On 6/17/2013 1:18 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:


On 16 Jun 2013, at 19:20, meekerdb wrote:

On 6/16/2013 12:18 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
Most are just dualist. They are indeed easily shown inconsistent. But the problem is not the absence of mind, it is the believe in a primary physical reality, which is not sustained by any evidences.

?? What's the evidence arithmetic is primary? The only evidence for a theory is that it works.

No, it does not work. It fails since a long time on the mind-body problem, or it eliminates first person experiences and persons.

That seems to me just a failure of imagination; like those who said chemistry fails to explain life because chemicals are alive. Yes, chemistry failed for a long time - but then it succeeded.

It assumes also what I am trying to understand, the appearance of matter, and when I say that there are no evidences, I mean it: there are evidences for a physical reality, but *primitive* matter is like ether, phlogiston, or N rays: nobody has been able to provide evidences. It is just a simplifying assumption, and it is not used in any book of physics, even if it is assumed implicitly in some "fundamental physics". Don't confuse physics and physicalism.

I agree that nobody needs to assume matter is primitive - in fact physicists are continually looking for more fundamental stuff which is what led Tegmark to his "all mathematical objects" idea. But this seems to me just semantics - what do we call the stuff that is fundamental "matter", "computation", "mathematical objects"...who cares! All we care about is whether we can fit them into a coherent theory that explains the world.


The fact that Arithmetic or Turing-equivalent might be primary are overwhelming. First we don't have arithmetic, computer (the math object) or anything like that without assuming it. Second it is assumed in all pieces of any "exact science or human science", then we experience it everyday. We teach it without problem in all schools, etc. It is the only piece of knowledge on which all humans already agree (except a minority of philosophers, but they are easily shown inconsistent).



You seem to criticize primary physical reality because it doesn't include a more fundamental theory showing that it's primary - but that would a contradiction.

Indeed. I criticize primary physical reality for the same reason that atheists are right when criticizing the use of God as explanation. Primitive matter explains nothing. And then it prevents the search for rational explanations.



Whatever the most fundamental model is cannot have a justification showing it is fundamental.

That's not correct. Arithmetic or Turing-equivalent theories can explain entirely why we cannot get the axioms from less. You can prove in arithmetic that without the arithmetical axioms you don't get them.

But that doesn't prove that they are true, nor does it prove than no other axioms might be true. So how does that prove it's fundamental? Your argument seems circular.

You can prove in arithmetic that Pressburger arithmetic (addition, but no multiplication) is decidable and complete (in the Gödel 1930 sense). So you can prove in arithmetic that the fundamental theory is arithmetic or a consistent extension of arithmetic. Then with comp you can prove that we don't need to extend it for the ontology, and that from inside, you need and get *all* consistent exttension, leading to a many-world, or many-dreams, account of what we live.

But you don't get all the stuff that physics has explained with the Standard Model and General Relativity. You just *assume* it must be in there somewhere - which doesn't count as "explanation" in my mind.

Brent


Primitive matter is just a notion extrapolated from quite local perceptions. It is like "the earth is flat". It works for architects, but not for sailors and space explorers.

Bruno



http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ <http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/%7Emarchal/>



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