Thanks for spelling it out.
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
> On Aug 28, 5:18 am, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> I don't find your arguments at all convincing. In fact I don't think you've
>> even given an argument - just assertions.
> Here the points of a clear-cut argument. These are not 'just
> (1) Mathematical concepts are indispensible to our explanations of
So are grammatical concepts.
> (2) If something is indispensible to our explanation to the simplest
> (most likely) position is that the concept is objectively real
> (See David Deutch, 'Criteria for existence', 'Mathematical Platonism'
> and 'Argument From indispensibility')
What does it mean for a concept to be real? I don't find the argument from
indispenability convincing. It's like saying because we don't know how to
describe something without words, the words are real things. But we do know
how to describe things without words. We do it with pictures, with models,
with computer programs. Then Platonists lump them all together and say, yes
but they're all "mathematical". Yes they are all "mathematical" in the sense
that they avoid self-contradiction under some rules of inference. But
self-consistency is an essential property of description. That's no reason to
suppose it exists like tables and chairs.
> (3) From (1) and (2) mathematical concepts are objectively real.
> (4) There is an essential difference between specific objectively
> measurable concepts (as for instance in the case of 'circulation') and
> mental concepts. The difference is that mental processes are
> *patterns* (See 'Functionalism') and patterns don't rely on specific
> physical properties (for instance clouds, bricks, computers or
> anything) could all be conscious if they enacted the right pattern.
> So subjective experiences are *patterns*.
Which brings us back to the conscious rock, which is implementing all possible
>And patterns cannot be
> objectively measured in the way that specific physical properties can
> (See Ray Kurweil 'The Singularity Is Near' for agreement of this).
Appeal to authority?
> (5) Patterns are mathematical in nature.
> (6) Subjective experiences are patterns (from 4). Therefore
> subjective experiences are mathematical properties (from 5).
> (7) From (3) mathematical concepts are objectively real. But there
> exist mathematical concepts (inifinite sets) which cannot be explained
> in terms of finite physical processes. Therefore mathematical
> concepts cannot be reduced to material processes. They abstract (non-
> material) but objectively real things.
> (8) From (6) subjective experiences are mathematical properties.
>>From (7) mathematical properties are abstract (non-material).
> Therefore subjective experiences are non-material properties.
I don't think anyone ever doubted that subjective experiences are processes -
and in that sense non-material. But that doesn't show that they can exist
apart from the material. Or that the existence and evolution of the process
cannot be elucidated by purely material descriptions. I could as well observe
that all patterns of any kind are instantiated in material.
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