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58

Complex numbers are not, as you suggest, "...an integral part of physical reality". Neither, as you say, does the "quantum wave distribution function necessarily uses complex numbers". Not necessarily. Quantum mechanics can be mathematically formulated using the real numbers, the complex numbers, or the quaternions. See, e.g., https://arxiv.org/abs/1101.5690 ...


24

Like you, I think most uses of the terms 'probable' and 'random' are just epistemic, i.e. they relate to how much information we have. We say of a toss of a coin that it is random, and that there is a probability of (approximately) one half of it falling heads, but this just reflects the information we possess. Tell me more about the force and vector of the ...


22

This is a very huge question spanning multiple fields in philosophy. I do not have the expertise to cover all of these, so I'll focus on my personal favourite, the Philosophy of Mind aspect. As it stands there are no universally agreed upon answers to whether humans are different from computers in how they think. There are people on both sides of the ...


20

We cannot really prove that there is reality What would it mean to prove reality? Simone Weil, philosopher and younger sister to the famous mathematician Andre Weil (who solved the local Riemann hypothesis) wrote in her Lectures on Philosophy - which are in fact notes compiled by one of her students: One can never really give a proof of the reality of ...


20

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 ...


15

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 ...


11

"Distrust your senses" is a very long tradition. Recall Plato's "cave" analogy from the early dawn of philosophy, ~400 BC. Plato postulated that there is a reality outside of what humans experience. He compared the human "experience through the senses" to the experience of a caveman looking at a shadow play on the cave wall: The caveman can only see the ...


11

I think one reality is certain and indisputable: our own individual reality which is intuitively perceived without the need to any empirical data or substantiation. There can be no doubt that you are a self-conscious reality: a reality that realizes itself! Now on the analytical level, the statement "there is no reality" is itself an expression of a ...


11

We can not carry the argument past the first step because if our physical laws are simulated then we know nothing about the "physics" of the world that does the simulating. In particular, it may make no sense to say that one computer is "bigger" than another if they function by completely different principles, space or time as we know them may not apply to ...


10

The answer you get will depend on who you ask. There is no consensus within philosophy, so depending on which philosopher you ask the answer may be either yes or no or maybe or it's-impossible-to-tell. However, within the natural sciences there is pretty good consensus that we are just (analog, noisy, non-deterministic (due to quantum mechanics)) computers....


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 ...


8

Most folks you are pointing out on the right, from Mussolini's notion that each race has its own truth to Karl Rove's dismissal of 'fact-based people' are not really post-modernists, they are relativists in a degenerate way which is actually based in the realpolitik of how easy intellectual manipulation is for a cult of power in an atmosphere with too many ...


7

Summary Information distinguishes between multiple states of affairs; which indicates at the very least a bias in the likelihood that some state of affairs is realized, and ideally which indicates that some single state of affairs is realized while a number of alternatives have not been. In order to have a unit of information, you must have at least two ...


7

We can't be sure. Just as we can't be sure that we aren't living in some giant computer simulation of our universe. Each of these cases would feel exactly as real as if the universe was real and as if it has existed for at least 13.7 billion years. Physics and science discovers truth by testing falsifiable hypothesis. So a hypothesis that is not falsifiable ...


7

The basic response to this question (whether you listen to ancient philosophy, early/late modern philosophy, or pretty much anybody who's thought much about it) is that "you could always be missing something". Carneades: It's basically impossible to KNOW anything with certainty, because you can never know how much you don't know. But you have to live life, ...


7

If there were no reality, then all would be unreal. If all is unreal, then you are not real, your thoughts are not real, the statements you make are not real, there is no truth or falsehood, there is no reason, there is nothing but nothing (and not even empty space, since that's something. The verb "is" simply isn't available, period). Thus, the person who ...


7

The idea that the underlying core of quantum dynamics is randomness is known as the Copenhagen interpretation. It is the simplest one to lay out, but from the very beginning, it bothered people of a more idealistic bent. It is what drew the famous "The Old Man does not throw dice" quote from Einstein. Underlying randomness is not the only way to look at ...


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

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 ...


7

Here is the question: So did we discover symmetry, or do we impose it? (like numbers) And why do we need it? David John Baker describes symmetries (page 2): ...symmetries of a theory are transformations that preserve its laws. These transformations help us distinguish between "fundamental quantities" and "surplus structure" (page 4): ...physical ...


6

This problem isn't unique to God, in fact as Michael suggests you would find it quite challenging to prove or disprove with certainty the existence of virtually anything. I think the primary contention here is not whether absolute proof exists for objects/concepts (God) or not, but whether the likelihood of their existence and non-existence is equal given ...


6

Sure, there are lots of things that fit in your category-- there's nothing particularly unique about the case of God (and it's not even one case, as there are many, many different conceptions of God, each of which can be argued separately.) First of all, any ethical claims are going to be outside the bounds of "proof", because "is" does not imply "ought". ...


6

What I would say about the above quote is that is is based upon an etymological error. Māyā and mātrā are based upon two completely different Sanskrit roots. I certainly hope his physics is based upon more careful research than this. Attempting to essentialize the differences between "the West" and "the Orient" is a bad idea to begin with, but to do so ...


6

The distinction between formal and objective reality in Descartes is elucidated on Brown's web page. Formal reality refers to the reality of an object by virtue of the kind of thing it is (infinite, finite, modes/thoughts). Descartes view of formal reality is encapsulated in this online commentary: "When Descartes speaks of things as having more or less ...


5

What would a quantum interpretation without ontology be like? Short Explanation: It looks like instrumentalism. Instrumentalism avoids the debate between anti-realism and philosophical or scientific realism. It may be better characterized as non-realism. Instrumentalism shifts the basis of evaluation away from whether or not phenomena observed actually ...


5

The simplest definition of time is it is a sequence of events with respect to an observer. We humans experience three states—namely, waking, dream and deep sleep (sound sleep where nothing is felt or perceived.) The time we now experience is present only in the waking state as it is common to all of us. It is not felt during dream and deep sleep states. So,...


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 seems to me that your question is ill-posed. With that I mean that the question is not well defined: take for example the classic problem "If a tree falls but no one is there, does it make any sound?" The problem with this is the unclear definition of "sound", so if one does not define it better, the question is ill-posed. Back to your problem. ...


5

They don't; that is not all do; for example the natural philosophers; most, of whom are now called scientists, and in antiquity physilogoi took their sense on trust; if you are going to physics as Galileo or even as Einstein did - you'd better be able to trust your measurements. It was Descarte that popularised the view that one shouldn't trust one sense; ...


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