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

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Avril Styrman" <Avril.Styrman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2011 17:30:20 +0300
Message-id: <20110722173020.12791mxdxxfi8518.astyrman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Matthew,    (01)

>> I do not... think that it is necessary to treat other worlds besides
>> this one as anything more than convenient fictions. The reason why we
>> need not take the worlds realistically is that they have no causal or
>> nomic links with the actual world. ... The actual world will be no
>> different whether they are there or are not. Why, then, give the
>> possible worlds ... any existence? Armstrong [211, p68]
> MW: Which I would refute by saying "Why commit to denying them existence?"    (02)

Perhaps only because of simplicity. If one thinks of them as really  
existing, then they are somewhat similar than the platonic heaven of  
all mathematial entities. Platonic mathematicians think that all  
mathematical entities really exist in the heaven, awaiting to be  
discovered. This is uneconomical compared to naturalism, as depicted  
in the attached image. The uneconomicality derives from the fact that  
the necessarily inaccessible worlds/heaven occupies a space in the  
limited mind of a transcendentalist/platonist, while they do not  
occupy the limited space of the mind of a naturalist. In the figure,  
the examplatory object is a circle. For a naturalist, the circle exist  
in the mind and in the concrete nature. For a transcendentalist, the  
circle exists in the mind, in the concrete nature, and in the heaven.  
But when the transcendentalist scenario is put into a naturalist  
mapping, it is revealed that the heaven exists only in the mind of the  
trascendentalist, which is uneconomical compared to naturalism.    (03)

>> As Jaegwon Kim has pointed out, an existence without causal powers is
>> an existence hardly worth having. Pylkkänen [112, p235]
> MW: I'm afraid that is irrelevant, and it is not clear that possible  
> worlds do not have causal powers simply by our consideration of them.    (04)

As Sowa said, if they are defined to be necessarily inaccessible, then  
they cannot affect this world; if they do affect this world, then they  
are not inaccessible, but parts of this world.    (05)

>> But if the entities postulated lie beyond our world, and in addition
>> have no causal ... connection with it, then the postulation has no
>> explanatory value. Armstrong [151, p7-8]
> MW: Which is clearly untrue from the considerable utility that  
> possible worlds have, so this is a spurious argument.    (06)

Armstrong practices combinatorialist fictionalism, and in that domain  
the possible worlds are recombinations of the actual world. This can  
be characterized as combinatiorialism that applies the term ``possible  
worlds''. But in the above quote he just emphasizes that if something  
is necessarily inaccessible to us, then it cannot affect us in any  
way, not even in principle.    (07)

-Avril    (08)

Attachment: PlatNom.jpg
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