On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 06:37:16AM -0700, 1Z wrote:
> You are playing on two meanings of "fact"; that something is not
> known until time T does not mean it pops into existence at time
> T. Truth is not existence.

Existence is a muddy concept. Truth (even relative truth) is certainly
a possible model of existence.

> The evidence that reality exists independent of out minds
> is just the evidence that other people's brains exist and
> work in such-and-such a way. No scientific evidence can disprove
> reality, including evidence about brains.

Reality, like existence, is a confused concept. No scientific evidence
can disprove a muddy concept - the concept will simply morph to be
compatible with the evidence as it is acquired.

Brains are classical macroscopic objects - of about the same
ontological status as my laptop and the table it is resting on. Our
current best scientific theories relegate these phenomena to being
emergent from microscopic phenomena, such as electrons, quarks and
fields. Not fundamentally real at all.

Of course, Bruno's ontology goes further, to suggest that electrons,
quarks and fields are not fundamentally real either, but are rather
emergent phenomena from arithmetic (or some other ontological subtrate
capable of supporting universal computation). I don't think scientific
evidence at present is capable of ruling this out.

My own position is that whatever is really real, it is probably
completely unknowable (like Kant's noumenon). We can only know about
phenomena. This leads me to the radical proposal that perhaps all of
phenomena can be explained by reference to the process of
observation. Certainly some things are. If any phenomena turns out to be
irreducible to observation, then this would afford us an opportunity
to peel back the veil on the Noumenon. I'm not sure how one could
establish beyond doubt that a particular phenomenon depended on
something not related to observation, but I'll concede the possibility
for the sake of argument.


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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