On 26 September 2013 08:23, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> There seems to be a lot self-congratulatory bashing of reductive
> materialism on this list without noticing that it has provided all the
> knowledge of advanced science, while metaphysical Platonism has provided
> speculation.
> I don't know about any self-congratulation, but I do know that "reductive
materialism" hasn't provided all this knowledge of advanced science. What
has done so is *reductionism. Materialism *is a theory about what the
fundamental nature of the universe is. *Reductionism *is a theory about how
the fundamental components, whatever they may be, relate to each other.
It's only reductionism that has been wildly successful. Materialism remains
a metaphysical speculation, often riding on the coat-tails of reductionism,
but in fact it been looking less and less likely since early in the 20th
century. This happens (mainly) when you look closely at quantum theory (or
even, in my case, not so closely). When you see supposedly material objects
behaving like little pieces of information, the whole edifice of "matter"
starts to look a bit shaky (for example all electrons are identical except
for a few properties - position, momentum, spin axis, anything else?) Ditto
for space and time, where we find a fixed information contents in black
holes, indeed they often look like large fundamental "particles" - and the
Beckenstein bound, the Holographic principle, and so on.

The idea that the universe is made of maths and/or information has been
looking more likely for about the last century. (Or, as one might call it
at a pinch, "reductive Platonism" :)

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