Questions tagged [philosophy-of-physics]

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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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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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Did physicist Erwin Schrödinger propose that reality could have contradictions?

Did Schrödinger believe that contradictory or inconsistent things could exist in reality? Was Schrödinger some kind of dialetheist?
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199 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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36 views

What developments prompted Cliffords picture of spacetime?

In 1870, Clifford, the English mathematician and sometime philosopher wrote the following in his book, On the Space theory of Matter; I hold as a fact: That small portions of space are in fact of a ...
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137 views

How to harmonise Empedocles theory of perception

In White Mythologies, in part a disquisition on poetics, Derrida quotes Du Marsais on metaphor: When we speak of the light of the mind, the word light is to be taken metaphorically; for just as light ...
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considering the line and circle as not just a contrary, but as a extremes on a continuum

Question: In Greek philosophy, it is generally taken that the line and the circle form a contrary. For example in Aristoteles Physics generally takes that motion can be formed out of this contrary, ...
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Mass and Density in De Rerum Natura

Lucretious poem, De Rerum Natura has the following: Again, why see we among objects some Of heavier weight, but of no bulkier size? Indeed, if in a ball of wool there be As much of body as in lump of ...
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358 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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192 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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123 views

About Wigner's view on the relation between mathematics and physics?

Physicist Eugene Wigner argued that the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and that there is no rational explanation for it ...
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What were the arguments Hawking considered naive against imaginary time?

background So I recently I read this. I believe that you are correct; I think an inclusion of that might make the article a bit clearer. Hawking used that explanation to rebuke a naive ...
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181 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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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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93 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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179 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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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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72 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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47 views

What is the difference between Lucretians concept of mass and Galileos?

It's generally taken that Galileo established the concept of mass; and usually this is illustrated by the apocrophyl story of two cannon-balls of differing size thrown simultaneously from the top of a ...
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45 views

Can a priori principles be applied to deduce 'Principal Bundles' as principles in Modern Physics?

Kant supplied a priori arguments for Newtonian Physics in his Metaphysics of Natural Science Has something similar been done for Modern Physics; which in its geometrical intepretation are concieved ...
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53 views

Does pure Place have Being?

According to Aristotelian physics A vacuum, or void, is a place free of everything, and Aristotle argued against the possibility. Void doesn't seem to be the Parmenidian Non-Being. It still has ...
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127 views

How touch occurs in a simulation hypothesis or in a brain hypothesis in a vat?

The point is that it doesn't matter whether these hypothesis are correct or not. The only thing that worries me is how the touch happens if in the real world it is the interaction of atoms (in ...
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146 views

Theory of Everything: simple but repetitive or complicated by efficient?

Which of the following criteria is more persuasive for choosing a Theory Of Everything: A very simple theory that requires an enormous amount of calculation to compute the universe (e.g. 10^(10^(10^(....
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38 views

Has any physicist advocate for both Putnam's thesis of “Logic is Empirical” and the Multiverse?

Philosopher Hilary Putnam proposed a very interesting thesis 1, advocating that Logic itself may be empirical. I have found another interesting article 2 by the physicist Matthew S Leifer where he ...
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Axiomatic system and symbolic, formal, mathematical language

Is there any need for axiomatic systems to be in a symbolic, formal, mathematical language? Equivalently is there any prohibition of axioms in axiomatic systems being in natural language? In other ...
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43 views

Methodological universalities in Physics

Is there any methodological characteristic universal in Physics? Even if some branches of Physics lose their reproducibility, their experimental testing, their deterministic predictivity isn't some ...
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334 views

Relation of reproducibility and the lack of contigencies with the scientific method

What is the relation of reproducibility and the lack of contigencies with the scientific method? Quantum mechanics and Statistical physics/mechanics are vurnerable/suspectible to contigencies. We ...
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Non-demarcation between internalist and externalist accounts?

Question Are the internalist and externalist accounts of perception such as vision possible? Background Philosophers distinguish internalist accounts, which assume that perceptions of objects, ...
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193 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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50 views

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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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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Is there a difference between 'exists' and 'theoretically possible'?

For the purpose of this questions let's assume that the physics of our universe can be fully described by a complete non-contradictory theory (i.e. that theory of everything exists). Then our universe ...
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93 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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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 ...