So when you look at reality you see numbers and mathematical function symbols, not objects and their processes? F=ma refers to a state of affairs that isn't just more math. — Harry Hindu
When you look at the world what do you see?
Is it concepts all the way down? — Harry Hindu
Do objects and their behaviors symbolize mathematical concepts or do mathematical concepts symbolize objects and their behaviors? — Harry Hindu
Sure, because the mathematical concepts refer to states of affairs that isn't just more math. What is a mathematical concept, if not words in a language? Are you saying that it's mathematical concepts all the way down? Are you an idealist? — Harry Hindu
So you agree that language is necessary for math? — Harry Hindu
The universe isn't made of numbers and function symbols. It is composed of objects and their processes. The scribbles on paper refer to those objects and their processes. Are electrons numbers or objects or processes? Are tables and chairs composed of numbers or electrons? — Harry Hindu
Do objects and their behaviors symbolize mathematical concepts or do mathematical concepts symbolize objects and their behaviors? — Harry Hindu
Sure, because the mathematical concepts refer to states of affairs that isn't just more math. — Harry Hindu
I don't understand. You apprehend both what? What is incompatible?No, I'm dualist, I apprehend both, with a fundamental incompatibility between the objects which I see, and the concepts which I understand. — Metaphysician Undercover
It don't see how fundamentally, symbols always represent something mental when you just said that concepts can represent natural things, unless you're saying that natural things are mental, but then that would make you an idealist/pansychist, not a dualist.It goes both ways. Some scientists try model the behaviour of natural things using concepts, but artificial things are representations of concepts. Fundamentally, symbols always represent something mental. — Metaphysician Undercover
Right. So is math the numbers and symbols, or the thing the the numbers and symbols are about, or the relationship between the numbers and symbols and what they are about?The realist argument is that those numbers and symbols are about something which exists independent of us. — Marchesk
Are you asking if the actual scribble, 19, came to exist when mathematical language was created or what it represents came to exist when mathematical language came to exist? What is the scribble, 19? What does it represent? Is not, "prime number" a word in a language?For us to do the math. Does that mean prime numbers only came to exist when mathematical language was created? I'm not so sure about that. — Marchesk
To describe something is to use symbols to represent that thing. Does it really matter if we use math, English or Spanish? Claiming that all physical properties are mathematical is akin to claiming that physical properties is information, or that physical properties are measurable. Math makes use of measurements. That's what the numbers represent. Being that languge precedes math, therefore is more fundamental than math, then isn't it more accurate to just say that physical properties be represented using symbols?don't know what a fundamental particle is. I do know that its properties are described mathematically. Tegmark's point is that all physical properties are mathematical. I don't know whether that just means we have to understand them that way, or that there is real mathematical structure.
The challenge to the anti-realist here is to come up with a way of describing electrons that doesn't use math but is still faithful to the experimental results and predictions. — Marchesk
Not just ideas, but everything. Effects stand for, or represent, their preceding causes. The scribbles in your post represent your idea yesterday that you intended to communicate to me.Your idea represents an actual state-of-affairs that exist independent of you and I talking about it. At least, that is what you are asserting. If that is not what you are asserting, then what are you talking and thinking about?You’re working within the representative realist notion where ideas stand for, or represent, things. — Wayfarer
But what about the physicists themselves? What are they composed of - waves or particles? You seem confident that these physicists and their discoveries exist independent of your observation of them. I assume that the physicists you are talking about aren't scribbles on a screen, but human beings, which are objects just like everything else that we observe. This idea that you're asserting that these physicists have contradicts the very thing that they are trying to show.Physicists went out to explore just those ‘objects and their processes’, confident that they existed independently of anything said about them. But that was just what was called into question by what they discovered. They discovered that the answer to the question 'is an electron a wave or particle' depended on how you asked the question, and that it was impossible to say that an electron 'really is' either of them. — Wayfarer
I don't understand. You apprehend both what? What is incompatible? — Harry Hindu
When you look at the world what do you see?
