Nature of Reality

Nature of Reality

  • Manuel Morales added an answer:
    What is time? Is it linear or cyclic?
    My contention is that some regard time as an arrow or linear while some religions regard it cyclic (Kaal-Chakra). Also in his latest book, “The Grand Design” Hawking said: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.” By inference and reference to his love of M-Theory, time may be considered as cyclic. Time starts when forces (super-gravity) and matter procreate themselves into universe spontaneously and it ends when big crunch occurs and again starts with the big bang spontaneously produce space.
    Manuel Morales · - Prephysics Research

    Really? If you are one of the many that think that they actually discovered the Higgs boson? Think again...

  • Fairouz Bettayeb added an answer:
    What is reality? What are facts?
    I have noticed some scientists/scholars to equate reality to facts and facts to reality with assertion. In my opinion using them synonymously is a fallacy which must be consciously avoided, because in: Facts are statements about some events or circumstances that exist or that have occurred. Facts are observable (measurable), verifiable and indisputable whatever measure of reason and logic is applied to or reject them.
    Reality (Constructed, Objective, Subjective, Empirical, Instrumental and other Realities) is nothing but a collective opinion - an idea in which some confidence is placed or, a reasonable collective representation of “the way things are.” Reality is not simply acknowledged, but must be discovered or reasoned and is liable to falsification.

    For example, we know it is fact day will come after night. It is a fact that the Earth rotates on its axis resulting in day and night. It can be verified or observed from space. It also can be verified that the Earth revolves around the Sun. On the basis of these two facts we reckon time. But, what is reality of time? To some it is linear, to some opinions it is cyclic and to some it is fractal. To convince one of one of these three realities of time, it is to be reasoned out on the base of some facts.

    There is an objective reality out there, but we view it through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values. ~David G. Myers
    Fairouz Bettayeb · Centre de Recherche Scientifique et Technique en Soudage et Contrôle

    In scientific terms facts are events, data, information, knowledge, experiments... ie any verifiable and proved evidence thorough logical and meaningful statements. Facts are part of reality. i.e veracity. 

    In theological subjects, reality as part of faith or believing is a sum of cultural and personal understanding of things, events, life, etc...i.e a personal (or group) conviction. In this case the reality of ones couldn't be understood by the others and vice verse.

  • John Jupe added an answer:
    What are the limits of measurement in science?
    When I was in high school Bohr's atom of shells, s and p orbitals was introduced in chemistry. Realization was automatic that the world was explained according to theory that was verified by experiment. Through college and graduate school, looking for more complete explanation, theory is challanged but it is not brought to question "what is an electron or proton, if they have mass but are visible only in the sense that they emit light energy as photons that also have mass, "spots of light in orbit around nuclei?, the atom a solar system in minature"? Physicists will say this is not the picture they have evolved, but all that remains is the image of equations on a chalkboard, at best 'the image of things of a particle nature in alteration with things of a light nature'. Can a pieced-together stepwise reality of this nature be accepted? In the Feyman quote below pieces are added that can break any of the established laws "they are not directly observeable" or affect "causality". In this same meaning though neither electrons, protons, photons or atoms are observable and their causal effects are but a matter of humanly constructed theory and similarly based experimental apparatus. The possibility exists that theory and theory based apparatus entail one another and all that might be gotten is that the real universe is identical in this respect...i.e. existence entails the experienced universe and visa-verse.
    "You found out in the last lecture that light doesn't go only in straight lines; now, you find out that it doesn't go only at the speed of light! It may surprise you that there is an amplitude for a photon to go at speeds faster or slower than the conventional speed, c." These virtual photons, however, do not violate causality or special relativity, as they are not directly observable and information cannot be transmitted causally in the theory." (from "Varying c in quantum theory"
    John Jupe · Perceptual Awareness Centre

    Well here is another! I do think that this stuff strikes at the heart of the question.

    Vision-Space: The protagonists

    Working towards a relationship model of the dynamical systems governing human awareness

  • Hans van Leunen added an answer:
    Is Space a Complex Continuum?
    Currently mathematics uses the Real Numbers to define a continuum - as in the Real Number line.
    If so much of physics makes use of Complex Numbers, why isn't there a Complex Continuum defining space?

