On Jul 1, 2012, at 2:07 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

On 7/1/2012 11:50 AM, Jason Resch wrote:

On Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 7/1/2012 4:59 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 01 Jul 2012, at 09:41, meekerdb wrote:

On 7/1/2012 12:17 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 30 Jun 2012, at 22:31, meekerdb wrote:

On 6/30/2012 12:20 PM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 30 Jun 2012, at 18:44, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

I think that you have mentioned that mechanism is incompatible with materialism. How this follows then?

Because concerning computation and emulation (exact simulation) all universal system are equivalent.

Turing machine and Fortran programs are completely equivalent, you can emulate any Turing machine by a fortran program, and you can emulate any fortran program by a Turing machine.

More, you can write a fortran program emulating a universal Turing machine, and you can find a Turing machine running a Fortran universal interpreter (or compiler). This means that not only those system compute the same functions from N to N, but also that they can compute those function in the same manner of the other machine.

But the question is whether they 'compute' anything outside the context of a physical realization?

Which is addressed in the remaining of the post to Evgenii. Exactly like you can emulate fortran with Turing, a little part of arithmetic emulate already all program fortran, Turing, etc. (see the post for more).

Except neither fortran nor Turing machines exist apart from physical realizations.

Of course they do. Turing machine and fortran program are mathematical, arithmetical actually, object. They exist in the same sense that the number 17 exists.

Exactly, as ideas - patterns in brain processes.


What is the ontological difference between 17 and the chair you are sitting in? Both admit objective analysis, so how is either any more real than the other?

You might argue 17 is less real because we can't access it with our senses, but neither can we access the insides of stars with our senses. Yet no one disputes the reality of the insides of stars.

We access them indirectly via instruments and theories of those instruments.

Are numbers not also inferred from theories of our instruments?

For example, computers are instruments that let us observe and study the properties of various Turing machines, which themselves are mathematical objects.

You might argue the chair is more real because we can affect it, but then you would have to conclude the anything outside our light cone is not real, for we cannot affect anything outside our light cone.

You can kick it and it kicks back.

Math kicks back too. If you come up with a proposition, it kicks back with either true or false.

Of course there are many events outside one's lightcones which one infers as part of a model of reality based on the events within one's lightcones, e.g. I suppose that the Sun continues to exist even though the photons I from which I infer it's existence are from it's past.

Explain then why one is mistaken in supposing mathematical objects exist, when they can be inferred according to some models of reality.

Also, how do you know the chair is anything more than a pattern in a brain process?

How do you know you're not a brain in a vat? or a pattern in arithmetic?

This was my point. You say math exists only in our minds. But an immaterialist could say the same of the chair.

To escape this we need some model of reality which postulates more exists "out there" than can be found in one's mind.

Your model seems to assume an external world exists, but it stops exactly where our instruments and inferences from their observations end.

Humanity's model of reality has over the centuries, been repeatedly extended. Therefore I think it is more conservative to believe there is more "out there" than we can see or imagine.


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