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Ilya Startsev

Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins: Something from nothing?

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Let me give you an example. You probably know of this group of people known as the Chomskyan linguists. Their idea is that everyone is born with a neurobiological, linguistic apparatus that contains principles and parameters of the universal grammar (syntax, mostly). Now, Chomsky is probably one of the most popular philosophical linguists of the twentieth century, since he was able to persuade the majority of linguists to abandon the "tabula rasa" idea and convert to his thinking. They never found proof of this apparatus, but they still believe in the universal grammar and say that whether anyone finds this apparatus is meaningless. The far reaching consequences of Chomskyan thought are reflected in the idea that existence is actually infinite (and thus actually eternal, although they don't speak of the latter). In other words, they got everything completely wrong.

This doesn't follow at all... How does that lead to actual infinity? What IS an actual infinity?

 

On top of that, tabula rasa in Rand's sense isn't that there are no underlying mechanisms of thought. It's only that we aren't born with knowledge or concepts. If anyone insists blank slate to Rand meant even blank architecture of the mind at birth, it's simply wrong.

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This doesn't follow at all... How does that lead to actual infinity? What IS an actual infinity?

 

On top of that, tabula rasa in Rand's sense isn't that there are no underlying mechanisms of thought. It's only that we aren't born with knowledge or concepts. If anyone insists blank slate to Rand meant even blank architecture of the mind at birth, it's simply wrong.

It did not follow because I did not mention Chomsky's views on infinity in language (in generative linguistics and in the idea of recursion). In a movie about him, I believe he also says that there is a digital infinity in reality. Digital infinity is a mathematical infinity, a kind of actual infinity that is different from (unbounded) potential infinity. See my Manifesto for the Freedom of Languages for my argument against Chomsky.

 

So, are you innatists then? Remember that Chomsky said that there is nothing logical1 in language (he opposed predicate logic of philosophical semanticists), and his linguistics theory is completely arbitrary in that regard, even though it matches English syntax pretty accurately. Chomsky believed that thought is language and language is thought, and you already know how much I disagree with him. But if you take logic of thought to be prior to life, then you are repeating Chomsky's linguistic mistake, only now taking it into the idealistic realm of pure reason. Reason is purely conceptual. Eiuol, please explain where would a pre-life logical (conceptual) apparatus come from (and how!?!?), and is there neurobiological evidence for it?

 

1except for his own logic, that is.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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In answer to the original post - can something come from nothing? No.

Nothing is the absence of anything.

Saying the universe started from nothing opens the gates to all sorts claims. It would be possible for unicorns to gallop out of all forests in the world on Monday, it is possible that instead of water, oceans will become awash with gold on Tuesday, or that Joseph knocked up Mary 'immaculately' about 2,015 years ago.

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In answer to the original post - can something come from nothing? No.

Nothing is the absence of anything.

Saying the universe started from nothing opens the gates to all sorts claims. It would be possible for unicorns to gallop out of all forests in the world on Monday, it is possible that instead of water, oceans will become awash with gold on Tuesday, or that Joseph knocked up Mary 'immaculately' about 2,015 years ago.

That's only true if you have nothing, which is meaningless. However, the statement says that the observed universe came from nothing. In other words, nothing (i.e., physical vacuum) is the context of the Universe. If you drop the context, you ignore existence, and therefore start coming up with imaginary stuff to fluff your argument.

 

EDIT: To clarify for those of you who have been following my argument since the OP, Vacuum would be the greater context than existence as the universe (context--your view) or existence as the source of the universe (object--my view). Either way, you can say that Vacuum is the context of context or the context of object - since we are dealing with mostly purely conceptual stuff here, it won't make much difference.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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In the Introduction in The Logical Leap, Leonard Peikoff makes this astute point:

"The explosion of knowledge in physics during the seventeenth century had a profound influence on men's view of the world and of their own nature. Most people do not acquire such views by reading philosophy books, but rather by seeing and dealing with the products of man in action, for example, novels, schools, governments, and the achievements of scientific discovery."

 

The converse of this is also true. By just seeing and dealing with the products of man in action, such as novels, schools, government and the achievements of scientific discovery, most people are going to adopt the views that led to them without grasping the underlying philosophies implicitly embedded within.

