On 16 Aug 2009, at 18:35, Brent Meeker wrote:

>
> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>
>> On 14 Aug 2009, at 09:11, Rex Allen wrote:
> ...
>
>>>
>>>>> Uncaused things can't be explained.  They just are.
>>>>>
>>>>> So what causes the complexity and structure of the things that I  
>>>>> am
>>>>> conscious of?  Nothing.  That's just the way my experience is.
>>>> ? I can't accept this, because I am interested in the how and why  
>>>> of
>>>> complexity of things and happenings.
>>> So you can look for patterns in what you observe, and interesting  
>>> ways
>>> to represent what you have observed in the past.
>>
>> Not just that. I look for understanding. I criticize enough the
>> scientists who confuse description and prediction with explanation.
>
> I disagree that this a confusion.  A description of something you  
> don't understand in
> terms of something you do understand is one form of explanation.   
> The ability to predict
> is an excellent measure of understanding.

OK.


>  I think the only confusion comes from
> conflating different kinds of explanation or thoughtlessly switching  
> from one to another.

OK.



> I would say that your explanation of the world is a descriptive one  
> and basing it on
> arithmetic is appealing because we understand arithmetic.  And I  
> think you agree that if
> it makes false predictions it fails as an explanation.


Absolutely so. Note that comp gives a lot of choice, besides  
arithmetic, for the ontic, and justify that independence.  From the  
ontic view there are equivalent. From the epistemological view, also,  
but for the internal view themselves, things get different, if only  
due to history and geography. The contingent hides the necessary.


Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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