RE: ROADMAP (well, not yet really...

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 09:45:07 +1000

Brent Meeker writes:

> > Empirical science is universe-specific: eg., any culture, no matter how
> > bizarre its psychology compared to ours, would work out that sodium
> > reacts exothermically with water in a universe similar to our own, but
> > not in a universe where physical laws and fundamental constants are
> > very different from what we are familiar with.
> >
> > Mathematical and logical truths, on the other hand, are true in all possible
> > worlds.
> But this is really ciruclar because we define "possible" in terms of obeying our
> rules of logic and reason. I don't say we're wrong to do so - it's the best we
> can do. But it doesn't prove anything. I think the concept of logic,
> mathematics, and truth are all in our head and only consequently in the world.

Isn't this like saying that a physical object must be perceived iin order to
exist? We define physical phenomena in terms of the effect they have on our
senses or scientific instruments, but we assume that they are still "there" when
they are not being observed.

> >The lack of contingency on cultural, psychological or physical
> > factors makes these truths fundamentally different; whether you call
> > them perfect, analytic or necessary truths is a matter of taste.
> If you directly perceived Hilbert space vectors, which QM tells us describe the
> world, would you count different objects? I think these truths are contingent
> on how we see the world. I think there's a good argument that any being that is
> both intelligent and evolved will have the same mathematics - that's the jist of
> Cooper's book.

If we lived in a world where whenever two objects were put together, a third one
magically appeared, would that mean that

(a) 1+1=3, because we would think that 1+1=3
(b) 1+1=2, but we would mistakenly think 1+1=3

Stathis Papaioannou
Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Thu Aug 17 2006 - 19:47:10 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:12 PST