    Quaternions would seem to define a space where each spatial axis is complex (only the 'temporal' axis remains 'Real': Q = w +ix+jy +kz).
    This would suggest that we are using two different models for space - a Real continuum and a Complex continuum model for spatial axes.

    If this is true, then we should expect difficulties when crossing between these models.
    Hans van Leunen · Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

    Maxwell-Minkowski based approach versus Hamilton-Euclidean based approach

    The difference between the Maxwell-Minkowski based approach and the quaternionic Hamilton-Euclidean based approach will become clear when the difference between the coordinate time t and the proper time τ is investigated. This becomes difficult when space is curved, but for infinitesimal steps space can be considered flat. In that situation holds:
    Coordinate time step vector = proper time step vector + spatial step vector
    Or in Pythagoras format:
    (∆t)² = (∆τ)² + (∆x)² + (∆y)² + (∆z)²
    This influence is easily recognizable in the corresponding wave equations:
    In Maxell-Minkowski format the wave equation uses coordinate time t. It runs as:
    Papers on Huygens principle work with this formula or it uses the version with polar coordinates.
    For 3D the general solution runs:
    ψ =f(r−ct)/r, where c=±1; f is real
    For 1D the general solution runs:
    ψ =f(x−ct), where c=±1; f is real

    For the Hamilton-Euclidean version, which uses proper time τ, we use the quaternionic nabla ∇:
    ∇={∂/∂τ, ∂/∂x, ∂/∂y, ∂/∂z}=∇₀+▽; ∇*=∇₀−▽
    ∇ψ = ∇₀ ψ₀ – (▽,Ψ) + ∇₀ Ψ + ▽ ψ₀ ± ▽ × Ψ
    The ± sign reflects the choice between right handed and left handed quaternions.
    In this way the Hamilton-Euclidean format of the wave equation runs:
    ∇*∇ψ = ∇₀∇₀ψ +(▽,▽)ψ =0
    Where ψ= ψ₀+Ψ
    For the general solution holds: f= f₀+F
    For the real part ψ₀ of ψ:
    ψ₀ =f₀ (î r−c τ)/r, where c=±1 and î is an imaginary base vector in radial direction
    For the imaginary part Ψ of ψ:
    Ψ = F(î z−c τ), where c=±1 and î= î(z) is an imaginary base vector in the x,y plane
    The orientation θ(z) of î(z) in the x,y plane determines the polarization of the 1D wave front.

    Quaternionic coordinate data, which are based on proper time τ, fit as eigenvalues in Hilbert spaces. This is not the case for the spacetime coordinates that are based on coordinate time t. Hilbert spaces require that their eigenvalues are members of a division ring. Only three suitable division rings exist: real numbers, complex numbers and quaternions.

    The formula:
    (∆t)² = (∆τ)² + (∆x)² + (∆y)² + (∆z)²
    indicates that the coordinate time step corresponds to the step of a full quaternion, which is a superposition of a proper time step and a spatial step.

    An infinitesimal spacetime step ∆s is usually presented as an infinitesimal proper time step ∆τ.

    (∆s)² = (∆t)² - (∆x)² - (∆y)² - (∆z)², with signature + - - - .

    Above it is indicated that the coordinate time step ∆t corresponds to a quaternionic step. It mixes progression and 3D space. Proper time corresponds to pure progression.

  • Rohit M Parikh added an answer:
    Modern Philosophical/Scientific perspective on death?
    The death of any person brings paramount influence on the person who is close to the deceased person. My question is, what perspective contemporary philosophy and physics hold on death or life after death?
    Rohit M Parikh · The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

    With our arrival on this earth we have bought with his our departure that is the certainty of our DEATH ,For which we are not aware regarding the time passage of our death for which we consider as part of destiny .This is the outlook of  modern philosopher.

    For scientific outlook there are interested to examine the analytic process & to make the subject of laboratory as scientist have an inclination to understand the reason of Death .In both the cases both have to accept our destiny of DEATH which certain for our life.

