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22

The short answer: Your premise is not correct. Quantum Mechanics is not necessarily complex-valued. Here is a primer from Physics.SE if you are solid on the math. An explanation that is light on math: Complex numbers represent a particular collection of symmetries that behave in a particular way. They happen to be closely related to Real numbers because ...


17

Your question is about metaphysical realism and skepticism. There are indeed radical sceptic arguments against realism such as Descartes's demon, brain in a vat or the idea that one is actually dreaming, but also reasons to resist these arguments. First note that there can be no empirical evidence for or against such radical scepticism because these ...


9

I think one source of confusion with the concept of time is that it actually names two very different but related concepts: The qualitative concept of time as an experience. The objective physical phenomenon underlying that experience. To make clear what I mean, let's look at a different concept where this separation is generally understood and where we ...


9

A universe having a finite volume can be unbounded in length and have unbounded cross-sectional area. The example I have in mind is mathematical, not physical. It's called Gabriel's Horn. It's a standard example in first-year calculus. It's also called Toricelli's Trumpet, after Evangelista Torricelli, a student of Galileo. His discovery of this strange ...


8

Certainly. Simply because one cannot both know position and velocity through measurement, for example, doesn't prevent the idea that if one did know both, then they could present with certainty the outcome. One might suggest a metaphor: if you were trying to aim a cannon and you measured exactly one of the angle of inclination or the amount of powder in the ...


8

The view OP is alluding to is called mereological nihilism (mereology is a branch of metaphysics that studies relations between parts and wholes). It is the view that only "simples" (fundamental entities) exist, and composition of simples does not give rise to new objects. Applied consistently this means that, strictly speaking, not only time but ...


7

I think it is very insightful of you to want to learn to be a better critical thinker. That action in and of itself makes me think you are already more of a critical thinker than many others -- as merely a freshman you are carefully thinking about and planning what will best help you in the future. Not the Answer You're Looking For Unfortunately, philosophy ...


7

Are Why-questions "fundamentally metaphysical in nature"? No. Bas van Fraassen is a prominent example of a recent philosopher who understands scientific explanation as answering Why-questions, and who is also an fairly strict empiricist, meaning that he does not think science has access to nature beyond what is observable. See his The Scientific Image for ...


7

In my opinion, the best response to ontological uncertainty is to strive to live in a way that is meaningful regardless of the true nature of reality. While it may seem implausible, it may be less so than it seems. Consider the following --we don't know how our universe originated, we don't know what its fate is, we don't know with any certainty our own ...


7

The problems of motion and gravity were philosophical problems before the scientific revolution. People followed Aristotle's teachings. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotelian_physics Look at how Aristotle described motion and gravity. There's no mathematics involved... no empiricism really. It's all argued from first principles, starting with all sorts ...


7

A science is a well-defined systematic way of organizing and extending a body of knowledge. What makes it a science is its reliability, not its subject. Philosophy explores subjects that are outside the realm of science, which is to say, that do not have a well-established, reliable, systematic way of approaching them. Your lecturer is stating that when a ...


7

1st premise : No body can have a force contrary to inertia. Based on [Engl.transl.,page 2] analysis of "current" (still quite incomplete) understanding of matter and bodies and of knowledge of only a few of their properties. The first property that comes to mind is extension; all philosophers recognize it as a property of body, and Cartesians consider it ...


7

In my opinion you are mixing up different points: Physics does not use complex numbers to count entities. It is sufficient to count mangos by non-negative rational numbers, i.e. 1 mango, 1.5 mangos, 1/3 mango etc. You are right that quantum mechanics is based on the psi-function which is a complex function. The squared modulus of this function, a real ...


6

We do not perceive time, of course. What we do perceive, albeit indirectly, is change: we see one situation, form a memory of it (or retain it in our short-term memory of what's happening), and then perceive another situation which differs from it. The notion of time is prompted by the notion of change; and the notion of a regular "flow" of time comes from a ...


6

This is a particularly sticky wicket because (a) we are delving into the philosophy of quantum mechanics (which is beset on all sides by those who wish to pervert it to their own ends) and (b) because we are confounding our understanding of the problem by confusing what we mean by "exists." To make this question more meaningfully answerable I will address ...


