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  1. I think it can mean different things in different cases. Swanson brought up the example of concepts. Of course they exist, but do they exist in the same way as a table, a chair, or a tree? They don’t exist materially do they? Could you rearrange the molecular structure of a concept? I don’t think so. I think the best way to approach the question: “What does it mean to exist?” is to not assume that it has only one meaning. One should examine a particular case and then ask: “In what sense does it exist?”
  2. Yes true. But I needed this setup and this choice of observers because I thought it was the only way to highlight what I am trying to point to: A spatial relationship between whatever exists while both lightning strikes do —something etched that would not be affected by an interval of time; something that points to “a time” that differs from an ordinal tx point assigned through the use of a clock interval. I’m kind of at a loss as to how to say it other than a state of affairs consisting of a bolt here, one there, two observers here, char marks on the train and on the embankment there etc. The
  3. Sorry, I was thinking of @studiot's post: “The point of the example is that the lightning bolts strike and mark permanently both the train and the platform together…” So what I meant was: M1 (train) finds herself in the middle of the char marks left on the train, while M (embankment) finds himself in the middle of the char marks left on the embankment. Now that is assuming the scenario described in the original thought experiment: where the strokes of lighting are simultaneous with respect to the embankment according to Einstein’s definition: “…A and B are simultaneous with res
  4. I’m not sure. But I don’t think it matters. I think what you said here: is good advice, and what all three of you (yourself, @studiot, and @swansont) are pointing to: the fixed distances comparable after the fact, is exactly what I have in mind. M1 and M would find themselves right smack-dab in the middle of the char marks left by the lightning bolts. As to how this applies to “coexisting events” is another matter; something that, I suppose, should be placed in philosophy. Thank you (and also both @studiot and @swansont) for your engagement and your patience.
  5. Yes the lack of a rigorous definition is a problem. I certainly can’t define it mathematically. If I say, “…while there is a lightning bolt…”—what does that mean? What is this “while” business? I can’t say “at the same time” because that brings us right back to what you noted about the strikes both occurring at a shared tx point in only one frame. I guess what I’m trying to point to when I say, “coexisting events” is something that cannot be confirmed to be the case for two events distanced from one another in Einstein’s thought experiment due to the limiting velocity of information. You
  6. In the train/embankment thought experiment, might we, at the very least, say of the two events referred to as the lightning bolts striking the two locations on the train that they coexist at those respective locations—meaning that while there is a lightning bolt that exists at point A on the moving box car, there is also one that exists at point B on the moving box car? Yes @J.C.MacSwell your discussion with @Markus Hanke clarifies the sense of “coexist” I had in mind: not the sense in which they coexist in spacetime. So in the example of decaying muons given by Markus—we’d be talkin
  7. In physics when we say two events occurred simultaneously at two locations--is that synonymous with saying they coexisted at those two locations? When we say the words “coterminous events”, it is taken for granted that we mean the two events coexist at a particular location and also that they occur simultaneously. However, to a layman like me, the advent of Special Relativity seems to have changed the concurrence between the two in the following way: We can no longer take it for granted that coexisting events that are not coterminous will also be simultaneous, because in Einstein’s origi
  8. Like Strange, I too find this to be an interesting question. Next time your brain cools, could you break down that sentence further? I'd like to know how you view it retrospectively (under better atmospheric conditions).
  9. Like Markus, I agree 100% with you that for an observation to take place, there would be some act of a finite speed involving a range of motion that could be measured with a clock. But also, like Markus, I don’t see how it is relevant to his claim about non-homogeneity in the scenario he describes. Again, in his words: “it is simply the failure of all spatial regions of that universe to be identical”. When you say, “that seems to me to be a problem with our common definition of change” in some ways I can very much relate. If you look at a sample of definitions of the intransiti
  10. Well I was not trying to deny this, I was trying to persuade you to temporarily toss it out the window, because it seemed pointless to point it out: Saying “time is there” in order for the cup to persist is extraneous, as I emphasized, “…in the sense that it doesn’t contradict the notion of change as presented by Markus”. In any case, upon re-examining your previous post you appear to have already conceded that point. Cheers
  11. I think it might be more a matter of some “idea of time” being inside your thinking. Which is perhaps why you add, “at the same time” to “all the parts are present together” which to me adds nothing. Just for the hell of it, as an experiment, you might try throwing the word “time” out the window (and all its accompanying baggage), and focus on relationships that persist (such as distances between positions on a cup) and the inherent structure as a whole that arises out of those persisting relationships. Instead of thinking “the inherent structure exists at a time” just think: “the i
  12. Hello michel123456: As Studiot said, it depends on how you define change, and Markus is careful to initially put quotation marks around that word before he gives an example. And when you say "in your mind", you are offering nothing more than another definition. Strictly speaking, Markus never said anything about changing the spatial coordinates; he said the curvature changes with respect to different spatial coordinates.
  13. Certainly not unique to English. You mentioned Spanish: Acabar con/de/por Dar a/con Estar de/con/para/por I would just focus on the problematic word (belief) and the few instances in which it makes you stumble, find an appropriate pattern, paste it on your kitchen wall in a large font, stare at it every day during your morning coffee until it is drilled into your head. So, say, in the case of an opening sentence where you are doling “it” out: "I'm going to give you a piece of advice" or, "Let me give you some input" Just avoid the “companion”, pi
  14. Hi Ghideon: If you took ten real-world situations you faced this week, had a list of what you reported as wishes/beliefs and a list of possible actions, you would find a probability way outside of chance there was some correspondence between the two lists. In the A.I scenario you describe, it seems to me that there would be no such probability of correspondence between the two. It also seems to me that as soon as you give the A.I. awareness, this discrepancy would become apparent even to it. And without any possibility of revision (evolution) to the scheme the programmer (nature) provided
  15. Hi Joigus: Based on your previous posts, I suspect that the arguments you present will fail to strike at the heart of Eise’s position. I believe you two will remain at an impasse. I’m going to take John Searle’s position as an example because I think his to some degree reflects yours (and also those of many other posters who’ve contributed here over the past few pages). Searle considers the compatibilist view a cop out1. He thinks its advocates avoid “the problem” which he defines in the form of a question: “Is it the case for every decision I make that the antecedent causes were su
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