## What is NOTHING?

• 220
that end is arguably the more normal and natural state of affairs for us, in comparison to our temporary life in the world of time and events.

But how can it be more "natural" for us when we are not, or are no longer? I mean, death is when we cease being the distinct entities that we are. We cease being an entity altogether. We are no longer. There is no 'us' for something to qualify as a natural state for.

Moreover, sleep is only ever something we do, or something that happens to us, when we are. So I think it is misleading to use it as a metaphor for death. It could lead to unclarity.

But can you show that a person’s world and its events aren’t hypothetical?

Sorry I think you have the burden of proof here, not me. The reason is that it is highly implausible that we experience life hypothetically and/or factually. Myself, and the people within my shared culture, experience the world in terms of familiarity and significance.

When I'm running for the train, for example, I do not think of a hypothetical or a fact. To do so I would first need to abstract from and reflect on the situation. There is never an experience like this. Instead I am completely caught up in the situation and this is grounded in my familiarity with catching trains. I know how to catch trains and know how to catch a train that I'm running late for. I am fully involved. I am the situation. In a sense there is no I, there is only the situation, when I am so fully involved.

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“There’s a traffic roundabout at 34th & Vine.”
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“If you go to 34th & Vine, you’ll encounter a traffic roundabout.”

Again, this is not how we experience our world. Why? because the way you have expressed this, the roundabout is meaningless and abstracted from everyday experience. It has no significance. For example, someone who is lost and following directions does not go to 34th & Vine to encounter a roundabout, they go there only in order to get onto the road they need to get on to. It is significant to them for that reason. Or, someone who is familiar with the roundabout probably more readily experiences the frustrations of driving in traffic with idiots, or thinking about the discussion they had that morning with their partner, than their surroundings (including the roundabout) as such. Perhaps they are so utterly familiar with the roundabout and their drive to work that they don't even consciously notice it. This happens all the time for me in the flow of life. Notice that in this latter example the person went to 34th & Vine but didn't encounter a roundabout. At least not in a consciously aware factual manner (present-at-hand in Heidegger speak), which is what I take you to mean here by "encounter".
• 119
A possibility that makes us wonder?
• 119
Everything is perfect but there is nothing that makes us wonder? -Could this statemnet be true at all?
• 1k

I’d said:
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that end is arguably the more normal and natural state of affairs for us, in comparison to our temporary life in the world of time and events.
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You replied:
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But how can it be more "natural" for us when we are not, or are no longer? I mean, death is when we cease being the entities that we are. We cease being an entity altogether. We are no longer.
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No, I haven’t been talking about that time. The time when you’ve completely shut-down won’t be experienced by you. For you, there’s no such time. The time when you’re gone will be experienced only by your survivors.
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You’ll never experience a time without experience.
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I was referring to the sleep at the end of lives (or at the end of this life if you don’t believe in reincarnation).
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What makes the sleep at the end of lives more natural and normal, is the fact that it’s your final outcome, your final state of affairs, and is timeless.
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And "Natural" surely only applies to living entities that are. Entities that are not, are no longer part of the natural world. Therefore death cannot be "more natural" for us since in death we are not entities.
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See above.
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Moreover, sleep is only ever something we do, or something that happens to us, when we are.
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…and I was talking about sleep, when we still are.
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Of course, it’s a time when we’re approaching Nothing. But we won’t know that, because, as I said, by then we won’t know that there are such things as worldly life, body, identity, time or events. The impending end will be quite meaningless and irrelevant, because we won’t know or care about it.
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So I think it is misleading to use it as a metaphor for death. It could lead to unclarity.
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I hope that, above in this post, I’ve clarified what I meant.
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I’d said:
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But can you show that a person’s world and its events aren’t hypothetical?
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You replied:
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Sorry I think you have the burden of proof here, not me.
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I think not. I’ve told why.
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If, as I’ve discussed, our experience is consistent with a hypothetical system of if-thens, and if you could interpret it either way, then which interpretation requires the assumption of a brute-fact?
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Let me quote myself:
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“Among the infinitely-many complex systems of inter-referring abstract if-then facts about hypotheticals, there inevitably must be one whose events and relations are those of your experience.
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“There’s no reason to believe that your experience is other than that.
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“I can’t prove that the concretely, objectively, fundamentally existent physical world of Materialism doesn’t superfluously exist, as an unverifiable, unfalsifiable brute-fact, alongside of, and duplicating the events and relations of, that system of inter-referring if-thens referred to above.”

