> On Aug 29, 4:20 am, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> Thanks for spelling it out.
>>> (1) Mathematical concepts are indispensible to our explanations of
>>> reality.
>> So are grammatical concepts.
> No they aren't.  Grammatical concepts are human creations, which is
> precisely shown by the fact that they *can* be dispensed with and
> replaced with scientific concepts which give a more accurate
> description of reality.

So are mathematics human creations (c.f. William S. Cooper, "The Evolution of 
Logic").  There is no sharp distinction between what is expressed in words and 
what is expressed in mathematical symbols.  Darwins theory of evolution is no 
more accurately expressed in mathematical notation.

>> 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.  
> Not really. According Deutsch's 'Critera For Reality' (ref: 'The
> Fabric Of Reality', David Deutsch) , an application of occam's razor
> says that something should be considered to 'objectively exist' if
> taking the concept out of our theory made the explanation more complex
> or impossible.  (ie the concept can't be dispensed with without
> complications).  

So Deutsch has an overly generous criterion for "exist".  Does he consider 
epicycles real because they were indispensable to Ptolemy's theory of the 
cosmos.  I'd go with Dr. Johnson - it exists if I kick it and it kicks back.   

>Grammer doesn't match the criteria.  Math does.  It's
> easy to cut out English concepts say, and replace them with other
> modes of descriptions.  I don't see scientists labriously trying
> refactor all their mathematical explanations to refer only to material
> observables.  

Actually a theory that dispenses with unobservables is usually considered 
preferable, by application of Occam's razor.  For example in Newtonian 
mechanics force was an important concept, but later it was dropped.  So what is 
it's status now?  It's still a mathematical concept - but according to Deutsch 
it's not part of reality.

>It's not even possible.  And that's why mathematical
> concepts should be taken to be objectively real.

Your argument, even if I agreed with it, would only justify counting as 
objectively real those mathematical concepts that appear in a true theory of 
reality - and unfortunately we never know which one that is.

Brent Meeker

>>> 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?
> No, a reference to a more detailed explanation of the point (so I
> don't have to laboriously type the argument here).
>> 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.
>> Brent Meeker
>  Indeed all scientific evidence indicates that subjective experiences
> are  entirely dependent on the material.  Be careful to respond only
> to what I actually said rather than what you thought I said.
> > 

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