 

Given how philosophy is approached and taught in academia, trying to understand Objectivism via studying and relying on the so called 'scientific conclusions' derived by skeptics, rationalists, idealists, materialists and empiricists is essentially an exercise in futility.

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But nothing cannot be a context for existence. Nothing is defined as the absence of anything - an absence which is indefinable without things which exist. Existence is the context of absence, and therefore the context of nothingness.

I love objectivist metaphysics, it really is inescapable.

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Greg,

 

The academia is thoroughly corrupted by materialists, and you can also view this corruption all around you. But a better practice and theory was established by Aristotle and extended by Newton in the seventeenth century. However, most people still misinterpret the two. That's why we have to work together to awaken these individuals from their slumber.

 

On a related point, what do you think about the "the military-industrial complex"? Ms. Rand wrote the following in Philosophy: Who Needs It: "Something called “the military-industrial complex”—which is a myth or worse—is being blamed for all of this country’s troubles" (20). I don't want to blame this complex, but it is not a myth. In fact, its incorrigible expansion (for example, as seen in "Dangerous Neighbors: Erasive Rhetoric and Communities at Risk" by Dragga & Gong) is influenced by taking technology (product) as the only value and by devaluing human lives. This materialism, started with the misinterpretation of Aristotle by Kant, has lead to all the troubles of the twentieth century. Transhumanism may be the next step for these materialists to finally replace human beings with technology that is valued so highly.

 

Jon,

 

Your view of existence as "the context of absence, and therefore the context of nothingness" is interesting. You have jumped to the synthesis where my view of APEIRON is--an object/context that includes absolute everything and absolute nothing. In that case, existence and nonexistence are a singular whole. If you want to read more about this conceptual experiment, I suggest you read these posts.

 

But I don't think it was legitimate for you to jump so high without understanding the nature of existence. I think you are saying that vacuum is a part of existence (or universe), but not the other way around. Presumably, if that were the case, the part of existence that is not vacuum also does not exist in vacuum. Existents would not exist in vacuum but around it, right? For example, a planet revolves around the sun in vacuum, but you are saying that either: a) planets do not revolve and there is no motion in vacuum; or B) vacuum revolves around the planets. Think of vacuum as a spacetime (as it is). For example, when a planet moves, it moves from point A to point B. While it is at point A, point B is vacuum (or another body). While it is at point B, point A is vacuum (or another body). If you look closely at motion, you will see that motion does not displace spacetime - it merely uses a portion of it. In other words, existence shares spacetime, so it can move through it. Once you grasp the relationship of objects to their spaciotemporal contexts, then you can integrate them conceptually. If not, then you simply ignore them as they are, inseparable from each other.

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I am an aficionado (not an expert) in physics

When I was 15-16, I was an aficionado too. I wasn't satisfied to remain one, so that I studied physics five years, graduated in theoretical physics. A couple of years ago, after retirement, I took a number of courses in order to get acquainted with the current status in a number of fields.

 

In my graduate years I started being interested in the philosophy as related to physics. The best author I found was Mario Bunge, who is a physicist [bold]and[/bold] a philosopher (look-up "Bunge" on this forum).

 

However, I am not considering myself an expert, neither in physics, nor in philosophy, but merely an informed beginner, and only in the fields that I've studied. An expert is someone who is doing research in that field.

 

Contemporary physics is a difficult field of study, and not some "clever" prose as found in some popular science literature. If your interest in physics is serious, you must study it systematically, otherwise you are only embarrassing yourself. Same for philosophy.

 

You ask me to "correct me if I make any mistakes in my reasoning". Sorry for being blunt, but as you can understand from the above, do you really expect making anything but mistakes? Almost each phrase in your post above has at least one serious problem, most have many even I can see, without being a real expert. And the most serious problem is not when a statement is wrong, but when it doesn't even make sense.

 

The same with questions you are asking. For example in the first paragraph… I will not quote and I will not discuss because … they simply don't make sense! Next paragraph:

 

Electrons and positrons are called fermions because they have a half-integer spin.

No, electrons and positrons are not called fermions, they are fermions - because they have a half-integer spin. Particles with half-integer spin obey the Fermi-Dirac statistics, this is why they are called "fermions".

 

[… more – sorry! - nonsense…]

 

A boson like a photon in my philosophy is considered a synthesis of context and object…

I explain bosons the same as contexts in my philosophy…

 

Using physical analogies to explain philosophy is bizarre… One uses analogy to "explain"/illustrate a difficult concept through a simpler one…

 

And so on… Beware of making "synthesis" of sciences you don't understand well enough.

