Robert Campbell

The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics

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Does a physicist claim that I don't know enough about physics to fully comprehend the details of his theory? Fine, that may be true, but all the physicist need do is state his scientific conclusions in a coherent manner. If he cannot do this, then he has defaulted on a basic requirement for a productive discussion, and all of his ramblings about philosophical implications don't mean a goddamned thing. He is a pretentious twit who doesn't even understand his own area of supposed expertise. The physicist should tend to his own garden before telling others how to tend to theirs.

How do you know that it is his fault? His may present his conclusions in a coherent manner, but if they don't make sense to you, it isn't the fault of the physicist, but the fact that reality turns out to be much stranger and more counterintuitive than you'd might have expected. Don't blame the messenger. And if you don't trust the messenger, by all means improve the results, but then you have to study the subject first, you can't dismiss them just because they don't make sense to you.

It may be true that a failure to understand a physicist is my fault, but it may also be true that it is his fault. This must be decided on a case by case basis. You surely don't mean to say that it is always the fault of the layman. But if this is what you mean to say, then you are attributing a kind of infallibility to physicists that would put Catholics to shame.

He didn't say that it was "'always' the fault of the layman." He used the verb "may."

Let's go back to your claim that, from a scientific point of view, our perceptions of solid objects are an "illusion." This argument (as Eddington proposed it) is sometimes used in elementary texts on philosophy and logic as a classic example of fallacious reasoning. It is an abuse of language, among other things. When I was a freshman in college, a science wonk friend of mind, who went on to become a physicist, used to argue this point with me with the relish that only a college freshman can have. After he took a few philosophy courses, however, he never used it again. And when I asked him about it a few years ago, while he was visiting me, he said, "George, I was a stupid freshman; give me a break. It's a dumb argument."

You are not a college freshman, so I am not willing to give you the same break. And my attitude does not spring from a failure to understand your point. Rather, it stems from your failure to analyze terms like "illusion" and, I suspect, from your contempt for philosophy. You claim that I should learn about physics. Well, you appear to know zilch about philosophy, yet that doesn't stop you from making grand and silly philosophic generalizations about "illusions."

Being mixed up about "illusion" is a common failing of physicists, a professional hazard. I haven't begun to keep count of the number of physicists I've known who've been prone to that error. (Most of them still are prone. I have managed to get a few of them to see the fallacy.)

My all-time favorite example of physicist mix-up on perception is even worse than the "illusion" one. It's crude representationalism.

Here's what a placard in an exhibit about vision at the Los Alamos science museum said (2001, when L and I visited there):

Scientists are studying how the brain produces the picture which we think we see.

Ellen

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Here DF’s name is given as Peter, he seems to have established his bona fides over several years posting on O’ist fora. I gather that he’s Dutch, has read Atlas Shrugged 10+ times and was very influenced by it, but is now pretty critical. I don’t begrudge someone preferring a higher level of anonymity online, compare to this weirdo.

Here is what initially planted seeds of doubt in my mind about DF's bona fides. In post #969, I wrote:

If you wish to see some of the nutty things that even eminent physicists have said about philosophy, see L. Susan Stebbing, Philosophy and the Physicists. This contains an especially good critique of the metaphysical nonsense espoused by the astrophysicist Arthur Eddington. See also Philipp Frank, Philosophy of Science, The Link Between Science and Philosophy. Frank, Einstein's successor at the German Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague, deals effectively with the supposed metaphysical indeterminism of QM. He also deals with a number of other metaphysical claims about QM, pointing out that QM doesn't have many of the metaphysical implications that are often attributed to it. His understanding of the operational definitions used in physics is the key to much of this.

In post #1005, DF replied:

Susan Stebbing's book is from 1958. Eddington died in 1944. Philip Frank's book dates from 1962.

That means that those books may be interesting for a historical view, but that they are useless if you want to know what the philosophical implications of modern physics are, because since 1962 a lot has happened in that field. If you want to read a modern and very informed book, I'd suggest you read Bernard d'Espagnat, On Physics and Philosophy, Princeton University Press, 2002. I don't agree with all his conclusions, but he gives a good and fair overview of the current theories and their philosophical consequences, without ridiculing dissenting opinions, and he knows his stuff.

