On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 11:11 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>> So "idealist accidentalism"...the view that what exists is mental, and
>> that there is no underlying process that explains or governs this
>> existence.
> If idealist accidentalism is correct then there is no theory at all.

Well, I'd have to hear your definition of "theory" and what the
conditions are for its existence.

So obviously something exists...my conscious experience of this
moment.  This experience is a multifaceted thing...in that there are
many "things" I am conscious of in this moment.

But this is true of dreams as well.  I am conscious of many things in
a dream, but those aren't things that exist outside or independently
of the dream.

So what accounts for the dream?  Numbers?  How does my experience of
dreaming of a tree connect to numbers?  What is it that generates my
experience of a tree from the brutely existing substrate of numbers?

Why should numbers give rise to my dream experience of a tree?
Obviously I can use numbers to represent the tree...in the sense that
I can use saved numerical measurements to "re-present" the tree to my
self...if I can remember how to interpret the measurements.  And I'm
even willing to grant that I can use numbers to represent my
experience of the tree.  But representation is just the re-presenting
of something to your conscious experience, which is not at all the
same as explaining the fact of that experience.

> But idealist accidentalism is a theory (even if vague)
> So there is no theory, and there is one theory.
> So 0 = 1.
> Contradiction.
> So idealist accidentalism is refuted.

I think you should have your logician license revoked...

> You may save it by insisting that idealist accidentalism is not a theory. It
> would be a mere philosophical injunction of the type  "dont' ask, don't
> search".

I think it is a just a recognition that Agrippa's trilemma and the
principle of sufficient reason lead to infinite levels of infinite
regress.  Which I take as a sign that there's something wrong with
that type of interpretation of our conscious experience.

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