# Re: An Ontological Fallacy?

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On 02 Sep 2010, at 15:52, Sami Perttu wrote:```
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```Bruno Marchal wrote:
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Hi! I'm trying to remove this universal ontological status altogether. Once it's gone, everything exists almost trivially, as it shouldn't be hard to find the Y. For instance, X exists in the singleton set { X }.
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In which theory of set? I would say that the term "existence" has a
meaning relative to the theory you are chosing.

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```My motivation was to find a good justification for theses such as:
mathematical existence guarantees existence in general.
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There is no mathematical foundation of the whole mathematics, so
mathematical existence is a very vague notion.
Arithmetical existence is clearer if you accept elementary arithmetic
(like in prime numbers exist).

Bruno
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Hi! I shouldn't have used any mathematical notation, as the argument
has nothing to do with mathematics or set theory, it's pure
metaphysics. Surely you have some inkling as to what "all possible
universes exist" means. The "exist" there has as its frame of
reference the totality of existence. Those objects that belong to it
we call real, those that do not, we call imaginary.

But obviously we have no way of approaching the totality and any
definition we give is arbitrary.
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So we might use assumption. Better to search the keys under the lamp!

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```I'm claiming that the absolute sense
of existence is an invalid projection from the relative sense, which
we may understand.
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I can agree with this.

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So the labels real and imaginary mean nothing in the absolute sense.
It's only when we fix the frame of reference - exists where? - that we
can examine questions of existence.
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And so the problem consists in finding the theory on which we can agree and think in that theory.
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Just as much as Ockham's razor may compel us to postulate a
multiverse, it may exhort us to get rid of this notion of totality of
existence. A statement like "all possible universes exist" becomes a
tautology - whatever object we examine we should be able to think of a
world for it to exist in.

Does that make any sense to you?
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I don't know. I am suspicious about 'universes', although such a word can have a lot of sense. I think that if we assume that the brain functions can be emulated by a universal machine (in the theoretical computer science), then elementary arithmetic is enough to explain why numbers will believe in an emerging coupling consciousness/reality. But it is an open problem to see if that emergence converges or not, and if it leads to anything looking to what we observe. There are promising results, but of course "promising" is subjective. The 'poetical description' is that numbers dream, relatively to each others, and some dreams 'cohere' so as to become sharable by collection of numbers, those are the "physical realities". It is idealism. But not subjective idealism (solipisism), nor accidentalist idealism (Rex Allen), but more pythagorean idealism: the theory of everything is elementary arithmetic (or any first order logical specification of a (Church-Post-Turing) universal system. Things emerge from inside due to the gap between machine discourse and truth about them. Machine/numbers cannot NOT be confronted to that gap.
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Bruno

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

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