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http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/01/what-happened-before-the-big-bang-the-new-philosophy-of-cosmology/251608/

"Look, physics has definitely avoided what were traditionally considered to be foundational physical questions, but the reason for that goes back to the foundation of quantum mechanics. The problem is that quantum mechanics was developed as a mathematical tool. Physicists understood how to use it as a tool for making predictions, but without an agreement or understanding about what it was telling us about the physical world. And that's very clear when you look at any of the foundational discussions. This is what Einstein was upset about; this is what Schrodinger was upset about. Quantum mechanics was merely a calculational technique that was not well understood as a physical theory. Bohr and Heisenberg tried to argue that asking for a clear physical theory was something you shouldn't do anymore. That it was something outmoded. And they were wrong, Bohr and Heisenberg were wrong about that. But the effect of it was to shut down perfectly legitimate physics questions within the physics community for about half a century. And now we're coming out of that, fortunately."

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So what? QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that?

What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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So what? QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that?

What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results?

Ba'al Chatzaf

From the article:

"the effect of it was to shut down perfectly legitimate physics questions within the physics community for about half a century."

For me "shutting down debate" was the issue in college, graduate school, and when attempting to publish. As I am active from time to time in various discussion groups and I still find physics students and graduate students being fed disinformation concerning quantum mechanics and to a lesser extent Special Relativity. Shutting down debate is what we expect in partisan politics and zero sum game schemes - not science.

Dennis

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Thanks, Dennis, for the link to this neat interview with Tim Maudlin.

From the interview:

Atlantic: In May of last year Stephen Hawking gave a talk for Google in which he said that philosophy was dead, and that it was dead because it had failed to keep up with science, and in particular physics. Is he wrong or is he describing a failure of philosophy that your project hopes to address?

Maudlin: Hawking is a brilliant man, but he's not an expert in what's going on in philosophy, evidently. Over the past thirty years the philosophy of physics has become seamlessly integrated with the foundations of physics work done by actual physicists, so the situation is actually the exact opposite of what he describes. I think he just doesn't know what he's talking about. I mean there's no reason why he should. Why should he spend a lot of time reading the philosophy of physics? I'm sure it's very difficult for him to do. But I think he's just . . . uninformed.

Correct. It is also naïve to suppose that one’s grandest scientific conjectures are not influenced by philosophic ideas. Here are a couple of excerpts from the publisher’s description of The Grand Design (2010) by Hawking and Mlodinow. The book proposes “new answers to the ultimate questions of life: . . . Why is there something rather than nothing?” I hope readers here know that the initial singularity was not nothing. In contrast to this vulgar blurb for the book, it is refreshing to see how instantly Maudlin corrects his own reference to the initial singularity as nothing in the interview. Without Schopenhauer and the Christian tradition of divine creation of the universe out of nothing, this pretentious, vacuous question would not be put forth by Hawking and Mlodinow as a serious, rational, scientific question. Truth is exact and is not coordinate with sloppy questions cut free of rational context.

Also from the publisher of Grand Design: “The ‘top-down’ approach to cosmology that Hawking and Mlodinow describe would say that the fact that the past takes no definite form means that we create history by observing it . . .”—with a little help from Berkeley. “Along the way Hawking and Mlodinow question the conventional concept of reality, posing a ‘model-dependent’ theory of reality as the best we can hope to find”—with a little help from certain contemporary philosophers of science.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The good news is there are grounded philosophers of science such as Tim Maudlin, Richard Healey,* Nick Huggett* . . . and there is sensible scientific cosmology.

Scientific Cosmology

Copernican Revolution and Significance

Universe as a Concrete

Totality Referent

General Relativity and Cosmology

Einstein Online

Total Angular Momentum of Universe

By Microwave and Radio

– Endless Existence – a, b

Roger Penrose – Conformal Cyclical Cosmology

PS

To that last entry, I should add Penrose's Cycles of Time (2011).

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So what? QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that? What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results? Ba'al Chatzaf

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using mathematical models and techniques that yield accurate predictions. But as I have argued many times before on OL, it is another thing entirely to extrapolate from mathematical models and arrive at a physical cosmology that, in the final analysis, is incoherent.