  • Mohammad Ayaz Ahmad added an answer:
    The theory on observation is set to relativistic science. This understands the preview as post-modernist, as a result of the conditional pattern in behavioural science. The theory of observance catalyzes science through an impressionistic preview, under relation of Newtonian Physics. The interesting debate in Newtonian Physics, speculates an observance methodology in line with 'states.' The Newtonian 'state' is an understanding value, through state's of cognisance. When predisposed, these states are the preview to unraveled states in consciousness. This trajectory is validated through simposition in order of appearance. The result is an analytical discourse through improvisation in the new found theorem. The theory of observation is observed as the predisposition of sense. Through the discovery, an analytical sense ensues to discover sense as a projective anthalogy to the discovery process. Einstein propsoses this as a methodology for recurrence in meta-states, where true cognition presents through new sense. The theory on observation measures the analytic discourse through category of sense. States of recognisance are a conservation matrix to recover sense at the analytical disjunction. The states present a value in observation through the finite reduction of consequential state. Thus the theory arises as the theory of consumption, in data tests. In an analytical test, the theory on observation reforms the state in initial conservation, as projection. Then the equation is a direct similarity between states, and the relationship between sense and direction is the observation. The prequel to sense is direct observation. Data statistic therefore measures the form of relation between two sets of an observance cue. To conclude: The theory on observation is rational distinction between two direct states of an understanding phenomenon, called the 'common-sense'.
    Mohammad Ayaz Ahmad · University of Tabuk

    (1) The choice of theory, although often unacknowledged, shapes the way practitioners and researchers collect and interpret evidence.

    (2) Theories range from explicit hypotheses to working models and frameworks of thinking about reality.

    (3) It is important, scientifically and practically, to recognise implicit theories: they powerfully influence understandings of all Sciences.

  • Christopher C Rout added an answer:
    In Medieval philosophy, how did Bernhard of Chartres comment in his Glosses on Plato and Plato´s Republic?

    Bernhard of Chartres says in his Glosses on Plato, that such an ideal state cannot exist in this world. Is this now his own opinion, or does he refer to Republic IX 592ab? Because: As far as I know there was no copy of the Republic in his time, only Calcidius' Timaeus. So how could he refer to the Republic in such a detailed way?

    Christopher C Rout · University of KwaZulu-Natal

    Via Porphyry (lost commentary on the republic) and Augustine?

  • Clifford Miller added an answer:
    Did surrealism influence science?
    Surrealism, as an aesthetic movement in the creative arts, as a means to 'extend the reality', challenging the normative mode of appreciating the reality, has contributed tremendously in different forms of expressions during the twentieth century. Salvador Dali, the great Spanish painter; Luis Bunuel, the famous film maker and many prominent figures subscribed surrealism. The basic elements responsible for the growth of surrealism like questioning the reality, the existing belief systems are also essential to promote research minds. However, we seldom come across scientists influenced by surrealism. Why is it so? Is there any fundamental contradiction?
    Clifford Miller · Clifford Miller

    "perhaps surrealism was actually influenced by science". 

    Certainly the Surrealists would have difficulty failing to be influenced by the changes in their world brought about by technologies derived from scientific knowledge.  A conjecture to that effect might require no direct evidence to gain support [such as evidence of a Surrealist saying stating there was an influence].

  • William Cameron added an answer:
    Are we on TRACK - Biologically, Statistically May be ?
    For past 3 decades, I have been trying to balance the Scientific thinking (Biology) and Philosophical thoughts to finally realize that there is NOTHING called RANDOM. RANDOMNESS is an assumption essentially to create a REFERENCE FRAME for our Hypothesis.

    So, When we say some thing is RANDOM, we are engaging in hypocrisy, i.e. diplomatically accepting and cheating ourselves - we don't want to accept our ignorance about the HIGHER existence beyond the current Intellect and Circumstances.

    This especially is true when "LIFE" is involved. This takes me to saying that - the Bio-Scientific Communities and Economies may pay a huge price in the coming decade for all the statistical validation tools developed in Bio-algorithms since most of the hypothesis consider RANDOMNESS as REFERENCE.

    Further, some may say - World is REAL not IDEAL. Of course, however, the events happening around still follow an IDEAL path which is beyond our comprehension since NOTHING is RANDOM.
    William Cameron · University of Glasgow

    In this question, as in many others, we use the word 'is' too often. I first met careful usage of the word 'random' in connection with testing Ernie, the machine developed to produce random numbers for the British Premium Bond, an investment with interest given in a weekly lottery.