 

P.S. From your profile I see that you are 28 years old and are a graduate student. What are you studying?

Edited by AlexL

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The best author I found was Mario Bunge, who is a physicist [bold]and[/bold] a philosopher (look-up "Bunge" on this forum).

I am interested in how Mario Bunge's views are similar to Objectivism, specifically the concept of existence, if you could elaborate on that. There isn't much on him on wikipedia, but I like that he is a philosophical realist. I know one person who holds a dual doctorate from Columbia U. in physics and philosophy, but you probably won't be interested in his work, since he is a dialectician in Hegelian tradition.

 

However, I am not considering myself an expert, neither in physics, nor in philosophy, but merely an informed beginner, and only in the fields that I've studied.

That's being very humble, although I respect your honesty and knowledge.

 

they simply don't make sense!

I am working on that. My problem is that I am not such a great wordsmith and sometimes I get carried away with my sentences. Also, I don't spend as much time correcting my sentences on thus forum as I would if I were to publish this material.

 

No, electrons and positrons are not called fermions, they are fermions - because they have a half-integer spin. Particles with half-integer spin obey the Fermi-Dirac statistics, this is why they are called "fermions".

That's very nitpicky and semantic of you. I want to talk about the meanings in general, not how the meanings are linguistically displayed. Here is a correction of that statement: "Electrons and positrons [have a half-integer spin and are therefore] called fermions."

Here is the original: "Electrons and positrons are called fermions because they have a half-integer spin."

Did this correction add anything to our discussion or simply slowed it down not because of a glaring error in my thinking but because of some inefficiencies in my language?

 

Using physical analogies to explain philosophy is bizarre… One uses analogy to "explain"/illustrate a difficult concept through a simpler one…

Physical concepts can be used to illustrate many things. I prefer to think this way, since I consider myself an epistemological physicalist (philosophical realism is a part of that). I have tried explaining my ideas in many ways on thus forum, but this looks like an interesting new venue.

 

Beware of making "synthesis" of sciences you don't understand well enough.

I am not afraid. The worst case scenario is that I will get corrected, and I have no problem with that.

 

What are you studying?

I am currently studying Rhetoric and Professional Writing (Aristotelian rhetoric and Lakovian conceptual metaphors), and would like to analyze Rand's rhetoric. I got my BA in Business Management, studied Electrical Engineering for two years, then had gone off on a tangent and did a lot of independent studying mostly in philosophy and literature.

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Facts presuppose both existence and identity.

Yes, but you can have negative facts. As Peikoff said, you can be absolutely sure of the fact that there is no gremlin behind the door to the room. Now, gremlins are a meaningless identity, and gremlins do not exist. So, facts also presuppose nonexistence and non-identity.

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That's only true if you have nothing, which is meaningless. However, the statement says that the observed universe came from nothing. In other words, nothing (i.e., physical vacuum) is the context of the Universe. If you drop the context, you ignore existence, and therefore start coming up with imaginary stuff to fluff your argument.

 

EDIT: To clarify for those of you who have been following my argument since the OP, Vacuum would be the greater context than existence as the universe (context--your view) or existence as the source of the universe (object--my view). Either way, you can say that Vacuum is the context of context or the context of object - since we are dealing with mostly purely conceptual stuff here, it won't make much difference.

 

One of the Krauss’s key points is that empty space is not empty, there’s energy there (note that the temperature of empty space is not absolute zero), and at the sub-atomic level there are particles constantly “popping in and out of existence”.  So when he uses the term “nothing”, as in “A Universe from Nothing”, he doesn’t really mean nothing.  He was taken to task for this in the New York Times review of his book:

 

f what we formerly took for nothing turns out, on closer examination, to have the makings of protons and neutrons and tables and chairs and planets and solar systems and galaxies and universes in it, then it wasn’t nothing, and it couldn’t have been nothing, in the first place.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

I gather you think all this has some relevance (a challenge) to Objectivist Metaphysics, and from my understanding of it, it doesn’t.

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I am interested in how Mario Bunge's views are similar to Objectivism, specifically the concept of existence, if you could elaborate on that.

 

No, sorry,I can't, I would have to search. But there is a "Philosophical Dictionary" by Bunge.

