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Different Kinds Of Platonism

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Posted by Harvey on May 30, 2003 23:22:13 UTC

Hi Richard,

I'm a platonist, but not the kind that believes that everything mathematical must 'exist' (e.g., circles). They exist, perhaps, in the context that a human mind has identified that particular concept, but they don't exist of and by themselves as Platonism suggests.

The platonism that I think is valid is called modal structuralism. Modals 'exist' as structures and these modalities are normative (law-like) and this is what 'causes' events to occur (e.g., the laws of physics might be modalities that 'cause' the universe to exist). Not all modalities that 'exist' cause phenomological structures to exist. For example, the universe can exist since there is a modal structure that exists to enable the universe to exist, but a circle cannot exist on its own since there is no modal structure that exists to 'cause' the existence of a pure circle to exist in the Noosphere (Platoland).

Further, the modal structures that exist are just approximations of more primary modal structures, which by and by are approximations of Truth/Beauty/Goodness itself - aka God.

Anyway, I better quit before I incite Alan. :-)


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