> Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:21:19 -0700
> Subject: Re: Emulation and Stuff
> From: peterdjo...@yahoo.com
> To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
> On 19 Aug, 13:03, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > 009/8/19 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>:
> >
> > >> I completely agree that **assuming primary matter** computation is "a
> > >> physical process taking place in brains and computer hardware".  The
> > >> paraphrase argument - the one you said you agreed with - asserts that
> > >> *any* human concept is *eliminable*
> >
> > > No, reducible, not eliminable. That is an important distinction.
> >
> > Not in this instance.  The whole thrust of the paraphrase argument is
> > precisely to show - in principle at least - that the reduced concept
> > can be *eliminated* from the explanation.  You can do this with
> > 'life', so you should be prepared to do it with 'computation'.
> Showing that a word can be removed from a verbal formulation
> by substitution with s synonym is not *ontological* elimination.

Of course it is--*according to the Quinean definition of ontology*. The strange 
thing about your mode of argument is that you talk as though a word like 
"existence" has some single true correct meaning, and that anyone who uses it 
differently is just wrong--do you disagree with the basic premise that the 
meaning of words is defined solely by usage and/or definitions? If so, do you 
agree that there are in fact different ways this word is defined by real 
people, even if we restrict our attention to the philosophical community? 
Provided you agree with that, your posts would be a lot less confusing if you 
would distinguish between different definitions and state which one you meant 
at a given time--for example, one might say "I agree numbers have Quinean 
existence but I think they lack material existence, or existence in the sense 
that intelligent beings that appear in mathematical universes are actually 
conscious beings with their own qualia". We might call these three notions of 
existence Q-existence, M-existence and C-existence for short. My argument with 
you has been that even if one wishes to postulate a single universe, 
M-existence is an unnecessary middleman and doesn't even seem well-defined, all 
we need to do is postulate that out of all the mathematically possible 
universes that have Q-existence, only one has C-existence.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to