Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id TAA26288 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Fri, 25 Jan 2002 19:27:13 GMT Message-ID: <008d01c1a5d5$db0d8d00$2cc2b3d1@teddace> From: "Dace" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> References: <AA-1A04C7B4EE944C7668FBC1D84F18EF95-ZZ@maillink1.prodigy.net> <00af01c1a479$ac039ac0$aa86b2d1@teddace> <20020124093219.B682@ii01.org> Subject: Re: Abstractism Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 11:24:02 -0800 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4133.2400 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.50.4133.2400 Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> On Wed, Jan 23, 2002 at 05:51:40PM -0800, Dace wrote:
> > To be real a thing must exist whether or not we believe in it. An
> > abstraction, by definition, is a product of consciousness. It cannot
> > exist unless we imagine it-- precisely the opposite of the ontological
> > criterion.
> That's wrong. Objective abstractions are explained here:
I've chosen a couple of quotes from the text to respond to:
"Any thing can be studied-whether by the naked eye, or using a microscope or
a telescope or some other device-but an object's intrinsic, physical
information includes not only what it looks like. Logically, every other
aspect of it, from its behaviour in a vacuum or in the deepest ocean trench,
to its electrical resistance-anything that could in principle be determined
by any kind of experiment-can be considered part of the information that
belongs to this thing."
You seem to be suggesting that the information of a thing is whatever could
potentially be extracted from that thing. Yet potentiality is precisely the
opposite of actuality. That which is potential cannot be said to have any
objective existence. But let's say all the potential information in an
object has been extracted through experiments. You're still faced with the
problem that the physical characteristics of the object become information
only in the mind of the experimenter. Take away the experimenter, and the
information is nothing more than the physical characteristics themselves.
"Think of a molecule-it is basically just a number of atoms arranged in a
particular configuration. What distinguishes that molecule from the same
atoms arranged in some other way, is the configuration-the pattern in which
they come together. If there is some truth in saying that an entity is
nothing but its components (ignoring the organisational pattern), there is
just as much in saying that it is nothing but the pattern..."
Agreed, an object is both its material constituents and their configuration.
But I can't for the life of me see any information in there. Information
has to be *about* something. Information that's only about itself is
nothing more than simple physical existence. No need to invoke the concept
of information here.
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