2009/9/17 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>: > Yep, and if the conclusion is ontological, the process that reaches it > is ontological. > > Bruno thinks he can reach an ontological assumption starting with pure > maths. > But he can't. "mathematical existence" means that mathematicians take > certain "exists" statements to be true. Whether "exists" should be > taken > literally in the mathematical context is an ontological question, as > the material > in the first posting indicates

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But surely what is 'literally' the case depends critically on one's starting assumptions. If one starts with a theoretical commitment to the primacy of the physical, then the status of mathematics is obviously rendered formal or metaphorical with respect to this. OTOH if one starts from the theoretical primacy of number - irrespective of whether one labels such primacy 'arithmetical' or 'platonic' - the opposite is the case, and indeed Bruno argues precisely how and why, on the basis of the MGA, one cannot take the status of matter (as opposed to its appearances) 'literally' from the perspective of computational theory. In either case there may be what one considers defensible grounds for a commitment to a particular direction of inference, but ISTM that further insistence on the metaphysical 'primitiveness' of one's point of departure is entirely tangential to the distinctiveness of either explanatory scheme. The opinions cited in the first posting assume the first of these theoretical commitments and hence choose to take the primacy of matter as their inferential fons et origo. Comp takes the opposite position. The rest is a research programme, isn't it? David > > > > On 17 Sep, 00:52, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote: >> 2009/9/16 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>: >> >> > The knowabilitry of a claim about what powers numbers >> > have can only depend on what labels are correctly attached. >> > Petrol is not flammable just becaue I attached the label >> > "flammable" to it. Petrol *Is* flammable, and that >> > makes the label-attachment correct. >> >> Yes, but 'flammable' and 'exists' are horses of different colours, >> surely. You and Bruno are disputing whether mathematics is a formal >> abstraction from physics or vice versa. But in either case this seems >> to me fundamentally a question of methodological, not ontic, priority. > > In either case the conclusion is ontological , so the assumptions > must be. > >> We cannot hope to have any final criterion for what is really real; >> rather we search for the deepest theory we can find, one that can >> explain whatever we are currently persuaded needs explaining, and in >> terms of which we are able to subsume subsidiary theories. Then we >> feel justified in saying that our theory describes what exists. Isn't >> that about the size of it? > > Yep, and if the conclusion is ontological, the process that reaches it > is ontological. > > Bruno thinks he can reach an ontological assumption starting with pure > maths. > But he can't. "mathematical existence" means that mathematicians take > certain "exists" statements to be true. Whether "exists" should be > taken > literally in the mathematical context is an ontological question, as > the material > in the first posting indicates > > > --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ 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 everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---