On 14.05.2013 16:51 Bruno Marchal said the following:


On 14 May 2013, at 15:33, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

I am interested in the difference between natural and artificial.
So a computer both natural and artificial. Do you know things that
are just natural and where the term artificial is not applicable?
If yes, what is the difference in your view between things that

1) Natural

2) Natural and artificial

For the human, the distinction is:

Natural = not man made. Artificial = man made

So TV, castles, churches, planes, computers, houses, etc. are
artificial, and clouds, volcano, sea, fishes, comets, stars, etc. are
 natural.

If you are monist, that distinction is quite artificial, because
humans have no special status. If you are dualist and
anthropomorphic, then you can absolutize the distinction (but this
seems ad hoc to me).

This means that a scientific answer to this question is impossible. One has just to take a position, or in other words, make his/her bet.

A fly might consider that termites' nest are quite artificial
buildings, for example.

Artificial is an indexical, like "now", "here" or "yesterday", or
"modern", or "contemporary", etc. The meaning depends on the person
using the word and his/her relative position.

For a quite advanced alien, silicon computers and atomic bombs might
be considered as natural products on certain type of planets, for a
different example.

What do you think if humans receives this message from the stars,
with A, B, C, D, ... being token easy to identified and differentiate
as physical signals:

ABACAADAABACAAADABAAACAAAADAABAACAAAADAAAABAAAACAAAAAAAADFBACADAAAGAACAAAAAAD


etc.

Can you guess the intent? Can you guess what F and G are for? What
would you think if we get such a message (probably longer) coming
from far away?

I do not know. Right now there is discussion at biosemiotics list on what is sign. For example, let us consider a mating courtship between birds

>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwG7l7bp4t4
>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkshIwdw7DY
>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zJhlr016VU

In the last case, a male bird catches a fish and gives it to the bride. Could we consider a fish as a sign in this case?

I do not know what happens under comp but I personally see no possibility to find signs under physicalism. Hence currently I follow people who preach Peircean metaphysics of the sign.

Evgenii

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