It’s customarily agreed that brute-facts, unnecessary assumptions, and unverifiable unfalsifiable propositions are suspect."

The reason is that it is highly implausible that we experience life hypothetically and/or factually. Myself, and the people within my shared culture, experience the world in terms of familiarity and significance.

Of course. I didn’t mean to denigrate or deny suchness, presence, direct experience, etc.
You find out about the logical, factual matters when you check for them. …and, when you do, you’ll find that your experience is self-consistent. But I’m not implying that you spend all your time with logic, facts, etc.

I often emphasize that metaphysics is to experience and Reality, as a book on how a car-engine works is to actually taking a ride in the countryside.

Logic, and statements, descriptions or evaluations about facts, aren’t, and don’t describe, experience and Reality.

Logic, physics and metaphysics don’t cover, describe, or govern Reality.

But I’m talking about a metaphysics.

The fact that metaphysics isn’t everything doesn’t mean that we can’t or shouldn’t talk about it. I find it of interest.
Metaphysics is the limit of what can be discussed and described.

When I'm running for the train, for example, I do not think of a hypothetical or a fact. To do so I would first need to abstract from and reflect on the situation. There is never an experience like this. Instead I am completely caught up in the situation and this is grounded in my familiarity with catching trains. I know how to catch trains and know how to catch a train that I'm running late for. I am fully involved. I am the situation. In a sense there is no I, there is only the situation, when I am so fully involved.

Of course. No argument there. See above.

I’d said:
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“There’s a traffic roundabout at 34th & Vine.”
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“If you go to 34th & Vine, you’ll encounter a traffic roundabout.”
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Again, this is not how we experience our world. Why? because the way you have expressed this, the roundabout is meaningless and abstracted from everyday experience. It has no significance. For example, someone who is lost and following directions does not go to 34th & Vine to encounter a roundabout, they go there only in order to get onto the road they need to get on to. It is significant to them for that reason. Or, someone who is familiar with the roundabout probably more readily experiences the frustrations of driving in traffic with idiots, or thinking about the discussion they had that morning with their partner, than their surroundings (including the roundabout) as such. Perhaps they are so utterly familiar with the roundabout and their drive to work that they don't even consciously notice it. This happens all the time for me in the flow of life. Notice that in this latter example the person went to 34th & Vine but didn't encounter a roundabout. At least not in a consciously aware factual manner (present-at-hand in Heidegger speak), which is what I take you to mean here by "encounter".
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I have no disagreement with that. Sometimes you don’t experience the facts unless you’re looking for them. But, when you do, you’ll find facts that aren’t inconsistent with the other facts of your experience. That’s why your life is a possibility-story instead of an impossibility-story.

Philosophy, the topic of these forums, is about matters that are verbal, discussable, describable.
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But I emphatically agree that Reality isn’t about logic, metaphysics or physics.
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But explanations of the logical underpinnings and background of our lives are still of interest. …without any implication that they’re the complete explanation or background for Reality.
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Whether or not any of us like it, we still deal with facts, states of affairs, situations. Their verbal explanation and logical factual background can be of interest. As humans, we deal with logical factual matters whether we like it or not. It’s only a matter of how we deal with it.
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We can worry unnecessarily or excessively, when we take the facts too literally, believing in the “concrete” fundamental objective existence of the physical world. Obviously we must deal with the physical world, and take care of ourselves in that world, but we also tend to worry too much, unproductively, unnecessarily.
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I’ve said this before, but let me say it again.

By the metaphysics that I propose, what is discussable and describable is insubstantial and ethereal. Of course we do our best, and, whether we admit it or not, we enjoy our lives. But this temporary life is insubstantial, so just enjoy it while it lasts, and do your best.
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I suggest that my metaphysics implies an openness, looseness, and lightness. …in contrast to Materialism’s grim “objective” accounting.
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So no, I don’t mean to say that you always live in logic, facts, verbal description, etc. But, when you visit them, they aren’t as bad as you’ve been taught. In fact they’re pretty good.
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Metaphysics is a verbal discussion about what logically, factually is. What factually is, is pretty good.
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Michael Ossipoff
• 76
Nothing does nt exist in the cosmos because there is such a commodity as a space. It can exist as the mental state of having a blank mind/nothing on the mind,. There are no spaces but there is also nothing.
• 1k
Everything is perfect but there is nothing that makes us wonder? -Could this statementt be true at all?Vajk

No.