Ghs

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So what? QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that? What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results? Ba'al Chatzaf

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using mathematical models and techniques that yield accurate predictions. But as I have argued many times before on OL, it is another thing entirely to extrapolate from mathematical models and arrive at a physical cosmology that, in the final analysis, is incoherent.

Ghs

Well, perhaps, but a physical cosmology based on the ever-so-elegant A=A is pretty much guaranteed to be incoherent.

Bob

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So what? QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that?

What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results?

Ba'al Chatzaf

You have your practical results, so why (and what) are you contributing here? Your "what is more important?" begs the question of whether thinking is more important than non-thinking. This is a dumb question, but it's the question you've highlighted by your continual denigration of philosophy even to the point of not grasping that there's lots of philosophy within science itself. Without it science would be incoherent--not even exist, actually.

--Brant

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So what? QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that? What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results? Ba'al Chatzaf

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using mathematical models and techniques that yield accurate predictions. But as I have argued many times before on OL, it is another thing entirely to extrapolate from mathematical models and arrive at a physical cosmology that, in the final analysis, is incoherent.

Ghs

Well, perhaps, but a physical cosmology based on the ever-so-elegant A=A is pretty much guaranteed to be incoherent.

Bob

A is A is a conceptual freezing of time so we can look around and understand basically what we are talking about. If that's no help to you come with something that is. If no help is needed, what's the beef? Water is water merely means it is not anything but water, such as hydrogen peroxide. Add in the flow of time and things can be changed and will change but they were what they were prior. So, anyway, what do you base a physical cosmology on?

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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So what? QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that? What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results? Ba'al Chatzaf
There is absolutely nothing wrong with using mathematical models and techniques that yield accurate predictions. But as I have argued many times before on OL, it is another thing entirely to extrapolate from mathematical models and arrive at a physical cosmology that, in the final analysis, is incoherent. Ghs
Well, perhaps, but a physical cosmology based on the ever-so-elegant A=A is pretty much guaranteed to be incoherent. Bob

I don't know what your comment is supposed to mean. If you mean a cosmology that is somehow derived from A is A, then no such cosmology exists or, with the possible exception of some 19th century absolute idealists, has ever been attempted. But if you mean a cosmology that is consistent with the Law of Identity, then any counter-cosmology is palpably incoherent. Indeed, no such theory can even be coherently stated or defended, for if a proposition can be both true and false at the same time and in the same respect, then no proposition can be demonstrated or even shown to be probable. Similarly, if a theory can supposedly mean x and non-X at the same time and in the same respect, then that theory cannot even be coherently formulated.

The Law of Identity is a necessary presupposition of intelligibility. I don't think it is unreasonable to demand that physicists make sense. If they claim exemption from this fundamental requirement, then they fall into the same categorary as theologians who prattle on about the "mysteries" of the Trinity that supposedly transcend the rudimentary laws of logic.

Ghs

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So what? QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that? What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results? Ba'al Chatzaf

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using mathematical models and techniques that yield accurate predictions. But as I have argued many times before on OL, it is another thing entirely to extrapolate from mathematical models and arrive at a physical cosmology that, in the final analysis, is incoherent.

Ghs

Well, perhaps, but a physical cosmology based on the ever-so-elegant A=A is pretty much guaranteed to be incoherent.

Bob

A is A is a conceptual freezing of time so we can look around and understand basically what we are talking about. If that's no help to you come with something that is. If no help is needed, what's the beef? Water is water merely means it is not anything but water, such as hydrogen peroxide. Add it the flow of time and things came be changed and will change but they were what they were prior. So, anyway, what do you base a physical cosmology on?

--Brant

In the indeterministic view of QM [which I oppose] the conceptual freezing of time does not work to examine A=A since all things are in a state of probability and freezing time would pin them to a certain location which they do not possess. Indeterministic [mainstream] QM denies strict causality [and identity for that matter].

