FOM: Re: Re: Chaitin

Alexander R. Pruss pruss at
Fri Mar 23 11:52:47 EST 2001

From: "charles silver" <silver_1 at>
> According to Rucker (p. 290), "a pattern is
> 'inconceivable' if it is too complex for me to reproduce in detail."

Sorry to ask something naive, but I haven't been following this discussion
or reading Rucker.  Is "inconceivable" here an idiosyncratic synonym for
"unimaginable"?  Surely I can conceive of "the atomic structure of my left
big toe" in some real sense of "conceive", even though it would be
impossible for me to reproduce it in detail.  When I entertain a thought of
"the atomic structure of my left big toe", I entertain a thought I know to
be coherent, though I can only imagine the content of that thought in
general terms.  But in any case, what is there that I can really imagine or
reproduce in detail?  I can't even imagine any given triangle in detail,
because no triangle I imagine has determinate side-lengths and I cannot
reproduce "in detail" the exact side lengths of any specific triangle.

Alex Pruss

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