Re: this very moment

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 11:15:14 -0700

On 12-May-00, Scott D. Yelich wrote:

> Is it JH who doesn't believe in time?
> I am quite satisfied with believe that both (real) physical and (real)
> mental worlds can exist and am I am quite content with believing that
> they are, in fact, one and the same. The numbers that are given to try
> to prove the multi-verse idea seems silly to me -- because if people
> were to accept that, then any number of other explanations would also be
> plausable.
> So, if we all have our own ideas of what everything is -- how
> do we proceed with discussions on this list?

I quite agree with you; I too see belief in the physical and mental worlds as
logically prior. I believe what JH and others are looking for is an
explanation of these worlds. Russell's neutral monism provides an ontological
basis for both. He supposed that there is only one kind of 'thing', given the
name monad, these monads are events but they are neither physical nor mental
events. It is just the relations among sets of monads that causes us to regard
them as mental or physical. For example a set of monads collected under one
relation to other monads would be regarded as bio-chemical events in the
neurons of my brains (another construct of monads). This same set may also
constitute the mental event "I see yellow" when regarded in relation to other
monad sets which constitute my mental life. So there is just one kind of thing
which forms the physical world when grouped according to one prescription (a TOE?)
and mental world(s) when grouped according to others (individual mental lives).
Whether this idea can be filled in - particularly elucidating the relations
that group monads into individuals - I don't know, but it seems more promising
in starting with idealism and trying to derive the physical world or

In any of these theories, time is regarded as a phenomenon to be explained.
This is already the case in physics where 'time' appears as a mathematical
parameter in field theory and as an ordering relation in irreversible
processes. These two cannot both be fundamental so one or the other or both
must be explained by something more fundamental.

Brent Meeker
Received on Fri May 12 2000 - 12:20:21 PDT

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