death of the mind.

Eray Ozkural exa erayo at bilkent.edu.tr
Sun Jul 25 06:26:02 EST 2004


Hello Lester,

lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<41027a95.5414197 at netnews.att.net>...
> On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 08:57:58 +0100, David Longley
> <David at longley.demon.co.uk> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> >Materialism is not the issue, the issue is extensionalism.
> 
> The issue is materialism. Without it extensionalism is nothing.

You pronounce my thoughts more effectively than in my reply.
 
> >If you don't accept that 'to be' (exist) is to be the value of a 
> >variable (Quine), what use can be made of (talking about  or referring 
> >to) an entity? 
> 
> And where does this mysterious variable of which one is the value come
> from, pray tell?

Exactly what I asked David.

> >                        What point is there to having entities within a 
> >scientific ontology which have no identity?
> 
> Positivist mysticism again?

Mysticism indeed. In David's sentence, there are already a bunch of
abstract concepts which are assumed to be fundamental. Even the
concept of "identity" is not granted in a materialist metaphysics.
 
Whenever David echoes Quine, I get the impression that he (originally
Quine) thinks the universe is a collection of logical sentences
hanging in the air. But in reality, it is a machine whose parts
interact causally.

> >                                                                       Surely the whole point of 
> >science is to discover useful functional relations between such values?
> 
> Hardly the whole point.

I had missed that part in David's post. It is, I think, even a worse
fallacy to assume such things about science than only the nature of
existence.

The mistake is of course not the immediate content of David's posts.
One may trust in Quine's metaphysics, but asserting it as absolute
truth is absurd. [*]

There is no reason to believe that Quine solved the very question of
metaphysics: What is existence? Such belief is properly called faith,
it is a religious activity.

Regards,

--
Eray Ozkural
[*] I suppose even Quine himself might have avoided doing that,
although he might just as well, with his overblown ego.



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