Günther Greindl wrote:
> I wonder, what do you mean with materialism (I ask this having been a
> materialist myself)?
I didn't use the term - it is one being attributed to me simply because I
question the adequacy of logic and mathematics to instantiate physics.
> Physics only describes relations. (see for instance here
> I gather you accept MWI, so quite a lot of relations hold.
I don't accept any such esoteric theories - I merely entertain them.
> The question is, why the quantum (as Wheeler, I think, put it)? Bruno's
> COMP gives a very elegant _explanation_.
I agree it is elegant, but whether it can really explain the world remains to
> Also, with COMP, the mind-body problem indeed disappears. We have
> computations within computations within computations. (And I think that
> Bruno is correct when assuming that there is no _lowest_ level).
But the problem reappears as the body-problem. Why is materialism so
as a model of the world?
> It needn't even be a pure idealism, but rather Russelian neutral monism
> - some states more or less conscious - the degree of consciousness
> depending on the degree of self-reflexivity (see for instance here for a
> theory of consciousness which works well with COMP:
> Back to the ontological problem of the "grounding": materialism is in
> essence the thesis that there is, at bottom, a "substance", which has no
> independent properties, but serves as instantiator for other properties.
It seems somewhat gratuitous to call this a "substance". I'd say materialism
holds (on simple empirical grounds) that some things exist and some don't.
> But why should such a strange thing exist?
Why should some things exist and others not - because if everything existed
there would be no distinction between "exist" and "not-exist" (I know that's a
stilly argument, but it is similar to the kind of logic chopping I sometimes
from the proponents of "everything exists").
>Why not let the relations
> stand for themselves? Especially for an MWI-theorist; if you only accept
> a single world, matter does seem much more plausible - going through
> diverse transformations, that being all there is, and located somewhere
> in an otherwise empty spacetime or whatever - but those are all very
> naive intuitions which modern physics has moved beyond (and all the more
> so critical reflection on the results of modern physics).
I think I'm as qualified to speak for modern physics as you and I don't think
has "moved beyond". MWI is attractive for several reasons, but it is well
> A big question: why should there be such a thing as a lowest level, a
> grounding? While for a materialist, the imagination of "turtles all the
> way down" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down
> is quite strange, computations all the way down is very intuitive. Well,
> awe-inspiring intuitive ;-)) Think of the fractal video Bruno sent out
> a little while ago.
I think Tegmark grounded his "everything" by supposing that the lowest level
> What explanatory power does matter hold? None, I conjecture. Please give
> at least one so we can discuss.
Materialism has been very effective in not only explaining, but in predicting
things. That doesn't prove it's right, but I could ask what explanatory power
does "everything exists" hold. Remember that a theory that could explain
anything, fails to explain at all.
For myself, I find Bruno's theory very intriguing. It is more specific than
Tegmark's and so I believe has more hope of making contact with empiricism.
for me that is the proof of the pudding - not logical arguments about how
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