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If your question is more physics and less philosophy, consider asking it on Physics.SE (possibly with the soft-question tag).

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Are There Alternatives to Determinism and Stochasticism?

From my physicist's point of view, there are basically two ways of seeing the world: The world can be fundamentally deterministic or fundamentally stochastic (see also indeterminism). I believe that ...
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219 views

If nature is inherently imprecise, how is it so easy for us to conceptualize mathematical certainties?

In modeling any real physical system, we are required to employ inductive reasoning. We can never be completely certain about the state or properties of any system or of any future observation we will ...
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Is there a scenario before the formation of the world? [closed]

Energy turns into hydrogen atoms, and then the stars are born.، So maybe there was a scenario before the formation of the world. Could this be a sign of a pre-designed scenario? Has this topic (the ...
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4answers
177 views

Is potential real?

It might be an odd question to some, but to me it strikes quite obviously as something I should've asked a long time ago :-) In physics, potential energy stands for the energy that could be realized ...
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Any references for answering the question: “why does nature seem to follow so simple human-conceived patterns?”

Something that I've been thinking lately (motivated by the simple explanations given in crystallography, which I interpret as a complex phenomenon), are there any references (books, papers) that ...
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1answer
64 views

Looking for Sources on Philosophical Discussion of Modern Atomic Theory

I'm currently planning a research project which tracks the development of atomic theory in the physical sciences (though mainly physics since that's my subject). In the last section I want to discuss ...
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1answer
76 views

Can physics be approached from a worldview that's not naturalistic?

This is both a theoretical and practical question. Physics (at least university-taught physics) is often based upon Newton's basic worldview, a naturalistic worldview that's said to be the ...
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4answers
81 views

Can you objectively determine if a given system has free will (according to compatibilism)?

Given some system, can you objectively determine if it has free will? In particular, you can examine the system to any extent that you want, but you are told nothing about its purpose. If so, what is ...
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3answers
283 views

Is there a fundamental ontology in Physics? What is the universe fundamentally “made of” according to Physics?

Is there a fundamental ontology in Physics? According to Physics, what are the fundamental "things" (whatever they may be) that in combination define the whole universe, such that they are not ...
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5answers
160 views

Why do physicists increasingly seek to understand more fundamental pieces of matter?

Why do physicists seek to study and explain more fundamental qualities of matter as opposed to stopping at a certain point and testing more predictions of macro-level models? What benefit does the "...
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7answers
178 views

Is the “Theory of Everything” a misnomer?

Is it wrong to call the theory that explains all four fundamental forces/interactions a Theory of Everything in philosophy? My views: I think this is not a misnomer, at least not if you are both a ...
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1answer
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Mathematical Platonism & QM

In mathematical Platonism, a mathematical cousain of Platonism proper numbers are seen as ideas that are outside of the phenomenal world. It's an obscure doctrine Consider, the mathematical ...
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4answers
153 views

Theory of everything and God

I always reach this point when I think about physics and God: Assume that a theory of everything is found. And this ToE is a successful mathematical description of the entire universe. EDIT: By "...
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1answer
129 views

Can small random pieces produce a deterministic whole?

Quantum mechanics offers some statistical reasoning for small pieces of length in the Universe (please correct me if I'm wrong). To some extent everything has uncertainty. We might even say that it is ...
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1answer
164 views

Do naturalists think that only microscopic physical things exist?

I was reading an article on time in physics, which is meant to emerge at the macroscopic level. This is interpreted as that it does not really exist. Is that because only microscopic physical things ...
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10answers
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Interpretation of the butterfly effect

It is said that in certain circumstances, a tiny change, like the flap of a butterfly's wings, can lead to enormous changes, like a tornado somewhere. However, it should be clarified what "change" ...
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5answers
239 views

How can our actions be regarded as free if they are causally determined?

After all, soft determinists are determinists, so they believe that our actions are causally determined. How can our actions be regarded as free if they are causally determined?
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0answers
55 views

Is mental “substance” quantifiable?

David Chalmers presents different options of idealism to approach the mind-body problem in his article, and his suggestions got me thinking. He presents ways of taking a sort of objective-idealism ...
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3answers
77 views

What is the definition of physical? Is that definition clear enough to make the a distinction between physical and non-physical?

Awkwardly synthesizing jobermark's old question Is there a boundary on 'physical'? with my (badly put) question Can physics talk about non-physical entities/concepts, and if not which academic ...
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1answer
68 views

How did Democritus come to atomic conclusion?

Democritus's model stated that matter consists of invisible particles called atoms and a void (empty space). He stated that atoms are indestructible and unchangeable. Also that they are homogenous, ...
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12answers
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Why is the complex number an integral part of physical reality?

In modern physics, the quantum wave distribution function necessarily uses complex numbers to represent itself. If physics defines the physical reality, then what we are saying by the statement above ...
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2answers
162 views

Isn't Mind–body dualism the result of a Complex Universe?

Mind–body dualism, or mind–body duality, is a view in the philosophy of mind that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical, or that the mind and body are distinct and separable. Isn't ...
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1answer
41 views

Is there any use for non-predictive method?

"Scientific method", as controversial as this phrase is, almost always contains the need for predictions - a theory will be scientific if it's (among other things, but at the very least) able to ...
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1answer
251 views

Is the Universe real or complex? [closed]

A.R. Estakhr says that in the real world nothing can move faster than the speed of light. Well, he is not alone in this regard, and Einstein had similar views. But he goes on to say, "If something ...
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1answer
70 views

Can physics talk about non-physical entities/concepts, and if not which academic department does?

Of course, for this question the physical itself needs to be defined; I'll define it simply as the popular use of it today in physics - either an actual, material substance, or a physical concept such ...
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2answers
161 views

How do we know that a photon has some physical form before we observe it?