    A friend working for the Post Office telephone service did the maths. She interpreted random as showing no indication of a biased selection process and found it very hard to devise tests. One aspect of the testing was to find patterns with low probability and test for occurrence at the right frequency.

    All statistical laws and testing procedures derive from an assumption of independence, though many people think of probability as an aspect of reality it is an instrumental.model of expectation

  • Marius Dejess added an answer:
    What are the ultimate components of the Universe?
    Some contemporary theories appear to create “sinkholes” in the extrapolation process toward the more fundamental. Special Relativity expresses an equivalency between matter and energy. The question “Is matter really energy condensed?” posed by Marcus Borges illustrates this conundrum. Condensation is often applied to situations where energy among matter components is expelled. The enigma is intensified when experiments are interpreted to indicate the creation of charged particles from photons, i.e. electrons and positrons. Where do charges lurk within energy? Quantum Mechanics presents dual personalities for bodies of matter; i.e. wavelike versus particulate. The question “What are valid interpretations of the quantum double slit experiment?” asked by Vang Lee illustrates this conundrum. A pathway that connects Relativity with Quantum Mechanics has not been established.
    In various niches of the scientific realm components and properties are tailored to accommodate conceptual visions (theories). Matter distorts space-time in one niche while it exchanges gravitons in another niche to mediate gravitational effects. Some particles, including gravitons, are proposed to be massless. The gravitational effects of black holes supposedly do not allow the escape of photons. Do black holes exchange gravitons?
    Contemporary theories as a result of their abstruse nature defy attempts at a consistent visualization. If one had a grasp of the ultimate components of a system, it should be possible, in theory, to envision a structure for the system that accounts for the phenomena as detected at the observational level and to explain the utility of theories. Where does one start? Initially it is proposed that individuals attempt to provide candidates for the ultimate components based on their perspectives. Since the musings of Democritus, storehouses of scientific observations have been accumulated that provide a background of information available for interpretation and reinterpretation. The objective is to reduce the “sinkholes” in the landscape of our scientific endeavors.
    A proposal for the ultimate components is presented under William Blackmon at It has been a solo venture and criticism would be appreciated.
    Marius Dejess · Society for Research on Atheists' Attitudes

    This may seem too simplistic, but in simplicity there is truth.

    The ultimate components of the totality of existence which is more than just the material universe studied by physicists, are first the entity cause of everything else that is not the cause entity itself; then second everything else that we know to exist including ourselves or we are not in contact with at all but can only suspect to exist, they all are the effects of the cause entity of them (the effects of the cause entity). That entity is what I call the first cause, God.

    You see, physicists do not go into the first cause of everything that is the effect of the first cause, physicists only want to find the ultimate parts whatsoever that make up the universe which they are studying, this universe is just a part of the totality of existence which, as I said above, is larger than just the universe studied by physicists.

    So, physicists are looking for or trying to formulate a theory of everything, how?

    Okay, tell me how they are looking for or trying to formulate a theory of everything. is it not by searching for another component within the universe itself which is the thing in charge of everything else?

    So, my question to physicists and everyone else here and everywhere who happen to visit this webpage and come to my post here, is this component to be found and to be a part of the theory of everything, is this the cause of everything that is an effect, or it is itself still in need of a cause.

    Please think about the need for man to think of a first cause, instead of evading all the time i.e. among some today's celebrity physicists and atheist thinkers, evading i.e. avoiding this first cause when they do not have any reason at all to avoid it, except for their taboo or phobia of this first cause concept and also entity.

    Let me read your reactions.

  • Hans van Leunen added an answer:
    Does the Copenhagen Interpretation require a facelift?
    Set Theory gives, by its nature, as much attention to individual behavior as to group behavior. The famous Copenhagen Interpretation (40 year old Niels Bohr, 24 year old Werner Heisenberg, 1925) places emphasis on group behavior denying possible logic in individual events. However, Cantor's Universe allows logic in group behavior (group events) as well as in individual behavior (individual events). Does the Copenhagen Interpretation require a facelift? This question is closely related to the matter of the Higg's particle that - as per its definition to be an exclusive mass-particle - is not supported by Cantor's Universe that brings all into relationship sometimes visible, detectable, sometimes not. For the same reason an exclusive mass-particle like the Higg's particle can't exist. Cantor's Universe gives new long vistas with hidden and unhidden logic. For this reason the Copenhagen Interpretation should, in terms of Cantor's Universe, be reviewed and its text be corrected/expanded. What is your opinion?

