Re: Emulation and Stuff

From: Flammarion <>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 13:48:48 -0700 (PDT)

On 17 Aug, 20:49, Jesse Mazer <> wrote:
> Peter Jones wrote:
> > On 17 Aug, 11:17, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:
> > > On 17 Aug 2009, at 11:11, 1Z wrote:
> > > > Without Platonism, there is no UD since it is not observable within
> > > > physical space. So the UDA is based on Plat., not the other way
> > > > round.
> > > Are you saying that without platonism, the square root of 02 does not
> > > exist?
> > Yes, the square root of two has no ontological existence.
> > > Prime number does not exist?
> > Yes, prime numbers have no ontological existence
> What do you mean by "ontological existence"?

Real in the Sense that I am Real.

>The modern perspective among analytic philosophers is to tie ontology to the notion of objective truth--if we imagine a book containing an exhaustive set of *all* objective truths about reality, then the minimal set of entities that we would need to refer to in such a book, in such a way that we could not remove all reference to them by coming up with a "paraphrase" of all statements involving them, would be the ones that must be part of our ontology.

That acount ties ontology to objective truth AND reality. We anti-
Platonists think
the truths of mathematics are objective but without any necessary
connection to reality.

>This idea goes back to Quine, it's discussed at there's also a discussion in the introduction to the book "The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics", which says:
> "Quine's criterion of ontological commitment is understood to be something like this: If one affirms a statement using a name or other singular term, or an initial phrase of 'existential quantification', like 'There are some so-and-sos', then one must either (1) admit that one is committed to the existence of things answering to the singular term or satisfying the description, or (2) provide a 'paraphrase' of the statement that eschews singular terms and quantifications over so-and-sos.

We anti-Platonists do the latter.

>So interpreted, Quine's criterion can be seen as a logical development of the methods of Russell and Moore, who assumed that one must accept the existence of entities corresponding to the singular terms used in statements one accepts, unless and until one finds systematic methods of paraphrase that eliminate these terms. .... Most philosophers today who identify themselves as metaphysicians are in basic agreement with the Quinean approach to systematic metaphysics"
> The "paraphrase" condition means, for example, that instead of adopting a statement like "unicorns have one horn" as a true statement about reality and thus being forced to accept the existence of unicorns, you could instead paraphrase this in terms of what images and concepts are in people's mind when they use the word "unicorn"; and if you're an eliminative materialist who wants to avoid accepting mental images and concepts as a basic element of your ontology, it might seem plausible that you could *in principle* paraphrase all statements about human concepts using statements about physical processes in human brains, although we may lack the understanding to do that now.
> As the quote says, most philosophers (analytic philosophers anyway) adopt this point of view when dealing with metaphysical questions. For instance, if you believe there are objective truths about mathematics which cannot be reduced to statements about the physical world using an appropriate "paraphrase", then in Quine's scheme you'd have committed yourself to some form of mathematical platonism. Likewise, if you believe there is an objective truth about what it is like for a human to experience the color blue which could not be deduced from an exhaustive set of facts about their physical brain, as suggested by the "Mary's room" thought-experiment (see's_room), then you've committed yourself to an ontology where qualia have some sort of nonmaterial existence (even if they are entirely determined by the physical arrangements of matter and the physical world is 'causally closed', as proposed by David Chalmers).

Yep. I have no problem with any of that
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Received on Mon Aug 17 2009 - 13:48:48 PDT

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