Is it concepts all the way down? — Harry Hindu
It don't see how fundamentally, symbols always represent something mental when you just said that concepts can represent natural things, unless you're saying that natural things are mental, but then that would make you an idealist/pansychist, not a dualist. — Harry Hindu
Do tree rings represent the age if the tree independent of someone looking at the tree rings? — Harry Hindu
This makes no sense. How can you apprehend something which cannot be conceptualized? Apprehend and conceptualize are synonyms. Both are akin to "grasping" something mentally.It is not concepts all the way down, I am dualist, so I see (apprehend with my mind), that there are aspects of the sensible world which cannot be conceptualized. That is the incompatibility between the intelligible and the sensible, which gives the need for dualism. — Metaphysician Undercover
Are not concepts natural things?? You seem to be making a special case for human minds, as if human minds are seperate from nature, when minds are just another causal relationship, like everything else.A concept is not a symbol. So a symbol can represent a concept which can represent a natural thing. But a symbol cannot represent a natural thing directly because it is required that a mind establishes the relation required in order that something can be a symbol. Therefore, it is necessary that a mind acts as a medium, between the symbol and the thing, in order that the symbol can be a symbol. This is what it means to be a "symbol" to be related to soemthing by a mind. — Metaphysician Undercover
What if it's interpreted wrong? Is it still a symbol? It seems more accurate, and less religious, to say effects represent/symbolize their causes.No, that's nonsensical. A symbol must be interpreted to represent anything, and what it represents is a function of the interpretation — Metaphysician Undercover
This makes no sense. How can you apprehend something which cannot be conceptualized? Apprehend and conceptualize are synonyms. Both are akin to "grasping" something mentally. — Harry Hindu
Are not concepts natural things?? You seem to be making a special case for human minds, as if human minds are seperate from nature, when minds are just another causal relationship, like everything else. — Harry Hindu
What if it's interpreted wrong? Is it still a symbol? It seems more accurate, and less religious, to say effects represent/symbolize their causes. — Harry Hindu
Or you're clearly not trying if it makes no sense to me. Someone speaking a different language to me clearly does not understand that I don't understand that language. Speaking and writing requires an understanding of your audiences understanding of the words you are using. It requires two or more following the same protocols to communicate. How you might communicate with a child or a person just learning English will be different than how you communicate with an adult that speaks English fluently.You're clearly not trying, if it makes no sense to you. Have you ever "grasped" the idea that you do not understand something? That's what I mean. When someone speaks a foreign language for instance, you might apprehend that you do not understand what the person is saying. — Metaphysician Undercover
And humans and their actions are outcomes of natural processes. The only reason you'd want to distinguish between what humans do and what everything else does is because you believe in the antiquated idea that humans are specially created or created separate from nature.In the ontology which I respect, concepts are artificial. Do you not respect the difference between natural and artificial? "Artificial" is commonly defined as produced by human act or effort rather than originating naturally. — Metaphysician Undercover
I haven't excluded intent. As a matter of fact I told Wayfarer that their posts symbolize their idea and their intent to communicate it, which are causes for there being scribbles on the screen that we can observe. Tree rings symbolize the age of the tree because of how the tree grows throughout the year, not anything to do with the intent of some human. Humans come along and observe the tree rings and their intent is to understand what the tree rings are. The human attempts to grasp what is already there and the processes that produced the tree rings. This is how the human comes to understand what the tree rings are, which is what they mean. This is what humans do, we attempt to understand what exists by explaining the causal processes involved in producing what we observe.I don't see any principle, other than 'what was intended by the author', whereby we'd distinguish a wrong interpretation from a right interpretation of a symbol. Therefore your claim that a natural effect symbolizes its cause (without an appeal to intention), is just as likely to be incorrect as correct. So it's a worthless assertion. — Metaphysician Undercover
Or you're clearly not trying if it makes no sense to me. Someone speaking a different language to me clearly does not understand that I don't understand that language. Speaking and writing requires an understanding of your audiences understanding of the words you are using. It requires two or more following the same protocols to communicate. How you might communicate with a child or a person just learning English will be different than how you communicate with an adult that speaks English fluently. — Harry Hindu
So you're saying that your dualism isn't one of mind vs. body, rather one of understanding vs mis-understanding? I still don't get it. — Harry Hindu