Dennis

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So what? QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that? What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results? Ba'al Chatzaf
There is absolutely nothing wrong with using mathematical models and techniques that yield accurate predictions. But as I have argued many times before on OL, it is another thing entirely to extrapolate from mathematical models and arrive at a physical cosmology that, in the final analysis, is incoherent. Ghs
Well, perhaps, but a physical cosmology based on the ever-so-elegant A=A is pretty much guaranteed to be incoherent. Bob

I don't know what your comment is supposed to mean. If you mean a cosmology that is somehow derived from A is A, then no such cosmology exists or, with the possible exception of some 19th century absolute idealists, has ever been attempted. But if you mean a cosmology that is consistent with the Law of Identity, then any counter-cosmology is palpably incoherent. Indeed, no such theory can even be coherently stated or defended, for if a proposition can be both true and false at the same time and in the same respect, then no proposition can be demonstrated or even shown to be probable. Similarly, if a theory can supposedly mean x and non-X at the same time and in the same respect, then that theory cannot even be coherently formulated.

The Law of Identity is a necessary presupposition of intelligibility. I don't think it is unreasonable to demand that physicists make sense. If they claim exemption from this fundamental requirement, then they fall into the same categorary as theologians who prattle on about the "mysteries" of the Trinity that supposedly transcend the rudimentary laws of logic.

Ghs

What George is saying is precisely why cosmology is in such a mess. Trying to merge theories which differ on such basics as the existence of identity and causality and only match observation by introducing numerous fixes no different in kind than Ptolemy's epicycles. Basic scientific approaches are thrown out the window - incoherent philosophies and contradictions lie at the root. Not a good way to build a logical structure.

Dennis

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Here are a couple of excerpts from the publisher’s description of The Grand Design (2010) by Hawking and Mlodinow. The book proposes “new answers to the ultimate questions of life: . . . Why is there something rather than nothing?” I hope readers here know that the initial singularity was not nothing. In contrast to this vulgar blurb for the book, it is refreshing to see how instantly Maudlin corrects his own reference to the initial singularity as nothing in the interview. Without Schopenhauer and the Christian tradition of divine creation of the universe out of nothing, this pretentious, vacuous question would not be put forth by Hawking and Mlodinow as a serious, rational, scientific question. Truth is exact and is not coordinate with sloppy questions cut free of rational context.

I am a rube. I read neither physics nor philosophy. But, "this pretentious, vacuous question"? This was the question that haunted me for a short time around age five and six. I could imagine nothing (or so I thought then -- I grappled since with limited imagination) and I could imagine the world around me, and I could imagine time, endless time and a beginning. My mind thought ot infinity and its boundary in visual terms as a vast expanding sphere, and its beginnning, before the expansion, I imagined ever smaller, smaller, smaller and so small that it almost wasn't there. Why is there something (this world) rather than nothing (not this world)? When did it begin?

I was completely irreligious. At the time of the haunting, I had been taken to church and spoken at only once, at my own christening. No one in my family, in authority, had ever talked about gawds or god or God. It wasn't on the table.

But, my question and subsequent questions were vacuous and pretentious?

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Here are a couple of excerpts from the publisher’s description of The Grand Design (2010) by Hawking and Mlodinow. The book proposes “new answers to the ultimate questions of life: . . . Why is there something rather than nothing?” I hope readers here know that the initial singularity was not nothing. In contrast to this vulgar blurb for the book, it is refreshing to see how instantly Maudlin corrects his own reference to the initial singularity as nothing in the interview. Without Schopenhauer and the Christian tradition of divine creation of the universe out of nothing, this pretentious, vacuous question would not be put forth by Hawking and Mlodinow as a serious, rational, scientific question. Truth is exact and is not coordinate with sloppy questions cut free of rational context.

I am a rube. I read neither physics nor philosophy. But, "this pretentious, vacuous question"? This was the question that haunted me for a short time around age five and six. I could imagine nothing (or so I thought then -- I grappled since with limited imagination) and I could imagine the world around me, and I could imagine time, endless time and a beginning. My mind thought ot infinity and its boundary in visual terms as a vast expanding sphere, and its beginnning, before the expansion, I imagined ever smaller, smaller, smaller and so small that it almost wasn't there. Why is there something (this world) rather than nothing (not this world)? When did it begin?

I was completely irreligious. At the time of the haunting, I had been taken to church and spoken at only once, at my own christening. No one in my family, in authority, had ever talked about gawds or god or God. It wasn't on the table.

But, my question and subsequent questions were vacuous and pretentious?

