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The physicist and historian and philosopher of physics Pierre Duhem defines—in Aim & Structure of Physical Theory pt. 2, ch. 5 ("Physical Law"), p. 168—a physical law as a symbolic relation whose application to concrete reality requires that a whole group of laws be known and accepted. In that chapter, he shows that The Laws of Physics Are ...


7

In practice, the term "law of physics" refers to things we already know to be wrong more often than not. For instance, Newton's law of gravitation is wrong, it has been superseded by general relativity in terms of "correctness" for more than a hundred years now, yet no one has stopped calling Newton's law of gravitation a law, we still ...


6

Science only gives explanations of what we observe, and how to predict future actions. They are not explanations of the 'thing' in itself. D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson says in his book On Growth and Form (p 288): For as Newton said, to tell us that a thing "is endowed with an occult specific quality, By which it acts and produces manifest effects, is to ...


4

OK SpaceKidd_N7, let me try to explain this for you. Some of the world's most eminent physicists have indeed spent their entire careers figuring out how it is possible for space to bend, when at the same time it demonstrably does not consist of matter. The problem here is not that no one has thought about this, but that you don't know that they have. Your ...


2

So I think first of all that you're right to identify Quine as committed to saying something important about how the practice of science relates to our sense of "what there is" in the world. While from his earliest writing Quine was already talking about semantic holism, that our unit of interpretation in empirical hypothesis testing involves the ...


1

There is definitely not complete concordance among Physicists. Some insist on Bayesian interpretations of probability and others prefer the frequentist interpretation. One definition of "subjectivist probability" is: "In probability, a subjectivist stand is the belief that probabilities are simply degrees-of-belief by rational agents in a ...


1

This is non sequitur. From "Every mental state can exist in some universe", it does not follow that "Any delusional mental state has in fact a real cause in at least one universe". At most, you can infer "There is at least one universe where my mental state is to see an imaginary monster". But obviously you're not in that ...


1

There are competing views, e.g. Russell's belief that 'causation' is harmful, vs Cartwright's that without 'causation' science would be "crippled" https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199284221.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199284221-e-15 I think calling either view a "folk" belief is really quite misleading. As far as I ...


1

For me Leibniz's ideal rationalism can easily explain that the apparent causality in the realm of our perceived physical world is nothing but an illusion from the underlying objects' coordination. The common view of causality is nothing but an "interaction" influence chain between different objects as time unfolds, but Leibniz's Monadology clearly ...


1

Well, yes, exactly so, we can believe that our best scientific theories "tell us what exists". And then again, these theories may well turn out to be completely wrong. So this does not mean that "science determines our ontology"? Well, yes, it does if you want to! An ontology is "the set of entities presupposed by a theory", so ...


1

I'd say the main thing is find journals publishing on the topics you are interested in. And maybe contact some of those publishing them, to ask for feedback on what you put together. You are going to need to be up to speed on what's being published on these topics anyway. The prerequisites for physics go deep, so I'd say it's unusual for a philosopher to ...


1

Contemporary constructor theory first sketched by David Deutsch may fit your requirement according to reference here: Constructor theory is a proposal for a new mode of explanation in fundamental physics, first sketched out by David Deutsch, a quantum physicist at the University of Oxford, in 2012. Constructor theory expresses physical laws exclusively in ...


1

Poincare used to describe the consistency of Non-Euclidean geometry in details assuming a universal physical law different than ours such that one's body shrinks as one walks into its edge due to its unique temperature distribution law of inverse square of radius (forgot the source though)... So at least Poincare had no trouble to assume there're contingent ...


1

Newton was able to unify heavenly motion, with Earthly physics - it used to be thought they were just different places. Currently, the inside of a black hole does not obey our physics, because our theories don't work there - we don't have a quantum-gravity theory to account for small scales with high gravity. You have it backwards. We don't have a theory, ...


1

Modern science doesn't and cannot answer the endless debate of metaphysical preferences of your question, now as 300 years ago, you still can choose Newton's absolute spacetime or Leibnitz's relative spacetime. Most people implicitly hold Newton's absolute spacetime view as there exists a permanent fixed background stage to start the motion stories, this is ...


1

My limited opinion on this matter, picking a line from Hypnosil's linked page, Time & Physics : "it follows from the relativity of simultaneity that there is no fact of the matter as to what is present" Just because everything is relativised to frames, doesn't mean the present moment is not universal. It just means it would be inaccessible. ...


1

It did not start out that way. But with the passage of time, the people who thought deeply about physical laws gradually uncovered certain very general underlying principles which gave rise to heaps of separate laws- which were then understood to represent special cases of the more general underlying principles. This process is called unification. Examples ...


1

Mathematical objects are fictional. Nowhere in physical reality do you find a perfect circle or a polynomial equation. But this does not prevent us from making true statements about what would be the case if these objects existed. Mathematical claims can be understood as truths about a counterfactual situation. Truths - even truths about counterfactuals - ...


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