On 9/2/2010 1:32 AM, Rex Allen wrote:
On Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 1:51 AM, Quentin Anciaux<allco...@gmail.com>  wrote:
I did read your preceeding message.  And what I got out of it is that
if you consistently apply your evaluative criteria, you should
conclude that physicalism, platonism, deism, theism, arithmetical
realism and all other metaphysical theories that reduce conscious
experience to some sort of underlying rule-governed framework are
irrefutable and thus valueless.

You're the one saying that.
You are correct, I seem to be the only one saying that if you apply
your evaluative criteria consistently, then your charge against
idealist accidentalism applies equally to physicalism and the rest.

The problem with "idealist accidentalism" (like
with sollipsism) is that you can change at will to adapt to the fact. It's
not the case with the others (but is the case with
theism/deism/magic/bisounours world/etc).
Physicalism is exactly as changeable as idealistic accidentalism.
That was the point of my earlier response to you.

What new fact could possibly refute physicalism??? (or mathematical
platonism, or whatever)

Keep in mind that idealistic accidentalism is an alternative to
physicalism, not to quantum field theory.

Physicalism just being the thesis that that everything which exists is
no more extensive than its physical properties; that there are no
kinds of things other than physical things.

So, what new data couldn't be interpreted as being consistent with that?

Of course it is *logically* possible that any new data could be consistent with physicalism - but then logical possibility is a very weak standard; it just excludes "X and not-X". Scientifically I think there are possible data that would count as evidence against physicalism. For example, if persons reporting out-of-body experiences could actually gain knowledge not otherwise available via these experiences. Another example would be prayer healing studies. If it happened that prayers by say Sikhs were effective with statistical significance while prayers by other religionists were not; that would be strong evidence against physicalism.

An idealistic accidentalist would take an instrumentalist view of
quantum mechanics.  As opposed to some form of scientific realism that
a physicalist might support.

Many physicists take an instrumentalist view of quantum mechanics, c.f. Asher Peres graduate textbook.


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