## Determinism and mathematical truth.

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• 762
See above re. the difference between applied and pure math. My point is that the value of the digit is not determined by any physical state, yet the digit determines the choice from the list.

The choice from the list is determined by which action you "chose" to assign to the digit. How this escapes determinism is beyond me. You haven't shown your list was somehow freely chosen (which would have settled the debate anyway if you managed it).
• 171
Perception is reality !!
• 171
Reality has a structure to it, yes, and it looks mathematical.

But our own mathematical models are no guarantee that we are even close to understanding it.

So our own invention of human-created mathematics is just an invention we use to come close.
• 538

Reality has a structure to it, and math is useful in understanding parts of it.
I agree our mathmatical models are no guarantee for understanding, but human created mathmatics do more than come close, they vary from exact descriptions to less accurate descriptions.
• 79
The choice from the list is determined by which action you "chose" to assign to the digit. How this escapes determinism is beyond me.

That is not physical determinism. It is a 'blind' decision because the list is made before the digits are known. Physical determinism says that each physical state is, by way of the physical laws of nature determined by a previous physical state. If this is correct it must be possible to show that the value digit is determined by physical law, but that is not the case. It is determined by mathematical reality. Also, this value is not in the same spirit as the way ordinary applied mathematics determines values. It has nothing to do with applied mathematics. It is a primitive mathematical truth.

That determinism locates the digit has no relevance because it is the value of the digit that determines the choice and that value is a primitive truth, not something that is physically determined. Yes, physical determinism plays a part right up to the point where the digit appears on screen, but thereafter the value of the digit is what determines what happens.

Thats fine, but then you arent really saying much at all here.
I think I am because many determinists - materialists - believe the universe is a physically deterministic machine that is predictable in terms of the physical laws of matter.
• 171
Whose definition of the term "truth" are you working from?

Aristotle defined truth as to say what is, that it is, and to say what is not, that it is not.

I know you have some definition in mind but your forgot to define it.
• 762
That is not physical determinism. It is a 'blind' decision because the list is made before the digits are known. Physical determinism says that each physical state is, by way of the physical laws of nature determined by a previous physical state. If this is correct it must be possible to show that the value digit is determined by physical law, but that is not the case. It is determined by mathematical reality.

Again, you seem to miss the obvious. The decision is determined and thus whether or not the digits are known beforehand has absolutely nothing to do with determinism. That's epistemology, not metaphysics. The value of the digit is irrelevant because what course of action is done because of the digit in question is the result of the physical states which caused you to put assign each action to each respective number. This has no challenge to determinism at all. "Mathematical reality" isn't determining anything at all here for if it did, the action itself would follow from pure mathematics. But obviously they don't, you're the one deciding what number corresponds to what action. Proof: Why does number 1 correspond to " Go to the library"? The answer is because that's what you "chose" to make, and your choice is not arbitrarily outside of determinism. Your whole thing relies on begging the question.

That determinism locates the digit has no relevance because it is the value of the digit that determines the choice and that value is a primitive truth, not something that is physically determined.

The value doesn't determine the choice, the choice determines what the value entails you do. That's not a primitive truth, how ridiculous. The list of actions does not exist in a vacuum, it's the result of determined choices, of physical states of affairs which caused you to create it the way you did.
• 79
Again, you seem to miss the obvious. The decision is determined and thus whether or not the digits are known beforehand has absolutely nothing to do with determinism. That's epistemology, not metaphysics.

That they are not known has to do keeping the experiment 'blind' so that the determinist cannot say there was unconscious interference or brain states influencing things.

The value of the digit is irrelevant because what course of action is done because of the digit in question is the result of the physical states which caused you to put assign each action to each respective number.

Simply associating a number with an action, in advance of the number being known, is not physical determinism. For physical determinism to obtain it must be shown that a physical state determines the choice. The experimenter could as easily have decided that if n is the digit action n+1 will be performed. There is no rigid deterministic connection here.

This has no challenge to determinism at all. "Mathematical reality" isn't determining anything at all here for if it did, the action itself would follow from pure mathematics.

Yes, but it is enough to show that the 'decision' is not physically deterministic. The slightest non deterministic action is enough to prove the case. It is clear enough to me that the 'choice' is determined by mathematical fact, not a physical state. But it is subtle; there are many physically deterministic threads running through this and one has to be careful to see what is deterministic and what is not.

Why does number 1 correspond to " Go to the library"? The answer is because that's what you "chose" to make, and your choice is not arbitrarily outside of determinism.

