Monday, June 15, 2009

Junk in the Platonic heaven

Typical Platonists admit all kinds of "useful" entities in the Platonic heaven such as sets, classes, properties and propositions. These are "useful" in that they relate to our lives as knowers and that theories positing them exhibit certain theoretical virtues. I wonder: Are there any useless entities in the Platonic heaven—entities that are not in any interesting way related to our minds and to the spatiotemporal cosmos? Obviously, barring something like divine revelation, we wouldn't have any reason to believe in any particular useless kind of Platonic entity. Still, one might think it would be really unlikely that the Platonic realm contain only entities of kinds that are useful. So, probably, there are useless Platonic entities, if Platonism is true.


Burglar said...

But if something is in the Platonic heaven, then it's beautiful. So a Platonist shouldn't be too disturbed about having more beautiful Junk.

Anonymous said...

I just have to chime in to say that "junk in the Platonic heaven" would be the all-time greatest title for a paper in the Philosophical Review or wherever. Ha!

Sam Calvin said...

This post reminds me of the discussion between Socrates and Parmenides as to whether there are forms for such things as hair, mud, and dirt.