I asked the V&P question back on another thread and the responses I got were basically, we know there is something and it doesn't matter why, the question is meaningless. The only conclusion I can come too is, my brain is equipped to ask such a question but not to understand it or to understand the answer if there is one.

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I don't know what your comment is supposed to mean. If you mean a cosmology that is somehow derived from A is A, then no such cosmology exists or, with the possible exception of some 19th century absolute idealists, has ever been attempted. But if you mean a cosmology that is consistent with the Law of Identity, then any counter-cosmology is palpably incoherent. Indeed, no such theory can even be coherently stated or defended, for if a proposition can be both true and false at the same time and in the same respect, then no proposition can be demonstrated or even shown to be probable. Similarly, if a theory can supposedly mean x and non-X at the same time and in the same respect, then that theory cannot even be coherently formulated.

The Law of Identity is a necessary presupposition of intelligibility. I don't think it is unreasonable to demand that physicists make sense. If they claim exemption from this fundamental requirement, then they fall into the same categorary as theologians who prattle on about the "mysteries" of the Trinity that supposedly transcend the rudimentary laws of logic.

Ghs

My problem is with an over-abundance of what can only be described as philosophical arrogance. The universe is not compelled to comply with our common sense, and in fact demonstrably does not in many instances.

"Similarly, if a theory can supposedly mean x and non-X at the same time"

Well, two events can indeed both happen at the same time, and not at the same time. That much is more or less certain. If philosophy disagrees with this, it's philosophy that's wrong, not physics.

Bob

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I don't know what your comment is supposed to mean. If you mean a cosmology that is somehow derived from A is A, then no such cosmology exists or, with the possible exception of some 19th century absolute idealists, has ever been attempted. But if you mean a cosmology that is consistent with the Law of Identity, then any counter-cosmology is palpably incoherent. Indeed, no such theory can even be coherently stated or defended, for if a proposition can be both true and false at the same time and in the same respect, then no proposition can be demonstrated or even shown to be probable. Similarly, if a theory can supposedly mean x and non-X at the same time and in the same respect, then that theory cannot even be coherently formulated. The Law of Identity is a necessary presupposition of intelligibility. I don't think it is unreasonable to demand that physicists make sense. If they claim exemption from this fundamental requirement, then they fall into the same categorary as theologians who prattle on about the "mysteries" of the Trinity that supposedly transcend the rudimentary laws of logic. Ghs
My problem is with an over-abundance of what can only be described as philosophical arrogance. The universe is not compelled to comply with our common sense, and in fact demonstrably does not in many instances.

I said nothing about "common sense." I was talking about intelligibility, i.e., a proposition and/or theory that can be understood. If a physicist says, Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe, then he has the cognitive responsibility to explain what he means in intelligible terms. It will not do for him to reply, "Well, I am a physicist, so the rules of intelligibility do not apply to me. I am a physicist, so I don't need to make sense."

"Similarly, if a theory can supposedly mean x and non-X at the same time" Well, two events can indeed both happen at the same time, and not at the same time. That much is more or less certain. If philosophy disagrees with this, it's philosophy that's wrong, not physics. Bob

You are here equivocating on the meaning of time. The Law of Identity specifies at the same time and in the same respect -- a crucial qualification that you conveniently snipped when quoting me. In this case, "in the same respect" would mean from the same perspective.

Ghs

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I stepped in here only to deal with my own stepped-on toes, with regard to the vacuous and pretentious question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" sob sob.

On another reading, I see it is Tim Maudlin who says this:

Hawking is a brilliant man, but he's not an expert in what's going on in philosophy, evidently. Over the past thirty years the philosophy of physics has become seamlessly integrated with the foundations of physics work done by actual physicists, so the situation is actually the exact opposite of what he describes. I think he just doesn't know what he's talking about. I mean there's no reason why he should. Why should he spend a lot of time reading the philosophy of physics? I'm sure it's very difficult for him to do. But I think he's just . . . uninformed.

This is a useful correction, in that Maudlin reminds us that Hawking does not likely read philosophy of physics (though we do not actually know) in depth or in review. If this is correct, that Hawking is ignorant of the philosophy of physics, and does not consult it, and is therefore misinformed regarding its pith and its power, great -- we should know this.

But here again is the part I don't get: is this Maudlin just riffing off Hawking to promote his new department/science faculty (philosophy of cosmology)? Is he merely reacting to a world-famous quote taken from the Zeitgeist talk?