For one thing, as I told Bloodninja, facts, logic, physics and metaphysics don't cover, describe, or govern all of Reality.

In fact, even in the matters that metaphysics does describe, there's still wonder.

I've told a metaphysical explanation or reason for why you're in a life. Does that mean that there's nothing wonderous, remarkable or astonishing about the fact that you're in a life?

Michael Ossipoff
• 119
-"What is NOTHING ( N )?"
- "NOTHING is what it looks like (N)?"
• 1.8k
Deep sleep is close to nothing as far as perception in the living human.
• 220
Sometimes you don’t experience the facts unless you’re looking for them. But, when you do, you’ll find facts that aren’t inconsistent with the other facts of your experience. That’s why your life is a possibility-story instead of an impossibility-story.

So no, I don’t mean to say that you always live in logic, facts, verbal description, etc. But, when you visit them, they aren’t as bad as you’ve been taught. In fact they’re pretty good.

Interesting... On the whole possibility/impossibility idea Heidegger has a lot to say. However, he is talking about ontological rather than derivative factual possibilities/impossibilities.

Would you agree that facts are derivative? In other words that facts depend on a certain articulation of the being of the entities that constitute the particular fact. The particular fact itself being another entity. Or even clearer, that facts are derived from a basic presupposed articulation of the intelligibility of the entities that are engaged with (i.e. used, manipulated, repaired, programmed, thought, spoken). Or yet again, that 'knowing that' (fact) is derivived from 'knowing how' (skillful coping).
• 1k
Would you agree that facts are derivative?

I regard inevitable abstract facts as the basis of metaphysical reality. (...but not of overall Reality, which isn't explainable, describable discussable, arguable or provable.).

The person (or other animal), and hir surroundings together constitute a complementary system. ...a life-experience possibility-story consisting of complex system of inter-referring abstract facts about hypotheticals.

That logical system is independent of anything else, and doesn't need to be "real" or "existent" in any context other than its own inter-referring context. ...and doesn't need any larger context or medium in which to be.

People express an issue about whether there could be abstract facts without observers. That issue doesn't affect this metaphysics, because it's about a system of abstract facts that includes an experiencer, and which, in fact, is about that experiencer's experience.

But, just as a matter of fact, i suggest that abstract facts don't depend on the experiencer. Otherwise, why is it that logic and mathematics would be the same everywhere--in any country, on any continent, on any planet, in any universe?

(Sure, different societies would investigate some different (and some same) parts of mathematics.)

Michael Ossipoff
• 1k
Deep sleep is close to nothing as far as perception in the living human.

It's as close to Nothing as anyone could ask for.

Michael Ossipoff
• 1k

The deep sleep at the end of lives is an arrival into Nothing (but we never experience the absence of experience).

...comfortable, restful, peaceful.

...but, knowing your position regarding life, I should emphasize that one can't regard the end as the whole desideratum (though I claim that it's the most natural, normal and typical part of our experience--and arguably Nothing is the most real element of metaphysics.).

If a person regards life as a matter of waiting for the end of life, then his/her death won't be better than his/her life.

Rajneesh pointed that out. Whatever anyone might think of him, in some regards, he still said some good things.

Nisargadatta said that birth is a calamity. Well, you're in a life because you're the protagonist in one of the infinitely-many hypothetical life-experience possibility-stories. Therefore, it would be quite meaningless to speak of the person distinct from the life. The person, by his/her very nature, is in the life.

If there's reincarnation (and I believe that there probably is), then you'll probably be in subsequent additional lives too..

...with the end-of-lives occurring only for the rare life-completed person.

...a rather fearsome proposition, given what we know about this world. But maybe other worlds aren't like this one. Anyway, maybe lives will be easier if we don't take them so seriously, interpreting them in the spirit of Lila..

