17
   

How do you determine something exists?

 
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 01:55 am
@ughaibu,
Actually thing behind the objection to mathematical realism is that it contravenes a major empiricist dogma, namely that there is nothing innate to human nature. This is subject to a pretty good critique in Steve Pinker's The Blank Slate.

Although, taking it one step further, I do wonder if an evolutionary rationale can be found for the kind of mathematical ability we have. Would not seem that advantageous, out on the Serenghetti.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 02:33 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:
Actually thing behind the objection to mathematical realism is that it contravenes a major empiricist dogma, namely that there is nothing innate to human nature.
That's not my objection. My objection is that I can see no reason to suppose it to be true.
0 Replies
 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 02:36 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:
mathematical structure is also innate to the universe itself.
Where, in the universe itself, is the axiom of choice?
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 02:54 am
@ughaibu,
inside every atom, I am told.

Actually I fired that off, without really thinking about it. But rather than delete it, I will ask the question, how is the axiom of choice related to the idea of mathematical realism?
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 02:58 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:
how is the axiom of choice related to the idea of mathematical realism.
It seems to be an essential mathematical object.
north
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 02:40 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

jeeprs wrote:
how is the axiom of choice related to the idea of mathematical realism.
It seems to be an essential mathematical object.


not a mathematical object , but really to a physical object

the essence of mathematics , the fundamentals of mathematics , accounting , geometry etc , is physically based
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 07:29 pm
@talk72000,
talk72000 wrote:

Science deals with this world and existence. What occurs in your mind only occurs in your mind and may not exist. If you feel you were created by a demon so be it. Science deals with reality and the whole human society revolves around the discoveries of science not the musing of effete snobs who think manipulation of words, ideas and thoughts amount to much.
Even the early philosophers dealt with real world issues such as politic science. Not useless and time wasting questions whether one can determine something exists. You need science to establish it. You can go on musing but the fact remains it needs scientific methods to prove its existence.
There are all kinds of theories about multi-universes which are just ideas. Till they come up with proof with tests and data it is just speculation and philosophy just like Monads of a well known philosopher.


What occurs in my mind exists since, as you said, it occurs, and whatever occurs exists. What you mean is that an idea which occurs in my mind may not have a corresponding entity outside my mind. As for example, my idea of a mermaid (occurs) but there are no mermaids. It does not follow from the premise that there are no mermaids that the idea (concept) of mermaid does not exist. You are confusing the existence of the idea or the concept with what the idea or concept refers to. In the 18th century, philosophers used to distinguish between "ideal or mental existence" (e.g. the idea of a unicorn) with "real existence" (e.g. a unicorn). So they would say that unicorns had ideal existence (mental existence) but not real existence. But I think this is confusing. I think what we should simply say is that the idea of unicorn exists, but that unicorns don't exist. Which is neater. Science deal with the mind. The science that deals with the mind is called, "psychology". And the mind is part of the world.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 01:01 am
Most arguments about "existence" are based on equating "reality" with "physicality". Once it it understood that "physicality" is an anthropocentric concept (i.e. based on the relativity of human physiology to its surroundings) the equivalence between "reality" and "physicality" breaks down.
"Reality" remains a matter of anthropocentric functionality, but that functionality is not confined to "the physical". Hence questions about "the existence of God" deflate to arguments about "the functionality of a God concept".

For those who doubt this line of reasoning, let them contemplate the "existence of one's country" in terms of its physical and non-physical connotations.
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 01:09 am
fresco wrote:
let them contemplate the "existence of one's country" in terms of its physical and non-physical connotations.

Like in "the past is a foreign country"?
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 01:24 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Most arguments about "existence" are based on equating "reality" with "physicality". Once it it understood that "physicality" is an anthropocentric concept (i.e. based on the relativity of human physiology to its surroundings) the equivalence between "reality" and "physicality" breaks down.
"Reality" remains a matter of anthropocentric functionality, but that functionality is not confined to "the physical". Hence questions about "the existence of God" deflate to arguments about "the functionality of a God concept".

For those who doubt this line of reasoning, let them contemplate the "existence of one's country" in terms of its physical and non-physical connotations.


Dreams exist, but their contents are not real. What is real is what is mind-independent. Thus, for example, imaginary objects like fairies are not real. A good characterization of reality is the poet, Peter Viereck's, "what is real is what remains when you have stopped believing in it". This need not be physical. The number 3 is real, but it is not physical.

For those who doubt this line of reasoning, let them contemplate the "existence of one's country" in terms of its physical and non-physical connotations.

I have just contemplated it, and have no idea what you are talking about.
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 01:42 am
kennethamy wrote:
"what is real is what remains when you have stopped believing in it".

One can see this as a kind of mysticism.

Dreams are chemical reactions in the brain. You may not believe in your dreams but it doesn't necessarilly imply that the chemical reactions are not "real".
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 02:01 am
@Francis,
Francis wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
"what is real is what remains when you have stopped believing in it".

One can see this as a kind of mysticism.

Dreams are chemical reactions in the brain. You may not believe in your dreams but it doesn't necessarilly imply that the chemical reactions are not "real".


You should read more carefully. I did not say that dreams are not real. I said that the contents of dreams are not real. For example, if you dream that you are in India riding on an elephant, that dream is real (it exists). But the content of the dream, that you are riding on an elephant in India, that is not real. You have to distinguish between the dream and its content. If dreams are chemical reactions (and that is another issue) then dreams are real, but what the dreams are about are not real. To repeat, you ought to read more carefully than you do.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 05:39 am
@Francis,
Quote:
Like in "the past is a foreign country"?

I was thinking more in terms of "reality" as a social construction. The "reality" of a national frontier lies in its significance in demarking territory claimed by different social groups. Insofar that "the past" is "shared" I would not call it "foreign" remembering that such "sharing" relates to current mutual functionality, and not to some independent ontological existence.
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 05:43 am
@fresco,
You shouldn't take my erratic digressions too seriously, fresco.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 06:03 am
@Francis,
Point taken. I was partly talking through you to Ken. I hope you don't mind functioning as a cordon sanitaire ! Wink
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 06:07 am
@fresco,
Mind functioning, mind functioning?

Very little, these days. Quite insane....
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 07:11 am
@Francis,
Francis wrote:

You shouldn't take my erratic digressions too seriously, fresco.


Never fear, no one takes what you write seriously, let alone too seriously.
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 07:25 am
@kennethamy,
Precisely what my philosophical thoughts led me to believe, but also to what you write..

However, when you say "no one", it's a bold generalization on your part which pratical foundation I wish were true.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 07:29 am
@Francis,
Francis wrote:

Precisely what my philosophical thoughts led me to believe, but also to what you write..

However, when you say "no one", it's a bold generalization on your part which pratical foundation I wish were true.


Right, I should have written that I could not see how any sensible person could take you seriously.
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 07:32 am
I'm no sensible person. As so, how should I take what you are saying?
 

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