Well, of course, one cannot answer that question till one listens to the talk. It is half an hour, but I have timed it to open at the moment Hawking bitches out philosophy.

Now, me, I got that Hawking was giving a half-hour blurb for his new book, that the book should rightly be subject of Maudlin's remarks.

So, Stephen takes issue with the blurbs, mainly, not necessarity Hawking and co-author:

  • The Grand Design ... book [blurb] proposes “new answers to the ultimate questions of life: . . . Why is there something rather than nothing?
  • The ‘top-down’ approach to cosmology that Hawking and Mlodinow describe would say that the fact that the past takes no definite form means that we create history by observing it . . .”
  • Along the way Hawking and Mlodinow question the conventional concept of reality, posing a ‘model-dependent’ theory of reality as the best we can hope to find”—with a little help from certain contemporary philosophers of science.

Now, from this, I can only see that I must search for a review (by a competent philosopher of science) of The Grand Design, because I think we should confront Hawking in his lair if he is being a shit and churl and a shyster about The Philosophy Of Science. The cur.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using mathematical models and techniques that yield accurate predictions. But as I have argued many times before on OL, it is another thing entirely to extrapolate from mathematical models and arrive at a physical cosmology that, in the final analysis, is incoherent.

Here, again, I see I must do a buttload of homework. Is George bitching out Hawking, or Hawking's book? He may not have read it, so he may not be engaging with Maudlin's claim, or know which modern/contemporary philosophers Hawking cites or slags in the book. It sings and it sounds good, but I need examples to hang around my rube neck.

The Law of Identity is a necessary presupposition of intelligibility. I don't think it is unreasonable to demand that physicists make sense. If they claim exemption from this fundamental requirement, then they fall into the same categorary as theologians who prattle on about the "mysteries" of the Trinity that supposedly transcend the rudimentary laws of logic.

This sings, but I don't see where it applies to Hawking yet. Hawking, if we follow Maudlin, is a dumb fuck about Philosophy of Science. Fair enough, and he at least quotes Hawking, not a blurb. I would like to see George and or everyone to tie their observations to some names or quotes or cites from the dude in the wheelchair.

In the meantime, I have a creepy feeling that we have had at Hawking before on this forum. Into the labyrinth I go, hoping in my kooky Boydstun fan way that all is already answered here within.

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...he has the cognitive responsibility to explain what he means in intelligible terms. It will not do for him to reply, "Well, I am a physicist, so the rules of intelligibility do not apply to me. I am a physicist, so I don't need to make sense."

Ghs

This is the inevitable outcome of going down the indeterministic road. Identity and causality are lost but when you have to translate the results back to the real world - where such things result in a breakdown in logic - you are left with incoherent self-contradictory explanations. After that always comes the appeal to authority. In any case there are alternatives explanations for the "philsophical" physics claims many physicists make that do no require a breakdown in logic. These alternatives do require defeating the barriers created by the appeal to authority.

Dennis

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I stepped in here only to deal with my own stepped-on toes, with regard to the vacuous and pretentious question "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

Here is the standard O'ist reply to this question -- a reply that has also been given by atheists since the 18th century, in response the the First Cause Argument for the existence of God:

Why is there something rather than nothing? The why, in this context, asks for a causal explanation of existence, i.e.: What caused existence to exist? But a cause -- the what -- must first exist itself before it can cause anything.

The question is therefore nonsensical. It commits what O'ists call "the fallacy of the stolen concept." In other words, the concept cause presupposes the concept existence, so to ask for a cause of existence is to put the cart before the horse.

Ghs

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I stepped in here only to deal with my own stepped-on toes, with regard to the vacuous and pretentious question "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

Here is the standard O'ist reply to this question -- a reply that has also been given by atheists since the 18th century, in response the the First Cause Argument for the existence of God:

Why is there something rather than nothing? The why, in this context, asks for a causal explanation of existence, i.e.: What caused existence to exist? But a cause -- the what -- must first exist itself before it can cause anything.

The question is therefore nonsensical. It commits what O'ists call "the fallacy of the stolen concept." In other words, the concept cause presupposes the concept existence, so to ask for a cause of existence is to put the cart before the horse.

