On 1/14/2012 12:51 PM, David Nyman wrote:
On 14 January 2012 16:50, Stephen P. King<stephe...@charter.net> wrote:
The problem is that mathematics cannot represent matter other than by
invariance with respect to time, etc. absent an interpreter.
Sure, but do you mean to say that the interpreter must be physical?
What else would have such properties? If a system has no physical
manifestations, how can we even know that it exists?
I don't see why.
What alternatives are there? Free floating minds? What means would
exist to allow them to distinguish themselves from what they are not?
And yet, as you say, the need for interpretation is
Not just interpretation but something more basic. There is a
requirement of communicability. If I cannot communicate an idea to you,
can you even consider its properties or truth valuation?
Now, my understanding of Bruno, after some fairly close
questioning (which may still leave me confused, of course) is that the
elements of his arithmetical ontology are strictly limited to numbers
(or their equivalent) + addition and multiplication.
And the entire time that this questioning and thinking was going on
there where physical systems in the background doing their thing of
manifesting patterns invariant to changes of some particular physical
property, but that they where there and necessary is my point. We cannot
even have digital substitution if there is no material to substitute. 0
replaced by 0 is still 0.
during discussion of macroscopic compositional principles implicit in
the interpretation of micro-physical schemas; principles which are
rarely understood as being epistemological in nature.
This is where Bruno's result is important and I do not wish to
detract anything at all from those epistemological implications, but
that we can completely abstract away the "stuff" that acts at least as
an interface between our minds as such is to cut our minds loose from
even the mere possibility determining what one is and what one is not.
speaking, even the ascription of the notion of computation to
arrangements of these bare arithmetical elements assumes further
compositional principles and therefore appeals to some supplementary
I suppose that that is the case, but how do mathematical entities
implement themselves other than via physical processes? We seem to be
thinking that this is a solvable "Chicken and Egg" problem and I argue
that we cannot use the argument of reduction to solve it. We must have
both the physical and the mental, not at the primitive level of
existence to be sure, but at the level where they have meaning. This is
why I argue for a form of dualism that transforms into a neutral monism,
like that of Russel, when taken to the level of ding and sich. At teh
level of ding and sich difference itself vanishes and thus to argue that
matter or number is primitive is a mute point. We must be careful that
we are not collapsing the levels in our thinking about this.
In other words, any bare ontological schema, uninterpreted, is unable,
from its own unsupplemented resources, to actualise whatever
higher-level emergents may be implicit within it. But what else could
deliver that interpretation/actualisation? What could embody the
collapse of ontology and epistemology into a single actuality? Could
it be that interpretation is finally revealed only in the "conscious
merger" of these two polarities?
I agree!!!! We might even go so far as to claim that consciousness
obtains in the juxtaposition of the polarities, but my claim against
Bruno is that the poles (of mind and body) vanish when the radius of
the sphere (to follow the analogy) goes to zero.
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