Hi Stephen P. King  

Bertrand Russell was a superb logician but he was not
infallible with regard to metaphysics. He called Leibniz's
metaphysics "an enchanted land" and confessed that
he hadn't a clue to what the meaning of pragmatism is.

Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net 
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen 

----- Receiving the following content -----  
From: Stephen P. King  
Receiver: everything-list  
Time: 2012-11-02, 17:03:42 
Subject: Re: On the ontological status of elementary arithmetic 

On 11/2/2012 12:55 PM, Bruno Marchal wrote: 

On 01 Nov 2012, at 21:42, Stephen P. King wrote: 

On 11/1/2012 11:39 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote: 

Enumerate the programs computing functions fro N to N, (or the equivalent 
notion according to your chosen system). let us call those functions:  phi_0, 
phi_1, phi_2, ...  (the phi_i)  
Let B be a fixed bijection from N x N to N. So B(x,y) is a number.  

The number u is universal if phi_u(B(x,y)) = phi_x(y). And the equality means 
really that either both phi_u(B(x,y)) and  phi_x(y) are defined (number) and 
that they are equal, OR they are both undefined.  

In phi_u(B(x,y)) = phi_x(y), x is called the program, and y the data. u is the 
computer. u i said to emulate the program (machine, ...) x on the input y.  

   OK, but this does not answer my question. What is the ontological level 
mechanism that distinguishes the u and the x and the y from each other?  

The one you have chosen above. But let continue to use elementary arithmetic, 
as everyone learn it in school. So the answer is: elementary arithmetic.  

Dear Bruno,' 

    If there is no entity to chose the elementary arithmetic, how is it chosen 
or even defined such that there exist arithmetic statements that can possibly 
be true or false?  

Nobody needs to do the choice, as the choice is irrelevant for the truth. If 
someone choose the combinators, the proof of "1+1= 2" will be very long, and a 
bit awkward, but the proof of KKK = K, will be very short. If someone chose 
elementary arithmetic, the proof of 1+1=2 will be very short (Liz found it on 
FOAR), but the proof that KKK = K, will be long and a bit awkward. 
The fact is that 1+1=2, and KKK=K, are true, independently of the choice of the 
theory, and indeed independently of the existence of the theories. 

Dear Bruno, 

    No, that cannot be the case since statements do not even exist if the 
framework or theory that defines them does not exist, therefore there is not 
'truth' for a non-exitence entity. 

We can assume some special Realm or entity does the work of choosing the 
consistent set of arithmetical statements or, as I suggest, we can consider the 
totality of all possible physical worlds  

As long as you make your theory clearer, I can't understand what you mean by 
"physical world", "possible", "totality", etc. 

    I use the same definitions as other people use. I am not claiming a private 
language and/or set of definitions, even if I have tried to refine the usual 
definition more sharply than usual. 

Physical world: 


1) relating to the body as opposed to the mind: 
a range of physical and mental challenges 
2) relating to things perceived through the senses as opposed to the mind; 
tangible or concrete: 
the physical world 
3) relating to physics or the operation of natural forces generally: 
physical laws" 


"Those theorists who use the concept of possible worlds consider the actual 
world to be one of the many possible worlds. For each distinct way the world 
could have been, there is said to be a distinct possible world; the actual 
world is the one we in fact live in. Among such theorists there is disagreement 
about the nature of possible worlds; their precise ontological status is 
disputed, and especially the difference, if any, in ontological status between 
the actual world and all the other possible worlds."  

    Totality: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/totality  

1: an aggregate amount : sum, whole 
     2a : the quality or state of being total : wholeness 

as the implementers of arithmetic statements and thus their "provers". Possible 
physical worlds, taken as a single aggregate, is just as timeless and 
non-located as the Platonic Realm and yet we don't need any special pleading 
for us to believe in them. ;-) 


    I refuse to believe that you cannot make sense of what I wrote. Can you 
understand that I find your interpretation of Plato's Realm of Ideals to be 
incorrect? You seem to have read one book or taken one lecture on the subject 
and not read any more philosophical discussion of the ideas involved. I have 
asked you repeatedly to merely read Bertrand Russell's small book on philosophy 
- with is available on-line here http://www.ditext.com/russell/russell.html, 
but you seem unwilling to do that. Why? 


    My thinking here follows the reasoning of Jaakko Hintikka. Are you familiar 
with it? Game theoretic semantics for Proof theory 


    How about considering that there are alternatives to your idea of timeless 
Truths? Jaakko Hintikka does a nice job exploring one of those alternatives! 



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