On 7/18/2010 1:38 PM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 18 Jul 2010, at 17:38, Brent Meeker wrote:
On 7/18/2010 1:01 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 17 Jul 2010, at 05:51, Allen Rex wrote:
The thesis posited by the book(*) is a bigger problem for Bruno's
theory that mine.
(*)c.f. "The Evolution of
Reason" by William S. Cooper.
Are you saying that the book provides evidences that we are not
Or that the prime character of the number 17 evolves in time/space?
No, I'm saying it explains why we think of numbers and physical objects.
I guess he does. But the question to Rex (I think) was: in which sense
is it a problem for mechanism and its consequences?
Unless the W. Cooper's book refutes the movie graph argument, for
example by justifying Jack Mallah's claim that consciousness stop
supervening physically on a machine in case a physical piece of the
machine, which is supposed to have no physical activity in the
computation concerned, is removed. (But then how could we still say
yes to a doctor, who may suppress anything strictly needed for some
range of computation). That moves seems an introduction of magical
property of both matter and mind of the type precluding any hope to
use evolution theory to explain reason. WE have already discussed this.
Or does the book refutes the tiny sigma_1 arithmetical realism needed
for defining "digital". I don't think so. A word like "evolution"
needs a background as least as rich than sigma_1 arithmetical truth.
No need to confuse number theory and human's number history. Cooper's
book describes the evolution of human's reason. This has not to
contradict either quantum mechanic or elementary arithmetic nor
digital mechanism and its consequence.
There is an evolution of human reason, no doubt. But this does not
mean the reason why we are here does evolve. Such a position would
make the humans the reason of the big bang, or the reason of
evolution. It would be comparable to the belief that God single out
the humans from all creature, or a form of solipsism.
Assuming physicalism, the causal laws of our universe applied to a
suitable set of initial conditions will, in time, exhibit features
that we categorize as “evolutionary”. Some of these evolutionary
processes may give rise to entities that have conscious experiences,
and some of those conscious experiences will be of holding this, that,
or the other beliefs about logic. But those beliefs are a result of
fundamental laws acting on fundamental entities, and not associated
with any sort of independently existing platonic standard of “logical
I don't understand that last sentence. Does "fundamental laws" refer to
those theories we use to explain physical processes. I don't see how
theories can act on entities? What fundamental entities do you refer
to? And why should not the beliefs we experience be associated with
logical reasoning. If we find a flaw of logic in one of our theories it
loses its power to explain or even to have meaning.
I didn't cite Cooper as refuting anything. If the same physical
processes produce our brains as well as the rest of the world then there
is a connection between them which might cause our brains to have
somewhat accurate thoughts about the rest of the world. Cooper explains
why that should be so.
The idea that truth is independent of reasoning *is* classical logic
or Platonism. Physicalism is platonism with respect to entities,
which like the christian creator and creations are posited at the
start, and for which nobody has ever give evidences (it is the only
difference: to believe that there are physical laws and fundamental
substantial entities is an addition to arithmetical realism). The
very notion of "laws" necessitates arithmetical realism.
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