT a
*physical* property. The mathematical property (redness) is *attached
to* (resides in, is dependent upon) the physical substrate
implementing the algorithm giving rise to the subjective experience ,
but the mathematical property *per se* is not physical. It's
abstract. It's really quite obvious in retrospect - physical
properties involve energy, mathematical properties involve knowledge
(meaningful patterns). Old David Chalmers was right about this one
(see his 'property dualism'). The two properties just ain't the same
and no amount of semantic trickery is going to reduce one to the
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