Re: Arithmetical Realism

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 2006 15:12:31 +0200

Le 02-sept.-06, à 16:03, David Nyman a écrit :

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Please I have never said that primary matter is impossible. Just that
>> I
>> have no idea what it is, no idea what use can it have, nor any idea
>> how
>> it could helps to explain quanta or qualia.
>> So I am happy that with comp it has necessarily no purpose, and we can
>> abandon "weak materialism", i.e. the doctrine of primary matter, like
>> the biologist have abandon the vital principle, or like the abandon of
>> ether by most physicist.
>> But with comp it is shown how to retrieve the appearance of it, by
>> taking into account the differences between the notions of n-person
>> (and of n-existence) the universal machine cannot avoid.
> Are we not trying to discriminate two possible starting assumptions
> here?
> 1) Necessity
> 2) Contingency
> Assumption 1 makes no appeal to fundamental contingency, but posits
> only 'necessarily true' axioms (e.g. AR). In this sense there could
> never be "nothing instead of something" because the 'necessary truth'
> of AR is deemed independent of contingency - indeed 'contingency' would
> be seen to emerge from it (hence its 'empiricism' Bruno?)

All right.

> Assumption 2 posits by contrast the ultimate contingency of 'existence'
> - there might indeed have been 'nothing'. The apparent 'necessity' of
> AR must consequently be illusory - i.e. AR, CT etc. derive their
> 'existence' and characteristics from the prior facts of brute
> contingency.
> Under assumption 2, therefore, the semantics of 'bare substrate' boil
> down to a fundamental assertion of 'non-relative contingent existence',
> and 'primary matter' to 'relative contingent processes/ structures'.
> Starting from assumption 2 we could see comp as a schema of relative
> contingent process/ structure within which 'primary matter' is deemed
> to be 'instantiated', or vice versa (i.e. the 'usual assumption' of
> physical instantiation).
> But are assumptions 1 and 2 ineluctably 'theological preferences', or
> can we discriminate them empirically?

Like you can test the Everett MW from a first person point of view by
quantum suicide, you can get first person confirmation of comp by comp
suicide. But this is trivial and not so interesting. Now my point is
that comp gives enough constraint by itself so that you can derive the
physical *law-like* propositions from it, so you can compare them with
empiry. So you can get first person plural confirmation (of a purely
third person communicable theory).


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Received on Sun Sep 03 2006 - 09:14:31 PDT

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