RE: virus: Social Metaphysics

David McFadzean (
Mon, 29 Sep 1997 18:54:34 -0600

At 04:53 PM 9/29/97 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:

>This epistemology vs ontology thing is, generally speaking,
>a matter of principle rather than one of practice. At least
>one planet was first suspected due to its gravitational
>influence on another, so the existence of undetected
>things does need to be considered. But then look at it
>this way: wasn't the observation of the gravitational
>effect, detection of a sort? And if we rule out all such

Yes, all detection is more or less indirect.

>indirect detection, doesn't that make the existence of
>undetected objects absolutely irrelevant to us? Depends
>what you mean by detection. These are quite deep

Just to be explicit, I agree that
a) things that cannot be detected are irrelevant
b) things that will never be detected are irrelevant

I'm talking about:
c) things that weren't detected until recently and,
d) things that might be detected someday.

I'm only saying that things in category (c) existed before
they were detected. This is important in the case of planets
orbiting other stars because if they didn't exist before
they were detected it would be silly to look for life
elsewhere in the universe (for instance). And there are
no doubt things that exist now in category (d) that we
will detect in the future. This is also important because
if we don't believe that it is true we may never look for

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus