Re: Emulation and Stuff

From: Flammarion <>
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 01:55:35 -0700 (PDT)

On 18 Aug, 01:43, David Nyman <> wrote:
> 2009/8/17 Flammarion <>:
> > 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.
> Yes, this is why I felt it might help the discussion to make the
> possibility of such an assumption explicit in this way.
> > Bruno's theory may well be falsifiable. But then it is hardly
> > a disproof of materialism as it stands.
> Agreed - not as a knockdown blow - although as you know his argument
> is that materialism is incompatible with the computational theory of
> mind; and of course I've also been arguing for this, although my
> alternative (i.e. a theory, rather than an intuition) wouldn't
> necessarily be the same as his.
> >> 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.
> Yes, I don't dispute that.  But aside from this, perhaps one could say
> that we tend to assume that ideas about 'platonias' have sense but no
> reference.  

I don't see why

>However, some physicists - Julian Barbour for one - use
> the term in a way that clearly has reference, as I think does Bruno.

Any Platonists thinks there is a real immaterial realm, that is the
whole point

> One should perhaps recall that the appeal to number as a causal
> principle (to use the logic of 'paraphrase') can't be met by any
> merely human concept of number.  IOW for reality to emerge from
> number, whatever the putative referents of human number terminology
> may be, they must at some level be uniquely cashable in terms of

I would have hoped that was obvious.

> >> 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?
> It didn't.  I was just suggesting that embracing some more 'agnostic'


> background schema of this kind might actually be helpful in
> appreciating the scope and limits of explanation.  For example, just
> how far down the explanatory hierarchy do we have to go before it
> starts making less and less sense to insist on characterising the
> explanatory entities as 'material'?  

It hasn't happened yet.

>Are superstrings material?  Is
> quantum foam material?  Are
> whatever-are-conceived-as-the-pre-conditions for their appearance in
> the scheme of things material?  What is surely at issue is not their
> 'essential' materiality but their properties as appealed to by theory
> (i.e. the ones to which we would resort by paraphrase).

Any physcial theory is distinguished from an
Everythingis theory by maintaining the contingent existence of only
possible mathematical structures. That is a general statement that
is not affected by juggling one theory for another. I have further
defined PM in *terms* of such contingency.

> Perhaps our
> ultimate explanatory entities need be conceived as no more 'material'
> than necessary for us to depend on them as plausible pre-cursors of
> the more obviously material; but of course, no less so either.
> While I've got you here, as it were - I don't see why this wouldn't
> apply equally to the mental: IOW our explanatory entities need be
> conceived as no more 'mental' than necessary for us to depend on them
> as plausible precursors of the more obviously mental; but no less so
> either.
> David
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Received on Tue Aug 18 2009 - 01:55:35 PDT

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