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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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1answer
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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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0answers
24 views

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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0answers
74 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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0answers
132 views

Multiverse and the anthropic principle?

I put this question here since the anthropic principle is more a philosophical argument than actually a physics concept, so I thought that since this may not have much to do with mainstream physics ...
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1answer
61 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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1answer
131 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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3answers
166 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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2answers
87 views

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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0answers
37 views

Is this transposition principle justified? [closed]

Say the universe its infinite. How does that infinity compare to the infinity of microstates available to an arbitrary volume? Lets say it's a larger ordering, though I invite any experienced ...
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1answer
315 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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0answers
45 views

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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2answers
69 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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1answer
224 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
107 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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1answer
147 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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0answers
100 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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0answers
88 views

Is everything in the universe made of 0s and 1s? [closed]

Qubits are the quantum counterpart of the bits used in traditional computing. While traditional bits represent data as 0s or 1s, qubits are distinguished by what's known as superposition, or the ...
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3answers
141 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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2answers
101 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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0answers
81 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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3answers
179 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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3answers
255 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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2answers
69 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
259 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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3answers
67 views

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
69 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
86 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
95 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
360 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
273 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
204 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 ...
2
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1answer
82 views

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
190 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
132 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
172 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
5k views

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
289 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
64 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
134 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
163 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
9k views

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
217 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
53 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
329 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
84 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
180 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
304 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
195 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
77 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
396 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" ...