On 11/24/2013 2:43 PM, LizR wrote:

On 25 November 2013 10:53, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

    That isn't a problem at all.  It's just like the arguments about the 
existence of
    god; first you have to define what you mean by "god" before you can answer 
    "god exists" or not. So what is the definition of "physical reality"?  It 
seems to
    me that "physical" only adds the concept of shared/public.  But Plato also 
    his reality to be shared and public.

It seems quite hard to pin down exactly what physical means, now that we can no longer visualise particles as tiny billiard balls. I think the important point is whether "physical" is fundamental, or derived from something else. Aristotle would say the former, Plato the latter.

Why wouldn't the "something else" just be physical too. In my view "physical" just means "part of our shared experience", stuff we can define to one another ostensively. If numbers exist they are just as physical as spacetime or the Higgs field. The interesting thing to me about Bruon's theory is that he proposes to explain the first person, not-sharable experiences in terms to proof relations. I don't think they can be separated from the sharable "physical" part of the world; but I applaud the effort.

A physicist goes off to a conference. After a week his suit's gotten soiled and crumpled, so he goes out to look for a dry cleaner. Walking down the main street of town, he comes upon a store with a lot of signs out front. One of them says "Dry Cleaning." So he goes in with his dirty suit and asks when he can come back to pick it up. The mathematician who owns the shop replies, "I'm terribly sorry, but we don't do dry cleaning." "What?" exclaims the puzzled physicist. "The sign outside says 'Dry Cleaning'!" "We do not do anything here," replies the mathematician. "We only sell signs!"
   --- Alain Connes, in Changeux

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