[ExI] against Many Worlds QT

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Mon May 18 11:10:18 UTC 2009

On Sun, May 17, 2009 at 8:48 PM, Max More <max at maxmore.com> wrote:

> I can't agree with you on this Jef. Realism can be highly sophisticated. For
> instance, see
> Images of Science: Essays on Realism and Empiricism , by Paul M. Churchland
> and Clifford A. Hooker
> http://www.amazon.com/Images-Science-Empiricism-Conceptual-Foundations/dp/0226106543/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242618421&sr=1-1

Max, my point was not that Realism can't be highly sophisticated, but
that Lee's "imagined realism"--his view of realism--upon which he
bases characteristic statements about the "simple truth" or the "fact
of the matter" or as he says here "definitely the best", is
unsophisticated and lacking in coherence.

My point is not that there is no reality, but that the reality which
can be expressed is not the true reality.  And that we would do well
to let go of early 20th century aspirations toward increasing
certainty about the Truth of the workings of a clockwork universe, and
embrace a pragmatic view of increasing instrumental truth
(probability) within a context of ever-increasing uncertainty

Evolution itself is evolving.  The methods of scientific discovery and
mathematical proof are evolving.  The more we know, the more questions
we can ask.  And as necessarily embedded observers within a complexly
evolving world, our effectiveness is enhanced by adopting the
pragmatic systems and information-theoretic view, rather than the
outdated view of Archimedes who said something like "Give me a long
enough lever, and a place to stand, and I shall understand the Earth."

Thanks for the book recommendation.  I'll try to find time to look into it.

- Jef


> On Sun, May 17, 2009 at 7:13 PM, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
>> For realists like me, attempting to uncover the truth,
>> or perhaps just modeling our activities as a pursuit
>> of a (completely) unattainable final goal, is definitely
>> the best approach.
> Lee, my purpose in raising this issue will be served when it's
> recognized that you simply can't "model" an "unattainable final goal."
>  What is the behavior of this element?  Precisely how does it
> constrain the behavior of the model as a whole?

> Your imagined "realism" is incoherent, epistemologically untenable as I
> said earlier, despite the righteousness with which it is defended against
> the perceived threats of vague mush-headedness, mysticism, relativism,
> postmodernism, etc., none of which are my position.
> Your position is not so much wrong as it is lacking in the sophistication
> necessary for effective reasoning about complex, evolving, *open* systems
> increasingly applicable to our world of increasing technological and social
> change.

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