[ExI] Problems with Platonia again

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Sep 29 02:49:51 UTC 2008

Stathis writes

> Lee Corbin :
>> But if there are "multiple identical collections of matter", what is
>> different about the one you are (in your manner of speaking)?
>> It's *that* awkwardness that drives me to my position.
>> So you see how to me it looks like you are saying that there
>> is something special about the one speaking, even though all
>> the rest are speaking in the same wise?
> I would say that instantaneously, it is definitely the case that this
> one is speaking here due to this collection of matter and that one is
> speaking there due to that collection of matter.

A *very* important point about causality. Thanks for reminding me.

> The same could be said for two identical computer programs being
> implemented on two identical, but numerically distinct, computers.
> This is so even though we could say there is only one platonic object,
> multiply implemented.

Yes. I absolutely believe in patterns, i.e., so-called platonic objects,
though with my new view, they are brought about (or caused) only
by the physical universe.

I haven't quite decided, but my views *may* be enough, as you
earlier suggested, to disqualify me as a mathematical platonist. Yet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mathematics#Platonism [1]
does say these words of encouragement to me:

" Is there a world, completely separate from our physical one,
which is occupied by the mathematical entities?". Since I still
give a resounding "No!" to that question, and since so far as
I can tell, I'm still a realist, then I must be a mathematical
platonist still. Perhaps only an unusual kind.


P.S. An exact quote from the very informative wikipedia article ref'ed above:

    Platonism is the form of realism that suggests that mathematical entities
    are abstract, have no spatiotemporal or causal properties, and are eternal
    and unchanging. This is often claimed to be the view most people have of
    numbers. The term Platonism is used because such a view is seen to parallel
    Plato's belief in a "World of Ideas" (typified by Plato's cave): the
    everyday world can only imperfectly approximate of an unchanging, ultimate
    reality. Both Plato's cave and Platonism have meaningful, not just a
    superficial connections, because Plato's ideas were preceded and probably
    influenced by the hugely popular Pythagoreans of ancient Greece, who
    believed that the world was, quite literally, generated by numbers.

    The major problem of mathematical platonism is this: precisely where and
    how do the mathematical entities exist, and how do we know about them? Is
    there a world, completely separate from our physical one, which is occupied
    by the mathematical entities? How can we gain access to this separate world
    and discover truths about the entities? One answer might be Ultimate
    ensemble, which is a theory that postulates all structures that exist
    mathematically also exist physically in their own universe.

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