 

I mentioned a reference by Bunge ("Foundations of Physics") which you can get by searching "Bunge" on this forum, or visiting a good scientific library. There is also a book "Philosophy of Physics" by Bunge in Russian, probably still available.

 

they simply don't make sense!

 

I am working on that. My problem is that I am not such a great wordsmith

 

It is often a symptom of foggy thinking…

 

Here is a correction of that statement: "Electrons and positrons have a half-integer spin and are therefore called fermions."

This is the same statement, only slightly rearranged, and has the same problem: it assumes that the definition of the term fermion is "to have a half-integer spin", which is false. But maybe you took it from the Wiki in Russian, which is sometimes wrong. I explained why such particles are called "fermions", I won't repeat, but you may wish to consult the English Wikipedia.

 

The problem is that you seem to ignore the relationship between spin and statistics, which is an observed fact (but also a theorem in QFT), and you believe it to be a definition.

Physical concepts can be used to illustrate many things. I prefer to think this way…

As I said, using physical analogies to explain philosophy is … One uses analogy to "explain"/illustrate a difficult concept through a simpler one… and concept in QM, particle physics, QFT are not simple. And you cannot assume that this audience is more familiar with those physical concepts than with the philosophical ones. What you are doing may create the impression that you try to amaze and intimidate the audience.

 

Beware of making "synthesis" of sciences you don't understand well enough.

Nobody will make your homework (of understanding what you are talking about) for you. Therefore, the worst case scenario is that you will be ejected.

 

There is a good discussion forum on science, primarily math and physics, at the Moscow State University (http://dxdy.ru/); check it to see what a serious discussion means. The forum is moderated by strict rules - I don't encourage you to post there, do it on your own risk :-)

 

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“popping in and out of existence”

The article was excellent, but this statement is especially relevant. To pop out of existence but to continue to exist, a particle must become unperceived. This means that there are two types of existence: perceived and unperceived. For the perceived existence, we have logic based on the law of identity. For the unperceived existence, we have no logic. (Yet.) I think this new logic needs to be developed. The following is an experiment, but hopefully we can make it work together, if we discuss this.

 

Let us look at the logic we all know. I am trying to connect Aristotle's square of oppositions (see below) to the law of identity. The square of oppositions deals with propositions, but identity is viewed as only a part of a propositional statement. For example, in "all men are mortal" you have two identities: "men" and "mortal." This proposition can be expressed in the following form: All S is P, where S is "men" and P is "mortal." "All" is an absolute logical operator meaning "Every." In propositional logic, to say that "Some S is P" does not presuppose that "Every S is P." However, if you know that "Every S is P" is true, then you necessarily know that "Some S is P" is also true. In other words, it is an implication in the form: IF (Every S is P), THEN (Some S is P), where the inverse without negation is not valid. I would like to convert this into the axiomatic, ontological form. One way is to take "is P" to mean "is an existent" (P==existent), and we can write it as the pure action of existing, that is, simply the verb "is," i.e., exists (in some place and in some time). Then we have: "Every S exists" and "Some S exists." Without substituting anything for S, we can infer that the sum of all S that exists is Existence and some part of that sum is Identity. Then we have, IF (Existence), THEN (Identity). Since we know that existential cause is an action that follows the law of identity, we can say that "Existence is Identity." In the square of oppositions, this converts to "A is I" (see below). Both A and I are true individually and as a subaltern. Before I go on to discussing a new logic, please tell me if this makes sense and reflects the left side of the square.

 

image-a.jpg

 

Ilya, how would you define a vacuum... What are it's attributes and characteristics? How did we discover them?

Vacuum is a complex concept that, as Krauss has shown, is at the junction of the most advanced science and philosophy. Vacuum is cosmic, physical, and energetic (hypothetically also dark). When I use the concept of vacuum in the way that fits my thinking, I capitalize it. So, Vacuum is the context of everything we know to exist; it is the spacetime as a background on which the Cosmos is seen. To simplify this philosophically, you may take Vacuum to mean a nonexistence (as unperceived existence). When I mentioned before (in the conversation with Greg) that whether there are facts of nonexistence or that facts presuppose nonexistence, I meant that one can have facts that presuppose other facts. This is a regress in the chain of facts that ends up in nonexistence (or existence that we do not yet wholly grasp).