But it is not just about one choice. There is a sequence of choices corresponding to the sequence of digits and that sequence cannot be decided upon because the sequence of digits is unknown. That is why there is a whole sequence of actions.

The value doesn't determine the choice, the choice determines what the value entails you to do.
See last answer; the sequence itself is not decided upon or chosen. The sequence of actions is determined by how that digits are arranged and that sequence is neither known nor decided upon in advance. Nor is it physically determined.
• 762
That they are not known has to do keeping the experiment 'blind' so that the determinist cannot say there was unconscious interference or brain states influencing things.

Again, that's not the point. Knowledge is irrelevant to whether or not determinism is true or false.

Simply associating a number with an action, in advance of the number being known, is not physical determinism. For physical determinism to obtain it must be shown that a physical state determines the choice. The experimenter could as easily have decided that if n is the digit action n+1 will be performed. There is no rigid deterministic connection here.

Come on. The physical state of your brain (or whatever mechanism does the assigning) in deciding what action is associated with what number is part of the world too. You're treating the experiment as if its construction stands outside physical law and then claiming that it proves determinism is false. Who would be convinced by that?

Yes, but it is enough to show that the 'decision' is not physically deterministic. The slightest non deterministic action is enough to prove the case. It is clear enough to me that the 'choice' is determined by mathematical fact, not a physical state. But it is subtle; there are many physically deterministic threads running through this and one has to be careful to see what is deterministic and what is not.

You haven't explained this at all. Your first attempt was to say it came from "mathematical reality", but even here you don't explain how. You're the one picking which numbers entail which action, which numbers (you picked an arbitrary irrational number as I recall) and then you're saying that the numebrs determine the action indeterminstically. Like, no. You setup all the prior machinery - you, a physical system - and that yielded a set of actions. None of that is indeterministic, nor is it even clear how you think this violates determinism. Math isn't indeterministic, nor was the exercise you gave. The choice came from you and your setup, not from math.

But it is not just about one choice. There is a sequence of choices corresponding to the sequence of digits and that sequence cannot be decided upon because the sequence of digits is unknown. That is why there is a whole sequence of actions.

Let's see if this holds up. I don't know what the person beside me at work is going to do next. He could commit the changes he's making to a file, he could scrap it, he could yank out the power cable in frustration, etc. I assign actions to each of these and other possible acts he may perform next. But of course, I don't know which he will do, it's unknown to me. So clearly whatever I do next is indeterministic because I lack that knowledge.

That is obviously not a challenge to determinism. Knowledge isn't what settles that metaphysical dispute. It's whether or not the events which occur after some specified time are fixed due to natural law. And me lacking knowledge and acting based on what happens to occur in an uncertain scenario is clearly besides the point. You're confusing epistemic uncertainty with metaphysical indeterminacy.
• 79
Let's see if this holds up. I don't know what the person beside me at work is going to do next. He could commit the changes he's making to a file, he could scrap it, he could yank out the power cable in frustration, etc. I assign actions to each of these and other possible acts he may perform next. But of course, I don't know which he will do, it's unknown to me. So clearly whatever I do next is indeterministic because I lack that knowledge.

Well, you may have a point there. Say he pulls the cable and you assign the action 'Check email' to that event. Is there a law of nature that says checking your email is, according to the physical laws of nature, connected to pulling the cable? If he pulls the cable today and you check your email and he pulls it tomorrow and you don't check your email how is that scientifically deterministic? Determinism says that A always follows B but if sometimes it does and sometimes it does not what can we say? What is happening here is that you are making an abstract connection between things, not a directly physical causal connection. So your comment is interesting.*

Normally, if a decision is made, that decision is subject, in principle, to a deterministic unbroken chain of causes in the physical world. At least that point can be argued. But if a digit comes down from the Platonic realm (or whatever you want to call it) and intervenes in the causal chain that causal chain is broken. Yes, it can be argued that the process of locating the digit is deterministic but the value of the digit cannot be physically determined. Also, as I mentioned, the sequence of digits cannot be physically determined. The actions that follow are not following according to physical law; I can choose a different set of actions the next day and respond in a different way to the same digits (the same, but from a different decimal expansion). So if digit 6 has me going to the library today and going to the supermarket tomorrow how can that be physical law if the same digit leads to different results? The connection between the digit and the action is abstract, not physical.

*An action leading to another action, by association, is not the same as an action physically causing another action. There is a difference.
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