On 1/13/2014 3:06 PM, LizR wrote:
On 14 January 2014 11:29, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:


    On 1/13/2014 1:29 PM, LizR wrote:
    On 14 January 2014 10:17, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
    <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

        On 1/13/2014 10:54 AM, L.W. Sterritt wrote:
        Isn’t this just the reification fallacy?  From Wikipedia:  Reification 
(also
        known as concretism, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is
        a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or
        hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real 
event, or
        physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a 
concrete
        thing something which is not concrete, but merely an idea.

        Like reifying arithmetic.


    I do indeed!

    :-)
    Fallaciously?  ;-)


Quite possibly, of course! But in my humble opinion, Max Tegmark and Bruno and Eugene Wigner (and Galileo, Gauss, Einstein etc) do have a point, that maths does seem to "kick back" and to be "unreasonably effective", and I think that it's worth thinking about why that is, even if it leads us into what may be wild flights of fancy ... just in case they turn out not to be.


    In your model of the world, with chairs and tables and planets and people, 
where is
    the number 2?

It's part of an explanation of where the chairs and tables etc come from.

Of course Bruno and Max would say that it's the whole of the explanation; that tables and chairs are just mathematical objects. I don't know about Wigner, but I'm pretty sure the other three saw mathematics as describing our models of the world - but not *being* the world.

Brent

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