- This dialogue is a direct result of a lengthy correspondence with Eli Hirsch, in which, roughly, I played the part of A – whom I would defend to the last jot and tittle – and he played the part of B.
- Indeed, Hirsch could be considered a co-author of this paper, although I do not mean to imply that he said, or would endorse, everything B says.
- So, have I convinced you that there are no statues1; that statues don't really exist2?
- Well, no. I can't really follow your arguments, since I'm confused about their conclusion, about what you mean by 'there are no statues3' or 'statues4 don't exist'. Let me see if I understand. I think I see a statue5 over there; you must think I'm hallucinating.
- No no no. Don't caricature my view. Your visual experience is no hallucination; but it is caused by atoms arranged statuewise6, not a statue7.
- So atoms arranged statuewise8 work in concert to produce visual and – presumably – tactile and other experiences. I suppose they serve as landmarks and are sold at auctions. Your 'atoms arranged statuewise9' seem exactly like my statues10. Indeed, all I or most anyone else means by 'there are statues11' is that there are some things arranged statuewise12.
Footnote 2: Footnote 7:
- A adds: Atoms are arranged statuewise if and only if they both stand in certain spatial and causal interrelations and are 'suitably isolated'. Thus, for example, atoms embedded at the center of a large homogenous block of marble (i.e., atoms embedded at the center of atoms arranged large-homogenous-block-of-marblewise) would not be suitably isolated; they would thereby fail to be arranged statuewise.
- The locution 'arranged statuewise' is inspired by van Inwagen's 'arranged chairwise', introduced on p. 109 of Material Beings.
- B qualifies: Were I being pedantic, I'd say that 'there are statues' means that there are some things arranged statuewise or there is some simple shaped like a statue.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)