6

I've found in Norman Wentworth DeWitt, Epicurus and His Philosophy (1954), page 163 : Lacking a unit for the denotation of extremely high velocity, Epicurus describes it as follows: "Furthermore, motion through the void, so long as no interference arises from conflicting bodies, accomplishes any conceivable distance in a space of time inconceivably ...


6

I am not sure that saving phenomena can be used to argue that Plato and Aristotle admitted or did not admit that different suppositions might be consistent with them. At the time Plato posed the problem of reconciling apparent motions of planets with the Pythagorean ideal of uniform circular motions not only wasn't Ptolemy's system around, but no such theory ...


6

Look at what Peter van Inwagen says in his book "metaphysics" (an excellent read) on this issue. He accuses physicists who claim to have solved the philosophical problem of origin or creation of conflating the notion of "philosophical nothingness" with "physical nothingness". The problem with many answers from physics, as @infatuated pointed out, is they ...


6

One of the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics is the principle of superposition. Its most simple application reads: If two paths exist to move from state A to state B, then the transition function (psi-function) develops to the final state as the sum of the two separate transition functions. The double split experiment has two different paths from ...


6

I think you're misunderstanding the idea behind "Last Thursdayism" on two fronts. First, as can be seen from the selection of "Thursday", the main point of the posit is to point out a problem in proving things that we can only observe indirectly by effects. Or to word it another way, the observer only has access to what they are observing and everything ...


6

Complex numbers are ordered pairs of numbers that have an extended definition of multiplication that is useful for representing circular motion in two-dimensions. (The definition of multiplication for complex numbers represents rotation around the origin point, plus scaling of the amplitude of that point according to the normal rules of scalar ...


6

The statement "The ball is red" can be rewritten with subject-predicate form: "Red(ball)" where "Red( )" is a predicate (a property predicated of something) and "ball" is the subject (an object of which the "redness" is predicated). In this form, there is no "is". This is the background for the assertion that, in statements like that above, "is" is not a ...


5

Just a few points: If man is born from the universe, we are a product of the universe. This much is certain. don't be so certain! I would recommend looking at the work of philosopher Immanuel Kant, as well as those in the 'neo-Kantian' tradition for some compelling reasons why this is not a certainty. As an entry point I would consider the possibility ...


5

It certainly was ironic if not funny that he started of that book by claiming philosophy is dead and then went on for about a third of the book to illuminate to us his views on philosophy of science. It has always been the case that those who deny philosophy existence or its importance are those most apt to assume philosophical stances without any thought ...


5

Yes, Einstein was a philosopher, as well as a scientist. My entire answer to Physics, Theoretical Understanding and the Limits of Human Knowledge/Understanding is relevant here, so I will simply list the lines of evidence: Michael Friedman in Dynamics of Reason notes the existence of the book Albert Einstein: Philosopher-scientist. Massimo Pigliucci, in his ...


5

Force is an auxiliary concept in Newtonian mechanics, and if you like, you can simply dispense with it. For example, rather than saying that F=GMm/r^2 acts on m, and m's resulting acceleration is a=F/m, you can eliminate F algebraically and say that a=GM/r^2. The usual way of thinking about causality in physics these days is that you want existence and ...


5

If I interpret this correctly you seem to be asking whether some kind of rudimentary form of awareness may be a property of all matter? One person who I think would answer in the affirmative is Graham Harman in his metaphysics of 'polyspychism'. The most clear and complete exposition of his system is called The Quadruple Object, a great introduction can ...


5

Imagine an exotic "universe", which does not have deterministic laws, but does have a notion of discrete time. At each step in time, the state of the universe — its "material" content — is given by a set of objects. It has no conservation laws as such. What happens is at each step, the set of material elements is replaced by either the power-set of its ...


5

"Normal" determinism — or at least, the way that people normally approach the notion of determinism — in the face of apparently random events is the position that the randomness is due to uncontrolled variables in the influences on the apparently random system, which you are not taking into account. A good example would be the brownian motion of ...


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