On 12/31/2013 2:22 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 30 Dec 2013, at 21:43, Stephen Paul King wrote:

Dear LizR and Brent,

I will try to go at this from a different direction. What exactly does "fundamental level" mean? Does there have to be "something fundamental"?

Fundamental is often used in two senses. either as "very important". In that sense physics and math are fundamental.

Or is the sense of "primitive", that is, what we have to assume at the start, like the primitive symbol in a theory, intended to denote what we admit to exist at the start. We need them because we cannot derive anything from nothing. Even in the "nothing theories", we need the mathematical axioms to handle some notion of nothing.

There is another way that avoids assuming that there is something "fundamental". It is a sort of ring of explanation (actually suggested by Bruno):


Of course it is objected that this is viciously circular; but I counter that if the circle is big enough to take everything in, then it is virtuously circular.


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