Now, Stebbing's book was published in 1937, not 1958; and Frank's book was published in 1957, not 1962. I didn't mention these errors initially because I didn't consider them to be relevant. But I did suspect that DF didn't know anything about either book and that he simply Googled them. And if you Google Stebbing's book, you will find that some of the "teasers" say "Dover, 1958", which is a reprint. As for where DF got 1962 for Frank's book, I cannot say, but it wasn't from the book itself.

So did DF acknowledge that he wasn't familiar with either book, which would have been the honest thing to do? No. Instead, he dismissed them as of merely historical interest, without having read them, because both were published before 1962. And this dismissal was based on thin air, since the philosophical arguments presented by both authors are not time-sensitive.

DF's tactic was pure Mickey Mouse -- a thinly disguised appeal to authority wherein he dismissed anything written in this area before 1962 as of no theoretical importance. I could understand DF's dismissal of Stebbing, given his contempt for philosophers, but his dismissal of Frank was far more difficult to explain. Frank was a highly regarded physicist, and his classic book is still cited in books written by well informed philosophers of science. To have dismissed Frank's book in such a cavalier manner did not strike me as something a knowledgeable physicist would do. Rather, it reeked of the juvenile antics that I would expect to find in a dilettante who could think of nothing better than to cite an arbitrary year as the bright line between what is and is not worth reading.

The above is what made me suspect that DF may be more of a poseur than a physicist. And my suspicions grew with each new dogmatic proclamation about physics and philosophy.

Believe it or not, I actually hope I am wrong about this. But if someone is going to present himself as an expert in physics, while pronouncing judgments on books he has never read and committing errors of detail in the process -- the result, apparently, of incompetent Googling -- then I want to know who the hell I am dealing with.

Ghs

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Chasing a spider is not without risks, as you can read here.

LOL. How fortuitously timed -- not for the guy with the flash burns.

From the article:

Clacton and Frinton Gazette

Man burnt trying to catch spider

11:48am Tuesday 31st August 2010

“We are not entirely sure if the spider got away or not, but there was no sign of it at the scene.”

Do you read that Gazette regularly?

Ellen

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Does a physicist claim that I don't know enough about physics to fully comprehend the details of his theory? Fine, that may be true, but all the physicist need do is state his scientific conclusions in a coherent manner. If he cannot do this, then he has defaulted on a basic requirement for a productive discussion, and all of his ramblings about philosophical implications don't mean a goddamned thing. He is a pretentious twit who doesn't even understand his own area of supposed expertise. The physicist should tend to his own garden before telling others how to tend to theirs.

How do you know that it is his fault? His may present his conclusions in a coherent manner, but if they don't make sense to you, it isn't the fault of the physicist, but the fact that reality turns out to be much stranger and more counterintuitive than you'd might have expected. Don't blame the messenger. And if you don't trust the messenger, by all means improve the results, but then you have to study the subject first, you can't dismiss them just because they don't make sense to you.

It may be true that a failure to understand a physicist is my fault, but it may also be true that it is his fault. This must be decided on a case by case basis. You surely don't mean to say that it is always the fault of the layman. But if this is what you mean to say, then you are attributing a kind of infallibility to physicists that would put Catholics to shame.

He didn't say that it was "'always' the fault of the layman." He used the verb "may."

Your reading of DF is extremely charitable, to say the least. His reply begins: 'How do you know that it is his fault?' Now what is the point of this remark, if not to suggest that I, a mere layman, am not competent to judge whether or not a physicist is making sense.

DF's closer is a doozy: 'you have to study the subject first, you can't dismiss them just because they don't make sense to you."

Is there any doubt in your mind that if I reject what a physicist tells me, DF will claim that I have not studied the subject sufficiently? In point of fact, I have studied -- on and off for over four decades -- the matters that I am skeptical about. In fact, I first started reading about indeterminism in physics while a junior in high school taking a physics class, and after my science friends hounded me about it. And the more I read, the more skeptical I became.

Look closely at DF's last remark, quoted above. Would you apply the same reasoning to any other discipline, such as theology? Do you dare dismiss theological doctrines, such as the Trinity, just because "they don't make sense to you"?

When a person is reasonably well informed about a subject, even if he is a layperson, then there is no better reason to reject claims made by a practitioner of that discipline than the fact that they don't make sense to you. How many claims in any other discipline do you accept that don't make sense to you? Suppose an esteemed physicist announced a new and revolutionary discovery that he expressed as follows:

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

How would you respond to this? Would you dare say that the physicist is speaking nonsense? Or would you say, "Well, gee, the guy is a brilliant physicist, so he probably knows what he is talking about."