And humans and their actions are outcomes of natural processes. The only reason you'd want to distinguish between what humans do and what everything else does is because you believe in the antiquated idea that humans are specially created or created separate from nature. — Harry Hindu
Tree rings symbolize the age of the tree because of how the tree grows throughout the year, not anything to do with the intent of some human. — Harry Hindu
Humans come along and observe the tree rings and their intent is to understand what the tree rings are. The human attempts to grasp what is already there and the processes that produced the tree rings. This is how the human comes to understand what the tree rings are, which is what they mean. This is what humans do, we attempt to understand what exists by explaining the causal processes involved in producing what we observe. — Harry Hindu
Are you asking if the actual scribble, 19, came to exist when mathematical language was created or what it represents came to exist when mathematical language came to exist? What is the scribble, 19? What does it represent? Is not, "prime number" a word in a language? — Harry Hindu
Right. So is math the numbers and symbols, or the thing the the numbers and symbols are about, or the relationship between the numbers and symbols and what they are about? — Harry Hindu
To describe something is to use symbols to represent that thing. Does it really matter if we use math, English or Spanish? — Harry Hindu
The thing is, or one of the problems it faces, is that we have to posit almost an infinite amount of mental objects to account for what we see in the world. The general line of thinking here is not so much that for example, all "trees" fall under our concept or Platonic notion of Tree and likewise for "apples" and "horses" and many of the classical objects of thought. The issue is, what do we do about new objects? What do we say about, say, laptops or plastic or anything else that did not exist previously? Are we going to have to postulate ideas for all these objects? — Manuel
...among all the kinds of forms which can be signified by terms, according to Aquinas, there is no one uniform way in which they exist. The existence of the form “sight,” by which the eye sees, may be some positive presence in the nature of things (which biologists can describe in terms of the qualities of a healthy eye that gives it the power to see), but the existence of the form blindness in the blind eye need be nothing more than the nonexistence of sight ‒ the form of blindness is a privation of the form of sight and so not really an additional form at all. In general, distinguishing and qualifying the different ways there can “be” a form present in a thing goes a long way toward alleviating the apparent profligacy of the realist account of words signifying forms.
Universals represent all real possibilities. Thus, what Plato would have called the Form of the Bed, really just means that beds are possible. What would have seemed like a reductio ad absurdum of Plato's theory, that if there is the Form of the Bed, there must also be the Form of the Television also (which is thus not an artifact and an invented object at all, but something that the inventor has just "remembered"), now must mean that the universal represents the possibility of the television, which is a possibility based on various necessities of physics (conditioned necessities) and facts (perfect necessities) of history.
But numbers are just symbols. Where in reality is there a number that the symbol points to? Quantities are always OF something, not something that can exist on its own. Math is merely a comparison of measurements.Math is about the mathematical objects the symbols represent. Numbers, sets, proofs, functions, graphs, whatever. Realism is asking whether any of those objects are real, not the symbols. The symbols we came up with to represent the objects. — Marchesk
Where is the number/quantity 19 in relation to the symbol 19?Obviously I'm not talking about the symbol. It's the number it references, not whatever we use to denote it. 19 is just a symbol. It represents a quantity which is also prime. — Marchesk
Quantities are always OF something, not something that can exist on its own. — Harry Hindu
Where is the number/quantity 19 in relation to the symbol 19? — Harry Hindu
But numbers are just symbols. Where in reality is there a number that the symbol points to? Quantities are always OF something, not something that can exist on its own. Math is merely a comparison of measurements. — Harry Hindu
Where is the number/quantity 19 in relation to the symbol 19? — Harry Hindu
Would it be possible to do meaningful math without the numbers referring to things that are not mathematical? When Farmer Joe counts the chickens in the pen and there is one less than there was yesterday, is he counting numbers, or counting chickens? Are chickens math or organisms?If that's true, then it should be possible to do physics without numbers. — Marchesk
What is the mass of an electron? Wouldnt you be providing an arbitrary measurement? Does an object weigh 19 pounds or 8.6 kg?Anyway, the mass of an electron is the same value before our evolutionary ancestors could count. We understand that value numerically. — Marchesk
Does an object weigh 19 pounds or 8.6 kg? — Harry Hindu
Would it be possible to do meamingful math without the numbers referring to things that are not mathematical? — Harry Hindu
Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.