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The beliefs are very similar in nature, but they have some different ideas. I am confused where the line of distinction is between MUH and platonism; therefore, I would like to know if anyone has information on the contrasting ideas between the two beliefs?

Another question I have is if platonism were to be true wouldn’t it be self evident that the MUH would also be true? That is assuming that the ideas between the two systems are very similar.

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    Platonism is a very wide and vague umbrella, Tegmark's is a very special form of it. But the main difference is that platonism and MUH are about two different things. Platonism is a view about the nature of mathematical objects, MUH is a theory of physical universe that simply presupposes a form of platonism. – Conifold Jun 24 '20 at 5:42
  • Depending on one's beliefs about consciousness, one might believe that there is no consciousness in mathematical forms other than the one corresponding to our physical universe, even if they contain mathematical "simulations" of complex and intelligent-behaving beings--they could be philosophical zombies. – Hypnosifl Jun 24 '20 at 6:34
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MUH is a form of Pythagoreanism or Platonism, which all belong to idealism, not materialism. The difference of MUH and classic Platonism for my understanding lies in the metaphorical depiction of the underlying ontological reality. Classic Platonism admits the real ontological existence of all those abstract timeless absolute ideal concepts such as a perfect circle in geometry. Via the correspondence theory of truth, the physical world is merely an imitation of this "ideal forms" world, and the "form of goodness" ethics is the most perfect and highest existence. (Later Neo-Platonism replaced with God as its sole source) While in MUH, there's no such correspondence of 2 worlds or separation, it claims there's really ontologically one world originated from math entities, like a computer stack, final screen outputs are ultimately originated by its software code.

In summary, MUH is much more radical and narrower than Platonism. However, a much more important and interesting question from my perspective is how either MUH or classic Platonism can explain and deduce consciousness (ie, the famous "Hard problem of Consciousness)? For me no matter how clever math can be employed to construct some "integrated information" metric, ultimately it's a just a notion only understood in conscious rational mind. Similar to Chinese Room Argument, a computer or any entity processing math has no true understanding of math itself. So I personally favor traditional idealist view that mind is the ultimate real ontological existence if ontology really ever exists...

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The difference is around 2400 years. Plato argued (correctly) that Forms exist regardless of our perception of them, but in the 4th century BC he didn't know, for example, that the laws of mechanics are universal and that everything, including ourselves and our brains, is made of particles that obey the same laws. Tegmark added the idea (which I also believe to be correct) that our awareness of our environment is a product of physical processes that take place or simply exist (since mathematical structures do not exist in space and time but rather space and time exist in them) in the mathematical structure that is our universe. This explains why our physical universe appears real to us while other mathematical structures seem abstract.

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  • can u elaborate on "This explains why our physical universe appears real to us while other mathematical structures seem abstract."? From MUH which posits math as the real ontological origin of all physical phenomena, for me if it is correct, then we should feel mathematical structures as more concrete since it seems closer to the real origin... – Double Knot Feb 24 at 22:59
  • @DoubleKnot Since we are part of this particular mathematical structure and not of others, our sensory input, thoughts and feelings are determined by the laws that govern it and not by those that govern, for example, John Conway's Game of Life. We can, in theory at least, simulate those other structures just as we can run the Game of Life in our browser, but we still need to convert the information that the simulation generates into physical processes in our universe (e.g. apply voltage to tiny LEDs in our computer screens) in order to generate sensory input. – Ron Inbar Feb 25 at 7:01
  • Since u said u believe both to be correct, then how either MUH or Platonism can explain and deduce consciousness (ie, the famous "Hard problem of Consciousness)? For me no matter how clever math can be employed to construct some "integrated information" metric, ultimately it's a just a notion only understood in conscious rational mind. Similar to the famous Searle's Chinese Room Argument, a computer or any entity processing math has no true understanding of math itself. So I personally favor traditional idealist view that mind is the ultimate real ontological existence, not forms or math. – Double Knot Feb 25 at 19:38
  • @DoubleKnot So do you believe that there is no external reality and that everyone but yourself is just an elaborate simulation? – Ron Inbar Feb 25 at 21:49
  • Using philosophy jargon with my humble understanding, what you described above and seems believed in (MUH, Platonism) also belongs to modern Computationalism, which similar to MUH, basically asserts physical process is a mere simulation. Another major school of thought is Nihilism, which doesn't specifically claims simulation, while just denies any physical process as real ontological existence, such as Hinduism, Buddhism. As stated above about the "Hard Problem of Consciousness", I do not believe in Computationalism... – Double Knot Feb 25 at 22:27

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