I have seen philosophical statements by physicists that make no more sense than this ditty by Lewis Carroll. And I am not about to surrender my critical faculties to the likes of a philosophical dunderhead like DF, whomever he may be.

You don't need to burrow through a mountain of manure to know that you are in manure.

Ghs

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The wikipedia definition of Causality is ‘the relationship between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is a consequence of the first.’

Please note that that (event-event relationship) is not NB's notion of causality. NB presents an entity-action notion -- though very badly IMO. I'd forgotten how rhetorically uninformative the presentation was:

Quoting Nathaniel Branden from the third lecture of ‘The Basic Principles of Objectivism’:

All actions [or events - [DH's insert]] in the universe are the actions of entities, and the actions possible to an entity are determined by it nature. What a thing can do depends on what it is….The concept of action requires and presupposes that which acts and would not be possible without it….To deny that actions are caused by entities, to deny that what a thing does is determined by what it is, is to imply that any entity can perform any action, which means that an electron can write a symphony, a building can grow wings, a leaf can turn into a lion, a man can simultaneously depart in two different directions—which means that an entity can do that for which its nature contains no potentiality—which means: contradictions are possible.

Such was the view of reality held by primordial savages, who regarded every event in the universe as an inexplicable miracle, bound by nothing save the unknowable whim of unknowable demons. And when today, prominent scientists who find themselves unable to ascertain the causal principles exhibited in the behavior of subatomic particles, decide that the solution lies in declaring that causality is invalid, and that the particles act as they do for no cause whatever, it is to the metaphysics of those primordial savages that their contentions would reduce mankind.

Ellen

No one (other than you, perhaps) is confused about the fact that the event-event relationship is not Nathaniel Branden's notion of causality. Clarifying that point was the main purpose of the Branden quotation you repeated and criticized as "very bad" and "uninformative."

Tell me: Is it your policy to always repeat "very bad" and "uninformative" quotes so everyone can see how "bad" and "uninformative" they are? Or do you just delight in taking advantage of every available opportunity to insult Nathaniel Branden? I submit that "very bad" and "uninformative" would be an excellent way to characterize your post.

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He has said several things pertaining to physics and he never said what your pseudo quote said. It is not nice to put words in the mouths of other people.

That is the GHS method. Putting words into your mouth that you've never said, making some sarcastic caricature of you that hasn't any basis in reality. He's constantly suggesting that I claim that physicists are infallible authorities, while the only thing I've repeatedly said is that if you want to criticize the conclusions made by physicists in their field, you should study that field first. A general knowledge of philosophy alone is not sufficient. Further, if I criticize philosophers for their pretensions in that regard, it is understood (as I also have said explicitly, but don't repeat in every post) that I don't mean all philosophers, but the rather pompous kind you find especially in Objectivist circles. That I for example admire the philosopher Daniel Dennett is a matter of record, so there is nowhere a question of "retreat" as has been suggested.

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I suppose you realize, or perhaps you don’t, that to say the Law of Identity is tautological is to say that it simply repeats the same thing, and is, therefore, meaningless. I suppose you would say the same thing about the axiom that existence exists.

No, that is not the same, although I think the formulation "existence exists" is confusing to say the least. I suppose the supposed meaning is "there exists a real world, independent of our consciousness"

Since the Law of Identity—A is A-- is the basis of the laws of logic, you are basically denying the validity of logic itself.

Not at all. That it is a tautology doesn't make it untrue. It is at the basis of logic, but in itself it doesn't prove anything.

The purpose of the Law of Identity and the laws of logic is to enable one to validate one’s conclusions in a non-contradictory manner. As such, it is anything but meaningless. As Ayn Rand said, logic is a method, “the art of noncontradictory identification.”

That's not a good definition. See for example Bob's post:

Many other things are identification or identifications as I pointed out. Her description (non-contradictory identification) is not specific to logic. Hence it is a thoroughly bad definition, if it is a definition at all. In any case it does no square well with what logicians say logic is. Now who is more likely to know what logic is? A novelist or a logician? The central core of logic, as David Kelley points out is inference, not identification. Logic is about getting from premise to conclusions in one piece and intact
You say that the only way to know the nature of a specific entity is “to observe how those entities act and that is what we call its nature.” That much is true. But then you go on to say: “This doesn't preclude the possibility that such entities will act completely random, that for example that a table will the next moment become a chair and then a canary.” In other words, as George suggested in his follow-up post, all the events in your universe could just as well be inexplicable miracles.