But, returning to the topic of deep-sleep:

Have you ever had the experience of waking from a dream in which you knew something that was really important,and really, indescribably, good, but not remembering what it was?

A number of people report that experience. Spiritual teachers say that it wasn't a dream. They say that you were waking from deep-sleep, and experiencing a rare memory of it.

Michael Ossipoff
• 220
i suggest that abstract facts don't depend on the experiencer. Otherwise, why is it that logic and mathematics would be the same everywhere--in any country, on any continent, on any planet, in any universe?

Nevertheless, you haven't shown that logic and mathematics are ultimately not derived from us and our shared understanding of being. All you have shown is that logic and mathematics are not relative to one's specific culture. The same is true of physics, biology, and some people suggest this of the virtues, etc.

It seems that mathematics and logic are derivative of a primordial phenomenon, our shared understanding of being.

Or are you suggesting that mathematics and logic are this shared understanding of being?
• 381
Given that we exist, it seems impossible for nothing to have existed at any point. Is it possible that consciousness persists, and that it is as though it is immediately reborn as soon as it dies? Since there would be no experience in a state of nothingness, there would be no sense of time passing.
• 1k

"i suggest that abstract facts don't depend on the experiencer. Otherwise, why is it that logic and mathematics would be the same everywhere--in any country, on any continent, on any planet, in any universe?" — Michael Ossipoff

Nevertheless, you haven't shown that logic and mathematics are ultimately not derived from us and our shared understanding of being. All you have shown is that logic and mathematics are not relative to one's specific culture. The same is true of physics, biology, and some people suggest this of the virtues, etc.

But, if logic and mathematics are the same for everyone, everywhere, anytime, even in other universes or possibility-worlds, then doesn't that mean that there must be a meaningful sense in which they "are there", independent of minds? How else could they be the same for everyone, everywhere, everywhen?

That isn't true of physics.

Tegmark says that, even within our Big-Bang Universe, the constants of physics might be different in different distant regions, So physics would be different. Different possibility-worlds could have entirely different laws of physics.

It seems that mathematics and logic are derivative of a primordial phenomenon, our shared understanding of being.

For the reasons stated above, logic and mathematics seem independent of understanders.

Or are you suggesting that mathematics and logic are this shared understanding of being?

I claim that logic--abstract if-then facts in particular--are the basic metaphysical element in metaphysical worlds such as the infinitely-many hypothetical individual life-experience possibility-stories.

The only metaphysical element that could be called more basic, would be Nothing itself, the quiescent background of the abstract facts and systems of them.

Michael Ossipoff
• 76
The question is, "what is nothing?", not what constitutes nothing for various circumstances, thats a different question, and to ask it one must word the question accordingly. There is a tendency to going off on tangents in this forum, but one cannot afford to do this if progression is valued. There cannot be nothing whilst there is still something.
• 1k
Given that we exist, it seems impossible for nothing to have existed at any point.

Yes, .as affairs are now, there are definitely timeless abstract facts. There never was just Nothing and never could be.

Well,some people want to say that it could have been otherwise, or ask why there's something instead of nothing, My answer has to do with the fact that a system of abstract if-then facts is quite independent of and isolated from anything outside its own local inter-referring system.

So I don't think it makes sense to say that there could have been only Nothing, with no abstract facts or local systems of inter-referring facts, because abstract facts don't depend on some global permission for them. They don't need a global medium, like some kind of potting-soil.

In other words, there's no such a thing as a global medium or context in which could obtain a fact that says that there are no other facts other than that fact that there are no other facts. Such a fact couldn't have any global authority or jurisdiction, because there's no global inter-relating medium for it, For all would-be facts to be banned by one fact, or to (together) not be, would require that they have some relation among eachother. But they don't.

Is it possible that consciousness persists

I suggest that, each individual corresponds to a hypothetical life-experience possibility-story, of which s/he is the protagonist. Those stories are timeless, and inevitable. ...an infinite number of them. Each of them independently "is".

Each such story is a complementary system that includes an experiencer and the surroundings in hir (his/her) experience.

, and that it is as though it is immediately reborn as soon as it dies?

