RE: virus: Social Metaphysics

Robin Faichney (
Tue, 30 Sep 1997 12:10:11 +0100

> From: David McFadzean[]
> 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
> them.
The point at which I came into this was when you said
that existence and knowledge are totally orthogonal. I
pointed out that in practice, as opposed to theory, they
are not, and you agreed. I'm not sure what we're
arguing about now. I certainly wouldn't disagree with
any of what you say above. Would anyone?

I guess, though I'm not sure, that the trouble arises
when you try to go philosophical with your pragmatics.
The difference between theory and practice has to be
very clearly acknowledged -- even though complexity
abounds, and the distinction may even be context-