 

It is often a symptom of foggy thinking…

Not necessarily. I simply think differently than you. I don't always think mathematically, but I often think visually.

 

The problem is that you seem to ignore the relationship between spin and statistics, which is an observed fact (but also a theorem in QFT), and you believe it to be a definition.

Yes, I did not follow the exact wording of the spin-statistics theorem. I think this had to do with the nature of my illustration: definitions and illustrations are like metaphors, they explain something by comparing it to something else. I know that fermions and bosons exist as particles and that definitions are conceptual constructs that necessarily refer to actual entities. Since I have used the names of these particles for the first time, I decided that it would be easier to grasp them first as a definition, but later in the text I used them as actual entities (see in bold):

 

Electrons and positrons are called fermions because they have a half-integer spin. I would explain a fermion the same way I explain an object in my philosophy. An entity is called an object if it cannot contain itself and a similar entity in the same locus of spacetime. In simpler terms, you cannot place another fermion on a fermion and have them both coexist so at the same spacetime. On the other hand, photons are not fermions - they are bosons with a whole integer spin. A boson like a photon in my philosophy is considered a synthesis of context and object (i.e., wave). I guess the real (nonarithmetic) A that remains is its likeness of a particle, even though it is not a pure particle. Because photons exhibit natures of waves (they are massless), I will consider photon a context in counterdistinction to our objects (electrons/positrons). I explain bosons the same as contexts in my philosophy. An entity is called a context if it can contain any entity in the same locus of spacetime. So, for example, a photon can be contained in electrons or electron can be contained in a photon (as in toroidal topology), but no electron/positron can be contained in another electron/positron or vice versa. If it makes it easier, you may think of bosons as fragments of fields that can contain any elementary or composite particles, but the latter particles cannot coexist in the same exact loci of spacetime. This is a huge difference between the so-called particles. The difference is that at the spacetime of annihilation, objects become contexts.

So, the idea here is that I know that electrons are fermions and photons are bosons, but to correlate them with my philosophical definitions, I used the expression "is called" versus "is." A definition must necessarily refer to an actual entity, and thus an act of referrence may be sometimes implied by the concept involved in the definition.

 

What you are doing may create the impression that you try to amaze and intimidate the audience.

I apologize if I make this impression. What I want to do is to challenge my own thinking and develop it further. My approach is to empower individuals, not to weaken or intimidate them. Amazement is also not in my plans, especially if it means to amaze by rhetorical stupification. No, it is my teaching philosophy that if you challenge yourself (and others), you can learn more and better. This makes it hard from the start, but once grasped, the rest becomes easier (I hope).

 

There is a good discussion forum on science, primarily math and physics, at the Moscow State University (http://dxdy.ru/); check it to see what a serious discussion means. The forum is moderated by strict rules - I don't encourage you to post there, do it on your own risk :-)

I know of no Objectivist communities in Russia. On this forum, I am happy to express my own original ideas that I want to correlate with Objectivism.

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It did not follow because I did not mention Chomsky's views on infinity in language (in generative linguistics and in the idea of recursion). In a movie about him, I believe he also says that there is a digital infinity in reality. Digital infinity is a mathematical infinity, a kind of actual infinity that is different from (unbounded) potential infinity. See my Manifesto for the Freedom of Languages for my argument against Chomsky.

A mathematical infinity is not an actual infinity. The type of infinity of recursion is more like a computational infinity which as you say is digital, which says nothing about an infinite universe. I'm iffy on Chomsky's theory, or at least any interpretations where people innately have a conceptual capacity to do logic or implicit statistical analysis. The furthest I go is saying there are non-conceptual mechanisms people have innately that provide the content for conceptual thought.

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A mathematical infinity is not an actual infinity. The type of infinity of recursion is more like a computational infinity which as you say is digital, which says nothing about an infinite universe. I'm iffy on Chomsky's theory, or at least any interpretations where people innately have a conceptual capacity to do logic or implicit statistical analysis. The furthest I go is saying there are non-conceptual mechanisms people have innately that provide the content for conceptual thought.

Wikipedia has an excellent way of differentiating the two infinities through "Aristotle's potential–actual distinction": "Actual infinity is something which is completed and definite and consists of infinitely many elements. Potential infinity is something that is never complete: more and more elements can be always added, but never infinitely many."

