Re: Emulation and Stuff

From: Flammarion <>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 10:41:58 -0700 (PDT)

On 17 Aug, 11:23, David Nyman <> wrote:
> 2009/8/17 1Z <>:
> > Look, I have already said that I am not going to get into an argument
> > about which pixies exist.
> Forgive me for butting in, but I wonder whether there is a level at
> which your metaphysical disagreement is perhaps somewhat more
> resolvable? It might be supposed that materialism begins and ends
> with predicting and manipulating the observable and 'real', and
> consequently can dismiss further metaphysical speculation with Dr
> Johnson's robust kick. But we know this does not prevent physicists -
> even when not explicitly seeking a 'platonic' mathematical basis for
> physics - from speculating about theoretical entities - superstrings,
> loops, etc - far beyond the observable; IOW seeking to situate the
> observable within a more comprehensive interpretative background so
> that appearance can be explicated more coherently and with less
> arbitrariness.

I am trying to persuade Bruno that his argument has an implict
assumption of Platonism that should be made explicit. An assumption
of Platonism as a non-observable background might be
justifiiable in the way you suggest, but it does need
to be made explicit.

> If this is true, it seems to me that the essential focus of comp is no
> different - to explain the appearance of the observable -

That has nothing to do with Computaitonalism -- the Computational
Theory of Mind. If what you mean by comp is Brono's theory, then
it migh help to call it Bruno's theory.

>though it
> places the observer (correctly IMO) in a more central role than
> current physical theory. Like physical theory, comp predictions are
> in principle falsifiable in terms of the observable. Like physical
> theory, comp privileges certain entities and relations as
> 'fundamental' with respect to others that supervene on, or are
> derivable from them. In fact, the most fundamental theoretical
> divergence would seem precisely to lie in the direction each
> postulates for the inference: mathematics <=> matter <=> mind; and how
> this plays out must, as you both have said, be central to our
> understanding of the scope and limits of the mathematical, the
> physical, and the mental.

Bruno's theory may well be falsifiable. But then it is hardly
a disproof of materialism as it stands.

> I think the core of the problem is a tendency to mentally conjure
> platonia as a pure figment;

I am not sure what you mean by that. Anti-Platonic philsoophies
of maths, such as formalism, are considered positons supported by
arguments, not vague intuitions.

> this will not do; nor is it presumably
> what Plato had in mind. Rather, platonia might be reconceived in
> terms of the preconditions of the observable and real; its theoretical
> entities must - ultimately - be cashable for what is RITSIAR, both
> 'materially' and 'mentally'. On this basis, some such intuition of an
> 'immaterial' (pre-material?) - but inescapably real - precursory
> state could be seen as theoretically inevitable, whether one
> subsequently adopts a materialist or a comp interpretative stance.

I don;t see why it is necessay at all, let alone why
it was inevitable. You were earlier comparing it
to a hypothetical background ontology. How did
it jump form (falsifiable) hypotheiss to necessary
and inevitable truth?

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Received on Mon Aug 17 2009 - 10:41:58 PDT

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