No, a miracle would be a phenomenon that is unexpected, that goes against well-founded laws that we've found. That Thorium 230 changes into Radium 226, which in its turn changes into Radon 222, etc. until it has become lead, is not a miracle (even if it might have seemed a miracle in the 19th century, as it violated the then known laws of the Dalton model of atoms), but if iron spontaneously changed into gold, it would be a miracle.

To act “completely random” is to act contrary to an entity’s nature.

No, because its nature would be to act completely random.

Observation could easily establish, empirically, that contradictions can exist.

What would be the contradiction? There are only contradictions between theories, which means that at least one of those theories must be wrong. Experience shows that tables don't turn spontaneously into chairs, but also that thorium or uranium do turn (ultimately) spontaneously into lead. It is empirical observation that is decisive. With the large body of knowledge that has been formed by mankind, we can make predictions which phenomena we can expect and which phenomena not, which doesn't mean that there can't be surprises (like the discovery of radioactivity).

If that is indeed the case in your universe, then this entire discussion is a complete waste of everyone’s time. Logic is a meaningless tautology for you, which experience can invalidate at any given moment.

Not at all, I never said that logic is a meaningless tautology, only that logic itself doesn't generate any new knowledge about the physical world.

You live in a universe rife with randomness and contradictions. Therefore, any conclusion we draw from this discussion, based on your 'expertise' as a physicist, could easily be overthrown in the next instant by your momentary, random whim.

Hm, about the use of logic... As I've shown, there are no contradictions, and the fact that some events may be acausal doesn't mean that everything is random. That's what is called a false dichotomy.

And this just leads one to wonder: why are you posting on an Objectivist webforum?

Would you only like to preach to the choir? Further, your conclusions about what I've said are incorrect, so perhaps it isn't so strange after all.

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Exactly what are DF's qualifications or credentials in physics? He hasn't given any; he doesn't even give us his name. An anonymous so-called expert or authority is worthless, especially on the Internet where articles on specialized subjects can easily be paraphrased or plagiarized. I'm afraid I will need more than your hunch that he is a physicist.

What does it matter? Would my argument be less valid when I just turned out to be a truck driver? My arguments stand on their own, I never used the argument that I am an authority in the field, in contrast to some other people on this list.

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How do you know this? Has DF ever given you his name?

Yes, Ellen knows who I am and knows my email address. So do Jonathan, Daniel, Barbara and MSK. After having had some bad experiences, I do prefer to maintain some anonymity on the Web, however.

I was willing to take DF at face value earlier on, but no longer. His recent remark that physicists are engaged in fundamental research and so don't need to trouble themselves with philosophy was one of the most bizarre things I have ever read in this area.

I can understand that, as I'd accidentally omitted the word "not" from the sentence, so it should read "..are not engaged in fundamental research.."

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Now, Stebbing's book was published in 1937, not 1958; and Frank's book was published in 1957, not 1962. I didn't mention these errors initially because I didn't consider them to be relevant. But I did suspect that DF didn't know anything about either book and that he simply Googled them. And if you Google Stebbing's book, you will find that some of the "teasers" say "Dover, 1958", which is a reprint. As for where DF got 1962 for Frank's book, I cannot say, but it wasn't from the book itself.

My, what a shocking revelation... I never claimed that I'd read those books, did I? Indeed I just googled them as you'd mentioned them to get a bit more information and that's how I got the dates.

So did DF acknowledge that he wasn't familiar with either book, which would have been the honest thing to do? No. Instead, he dismissed them as of merely historical interest, without having read them, because both were published before 1962. And this dismissal was based on thin air, since the philosophical arguments presented by both authors are not time-sensitive.

Irrelevant, as I was discussing the philosophical impact of discoveries made after that time, like for example the Aspect experiments. No matter how excellent those books might be, they could never have discussed those new findings, and were therefore not relevant in that regard. Is it really so unclear what I'm writing?

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George,

I also know Dragonfly's real name, which i shan't repeat here.