I'd say yes. At the end of your life, if the reason why this life started still remains, then wouldn't a life begin again, for the same reason? This life started because you're the protagonist in one of the infinity of timeless life-experience possibility-stories. At the end of this life, your remaining subconscious attributes, inclinations, predispositions, could mean that you're again the protagonist of one of the life-experience possibility-stories. ...not the same one as before, of course, because, by that time you won't be exactly the same person as before.

Since there would be no experience in a state of nothingness, there would be no sense of time passing.

Time, a common time-scale, doesn't apply between lives.

But i don't think we reach, or even get close to Nothing, between lives.

It seems that the person who will be reincarnated is someone who still has the subconscious wants, needs, or at least inclinations or predispositions for life. Someone who is so life-completed that s/he no longer has such predispositions and inclinations, might be someone who. during the unconsciousness at the end of a life, wouldn't have a cause for the start of a next life, and would approach Nothing as the body's shutdown continued. ...reaching the timeless stage when there really is no memory or knowledge that there was or could be life, identity, events or time.

Michael Ossipoff
• 220
But, if logic and mathematics are the same for everyone, everywhere, anytime, even in other universes or possibility-worlds, then doesn't that mean that there must be a meaningful sense in which they "are there", independent of minds? How else could they be the same for everyone, everywhere, everywhen?

Maybe I'm reading too much into what you said about "independent", excuse me if I am... I don't see how systems like mathematics and logic are either external (an interpretation of your use of 'independent') or internal. To me they have to do with the intelligibility (being) in which we dwell. But not 'in' in an internal/external sense, but 'in' in a meaningful sense as in for example, 'in the moment', 'in a pleasant mood' or 'involved in the activity of'. Even though mathematics and logic do not necessarily give intelligibility to the majority of activities and entities we find ourselves involved with in our daily lives, as systems they give intelligibility to their respective mathematical and logical entities. For example, Pi is intelligible only upon the basis of a system of mathematics, and without such a basis it is completely unintelligible, nothing.

Perhaps our main disagreement is based in this? That you want to 'metaphysically' claim that something 'internal' is somehow 'external', whereas I simply don't see the phenomena of mathematics and logic in an internal/external way.
• 1.8k
Nisargadatta said that birth is a calamity. Well, you're in a life because you're the protagonist in one of the infinitely-many hypothetical life-experience possibility-stories. Therefore, it would be quite meaningless to speak of the person distinct from the life. The person, by his/her very nature, is in the life.

Can you prove this? I can see what you mean in a "possible worlds" scenario but that is not quite the same as a soul migrating to different bodies. It goes back to the idea of what makes me "me". Can I ever be otherwise? Is that even a legitimate question? I don't think it is. If I was not me, there is/was/will be no me. However, the possibility of a person can be projected, though this is not the same as the possibility can be actualized by just any birth-related event. It would have to be that birth related event to be me.

Have you ever had the experience of waking from a dream in which you knew something that was really important,and really, indescribably, good, but not remembering what it was?

A number of people report that experience. Spiritual teachers say that it wasn't a dream. They say that you were waking from deep-sleep, and experiencing a rare memory of it.

Possibly. But this just speaks to the fact that, every night, people mostly look forward to this blissful state of conscious-nothingness. Unfortunately for me, I'm a bad sleeper, so rarely experience this. I'd say that is the ideal state. No stress, no decisions, no suffering, just purely existing. Yes, the brain is doing "something". It is not complete physical-nothingness. However, it is very close to conscious-nothingness. As with birth, what is the point of experiencing at all? What are we really trying to do here in waking life with all this instrumentality of the everyday?
• 1k

