Questions tagged [philosophy-of-physics]

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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109 views

Is a quantum theory that is indigenously quantum mechanical a real possibility?

The general approach to Quantum Mechanics is that one first takes a classical system and then quantise to obtain a quantum mechanical system. This holds for QM itself, and QFT such as QED and QCD and ...
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42 views

Boltzmann brain - how are the laws of physics presented?

Does the Boltzmann brain scenario also assume that the laws of physics are presented consistently for each individual brain? In other words: 1) Why do we assume that the types of brains fluctuated ...
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What kind of philosophy of the foundations of physics can there be?

I'm currently trying to read into topos foundations for theories of physics and I wonder if we are really able to give a philosophical foundation for what a possible future theory of physics should ...
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What kind of questions can science answer?

Please bear with me, as I am self-studying philosophy as a beginner. My questions are about the limitations of empirical science. During my reading of some books, I've come across statements of the ...
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1answer
55 views

How influential was “galvanism” on philosophy, and was it rightfully so?

I'm currently reading F. W. Schelling's "First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature". Schelling, a late 18th-early 19th century philosopher, was very well-informed about contemporary ...
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Removal of the distinction between the “initial condition” and the “laws of physics”?

Background and Question Here's something I was wondering: The (known) laws of physics can be formulated in such a way that one say: "initial condition" + "laws of physics" gives us a "final solution."...
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192 views

A comprehensive introduction to relationship between math and experience

I am a mathematician with interest in physics and pure logic and exists one problem: the connection between math and physics. Math concerned on pure universal truths and physics concerned on ...
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1answer
161 views

Did physicist Eugene Wigner think that every mathematical structure existed as an isolated universe?

I have read that Eugene Paul Wigner thought that all mathematical structures had physical existence. Does that mean that he believed in a multiverse containing all mathematical structures as separate ...
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145 views

Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe

Max Tegmark believes the universe to be a mathematical structure, and he further claims any mathematical structure with self-aware substructure will perceive itself in a physical world. What exactly ...
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85 views

Does Barrow and Tipler's “anthropic principle-multiverse” entail the existence of all logically possible universes?

I've read several texts that indicate that the anthropic principle (applied to cosmology, and more specifically, to the multiverse) yields the existence of all logically possible universes (most like ...
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2answers
154 views

Did physicist Max Born think that mathematical structures are platonic entities?

It seems that prominent physicist Max Born (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Born) believed in some kind of Platonism. We can infer this, for example, from the book "The Innermost Kernel" (https://...
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136 views

Inconsistency of Classical Electrodynamics

What is the status of the critique of Mathias Frisch's on the consistency of Classical Electrodynamics? And what exactly is his claim in succinct answer? Thanks!
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121 views

Did anyone argue against the possibility of a perfect prediction from within a system?

Did anyone offer an argument against the possibility of a perfect and complete prediction about a system from within that system along the following lines: Let's imagine a machine (like a desktop ...
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163 views

Are Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis and Seth Lloyd's Cosmological Model compatible?

I have been interested in Seth Lloyd's cosmological model (which proposes that the universe is a some kind of quantum computer or at least similar to it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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120 views

Does the reversibility of laws of physics prove that causality doesn't exist?

Does the fact that the fundamental laws are symmetric with respect to direction of time show that causation does not exist? Since causality always requires the cause to precede the effect, but laws of ...
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1answer
152 views

Is the event of death deterministic?

It's 5 months since I lost my dad in a factory accident. His manner of death is obviously the biggest tragedy of my life, but now when I contemplate about it, the Physics of the event seem so unlikely....
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189 views

Is it there any direct relation between Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis and the Holographic Principle?

I would like to ask you about Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis and its relation to the holographic principle: Could we use the holographic principle as a framework to Tegmark's MUH? I mean, ...
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195 views

Would this experiment establish whether wave function collapse is caused by consciousness?

I'm currently writing an article on the philosophy of physics. Part of the article involves an experiment which would substantiate whether or not consciousness causes wave function collapse. Many ...
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What is Quine’s reductionism?

