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32 votes

Obvious wrongness of Aristotle

Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives’ mouths. He said also that children ...
causative's user avatar
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16 votes

Obvious wrongness of Aristotle

In my humble opinion, Aristotle has been unfairly attacked in introductory science textbooks as a representative of dogma and careless unfounded beliefs. This is the probable reason for your hunch ...
Ritesh Singh's user avatar
15 votes

Is much of theoretical physics nothing more than speculative assumptions?

Unlike pseudoscience, both types of speculation in physics begin with evidence, remain constrained by evidence, and have falsifiable empirical predictions as the end goal. Which mathematical formalism ...
g s's user avatar
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14 votes

Obvious wrongness of Aristotle

If I'm not wrong, it was held, for example, that a flying spear moves strongly horizontally and then falls strongly vertically. Indeed, you are wrong. Obviously his explanation of movement (in modern ...
Ioannis Paizis's user avatar
13 votes

How might a physicist define 'mind' using concepts of physics?

The "mind" is not a subject of physics. To a physicist it's an emergent property of certain extremely complicated arrangements of particles and fields. You're far better off asking the ...
Eric Smith's user avatar
8 votes

Is something physical if and only if we can perceive it (directly or indirectly) with our bodily senses?

Referring to perception is an erroneous restriction. We can't perceive planets in far off galaxies, but that doesn't stop there being planets in far off galaxies or make them unphysical. Physical ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
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8 votes

Is probability physical or idealistic? Is probability an inherent part of nature/reality?

It is both physical and idealistic. For example, if a dice is rolled repeatedly, on average each number will come up around a sixth of the time. That tendency is physical. The language of probability ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
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5 votes

Is much of theoretical physics nothing more than speculative assumptions?

[... ]why is so much of physics that is based on literally zero testable evidence taken seriously? There is no direct evidence of a multiverse, certain interpretations of quantum mechanics, string ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Are there examples in the literature of rigorous mathematical models of libertarian free will that take the laws of physics into account?

Two cents. Libertarian free will is supposed to be a basic concept and process in libertarianism, not reduced to further mechanisms. This is simply the way it is. An exact mechanism would make it ...
Nikos M.'s user avatar
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5 votes

How might a physicist define 'mind' using concepts of physics?

A physicist is a person who on the basis of an academic education engages in the science of physics - not in the science of chemistry, biology or other natural sciences. Hence the domain of physics ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
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4 votes

Are there examples in the literature of rigorous mathematical models of libertarian free will that take the laws of physics into account?

Conway and Kochen[??] have offered a so-called "free will theorem" (note: the following quote is the Wikipedia summary of their conclusion): The free will theorem of John H. Conway and ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
4 votes

Is much of theoretical physics nothing more than speculative assumptions?

Actually, there was a fairly interesting argument for string theory that went like so (I'm citing this by memory, but it was occurrent in the literature at some point): General relativity is in ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
4 votes

Consciousness and Understanding of Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy

During the period of classic physics scientists one way or another thought of the world as something totally independent of our perceptions, that was governed by some laws. Their main concern was to ...
Ioannis Paizis's user avatar
4 votes

What is wrong with the following case against determinism?

All you've shown is that knowing what you'd do would undermine that knowledge. But this isn't a "case against determinism". It's a very constrained limit on our knowledge, and it's one that ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
4 votes

How do physicists talk about spin of individual particles when the universe is massively entangled?

You can specify (make predictions about measurements pertaining to) the state of one part of an entangled system. If you know how it's entangled, measuring the state of one part lets you know the ...
g s's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Model and implication of bidirectional time

I think you are mixing notions of time and causality, as in metaphysics or psychology, with the physical notions of time and causality. The laws of physics are indeed insensitive to the direction of (...
Julio Di Egidio - inactive's user avatar
4 votes

Is probability physical or idealistic? Is probability an inherent part of nature/reality?

Probability is epistemic, not physical (with a caveat). It is a description of how much an agent doesn't know about an event, or how much an agent would know about the event if they fully correlated ...
causative's user avatar
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4 votes

Is probability physical or idealistic? Is probability an inherent part of nature/reality?

Probability is an epistemic description of ontic uncertainty. Probability is what is known about an uncertain outcome of which complete knowledge is not available or does not yet exist.
Pertti Ruismäki's user avatar
4 votes

Obvious wrongness of Aristotle

This has been answered better than I ever could. I'd like to just add - If you take as a premise that Aristotle was describing things that he sees, and perhaps is interpreting them wrong because of ...
Gerard ONeill's user avatar
4 votes

How might a physicist define 'mind' using concepts of physics?

The mind is not physical, it may operate on a physical substrate, however it's semantics are not there. In an analogy, a film is transmitted through waves and displayed in a TV set, using mechanical ...
Ioannis Paizis's user avatar
3 votes

Is much of theoretical physics nothing more than speculative assumptions?

No. Speculation and assumptions are different things. A speculation is something that you think might be true. An assumption is something that you act as though it is true. What a "speculative ...
Daron's user avatar
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3 votes

Causation in physics

Electromagnetic radiation phenomena exhibit a temporal asymmetry: we observe radiation coherently diverging from a radiating source, such the light emitted by a star, but we do not observe radiation ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 1,563
3 votes

Is much of theoretical physics nothing more than speculative assumptions?

I don't think you understand the domain of theoretical physics. It is the domain of mathematical modelling, in contrast to experimental physics. It is basically math, but distinguished from pure math ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Neither Presentism nor Eternalism by Carlo Rovelli

He is proposing a sort of localised presentism, in which at any particular point in space there is a 'now' but there is no suggestion that 'now' at one point can be simplistically extrapolated to ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
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3 votes

What is character, and what role does it play in the decision making of an agent, according to proponents of libertarian free will?

"Empirical Approaches to Moral Character" is a good overview of what you are asking about (c.f. the more general such article), though see also §4 of a different SEP entry for empiricist ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
3 votes

Consciousness and Understanding of Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy

It may be that nothing can exist without consciousness because it is fundamental to the universe. In the panpsychist view there is no need for emergence. The hard problem disappears. I would recommend ...
Meanach's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

What is wrong with the following case against determinism?

A simpler form of your argument is: Knowledge of the future would inevitably change that future Therefore if the future is set, it cannot be known It's a version of the "time-traveler paradox&...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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3 votes

Is something physical if and only if we can perceive it (directly or indirectly) with our bodily senses?

Where exactly do you want to go with that question? I mean if you take our current level of understanding and regress to a time with insufficient technology it's quite easy to imagine for example that ...
haxor789's user avatar
  • 6,403
3 votes

Is something physical if and only if we can perceive it (directly or indirectly) with our bodily senses?

Two cents. "Physical", in most cases, means "being a form of matter-energy, or a property of matter-energy (eg charge, or a conservation law)". Matter-energy can be such that is ...
Nikos M.'s user avatar
  • 2,857
3 votes

Is something physical if and only if we can perceive it (directly or indirectly) with our bodily senses?

Ultimately this comes down to the question of what 'physical' means. This is a not a simple question. As mentioned in Section 4.2 of this article on Physicalism: Along with the concepts of space, ...
JimmyJames's user avatar

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