20

Memorably, Feynman in his Lectures on Physics states: It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge of what energy is. Energy, the Subtle Concept. The discovery of Feynman’s blocks, from Leibniz to Einstein by Jennifer Coopersmith (Oxford UP, 2010) is a book that substantiates Feynman's claim. It begins by recalling the context, ...


19

Let us consider the being named Hpf. Like God, Hpf is eternal by definition. Hpf created the universe and will destroy it on Monday, August 9, 2021. Something whose existence is impossible cannot be conceived in the mind. Let's make an assumption that there is no Hpf. Since it will be eternal by definition, it did not exist in the past or in the future, ...


18

There are a number of quantities that physics has found to be conserved. "Conserved" means that if you take a situation, and you measure what is in it, then something happens in it (where you measure all inputs and outputs), the measure of those quantities doesn't change. These include: Mass-Energy Linear Momentum Angular Momentum Center of ...


17

First, to speak very broadly, information (in the mathematical sense of information theory) is a quantity calculated from a probability distribution. In the Bayesian interpretation of probability, probability is a person's subjective degree of belief in a proposition. The consequence is that information is also subjective, and is relative to an individual's ...


17

I disagree with your assertion that physics has nothing to say about this. There was a time when "nothing" was thought of as a box with no contents. Then it was discovered that it contained air, and air had certain properties- so the box full of nothing actually contained "something". "Nothing" was redefined to be a box ...


11

To get a really good answer you should explain what you mean by "understand", do you mean be able to construct a mathematical model and make predictions? or maybe get such an intuitive feel for it that you can make predictions in your head, without having to write down equations? In any case, physicists and mathematicians regularly deal with higher ...


11

Ill-formed question: understanding already presupposes the experience of time. Understanding essentially means making inferences with concepts (e.g. understanding how vaccines work means inferring that after taking a jab a series of causal mechanisms are triggered, and the final fact in the sequence would be the production of antibodies). So, ponendo ponens, ...


10

First, is your assumption based on the ancient Greek or a modern translation? The implication that it is 'explicit' to you has more to do with the translation of words and conceptual contexts involved to a native thinker. Second, the grouping of Asian philosophies together in opposition to Greek is not the grouping done by most scholars. An out of print book ...


10

Because "something can't come from nothing" leads to infinite regress/explanatory failure when you ask the question, "Where did things come from?" We will assume that "something" exists now and define "nothing" to be the negation of "something". If something exists, it either came from something or came from ...


9

You wrote: Thus it sounds like we have a pretty good grasp of what energy is Actually, according to Richard Feynman we do not know what energy is: It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge of what energy is. We do not have a picture that energy comes in little blobs of a definite amount. It is not that way. However, there are ...


8

People in the answers seem to focus on premise 2 but I'm having an even bigger problem with premise 1: Something whose existence is impossible cannot be conceived in the mind. We can definitely conceive impossible things in our mind. People have been able to imagine a 4 dimensional cube even though it's "impossible" according to our eyes. You ...


6

Interpretation of the Platonic forms is a big wrangle and may be undertaken in many ways. But the simplest answer to your question "in what realm" might just be to say everywhere or in every "realm." Thus the "squareness" of a square, to use the old trope, is not "in" this or that particular square thing. In fact, any ...


5

When a person is arguing some point of uncertain truth, and to justify his argument he says, "it's a fact that X," what he means is that he asserts X is true and also he considers the truth of X to be firmly supported. It may carry a connotation that his listener would be irrational not to accept X. The arguer would not say "it's a fact that ...


5

Any thing with several totally different and unrelated quantifiable features can be classified and studied by treating those features as dimensions. For example, a song can have mood (passion, angry, joyful, melancholy, etc) and genre (jazz, rock country, soul, rap, etc) as its 2 different unrelated features each of which can be somehow technically ordered ...


5

To quote a bit from SEP on this... the level of ontological commitment needed for truth-makers for negative truths has been a matter of debate: Russell reluctantly chose to acknowledge negative facts as truth-makers for negative truths. He just couldn’t see any way of living without them. But negative facts are an unruly bunch. Try to think of all the ways ...


