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Some Assumptions Are Extremely Difficult To Jettison.

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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on June 19, 2002 13:22:43 UTC

Harv,

First, the minor disagreement:

>>>"If you consider 'must' interpreted under the favored probability framework, then it means that coincidences are explained as a result of the sheer number of attempts that nature had to get it right on the money"

I do not think phenomena can be scientifically explained from the fatalist position; I'm no determinist! You know better than that. Recall that many of those discussions between Alex and me were about how I thought his view of math demanded determinism (I think it's fair to assume you read a lot more of these discussions than your own). If my use of the word "must" struck you as inconsistent, then chances are the inconsistency lies within your subjective interpretation of my sloppy use of this tricky little word.

Now, as far as the BIG disagreement:

>>>"You start with ontology."

Either I am misunderstanding the term "ontology", or you're building your argument from a position less elementary than mine. "You start from ontology" leads me to believe the latter is indeed the case.

I perceive "ontology" as the assumption that reality is deeper than anything which, no matter how advanced we might ever become, our senses will ever fully be able to detect. To me, "ontology" is the assumption that everything already makes sense, but we must wade through our sensory restrictions in order to approximate it. I see "ontology" as the basic assumption that meaning is independent of our interpretation of it. I also see folks who make these assumptions constructing their criticisms from the foregone conclusion that we all must work from an ontological context.
If my definition of "ontology" is off-base, then I apologize for not being more educated. If I am defining it in a similar way to how you define it, then I must insist that you are starting from a shallower position than I am, and cannot manage to get to the point from which I begin. I do think that the subconscious acceptance of these very assumptions is a point above the level from which I'm trying to launch into our discussion.

It's apparent you repeatedly begin your thought preocesses from a position that blindly accepts the validity of ontology:

>>>"Notice that concepts are not material..." etc.

-LH

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