On 9/26/2012 12:11 PM, Jason Resch wrote:

On Sep 26, 2012, at 12:29 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

On 9/25/2012 9:51 PM, Jason Resch wrote:

On Sep 25, 2012, at 11:05 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

On 9/25/2012 8:54 PM, Jason Resch wrote:

On Sep 25, 2012, at 10:27 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

On 9/25/2012 4:07 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
Yes. If we cannot prove that their existence is self-contradictory

Propositions can be self contradictory, but how can existence of something be self-contradictory?


Brent, it was roger, not I, who wrote the above. But in any case I interpreted his statement to mean if some theoretical object is found to have contradictory properties, then it does not exist.


No worries.

So you mean if some mathematical object implies a contradiction it doesn't exist, e.g. the largest prime number. But then of course the proof of contradiction is relative to the axioms and rules of inference.

Well there is always some theory we have to assume, some model we operate under. This is needed just to communicate or to think.

The contradiction proof is relevant to some theory, but so is the existence proof. You can't even define an object without using some agreed upon theory.

Sure you can. You point and say, "That!" That's how you learned the meaning of words, by abstracting from a lot of instances of your mother pointing and saying, "That."


There is still an implicitly assumed model that the two people are operating under (if they agree on what is meant by the chair they see).

Or they may use different models and define the chair differently. For example, a solipist believes the chair is only his idea, a physicalist thinks it is a collection of primitive matter, a computationalist a dream of numbers.

Then while they might all agree on the existence of something, that thing is different for each person because they are defining it under different models.

But if they are different then what sense does it make to say there is a contradiction in *the* model and hence something doesn't exist. That's why it makes no sense to talk about a contradiction disproving the existence of something you can define ostensively. It is only in the Platonia of statements that you can derive contradictions from axioms and rules of inference. If you can point to the thing whose non-existence is proven, then it just means you've made an error in translating between reality and Platonia.


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