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Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE: Why most classifications are fu

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Matthew West" <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 14:41:04 +0100
Message-id: <4e282c6f.d405e30a.1e73.5372@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Dear John,


I am using the term 'world' to mean everything that exists.  It is a synonym for 'universe', And if multiverses exist, then  I intend it to mean the totality of all existing multiverses.

> Possible worlds don't exist. This world is all we have.

> MW: And your proof for that is...?

It's true by the above definition.

MW: Fine, but you  seem to have been arguing that only the universe we experience exists.

> MW: I will grant you that we do not (currently at least) have access to
> other possible worlds, but that is a long way from them not existing. It
> is
> merely the case that we cannot prove whether they exist or not. We can of
> course show that we have representations of other possible worlds, just as
> we have representations of this world. It is sometimes worth remembering
> that in ontology we are only actually dealing with representations, even
> of
> this world.

In that case, we are using words differently.  If by possible world, you mean aspects of the universe (or multiverse) that we currently have no knowledge of, then you are talking about something very different from what philosophers mean by the term 'possible world'.

MW: Not true. Lewis specifically asserts that possible worlds actually exist in the sense you mean.

There are very large parts of our planet that most of us have no knowledge of.  Even with Google Earth looking down on us, we still don't know anything about most what exists below the surface.  And we have much less knowledge of 99.99999999999999999% of the universe.

But those things are merely called unexplored parts of the world (or universe).  The term that philosophers use for them is 'actual'.

The point I was making is that any talk about possible worlds (i.e., anything other than what is actual) is a figment of our imagination.

MW: Talk about possible worlds might or might not correspond to something that really exists.

The only information we can get from such fantasies is derivative from what we put in by means of our thought -- i.e., it is intensional, not extensional.

MW: Now you are getting confused about intensional and intentional. If possible worlds are just figments of our imagination, they would be intentional (i.e. created by us). They would still be extensional in any case if that is how they are described.




Matthew West                           

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