How can water NOT be physical!?

As we discussed in another post, it's really hard to get everybody to agree on something. We can patiently go 1 step at a time to try to find common grounds with everybody. Yet, the 2nd step of the World of Facts' journey is already spanning disagreements because...

How can water NOT be physical!?

As one user puts it:

"Water Boils at 100C" is both Objective and Physical. Water is a substance, not an abstract concept. It may not be a specific glass of water, but it is a physical substance, and the premise can be physically shown to be true.

Obviously, it is true that water is a substance; it is true that water is physical. However, this is not looking at the correct thing! What we are looking at in the context of the World of Facts is whether the 'statement' is about something physical, or not.

Therefore, there are actually 2 issues in the comment above:

First, we use a more precise notation than what we use in our everyday lives. We are making a distinction between a concrete physical thing and its model, which is an abstract representation of what the physical thing is. Therefore, for that specific statement, the correct label to use is Abstract, not Physical! In other words, it's not that water isn't physical, it's that statement that is not about something physical. More on that below...

Second, the comment mentions how this statement is 'Objective' and that is correct. However, the problem is that we do not even need to talk about whether the statement falls under the objective category. In the World of Facts, each statement can be labeled as 'Physical' or 'Abstract' regardless of whether they are 'Objective' or 'Subjective'. Therefore, the user is correct, in that case, in stating that the statement is part of the 'Objective' category, but this was not relevant yet...

Now, you might still not be convinced that the statement 'Water Boils at 100C' falls under the 'Abstract' category, so let's re-visit it one more time!

  • The category 'PHYSICAL' in the World of Facts is used to label statements that are about specific physical objects.
  • The category 'ABSTRACT' is the logical opposite; it is mutually exclusive to 'PHYSICAL'.
  • Models are conceptual representations of physical objects.
  • A statement about a 'model' is thus not about a physical object and falls under 'ABSTRACT'.
  • The statement 'Water boils at 100°C' is about the generic concept of water.
  • Therefore, the statement 'Water boils at 100°C' falls under 'ABSTRACT' in the World of Facts.
To recap, here's a visual summary: