On Mar 9, 3:25 pm, David Nyman <da...@davidnyman.com> wrote:
> On 9 March 2011 14:39, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >> So on this basis you would claim that heat is *ontologically* (i.e.
> >> not merely epistemologically) distinguishable from molecular motion?
> > No. I would say it is ontologically the same as molecular
> > motion, and molecular motion exists, so heat exists, so
> > heat was not eliminated
> It seems that you persistently misunderstand the meaning of
> elimination in this context. If something can be shown to be a
> composite of more fundamental ontological components, it is of course
> disqualified (i.e. eliminated) thereby as an ontological fundamental
But that's *not* what elimination means as in eliminativism.
The point of eliminativism is that the eliminated thing doesn't exist
Moreover, it is difficult to see why anyone would complain
about a sense of "elimination" that just means non-fundamental,
when we don't necessarily know what is fundamental, and
we are going to continue using the term
> else such use of the terms "ontological", "fundamental" and
> "eliminated" is rendered meaningless. Hence heat can indeed be
> eliminated from the catalogue of ontological fundamentals in this way,
> and understood as consisting in the more fundamental phenomenon of
> molecular motion. Of course the *concept* (and a fortiori the
> sensation) of heat isn't thereby eliminated epistemologically
More importantly, the concept has a referent. It is just the
same referent as another concept. But if your are going to
call that "elimination", what are you going to call
what happened to phlogiston? "Extermination"?
> this is the very distinction we are trying to establish on a firm
> footing. The reductionist programme seeks to eliminate any need (in
> principle) to appeal to any and all non-fundamental ontological
> entities in precisely this way, and hence show ontology as resting on
> a single fundamental base, thereby situating composite entities at the
> epistemological level.
It is hard to see what you mean by "epistemological" there.
I don't think it is a synonym for "non fundamental"
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