I would like to find that jerk or jerks who fucked me up but good at five, then, George, because I have been cursed by the vacuous and pretentious questions since.

Seriously, let me take this slowly so that I understand the grave epistemological blunder I may have made at age five and which may have impeded my understanding since.

Think of that five year old, George, and see if you can find the words to get him back on track with his inquiries.

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I don't know what your comment is supposed to mean. If you mean a cosmology that is somehow derived from A is A, then no such cosmology exists or, with the possible exception of some 19th century absolute idealists, has ever been attempted. But if you mean a cosmology that is consistent with the Law of Identity, then any counter-cosmology is palpably incoherent. Indeed, no such theory can even be coherently stated or defended, for if a proposition can be both true and false at the same time and in the same respect, then no proposition can be demonstrated or even shown to be probable. Similarly, if a theory can supposedly mean x and non-X at the same time and in the same respect, then that theory cannot even be coherently formulated. The Law of Identity is a necessary presupposition of intelligibility. I don't think it is unreasonable to demand that physicists make sense. If they claim exemption from this fundamental requirement, then they fall into the same categorary as theologians who prattle on about the "mysteries" of the Trinity that supposedly transcend the rudimentary laws of logic. Ghs
My problem is with an over-abundance of what can only be described as philosophical arrogance. The universe is not compelled to comply with our common sense, and in fact demonstrably does not in many instances.

I said nothing about "common sense." I was talking about intelligibility, i.e., a proposition and/or theory that can be understood. If a physicist says, Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe, then he has the cognitive responsibility to explain what he means in intelligible terms. It will not do for him to reply, "Well, I am a physicist, so the rules of intelligibility do not apply to me. I am a physicist, so I don't need to make sense."

"Similarly, if a theory can supposedly mean x and non-X at the same time" Well, two events can indeed both happen at the same time, and not at the same time. That much is more or less certain. If philosophy disagrees with this, it's philosophy that's wrong, not physics. Bob

You are here equivocating on the meaning of time. The Law of Identity specifies at the same time and in the same respect -- a crucial qualification that you conveniently snipped when quoting me. In this case, "in the same respect" would mean from the same perspective.

Ghs

What is true and false at the same time and in the same respect applies if the Philosopher is asserting that time is absolute, while not being asserted now, this certainly was in the past. So, instead, the Philosopher is saying "Well, time isn't absolute I guess, but my idea of what I call causality still is unassailable." Seems to me that's a contradiction.

It's seems rather obvious and rather likely that causality in reality is far from what Philosophy says it is.

You wrote: "I am a physicist, so I don't need to make sense."

This is the arrogance I refer to. What you really mean and clearly imply is "I'm a Philosopher, my logic must be correct". Well, we've been down that road before haven't we?

But no, the physicist is saying "The world is not complying to what we would might expect to make "sense". I know this because I have data. Here's a theory that seems wacky, but it works (predicts accurately) so we must accept it until it is broken".

However, there are attempts to explain these strange things in more conventional terms and maybe they'll prove to bear some fruit with data some time soon, but in the meantime arrogance is not a logical stance.

Bob

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QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that? What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results? Ba'al Chatzaf
Trying to merge theories which differ on such basics as the existence of identity and causality and only match observation by introducing numerous fixes no different in kind than Ptolemy's epicycles. Basic scientific approaches are thrown out the window - incoherent philosophies and contradictions lie at the root. Not a good way to build a logical structure.

What is the identity of a quantum?

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QM and its extensions still crank out correct predictions. What is more important than that? Engineers and applied physicists use it to create more and better technology. What is more important than that? What is more important: philosophical purity or practical results? Ba'al Chatzaf
Trying to merge theories which differ on such basics as the existence of identity and causality and only match observation by introducing numerous fixes no different in kind than Ptolemy's epicycles. Basic scientific approaches are thrown out the window - incoherent philosophies and contradictions lie at the root. Not a good way to build a logical structure.

What is the identity of a quantum?

In indeterministic QM there is no identity. In de Broglie-Bohm deBB like QM theories [deterministic] the particles involved are those of classical mechanics [may have to add the work of Gregory S. Duane to make that point clear].

Don't buy the many myths describing quantum mechanics - if it sounds like BS you are most likely hearing a convoluted explanation from indeterminism lacking identity and causality and not the whole story.