 

As you can guess, we are living in the world that mathematicians and their worshippers (hint-hint Chomsky!) view mathematically, that is, they think that mathematics is fundamental to our reality. Such individuals would also proclaim that there is an actual mathematical infinity, which is symbolized as . In math, this infinity is considered complete and definite (since mathematicians mistake their metaphorical symbols for actual reality). Of course, you and I know that there is no actual infinity in reality and that mathematical infinity is merely a symbol that helps in various mathematical methods (e.g., limits in calculus). But these individuals, once they find a way to supposedly "prove" such infinity scientifically (i.e., mathematically), for them it automatically means that reality is infinite. Chomsky thinks he had done it with the recursion in languages, but he ignores the fact that mathematics does not go beyond human minds.

 

non-conceptual mechanisms people have innately that provide the content for conceptual thought

That I totally agree with. But Chomsky believes there to be innate conceptual mechanisms, while still calling them non-conceptual. I remember when we read, during a linguistic seminar, a quote by Chomsky dealing with the non-logical nature of language. I asked my professor, who is Chomsky's student, whether Chomsky's theory is logical, and she countered by calling me a fool and then apologizing. I also changed my approach and asked whether there is at least any meta-logic in Chomsky's syntax. The professor said: "Well, there is predicate logic." It's funny, because predicate logic is studied by semanticians, and Chomsky pretty much made all branches of linguistics including semantics subordinate to syntax.

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<snip>

 

 Vacuum is a complex concept that, as Krauss has shown, is at the junction of the most advanced science and philosophy. Vacuum is cosmic, physical, and energetic (hypothetically also dark). When I use the concept of vacuum in the way that fits my thinking, I capitalize it. So, Vacuum is the context of everything we know to exist; it is the spacetime as a background on which the Cosmos is seen. To simplify this philosophically, you may take Vacuum to mean a nonexistence (as unperceived existence). When I mentioned before (in the conversation with Greg) that whether there are facts of nonexistence or that facts presuppose nonexistence, I meant that one can have facts that presuppose other facts. This is a regress in the chain of facts that ends up in nonexistence (or existence that we do not yet wholly grasp).

If you will recall from that exchange, I said facts presuppose existence and identity. Furthermore, I'll add here, even the concepts of nonexistence and nonidentity presuppose existence and identity. 

 

When Peikoff indicates you can know there is not a gremlin behind the door, it is simply because of what is known about gremlins. Unlike kings and cabbages, gremlins are made up fairy tales, imaginary creatures. They do not exist, just as nonexistence does not exist. There cannot be a gremlin behind the door. On the other hand, gremlins exist as imaginary creatures in fairytales, as nonexistence exists as an imaginary example to supposedly differentiate existence from.

 

Facts that presuppose other facts can only regress until one reaches the source of facts, existence. Nonexistence is not a fact, it is the absence of a fact, a derivative concept pertaining to a relationship, i.e., a concept which can be formed or grasped only in relation to some existent that has ceased to exist. To insist that nonexistence is otherwise, is simply to commit the fallacy Rand calls the Reification of the Zero. (as discussed in ITOE's Axiomatic Concepts.)

 

This and the section on Aristotle's square of opposition (<snipped>), appears to me as to be leading to a rehash of what was here.

 

In the square of opposition, Some S is P (type I) can be used in place of an All S is P (type A) in a syllogism. Substituting a 'type I' expression for a 'type A' expression does not convert to "A is I". All S is P is not Some S is P. All S is P is All S is P, while Some S is P is Some S is P. So no, this doesn't make sense or reflect the left side of the square. Personally, I prefer All S is P over Some S is P, when I can get it. I.e., All fallacies deny identity to the subject matter at hand, where "fallacies" is S and "deny identity to the subject matter at hand" is P.

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To pop out of existence but to continue to exist, a particle must become unperceived. This means that there are two types of existence: perceived and unperceived. For the perceived existence, we have logic based on the law of identity. For the unperceived existence, we have no logic. (Yet.) I think this new logic needs to be developed. The following is an experiment, but hopefully we can make it work together, if we discuss this.

You seem to be saying that the subatomic particle that "pops out" of existence still exists, post-pop.  No.  The field existed before and exists after.  It manifested itself as a particle for that moment, and that's all.

 

Let me quote more from the linked article:

 

Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-­theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves.