If you want to critique Dragonfly's arguments, have at it.

The rest is overreaching.

Robert Campbell

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In this discussion, among the things you've said is that you accept the experimental results. But then you've proceeded to demonstrate that you don't know what those results are. From what hat are you expecting the hidden variables which you think are there to emerge? Do you have a theory of non-local hidden variables?

When have I ever denied particular experimental results of physicists? I don't recall ever saying anything about "non-local hidden variables." I have never used that expression -- I'm not even sure what "non-local" is supposed to mean -- and I certainly don't have a "theory" about it. You must be confusing me with someone else.

QED. You don't know what it means; you have no theory about it -- yet you accept the experimental results. Except the results are at variance with philosophic claims you've been making about causality.

Maybe you should do some Googling.

Ellen

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George,

I also know Dragonfly's real name, which i shan't repeat here.

If you want to critique Dragonfly's arguments, have at it.

The rest is overreaching.

Robert Campbell

I take it you are saying that DF is a professional physicist. Right? If so, why all the secrecy?

Ghs

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In this discussion, among the things you've said is that you accept the experimental results. But then you've proceeded to demonstrate that you don't know what those results are. From what hat are you expecting the hidden variables which you think are there to emerge? Do you have a theory of non-local hidden variables?

When have I ever denied particular experimental results of physicists? I don't recall ever saying anything about "non-local hidden variables." I have never used that expression -- I'm not even sure what "non-local" is supposed to mean -- and I certainly don't have a "theory" about it. You must be confusing me with someone else.

QED. You don't know what it means; you have no theory about it -- yet you accept the experimental results. Except the results are at variance with philosophic claims you've been making about causality.

It's not the experimental results, i.e., the data, that I have a problem with. It's the interpretation of the results that I have problem with , especially when the interpretation involves sweeping philosophical generalizations.

If physicists told you that they had proved the existence of God, would you believe them? If not, why not?

Maybe you should do some Googling.

And maybe you should stop sucking up to physicists just because you happen to be married to one. I used to be married to a stripper, but that didn't make me an expert on stripping.

Tell me, Ellen -- how, in principle, could a physicist ever prove metaphysical indeterminism, when every aspect of his profession would be impossible without presupposing causation? And don't give me any more BS about "non-local hidden variables." Give me a sensible explanation.

Ghs

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Exactly what are DF's qualifications or credentials in physics? He hasn't given any; he doesn't even give us his name. An anonymous so-called expert or authority is worthless, especially on the Internet where articles on specialized subjects can easily be paraphrased or plagiarized. I'm afraid I will need more than your hunch that he is a physicist.

What does it matter? Would my argument be less valid when I just turned out to be a truck driver? My arguments stand on their own, I never used the argument that I am an authority in the field, in contrast to some other people on this list.

Your credentials matter a lot in this context, since you claim to know who and who does not have a sufficient knowledge of physics to render judgments on the subject.

So do you have any credentials or not? If so, what are they? You can list them without endangering your precious anonymity.

Moreover, on at least two occasions Ellen Stuttle stated that she believed you are a physicist, and I don't recall that you ever denied this. So if you are not a physicist, you are operating under false pretenses, since you made no effort to set the record straight. Even I assumed you were a physicist.

Ghs

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Now, Stebbing's book was published in 1937, not 1958; and Frank's book was published in 1957, not 1962. I didn't mention these errors initially because I didn't consider them to be relevant. But I did suspect that DF didn't know anything about either book and that he simply Googled them. And if you Google Stebbing's book, you will find that some of the "teasers" say "Dover, 1958", which is a reprint. As for where DF got 1962 for Frank's book, I cannot say, but it wasn't from the book itself.

My, what a shocking revelation... I never claimed that I'd read those books, did I? Indeed I just googled them as you'd mentioned them to get a bit more information and that's how I got the dates.

The question is how much more of your "knowledge" is based on incompetent Googling.

Ghs: So did DF acknowledge that he wasn't familiar with either book, which would have been the honest thing to do? No. Instead, he dismissed them as of merely historical interest, without having read them, because both were published before 1962. And this dismissal was based on thin air, since the philosophical arguments presented by both authors are not time-sensitive.

Irrelevant, as I was discussing the philosophical impact of discoveries made after that time, like for example the Aspect experiments. No matter how excellent those books might be, they could never have discussed those new findings, and were therefore not relevant in that regard. Is it really so unclear what I'm writing?