I’d said:
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But, if logic and mathematics are the same for everyone, everywhere, anytime, even in other universes or possibility-worlds, then doesn't that mean that there must be a meaningful sense in which they "are there", independent of minds? How else could they be the same for everyone, everywhere, everywhen.
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You replied:
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Maybe I'm reading too much into what you said about "independent", excuse me if I am... I don't see how systems like mathematics and logic are either external (an interpretation of your use of 'independent') or internal. To me they have to do with the intelligibility (being) in which we dwell. But not 'in' in an internal/external sense, but 'in' in a meaningful sense as in for example, 'in the moment', 'in a pleasant mood' or 'involved in the activity of'.
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Yes, I express that by sayings that they’re parts of your experience.
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I suggest that the person and hir (his/her) surroundings are complementary halves of a system—the complex system of inter-referring if-then facts that I call a life-experience possibility-story. …a story about that person’s experience.
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If the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter is the same here as in the Andromeda galaxy, and is also the same in the far reaches of this universe, far beyond the edge of the observable universe, even so far away that the physical-constants are different. …and even in different universes physically-related to ours. And even in hypothetical entirely separate possibility-worlds. (…but we can leave out the latter, if anyone objects to discussing them.)
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We could get a radio message from a distant “solar-system”, and find that the message includes a binary expression of the number pi. Other than the surprisingness of someone being out there at all, there’d be nothing surprising about their knowing about pi.
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Everyone expects pi to be the same everywhere in Euclidean space.
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If that fact about the ratio of a circles circumference to its diameter is true in all those diverse contexts…
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…and the fact “If all dogs are (or were) mammals, and all mammals are (or were) animals, then all dogs are (or would be) animals” is true in all of those diverse contexts (even where there are no dogs or mammals)…
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…and if the fact “If the additive associative axiom is true, then 2+2=4 (…where 1, 2, 3, & 4 are defined in the obvious way based on the multiplicative identity and addition)” is true in all of those diverse contexts…
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(I’m not saying that all of those things have been observed in all those contexts, but it’s what everyone expects to be so.)
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Now suppose that Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe is investigating that fact.
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He says, “Wait a minute. Is this all just a big coincidence, or is there possibly a connection here? Evidently those abstract facts have some kind of universal truth that’s entirely independent of minds, experiencers. Otherwise, why and how would they be true in all of those diverse contexts, without a really improbable coincidence?”
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I don’ t propose an interpretation or explanation of the nature of the universal truth of those universal abstract facts, other than that they’re universal.
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Even though mathematics and logic do not necessarily give intelligibility to the majority of activities and entities we find ourselves involved with in our daily lives, as systems they give intelligibility to their respective mathematical and logical entities.
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Of course, Mathematics, logic and the details of physics theories might not be what our usual experience is about. But when we look at or check-out such things, we find a mostly consistent story.
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When there’s a seeming inconstancy, such as Olber’s paradox, the Michaelson-Morely experiment result, the black-body energy-wavelength curve, or the planet Mercury’s seemingly anomalous rotation of apsides, new physics later resolved the seeming inconstancy. A current seeming inconsistency that has yet to be explained/resolved is the acceleration of the recession-speeds of the more distant galaxies.
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In a broader sense, of course physics is full of things that aren’t explained (explanations that, themselves, call for explanation), and some say that it will always remain open-ended.
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But we still find a tendency for consistency in our experience. If you left your shoes under your bed, and they aren’t there, then someone must have moved them, You know that they didn’t just cease to be there without someone moving them, because you expect consistency of experience.
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I suggest that the consistency results from the fact that it’s an experience-story consisting of if-then facts. Mutually inconsistent propositions aren’t facts.
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For example, Pi is intelligible only upon the basis of a system of mathematics, and without such a basis it is completely unintelligible, nothing.

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Perhaps our main disagreement is based in this? That you want to 'metaphysically' claim that something 'internal' is somehow 'external', whereas I simply don't see the phenomena of mathematics and logic in an internal/external way.
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I’m just saying that it isn’t possible to avoid the conclusion that certain abstract facts have some kind of universality, because how else do you explain our agreed-upon expectation of their being true in such diverse contexts?
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External to experiencers? Yes. How else?
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P.S.
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I guess you could say that all of this is just in my experience (and your experience too) anyway, including the expected (based on experience), but not observed, truth of those abstract facts in those far-away contexts. But there remains something different, for universal abstract facts, compared to less universal things such as laws of physics.

The expected consistency of our experience, if extended to what we could only hypothetically observe (but other possibility-worlds can’t be observable to us even in principle), requires those abstract facts to be true in all those contexts.
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Is that the form of the objection that you mean? It might be a good objection. It hadn’t occurred to me before.
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Anyway, because my metaphysics is about experience-stories, the matter of whether abstract facts are independent of experiencers doesn’t count as an objection to my metaphysics. I just brought it up as a separate issue. …maybe one that I hadn’t looked at thoroughly enough.
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Michael Ossipoff
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