On 1/18/2014 1:09 AM, LizR wrote:
On 18 January 2014 19:51, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

    On 1/17/2014 10:18 PM, LizR wrote:
    On 18 January 2014 19:12, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
    <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

        But where does it exist?  X has to be conscious of a location, a 
physics, etc.
        If all this is the same as where I exist, then it is just a translation 
of this
        world into arithmetic.  It's the flip side of "A perfect description of 
X is
        the same as X", i.e. "X is the perfect description of X".  If every 
perfect
        description is realized somewhere in arithmetic (and I think it 
probably is)
        nothing is gained by saying we may be in arithmetic.

    Don't we gain less entities, making Occam a bit happier? If we can get the
    appearance of a universe without having to actually have one, can't we 
"retire the
    universe" and just stick with the 
"appearance-of-one-with-equal-explanatory-value"
    ? (Not an original idea, of course, I'm fairly sure Max Tegmark said 
something
    along those lines regarding his mathematical universe hypothesis -- that if 
the
    maths was isomorphic to the universe, why bother to assume the universe was
    physically there?).

    I'm asking why have the maths?


Well (putting on my AR hat) we have it because the maths is /necessarily/ existent, while the universe isn't.

I disagree. The maths are necessarily true, i.e. "axioms imply theorems" is true. But why should that imply *existence*. We know we can invent all kinds of maths by just changing the axioms or even changing the rules of inference. Sometimes people on this list post the semi-mystic opinion that everything=nothing, pointing to the need for discrimination. I look at this as saying positing everything is the same as saying nothing.


    Of course there's an answer - we can manipulate the maths - but then 
doesn't that
    proves that the maths aren't the universe.  They wouldn't be any use as 
predictive
    and descriptive tools if they WERE the things described.  They are only 
useful
    because they are abstractions, i.e. they leave stuff out (like existence?).


Well .... the maths does have that "unreasonable effectiveness" (that you're probably bored to death hearing about). And one reason for that could be because it is - in the guise of some yet-to-be-discovered TOE - isomorphic to the universe.

Or it could be because we, denizens of this physics/universe, invent them.

Brent


In which case - should it ever prove to be the case - see above.

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