    See also on the Higgs-matter
    Hans van Leunen · Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

    A variation of the Copenhagen interpretation is the replacement of the measurement by the recurrent process of embedding the owner of the wave function in its embedding continuum. It means that at the instant of embedding the owner has an exact location. After the the undisturbed embedding the wave function is restored and a new embedding is initiated. That takes place at a new location. That new location is not known beforehand but the probability of this location is specified by the squared modulus of the value of the wave function for this new location. If the owner is actually detected at this location, then the wave function is not restored. The owner does not disappear, but is is converted in something new that has a different wave function. The owner might also disintegrate into multiple objects or it may be absorbed into something else.

    If the recurrent embedding stays undisturbed then after a while the owner has hopped along a stochastic path of locations that together form a coherent swarm.

    The elements of the swarm are locations that can be represented by quaternions and these quaternions can be interpreted as eigenvalues of a normal operator that resides in a separable (quaternionic) Hilbert space. The eigenvectors of the operators span a closed subspace of that Hilbert space. That subspace represents the owner of the wave function. This subspace can be considered as an eigensubspace of a second operator that adds sets of properties to the eigensubspace. These properties concern the dimension of the subspace, the statistical characteristics of the swarm, the discrete symmetry properties of the swarm and the dynamic properties of the hopping path. Together, with the current location of the owner this specifies a much richer state of the owner than the wave function can give.

    This picture fits on owners that are (massive) elementary particles. Composites correspond to a much more complicated picture. In composites apart from locations also superposition coefficients play a role. They add to the dimension of the subspace that represents the composite.

  • Oliver Hoffmann added an answer:
    What is information?
    Is everything information? If yes, then we need new kind of physics, informational physics.
    Everything we know about the Universe is information, but why are most physicists blind to that?
    Oliver Hoffmann · Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

    First of all, "information" is what a human subject interprets into a "form". Subjectively speaking, information is meaning. Objectively speaking, information is a pattern. For the purpose of constructing information technology, Shannon merged objective forms with subjective meaning via standardized interpretation in the shape of dictionaries and "objective" predictability of symbols and created the abstract information unit of information content "bit". After the success of IT this abstract objectivist notion of information has been adopted by the mainstream and apparently now enters physics as well. I would think that sooner or later the notion "information" will bring back subjective reality into physics.

  • Frank Landis added an answer:
    Could this be The One-inch Equation That Explains All Physical Laws: X=0, where x is everything or anything?
    If the Universe is simulation, then this simple formula makes the most sense to me, because the easiest way to store information is to compress it so that it becomes effectively nothing (zero), and all or almost all physics and math formulas we can rewrite in a form X=0, for example Newton second law we can write as F-m*a=0, where F-m*a=X. I think that this formula unites even Philosophy and Physics, because even at the first moments of Big Bang things were so different and opposite then now, that we can say they were 0, nothing, so this 0 nothing became everything X, and this everything X still always tends to be effectively 0, nothing.
    So if X=0, and it is just my humble hypothesis based on my physics and philosophy knowledge, do not take it too seriously, but tell me your opinion.
    When i think about most physics laws and formulas they are so simple and i wonder why people didn't earlier found them out, maybe the reason is that they expected something more complicated, but Nature is actually the more you know it and understand it, very simple in the root, and what could be more simple then X=0?
    We can write all physics formulas as this, and we can explain really a lot with this one, and if we can not something, it doesn't have to be that this formula is not right, it can just be that we don't have all informations to prove that this is right, and i think that this x can be anything or everything, the important thing is that when we integrate anything and everything in infinity that somehow the result will be zero.
    There is no ontological philosopher without infinite (zero) answers.
  • Paul M.W. Hackett added an answer:
    Can anyone tell me where this Leibniz quotation comes from?
    I have just been reading about Leibniz and I wonder if anyone can help me by telling me where Leibniz said "wholes have only a borrowed reality - borrowed from the reality of their parts". I am not sure whether this an exact quotation or an approximation.
    Paul M.W. Hackett · Emerson College
    I agree, this was a lesson in forgotten Latin from many years ago.
  • Chris E Buddenhagen added an answer:
    Why has the concept of teleology made such a comeback in the sciences and social sciences in recent years?
    Mark Perlman writes: "Teleology has certainly made a comeback in philosophical circles in the last thirty years. It went from a suspect or disreputable notion, ready for elimination, to the hottest topic in philosophy of biology, psychology and mind."