Dennis

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I don't know what your comment is supposed to mean. If you mean a cosmology that is somehow derived from A is A, then no such cosmology exists or, with the possible exception of some 19th century absolute idealists, has ever been attempted. But if you mean a cosmology that is consistent with the Law of Identity, then any counter-cosmology is palpably incoherent. Indeed, no such theory can even be coherently stated or defended, for if a proposition can be both true and false at the same time and in the same respect, then no proposition can be demonstrated or even shown to be probable. Similarly, if a theory can supposedly mean x and non-X at the same time and in the same respect, then that theory cannot even be coherently formulated. The Law of Identity is a necessary presupposition of intelligibility. I don't think it is unreasonable to demand that physicists make sense. If they claim exemption from this fundamental requirement, then they fall into the same categorary as theologians who prattle on about the "mysteries" of the Trinity that supposedly transcend the rudimentary laws of logic. Ghs
My problem is with an over-abundance of what can only be described as philosophical arrogance. The universe is not compelled to comply with our common sense, and in fact demonstrably does not in many instances.
I said nothing about "common sense." I was talking about intelligibility, i.e., a proposition and/or theory that can be understood. If a physicist says, Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe, then he has the cognitive responsibility to explain what he means in intelligible terms. It will not do for him to reply, "Well, I am a physicist, so the rules of intelligibility do not apply to me. I am a physicist, so I don't need to make sense."
"Similarly, if a theory can supposedly mean x and non-X at the same time" Well, two events can indeed both happen at the same time, and not at the same time. That much is more or less certain. If philosophy disagrees with this, it's philosophy that's wrong, not physics. Bob
You are here equivocating on the meaning of time. The Law of Identity specifies at the same time and in the same respect -- a crucial qualification that you conveniently snipped when quoting me. In this case, "in the same respect" would mean from the same perspective. Ghs
What is true and false at the same time and in the same respect applies if the Philosopher is asserting that time is absolute, while not being asserted now, this certainly was in the past. So, instead, the Philosopher is saying "Well, time isn't absolute I guess, but my idea of what I call causality still is unassailable." Seems to me that's a contradiction. It's seems rather obvious and rather likely that causality in reality is far from what Philosophy says it is. You wrote: "I am a physicist, so I don't need to make sense." This is the arrogance I refer to. What you really mean and clearly imply is "I'm a Philosopher, my logic must be correct". Well, we've been down that road before haven't we? But no, the physicist is saying "The world is not complying to what we would might expect to make "sense". I know this because I have data. Here's a theory that seems wacky, but it works (predicts accurately) so we must accept it until it is broken". However, there are attempts to explain these strange things in more conventional terms and maybe they'll prove to bear some fruit with data some time soon, but in the meantime arrogance is not a logical stance. Bob

It's very strange that you would call the insistence that physicists make sense "arrogance," and that you would say that my defense of logic "is not a logical stance."

Seems to me that's a contradiction, you say. I ask, so what's wrong with a contradiction, if we throw out the Law of Identity? After all, a corollary of the Law of Identity is the Law of Non-Contradiction, viz: A proposition cannot be both true and not-true at the same time and in the same respect. Thus, if we dispense with these arrogant rules of logic, contradictions are fine and dandy.

Okay, let's assume that the elementary laws of logic are not valid, and then apply this assumption to some of your statements.

[T]he physicist is saying "The world is not complying to what we would...expect to make "sense". Having dispensed with that bit of arrogance known as the rules of logic, we can now translate your statement as follows: The physicist is (and is not) saying "The world is not (and is) complying to what we would (and would not) expect to make sense (and nonsense).

I know this because I have data. Translated without arrogance: I know (and do not know) this (and not-this) because (and not-because) I have (and do not have) data (and no data).

Here's a theory that seems wacky, but it works (predicts accurately) so we must accept it until it is broken. Again, translated without arrogance: Here is (and is not) a theory (and non-theory) that seems (and does not seem) wacky, but it works (and does not work) -- i.e., predicts (and does not predict) accurately -- so we must (and must not) accept it.

I could go on (and not on), but I assume (and do not assume) that you (and non-you) get (and do not get) my point (and non-point).

Ghs

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