What on God's Green Earth do post-1962 developments in physics have to do with Stebbing's dissection of Eddington's argument about supposedly "solid" tables? And what do they have to do with Frank's numerous examples of unwarranted philosophical conclusions that are supposedly entailed by QM?

Ghs

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Exactly what are DF's qualifications or credentials in physics? He hasn't given any; he doesn't even give us his name. An anonymous so-called expert or authority is worthless, especially on the Internet where articles on specialized subjects can easily be paraphrased or plagiarized. I'm afraid I will need more than your hunch that he is a physicist.

What does it matter? Would my argument be less valid when I just turned out to be a truck driver? My arguments stand on their own, I never used the argument that I am an authority in the field, in contrast to some other people on this list.

One more thing about this post....

What arguments? You don't give arguments. You claim that physicists have proven such and such, and then you dismiss skeptics as uninformed. But you haven't argued for or proven a damned thing. The only "arguments" you have given about physics are assertions based on things you claim to know. That's why I raised the issue of your credentials. If you are in fact a physicist, then you have some credibility in this field; I will grant you that. But if you are not a physicist, then you are no more qualified to tell us what physics does and does not say than anyone else on this list. We all know how to Google.

Ghs

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GHS, is DF really that important? I don't understand why you are going on and on and on and on about some anonymous poster. You could do better things, such as for example learning a little bit about QM and then squarely addressing some of the problems in how it is presented. You could watch that 1 min video I posted for example.

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He has said several things pertaining to physics and he never said what your pseudo quote said. It is not nice to put words in the mouths of other people.

That is the GHS method. Putting words into your mouth that you've never said, making some sarcastic caricature of you that hasn't any basis in reality. He's constantly suggesting that I claim that physicists are infallible authorities, while the only thing I've repeatedly said is that if you want to criticize the conclusions made by physicists in their field, you should study that field first. A general knowledge of philosophy alone is not sufficient. Further, if I criticize philosophers for their pretensions in that regard, it is understood (as I also have said explicitly, but don't repeat in every post) that I don't mean all philosophers, but the rather pompous kind you find especially in Objectivist circles. That I for example admire the philosopher Daniel Dennett is a matter of record, so there is nowhere a question of "retreat" as has been suggested.

This is mostly fantasy, of course. Again and again, I have stressed that my beef is with the philosophical conclusions that are supposedly entailed by the experimental results of physicists. DF's reply to this was to claim that physicists are also specially qualified to understand the philosophical results of their findings.

None of this has to do with infallibility. Rather, it pertains to when an appeal to authority is justified and when it is not. DF is as confused on this topic as a kid in Bible camp.

Nothing I have said was based specifically on Objectivism. I don't look to Rand for my ideas on the philosophy of science; for one thing, she had virtually nothing to say on this topic. Neither do I take seriously anything Peikoff has written on this subject. My approach is commonplace and can be found in any number of reputable books on the philosophy of science. It can also be found in books written by physicists -- real physicists, I mean, not phony wannabes.

Ghs

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No one (other than you, perhaps) is confused about the fact that the event-event relationship is not Nathaniel Branden's notion of causality. Clarifying that point was the main purpose of the Branden quotation you repeated and criticized as "very bad" and "uninformative."

Tell me: Is it your policy to always repeat "very bad" and "uninformative" quotes so everyone can see how "bad" and "uninformative" they are? Or do you just delight in taking advantage of every available opportunity to insult Nathaniel Branden? I submit that "very bad" and "uninformative" would be an excellent way to characterize your post.

Well, it *is* uninformative. Its purpose was not to inform, but to condemn. Which sometimes has its place, but don't mistake condemnation for a good analysis. And I didn't notice Ellen being confused about who was advocating what.

Shayne

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What on God's Green Earth do post-1962 developments in physics have to do with Stebbing's dissection of Eddington's argument about supposedly "solid" tables?

Exactly my point. That's why the book is irrelevant for understanding those later developments.

And what do they have to do with Frank's numerous examples of unwarranted philosophical concluions that are supposedly entailed by QM?

Because Frank could not have known those later developments, that for example definitely proved Einstein wrong in his assumption of local hidden variables.

