[ExI] The Reality of Categories

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Jul 16 03:55:30 UTC 2007

Bryan writes

> Lee wrote:
>> Are you saying that a rock sitting next to a [and the] tree
>> have only conventional differences?  Yes indeed:  quantum
>> fields are all that there is, and we do not anymore have the
>> Newtonian vacuum of space in which objects exist. But
>> these *lumps* the the quantum fields are real lumps, and
>> very distinct.  When you write "by convention, we agree"
>> you surely admit that any intelligent evolutionarily derived
>> organism will detect these same real categories that we do.
> It is my understanding that the physical system present in the
> universe could be defined via categorics,

Not quite sure what you mean by that, a sort of program perhaps?

> but that because of the problems with measurement that we
> can never attain the complete picture of just what anything is.

One thing that this book I'm reading has convince me of:  we
can never *in* principle attain the complete picture of anything.
Actually, Korzybski said that:  the map is not the territory.

> Otherwise we would have no need for the process of science,
> or as a website I recently passed by wrote, the "goal-resolution
> -recursion" process.

On this list we have quite a few fans of PCR (pan-critical
rationalism, which should have its own wikipedia page but
does not---there's a bit under "critical rationalism", I think).

> An interesting line of thought to pursue is to apply the same thinking
> behind Pascal's wager without the religious toppings. Say that there
> are two possible states- either the universe has real categories
> backing it up, or it does not.

Okay, and I say it does!  :-)

> Given no meaning to the universe, our
> assignment of meaning to things becomes (heh) meaningless.

In other words, you are saying that if in fact the universe is
meaningless (and honestly, I have some trouble assigning
much meaning pro or con to that statement), then our
meaning-searches are meaningless.  Yeah, I guess so.

> [On the other hand] Given meaning, our nonassignment
> would be meaningful in the 'bad' way.

Yes, a marked failure on our part to find the real meaning
that had been there all along. BTW, what has this to do
with a realist's query about whether categories are "out

> You could call it an "idealized probability" of 25% but
> then C. S. Peirce might start rolling in his grave.
> (Should I assign bonus points to he who can name the extropian son of
> a famous QED physicist ?)

What is Carl Feynman?


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