5

Emergence isn't necessarily about smaller to bigger, although it is a property of groups or interactions. It is something that happens in intermediate states between absolutely chaotic behaviour and rigidly ordered systems. It can occur from very small scales, like whirlpools/vortices, or crystal nuclei, or ripples, beginning with half a dozen molecules, but ...


5

What is the "mainstream metaphysical view"? According to the only more or less reliable source I am aware of, which is the PhilPapers survey of philosophy professionals, the mainstream view is Accept or lean toward: non-skeptical realism 760 / 931 (81.6%) This assumes that you take metaphysics to mean ontology. If you follow the Kantian ...


5

New Age websites are allowed to make the claim that anything is anything else. This makes no sense in the world of physics, so you will not see such claims made on physics websites.


5

Sure, it's possible. There are several ways it might happen. Scenario 1: All the particles involved in the Earth suddenly quantum-tunnel somewhere far away. No more Earth. This is the possibility the article mentions. Incredibly unlikely under our current understanding of quantum physics, but possible. Scenario 2: You are living in a simulation. Earth is ...


4

The word "dimension" has various usages. Some are of greater philosophical interest than others. It is often used as a metaphor. For example a famous aeroplane designer once remarked that "Every aeroplane has four dimensions; length, breadth, height and politics". In mathematics, you can have any number of spatial dimensions you want; ...


4

I think there is a dialog with Socrates that has to do with this somewhat. It's called the tale of the ring of Gyges. In Republic, the tale of the ring of Gyges is described by the character of Glaucon who is the brother of Plato. Glaucon asks whether any man can be so virtuous that he could resist the temptation of killing, robbing, raping, or generally ...


4

Hawking is talking about the fact even if we discovered the equations of a complete and final unified theory of fundamental physics, there would still be the question of why a universe described by those equations exists at all. So, I don't think there would be any philosophical term other than "existence" or "being" here (the ...


4

There is an approach to the philosophy of mathematics called formalism. In fact, it is a whole family of related positions. In one of the more extreme versions of formalism, mathematical sentences are not considered to be propositions that state truths or falsehoods, but are just strings of symbols that are manipulated according to a set of rules that we ...


4

Your point 2 is a poorly constructed argument that if God does not exist, it is impossible for God to exist. This borders on the silly. All sorts of things are possible that do not in fact exist. For example, there has never been any beer in my refrigerator. Yet such cold beer is clearly a possibility. "God is impossible ==> God does not exist" ...


4

Option 1 is ruled out by Spinoza's conception of attribute. No two substances can share an attribute, because for Spinoza an attribute both specifies the qualitative 'kind' of an entity, and also its numerical identity. If two or more substances shared an attribute, there would be no reason why one substance is this particular and the other that particular. ...


4

In a nuclear explosion, we might say, "matter is converted into energy." But you can't exactly see energy or hold a piece of energy in your hand. It's not "glowy stuff" (as often depicted in fiction and new-age media), and it's not the same as photons. Rather than a "thing," it's better to think of energy as an attribute that ...


4

This is just a string of unjustified claims. "It is a theorem that adopting choice only retracts our universe" While it is true that there are things that choice rules out (e.g. assuming choice there are no Reinhardt cardinals), there are also things that the negation of choice rules out (e.g. well-orderings of arbitrarily high levels of the ...


4

Simply put, because in philosophy anything can be called into question no matter how much it may seem like you're denying the obvious, and nothing deters entire intellectual frameworks from being built upon assertions that most people would recognize as absurd. Humans aren't perfectly rational all the time, so there's literally nothing ensuring us to follow ...


3

An analysis of the possible responses to the question of why there is anything at all is given by Leslie and Kuhn in The Mystery of Existence. Rejectionism: The question is illegitimate and improper. Mystification: The question is legitimate but unanswerable - it represents a mystery. Theological approach: There is a substance [viz. God] whose position in ...


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