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What arguments? You don't give arguments. You claim that physicists have proven such and such, and then you dismiss skeptics as uninformed. But you haven't argued for or proven a damned thing. The only "arguments" you have given about physics are assertions based on things you claim to know.

You don't have to take my word for it, as I'm just a "phony physicist". I've already given a good reference for you, namely the book by d'Espagnat, a renowned physicist and philosopher. Another famous physicist, Roland Omnès, wrote: "This book is a monument to d'Espagnat's excellent work and style: it is surely the most complete book to have been written on the subject and one likely to last a long time, at least until we come to fully understand the remaining mysteries in the field".

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GHS, is DF really that important? I don't understand why you are going on and on and on and on about some anonymous poster. You could do better things, such as for example learning a little bit about QM and then squarely addressing some of the problems in how it is presented. You could watch that 1 min video I posted for example.

I don't like deception, I don't like phonies, and I don't like being taken for a ride.

I did watch the video you posted. It depicts a magical universe. I think I will watch Disney's "Fantasia" next for more info on the latest developments in physics.

I know more about QM than you might think. The problem is that I haven't read much of the stuff for many years now, so I need to refresh my memory on some of the details. Even if I previously formed reasonable opinions based on such reading, I am very reluctant, in any field, to spout off about a subject that I have not reviewed recently. Last night I reread, for the umpteenth time, Ernest Nagel's lengthy discussion of "Causality and Indeterminism in Physical Theory," which is Chapter 10 in The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation. This celebrated book can be tough going at times, but it is well worth the effort. It presents a balanced account of both sides in the debate.

DF, who appears tabula rasa on the relationship between philosophy and physics, should read this book. The first 10 chapters are as follows: Science and Common Sense, Patterns of Scientific Explanation, The Deductive Pattern of Explanation, The Logical Character of Scientific Laws, Experimental Laws and Theories, The Cognitive Status of Theories, Mechanical Explanations and Science of Mechanics, Space and Geometry, Geometry and Physics, and Causality and Indeterminism in Physical Theory.

If DF is to be believed, the physicist needn't be bothered with such useless philosophical topics. I mean, who really cares about what it means to explain something, or with the ontological status of theoretical models? The physicist can muddle his way through such problems and then tell us what we should believe. We need more faith and less critical thinking. Only a dogmatic Objectivist would possibly deny this.

Ghs

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What arguments? You don't give arguments. You claim that physicists have proven such and such, and then you dismiss skeptics as uninformed. But you haven't argued for or proven a damned thing. The only "arguments" you have given about physics are assertions based on things you claim to know.

You don't have to take my word for it, as I'm just a "phony physicist". I've already given a good reference for you, namely the book by d'Espagnat, a renowned physicist and philosopher. Another famous physicist, Roland Omnès, wrote: "This book is a monument to d'Espagnat's excellent work and style: it is surely the most complete book to have been written on the subject and one likely to last a long time, at least until we come to fully understand the remaining mysteries in the field".

I checked out d'Espagnat's book from the ISU library around 5 years ago. I read parts here and there and skimmed the rest, but I didn't have the time to read all of it carefully. I was working on my book on Classical Liberalism at the time, and it can be difficult for me to focus on two different technical subjects at the same time. But I thought it was a very good book, and I will probably order a copy one of these days.

You will note that I did not dismiss the book just because you recommended it. I do not hold others responsible for your poor judgments.

Btw, when may we expect a list of your credentials in physics? I could very well be wrong, but I'm beginning to suspect that you don't have any. So are you really a truck driver?

Ghs

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What on God's Green Earth do post-1962 developments in physics have to do with Stebbing's dissection of Eddington's argument about supposedly "solid" tables?

Exactly my point. That's why the book is irrelevant for understanding those later developments.

And what do they have to do with Frank's numerous examples of unwarranted philosophical conclusions that are supposedly entailed by QM?

Because Frank could not have known those later developments, that for example definitely proved Einstein wrong in his assumption of local hidden variables.

Can you really be this dense? I recommended these books because they give examples of "some of the nutty things that even eminent physicists have said about philosophy." I never said anything about their providing the most up-to-date theories in physics.

And what the fuck is this business about Einstein being wrong about about local hidden variables? None of the stuff I was referring to in Frank's book has anything to do with this. Of course, you would have known this if you had bothered to spend even 30 minutes skimming his book.

The only hidden variable in this discussion is your intelligence.

Ghs

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