On 7/11/2012 4:10 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 10 Jul 2012, at 23:33, Stephen P. King wrote:
What I have been doing is exploring the soft underbelly of
physics, those sets of "truths" that are just assumed to be true. For
example, I have become convinced that a lot of the difficulties in
physics are due to its assumption that "substance" is primitive.
There is even an entire article in the online Stanford encyclopedia
<http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/substance/> on the notion of
substance and therein is laid out the problems for all to see,
never-the-less science staggers on, assuming that "stuff" is the
explanation to every phenomena. The Higgs boson is, IMHO, yet another
example of the "stuff" mentality. The alternative is to consider that
"process" is primitive; that all forms of "stuff" are, ultimately,
the result of some underlying process; there is no such thing as
You can see how this kinda dovetails with Bruno's
anti-materialism and yet he seems to just fall over into "immaterial"
Where, you ask? In the postulation of numbers as ontological
primitives! You have merely replaced the Atoms of the materialists with
the Numbers of neo-Platonists. :_( Have you read any of the debate
against the idealism of Berkeley? From
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/berkeley/#3.1.1 we find:
"The basics of Berkeley's metaphysics are apparent from the first
section of the main body of the/Principles/:
It is evident to any one who takes a survey of the objects of human
knowledge, that they are either ideas actually imprinted on the
senses, or else such as are perceived by attending to the passions
and operations of the mind, or lastly ideas formed by help of memory
and imagination, either compounding, dividing, or barely
representing those originally perceived in the aforesaid ways. By
sight I have the ideas of light and colours with their several
degrees and variations. By touch I perceive, for example, hard and
soft, heat and cold, motion and resistance, and of all these more
and less either as to quantity or degree. Smelling furnishes me with
odours; the palate with tastes, and hearing conveys sounds to the
mind in all their variety of tone and composition. And as several of
these are observed to accompany each other, they come to be marked
by one name, and so to be reputed as one thing. Thus, for example, a
certain colour, taste, smell, figure and consistence having been
observed to go together, are accounted one distinct thing, signified
by the name apple. Other collections of ideas constitute a stone, a
tree, a book, and the like sensible things; which, as they are
pleasing or disagreeable, excite the passions of love, hatred, joy,
grief, and so forth.
As this passage illustrates, Berkeley does not deny the existence of
ordinary objects such as stones, trees, books, and apples. On the
contrary, as was indicated above, he holds that only an immaterialist
account of such objects can avoid skepticism about their existence and
nature. What such objects turn out to be, on his account, are bundles or
collections of ideas. An apple is a combination of visual ideas
(including the sensible qualities of color and visual shape), tangible
ideas, ideas of taste, smell,
question of what does the combining is a philosophically interesting one
which Berkeley does not address in detail. He does make clear that there
are two sides to the process of bundling ideas into objects: (1)
co-occurrence, an objective fact about what sorts of ideas tend to
accompany each other in our experience, and (2) something we do when we
decide to single out a set of co-occurring ideas and refer to it with a
certain name (NTV 109).
Thus, although there is no material world for Berkeley, there is a
physical world, a world of ordinary objects. This world is
mind-dependent, for it is composed of ideas, whose existence consists in
being perceived. For ideas, and so for the physical world,/esse est
In your work you seem to posit that numbers have minds (thus they
can dream) and that their ideas are passive and yet can reproduce all
phenomena that would be explained as being the result of physical acts
in materialism. You argue that this reduces all phenomena to passive
hypostatization, but I argue that this is a fallacy of misplaced
concreteness as per the *fallacy of misplaced concreteness*
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_%28fallacy%29>, since you have
severed all ties to physical implementation. Please understand that it
seems that the only place where there is disagreement between you and I
is on the postulation of primacy. I am arguing that neither matter
(atoms) nor ideas (numbers) can be taken as primitives as they are
devoid of causal efficacy.
With process we can get some interesting hints of answers to many of
these questions that vex us so such as the nature of time and even
consciousness. Logic is recast in terms of interactive game theory
(ala Jaakko Hintikka)
<http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-games/> and physics becomes
a question of how spaces evolve relative to each other (this is
already been understood every since Lagrange and Hamilton).
It all really boils down to "belief systems" as you wisely point
On 7/10/2012 4:28 PM, John Mikes wrote:
Stephen, a 'belief system' may be reassuring.
I spent a lifetime in active R&D exercising conventional science,
till I lost by belief in many figments of it. It came gradually like
one's losing a religious faith: trying to THINK 'outside the box'
and getting nowhere. (First reflection: I am poorly informed and my
conclusions are inaccurate).
Then the extension of our worldview into items still unknown, as
exemplified by the gradual enrichment in our epistemic inventory
over the millennia. We are NOT at the perfection's end...Some more
yet has got to come and I braced myself for surprises.
I cannot recall when and where, but allegedly prof. Higgs repealed
his work at his old age - how sorry it would be if true.
The observations upon which science is based supply only explained
information, accurate and complete to the level of the 'era'. Then
explanations are applied based on assumptions, presumptions, nth
level consequences of such and sometimes recalled/changed.
Bruno's and my agnosticism are based on some basic 'faith' to start
from: his from numerals, arithmetic (I think) mine from a never
learnable infinite complexity of which we only know a portion.
Everybody has a personal choice whether to include the Higgs boson
in his/her personal worldview. And there are many others...
On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM, Stephen P. King
<stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:
Say that it is not so!
"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."
~ Francis Bacon
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