Re: Nominalism

From: David G. McDivitt (
Date: Wed Aug 29 2001 - 22:03:55 MDT

I don't like to interspace remarks, reply interactively, or do line by
line responses. I prefer an essay format either wholly before or
following what the other person wrote.

To answer the first question, I am not certain of anything. What I am
using is a particular metaphysical model, just as you use a metaphysical
model. All models are inherently circular and speak in terms of
themselves, only. The most a person can hope for is that a model
maintain logical consistency and not break down when called upon for

In my opinion reality-based models break down. Nonreality-based models
are more dynamic and do not break down. Each offers a brand of truth.
Reality models are fine so long as a person is satisfied with the narrow
band of truth they provide.

For the second question I do not know there is a "we". There is a "we"
only as much as I want there to be a "we" and seek out that manner of
communication. As I've said recently here, knowledge is driven by
valuation and choice. So I choose to maintain the idea there is a "we"
because it satisfies me. Sometimes I choose to think only of myself,
too, so "we" at those times is not very significant.

>From: "Lee Corbin" <>
>Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 00:32:10 -0700
>David McDivitt writes
>> I will try to answer your question better. Modern men evolved
>> technologically from cave men. Mental affluence and cognition were
>> required to do that.
>Good start; thanks. What's to keep you from quoting specifically
>---the way most people do here---what question it is that you
>are addressing? See how I intersperse your remarks with mine?
>I didn't disagree with the rest of your post. Like the above, it
>related to what is objectively the case, e.g., "modern [people] evolved
>...from cave men [huntergatherers]".
>But here are my questions again, now numbered for your easy convenience.
>1. Why are you more certain that you live in a world of language,
> objectification, and mental abstractions, than you live in a
> world of earth, air, fire, and water? (Such things as language
> could not exist were they not evolved in matter creatures, nor
> could mental abstractions. You are choosing to build up your
> model of what the world is on top of very shaky ideas that you
> can't even know that other people possess, because you can't
> even know that there are other people.)
>2. How do you know that there is a "we"? (I suggest that your inference
> that there are other people is much weaker than your inference that
> there is a 3-D world outside your skin.)


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