Hi Brent,

> 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.

That is ok - there are different versions of materialism/physicalism etc.

> I don't accept any such esoteric theories - I merely entertain them.

That is well put, I agree - as rational people we all hold tentatively,
we entertain - with "accept" I mean that it passes enough tests that it
can be entertained - versus other theories that are so unprobable that 
one does not have the time to concern oneself with them...(although one 
never knows ;-)

> But the problem reappears as the body-problem.  Why is materialism so 
> successful 
> as a model of the world?

No, the problem is of a quite different nature than the mind-body
problem. I would not call the white rabbit problem as a body problem.
Besides, materialism also faces this issue in an infinite universe if
you accept unification of mind states (remember the Bostrom paper?).

> 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.

Hmm, that is too little I think to distinguish materialism from, say,
Pythagorean views or even Platonic views. Saying that "everything" 
exists does not quite capture what Everythingers believe.

Everything never means everything conceivable - but everything that is 
possible. What is possible, is, of course, the question.

> Why should some things exist and others not - because if everything existed 
> there would be no distinction between "exist" and "not-exist" 

With the restriction to "everything possible" (and not plain everything) 
exists, we still have to distinguish accessible regions. Or do you mean 
"can influence us causally" by exists? But then you would deny existence 
to parts outside the observable universe - which is of course dependent 
from where you look (Earth), so I think it is not a good criterion for 

But if we accept that "material" things exist which can never affect us 
causally, why not accept that there are other, mathematically even more 
remote entitities? Or, consider decoherence - here mathematically very 
similar branches are suddenly inaccessible.

>  I don't think it has "moved beyond".  MWI is attractive for several reasons, 
> but it is well short 
> of Tegmarkia.

Of course - what I mean that it has "moved beyond" is a lot of 
Absolutes: absolute space, absolute time etc - what remains are 
relations. And there _are_ defenders in philosophy of physics which 
retain some anthropomorphic Absolutes, but I think they are fighting a 
losing battle.

> I think Tegmark grounded his "everything" by supposing that the lowest level 
> was 
> uncomputable.

Ok thanks I missed that, will have to read the paper again.

> 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.

Indeed, and that is what makes materialism very enticing, but then the 
question immediately crops up: why this, and not something else? I think 
materialism would have a much better stance if one would find one set of 
equations which describes our universe (that is, of logical necessity), 
but it doesn't look likely.

And every contingent description leads to multiversal concepts.

Best Wishes,

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