In physics, the observer effect is the fact that simply observing a situation or phenomenon necessarily changes that phenomenon. This is often the result of instruments that, by necessity, alter the ...
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1answer
216 views

What are numbers?what are they, really — [closed]

We use numbers every day, but taking a step back, what are they, really — and why do they do such a damn good job of helping us explain the universe (such as Newtonian laws)? Mathematical structures ...
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3answers
172 views

Why do we want to achieve Unified Theory of Everything?

The elctro-magnetism works fine. Gravity works fine. The two theories can live separately. At atomic scale the electromagnetism theory can be employed and at large scale gravity can be employed. My ...
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1answer
69 views

Do materialists today consider physical forces as created from matter?

The distinction from materialism and physicalism is usually that materialists believe everything is matter, and physicalists believe that everything is physical, which lets them include modern science ...
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1answer
318 views

Is the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics philosophically untenable?

I saw this: http://aeon.co/essays/is-the-many-worlds-hypothesis-just-a-fantasy In this article the author raises a number of intriguing philosophical challenges against the so-called "many worlds" ...
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117 views

Why is there an asymmetry in QM?

In discussions of quantum mechanics (QM), a classical system observes a quantum system. There is an asymmetry that observation occurs in only one direction, this is at very different from Newtonian ...
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Was there an influence of Schellings Naturphilosophie on Einstein?

Darrigol in Electrodynamics from Ampere to Einstein writes: In Germany, a few marginal followers of Schellings Naturphilosophie criticised the general notion of fluids acting at a distance and ...
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1answer
52 views

What does Weyl mean by this remark?

In the Philosophy of Mathematics & Physics, Weyl writes: The coordinate system is, as it were, the residue of the annhilation of the ego. What does he mean by this?
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1answer
89 views

Why do some physicists countenance a mind-dependent reality?

Bernard D'Espagnat in this article in Scientific American writes: Of the three premises realism is the most fundamental. Realism can be stated formally as the belief that a mere description of data ...
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1answer
105 views

Where did Husserl say that in quantum mechanics spatial localisation is no longer a principle of individualisation?

According to Philosophy & Physics edited by Bernard d'Espagant: I am thinking of a text by Husserl, who was quite removed from physics, who said that the fundamental problem posed by QM is that ...
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454 views

Axioms in science and the scientific method

Do axioms exist in the scientific method like in physics, chemistry, biology, …? E.g. Ockham's Razor for picking the best theory – is it an axiom? Another example is that science gathers data, ...
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2answers
172 views

Are there contemporary philosophers of nature that don't accept 20th century science?

Are there any 20/21th century philosophers that talk about a different approach to the study of nature other than science? Are there any that criticize science?
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1answer
117 views

Black hole information paradox implications

What are the philosophical implications of the black hole information paradox? Would the creation of a small super dense residue of the black hole evaporation give rise to a philosophical issue anyway?...
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Being transcendental and contingency of constants of nature

Given an arbitrarily chosen constant of nature (say, the speed of light c), we can confidently say that the fact that it is equal to 299 792 458 meters per second is a contingent fact about our ...
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Does this argument by Aristotle show that identity is not fundamental?

Atomism remains the paradigm for physical explanations: There are only atoms and the void within which they move. And the All is made up of their collisions and their combinations. In this picture, ...
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51 views

What is the relationship between Al-Ghazali's Occasionalism, Whitehead's occasions and QM?

In 1993, Karen Harding, a philosopher wrote a paper, Causality then and now: Al-Ghazali and QM. She remarked: In both cases, and contrary to common sense, objects are viewed as having no inherent ...
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5answers
134 views

Is identity an emergent concept?

In the world in which we live, a chair remains a chair - it does not turn into a table; and if there were two chairs in this room, I could distinguish one from the other and I would have no trouble in ...
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1answer
57 views

Is Whiteheads 'occasions of experience' fundamentally relational?

Shimon Malin writes in Nature Loves to Hide: According to Whitehead, the ultimate blocks of reality are discrete items which he calls 'throbs of experience', 'occasions of experience', 'actual ...
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Is 'collapse of the quantum state' conceptually misnamed?

Take the description of the collapse in Nature Loves to Hide, by physicist Shimon Malin: In this chapter we zero in on the mystery at the heart of Quantum Mechanics. 'The collapse of the quantum ...
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Do wholes tell us what the parts are?

According to one reading of the atomic hypothesis it is parts that are fundamental and they tell us what wholes are, and in fact, what wholes are possible. For example: A tree is made up of roots, ...
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192 views

One big theory of Everything (TOE) or multiple “domain specific” theories?

It's common to hear that physicists are trying to find a Theory of everything (TOE). We "logically" consider the more elegant / concise theory as true ... because beauty is thruth ... or is it ? What ...
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155 views

Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics - Argument explanation

I would be grateful if someone could explain me this argument from Philosophy of Physics in plain English. I'm not sure how Albert arrives at his conclusion and I lack the mathematical skills to ...
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1answer
134 views

What is less than a bit? [closed]

I mean a bit of information (data). Some say (do not know exactly who) everything on its smallest level consists of information. What does the information consist of?
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Do any contemporary philosophers say “physical” space is ideal, just not the rest of it? Is it possible to?

Do any contemporary philosophers say "physical" space is ideal, just not the rest of it? Is it possible (I guess, consistent) to say that, even? I do not know what space is in physics.
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132 views

Is eternalism notion of time consistent with quantum mechanics (all of its interpretations)?

Is it consistent with quantum mechanics to think that:"We live equally in all past, present and future events" which is suggested by Einstein's relativity?