 

But maybe this doesn't answer what your driving at.  Frankly I don't follow you at all on your perceived vs. unperceived distinction.

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gremlins exist as imaginary creatures in fairytales, as nonexistence exists as an imaginary example to supposedly differentiate existence from

Imaginary examples are excellent. What would we do without them? More so, imagination strengthens our knowledge when used appropriately. Also, remember Einstein's quote. Among many of his quotes, that one is his most memorable and true for me. Since we are dealing with ontology of things that are perceived or unpreceived, visual thinking and imagination are a crucial component to our goal of thoroughly comprehending existence.

 

Facts that presuppose other facts can only regress until one reaches the source of facts, existence. Nonexistence is not a fact, it is the absence of a fact, a derivative concept pertaining to a relationship, i.e., a concept which can be formed or grasped only in relation to some existent that has ceased to exist.

That is a correct observation of a non-identity rather than of nonexistence. The difference is that nonexistence is a concept that is formed in relation to all that does not exist, i.e., the spacetime where everything can exist, including where it already exists.

 

This and the section on Aristotle's square of opposition (<snipped>), appears to me as to be leading to a rehash of what was here.

It looks to me from the difficulties I am already getting with my post on the square that it won't be necessary to go so far. At least not until all I've mentioned is clear to all of you.

 

In the square of opposition, Some S is P (type I) can be used in place of an All S is P (type A) in a syllogism. Substituting a 'type I' expression for a 'type A' expression does not convert to "A is I". All S is P is not Some S is P. All S is P is All S is P, while Some S is P is Some S is P. So no, this doesn't make sense or reflect the left side of the square. Personally, I prefer All S is P over Some S is P, when I can get it. I.e., All fallacies deny identity to the subject matter at hand, where "fallacies" is S and "deny identity to the subject matter at hand" is P.

Thank you for observing that type I can be used in place of type A. This would mean either that type I is the starting ground (but then no type A is logically possible, as I mentioned in my post) or that type I presupposes type A, so type A becomes the form (hint-hint spacetime!) to be differentiated into type I. The latter substitution indeed makes it seem that type A is the absolute absence (nonexistence) rather than the absolute presence (existence) simultaneous to type I. However, I would argue that type I does not annihilate or thoroughly fragment type A, for that would make it a substitution that would make important meaning (namely, the wholeness of all possible identities in existence) to be irrevocably lost. As you can see, I am also trying very hard to prevent you from ignoring type A in such situations. Type A and type I are concurrent and coexistent, and by the rule of the subaltern, one always leads to the other. Within the framework of a single syllogism, this would not be a big deal, but in life, when a concept is applied to actually everything, it would be a dangerous undertaking, if you forget about type A under type I. Think of type A as reality and type I as an object in that reality. I speculate that the reason you prefer type A is because it is far-reaching and because it subconsciously reflects the concept of existence or reality. If we only have type I's, then we only have Kantian materialism, and you already know the dangers of that.

 

You seem to be saying that the subatomic particle that "pops out" of existence still exists, post-pop.  No.  The field existed before and exists after.  It manifested itself as a particle for that moment, and that's all.

 

Let me quote more from the linked article:

 

Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-­theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves.

 

But maybe this doesn't answer what your driving at.  Frankly I don't follow you at all on your perceived vs. unperceived distinction.

That quote is exactly what I am driving at. Do we perceive fields? No. Is existence a field? I would ask that of all of Objectivists. Existence consists of perceived particles of mass, right? We do not perceive individual particles of light, for example, that have no mass. But then we do not perceive any particles, so we need to think on a more global scale. The field is a spacetime (there can be many different ones, but we just say the spacetime of the universe, so it covers all of them in one concept). A terrific visual for an unperceived existence is the fist from your quote. Imagine the fist to be the form but not yet the substance of identities (fingers). This is parallel to type A being the spacetime for type I in the ontological logic square.

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That quote is exactly what I am driving at. Do we perceive fields? No. Is existence a field? I would ask that of all of Objectivists. Existence consists of perceived particles of mass, right?

What on earth?  Do we perceive fields, YES.  Existence consists (solely?) of perceived particles of mass, NO. 

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That is a correct observation of a non-identity rather than of nonexistence. The difference is that nonexistence is a concept that is formed in relation to all that does not exist, i.e., the spacetime where everything can exist, including where it already exists.

I'm done.

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