I am especially interested in how reductionism is related to the fact that even though science broadly comprehends a number of subjects, physics is paradigmatic.
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84 views

What is the meaning of using a mathematical structure to describe physics?

I'm trying to understand the meaning of using a mathematical structure in order to do physics, what does this really mean? My idea is that first we performs experiments on a physical system in order ...
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170 views

Multiverse and the anthropic principle?

In this paper (https://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0211048) by physicist Andrei Linde, the multiverse concept, the anthropic principle, quantum cosmology and inflationary cosmology are discussed. In the ...
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84 views

Is it there any specific and well known continous/analog alternative to Wheeler's discrete “It from Bit”?

Physicist John A Wheeler (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Archibald_Wheeler) suggested the concept of "law without law" and "it from bit" which suggested that the universe did not have any laws ...
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188 views

Examples of theories that assume the existence of an “External Reality”?

In this paper written by physicist Max Tegmark (https://arxiv.org/pdf/0704.0646.pdf) it talks about "External Reality Hypothesis". Specifically, he says: Although many physicists subscribe to the ...
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244 views

Do forces really exist?

In physics there are 4 fundamental forces the EM force, the weak and strong forces and gravity. Now gravity is already a bit declassified as a force by the curved spacetime theory of Einstein. But ...
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Must the physical phenomenon of the universe be differentiable?

The use of Calculus for the analysis of real-world phenomenon depends entirely on our universe not only being continuous, but being differentiable. By "real-world phenomenon" I mean things like the ...
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1answer
333 views

What is the relevance of applicability to the natural sciences in pure mathematics?

I think I am coming to a good, new understanding of the relationship of pure mathematics to the natural sciences. A major concern of mine is just how reliable is rigorous (characteristically "pure") ...
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About the advantages of the propensity perspective on probability

I am wandering what are the advantages of the propensity perspective on probability. Why would it be better to explain probability in physics? Except for the fact that it solves various problems of ...
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100 views

What is the relation between the propensity interpretation of probability and probability in physics?

I would like to know what physicists think about the propensity viewpoint.If this latter one is in line with physics and especially Quantum Mechanics. Otherwise, what is the most coherent ...
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232 views

If our world is mathematical، Does not this increase the probability of being complex as well?

Tegmark's mathematical universe hypothesis, posits that reality is a mathematical structure. This mathematical nature of the universe, Tegmark argues, has important consequences for the way ...
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1answer
111 views

Random Emergence

In De Caelo 300b, Aristotle introduces the idea of the random emergence of the natural: "it is possible that with this disorderly motion some of the elements might have unified in those combinations ...
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184 views

Are there examples of when verificationism doesn't hold in Physics?

Are there examples of when verificationism doesn't hold in the context of Physics? I intend to relate this to some discussion of Einstein's use of verificationism to discard Ether in the magnet ...
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112 views

Imaginary part of the world behind the event horizon [closed]

Outside the event horizon of a black hole, quantum field theory and General Relativity are completely sufficient for understanding the physics of what occurs; that is what Hawking radiation is. But ...
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147 views

Are the Bohmian and Copenhagen interpretations of QM isomorphic?

I'm writing an essay comparing Bohmian Mechanics to the standard Copenhagen interpretation and came across the notion that Bohmian mechanics implies a fundamental epistemic uncertainty to how we can ...
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114 views

What's the difference between logical modalities and physical modalities?

I am just wondering what's the difference between the two. I would say that there is something different, but honestly I can't define what it is exactly. What do you think?
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84 views

Why do the limits to the computation of the universe appear to us as fundamental physical constants? [closed]

According to the Estakhr's Principle of Physical Constants Physical Constants are Computational limits or vice versa. Why do the limits to the computation of the universe appear to us as fundamental ...
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235 views

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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257 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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72 views

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
318 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
70 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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88 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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105 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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385 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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291 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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223 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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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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247 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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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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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 ...