    Perlman, M. 2004, “The modern philosophical resurrection of teleology”, The Monist, vol. 87, no. 1, pp. 3-51.

    Why was the notion of teleology abandoned and why has it been revived?
    Chris E Buddenhagen · Florida State University
    I'd be interested in people's thoughts about a related concept in evolutionary biology: the term "derived"....
  • Ian Eagleson added an answer:
    Are transcendental idealism and transcendal realism really as incompatible as Kant (and for that matter H.Alison) argues?
    I find myself going in a paradoxical loop when I think about the distinctions. Insofar that it seems that the two need each other instead of one being valid over another.

    For example, let us begin by accepting Kant's refutation of t.realism. T. idealism allows us to demarcate between noumena and phenomena. The phenomena is of an empirical idealist existence. Yet my question is, does not the intersubjectivity constituted out of empirical idealism create a type of transcendental realism? As soon as he puts the thought to paper, and write a symbol to be interpreted by another, does he not instantiate an existence that he previously refuted?
    Ian Eagleson · Delaware County Community College
    To further comment on Kant's criticism of the alternative (transcendental realist) views, if space were a real thing in which objects reside, how, he would ask, do we come to comprehend the order of things in space? He would reject the idea of direct perception on grounds that many do today. Essentially, direct perception theory leaves out the role of comprehending in the comprehending of the order of things in space. We don't simply occupy space with other things, we (also) experience them. He regards experience of objects as impossible to explain in terms of a mere passive reception alone. What it takes to judge WHAT is the source of the content of experience is missing from that picture, (the picture associated with Newton). If space were merely a relational properly among things (as in Leibniz), then space would be a thoroughgoing conceptual (interpretive) overlay contributed by the mind. But this reduces to an uncritical idealism, since all the parts of any object are in space. This view would be consistent with a kind of conceptualism for which there would be no epistemic role for what is received in perception (though perception may certainly have, on this view, a merely causal role). Here there is no pre-relational (nonconceptual) presentation to which order may be attributed. The very ordering criterion is subverted.

    We don't merely receive, and we don't fill in all the content of experience (conceptually) from mere causal "impingements." A capacity for a presentational ordering, pre-conceptually, is required. This presentational role is the role of sensibility and intuition in Kant, and this role directly implies transcendental idealism.
  • Afaq Ahmad added an answer:
    Are there any mathematics for which there is absolutely no application in physics?
    It is interesting how maths is useful for describing the physical world. But are there any branches of mathematics that are totally useless for physics? Why? Could it be that we perhaps anthropocentrically chose to follow branches of math that are interesting to us (ie. could have possible application)? To prove a point, could we invent a branch of math that is totally useless?

    Could we come up with a sophisticated group theory for the game of chess? Is the reason no one has attempted that because it would be in fact utterly useless with an unexciting loss of generality?
    Afaq Ahmad · Sultan Qaboos University
    Dear Professor Derek Abbott,
    I have not heard and experienced about any use of Galois field and MOD theory in Physics.
  • Nainan Varghese added an answer:
    Do u think in our universe is fully created with energy only
    our universe is fully created with energy and all other things is only the change in that energy a/c to different dimension only
    Kindly see for some details.
  • Bill Johnson added an answer:
    Does Critical Realism contain a theory of truth?
    Critical realism proceeds from the premise that in order to be a coherent form of enquiry the natural sciences presuppose that there is a material reality which is the object of enquiry. Scientific propositions, it is argued, are true if they correspond to the reality that they purport to describe or explain. But the critical realist argues that explanations are ontologically different to the material states that they are explaining and cannot therefore be understood as corresponding to them. In taking this view, does critical realism let go of the hand of truth?
    Bill Johnson · Husson University
    Mike I am not a Virtue Ethicist, but I am close. I am an Aristotelian, and somewhat of a Thomist. That would interest me very much. My Bodleian card needs to be reactivated in order to make the trip fully worthwhile, but yes, I am very interested. Thank you. I have to run this morning, but I'll look more closely at this later. I was looking at the program you work with in education a couple of days ago and am interested in speaking with you about it.

    Best Wishes - Bill
  • Louis Brassard added an answer:
    Logicaly, should not the universe have started as a dimensionless point?
    If expansion is reversed infinitely, the primary principle should be a dimensionless point. Yet in popular treatments, the beginning universe is described as being around the size of a grapefruit. How can that be rationalized?
    The concept of a dimension scaled with numbers from is meaningless for apeiron since there is noting to define distance, there is no mathematical concept to express anything and there is no order to express. It is a usefull concept, this is the idea of an indefinite existence without any order from which all order spring from and which sustain all forms of existence. It is the stuff evething is made of and is ordered from. It is the starting point of the epic of evolution. It is dimensionless not in the sense of being infinitly small,''small'' mean nothing originally, it simply exist and it all there is and there is no boundary, absolutely nothing we can speak of but which exists and with no stabilized expression.
  • Scott Russell added an answer:
    Transcendence - what is it if anything; and if anything how can it be experienced?
    The study of the philosophy of spirituality in the formal field of nursing has brought this to my attention. I am aware of transcendence possibly being a key part of the philosophy of spirituality in nursing. Emerson and Kant comment on transcendence but each view is different; the effect of time I speculate. So if time indeed has an effect on the evolution of the meaning of transcendence, what then does it mean today?
    Scott Russell · University of Michigan-Flint

    What is "the philosophy of spirituality in nursing?" As Malec (above) points out, some ideas are absolutely transcendent: gods are immortal and therefore transcend life and death. An ordinary mortal can transcend an obstacle to his or her "success" or wishes. But you seem to be wondering about metaphysical ideas of transcendence for which there may be no scientific substantiation.

    The difference between Kant and Emerson isn't as big as it might seem. Kant was an important influence on Emerson. Emerson's exploration of individuality and freedom was not inconsistent with Kant's influence on the German society of his time. The notion of thinking for oneself about philosophical, religious or political matters began for Germany with Kant. Also he started the idea that our reality is all in our heads. On the other hand, Emerson was an American romantic and his ideas featured nature as a transcendent idea. Nature for him was a model for what we might aspire to and a spiritual thing.

  • Timothy R. Watts added an answer:
    Is "string theory" and its progeny better characterized as the study of physics or as a "philosophy of physics"?
    I ask because I am interested in the view of scientists as to the current standing of these theories in the scientific community. I can see the study as valid from a philosophical viewpoint; however, I don't quite see the scientific method (in its classical sense) used in this form of research. As a non-scientist, I am interested in your perspectives.
    Timothy R. Watts · University of Alaska Anchorage
    thank you for taking the time to give me direction on this. I really wasn't intending irony--more like Socratic inquiry. I cannot really know with certainly whether I am completely missing the point--so I like to be sure. Thanks again for the discussion, I've been taking a much closer look at these questions as a result.
  • Konstantinos Stylidis added an answer:
    On what areas of research do mechanical engineering and philosophy overlap?
    Does mechanical engineering have philosophical causes?
    Konstantinos Stylidis · Chalmers University of Technology
    Deus ex machina. Anything that deals with human centric research. e.g. Perceived Quality - Gestalt - Ontology
  • Krzysztof Wypych added an answer:
    Does our 3-D model of space reflect all we experience about space, in particular does it account for the continuum of scale?
    Scale is an admitted aspect of space and is perceived as a continuum of space.
    If we attempt to measure the distance between objects at very different scales (say the corner of a book on a table and a molecule of a pen on the table near the book), we find we must include scale as part of the means of locating the objects in space.
    From a geometric perspective, this would mean that scale is a required measure of space - beyond length, width, and height and simply by being required to locate an object in space would constitute a 4th dimension of space.
    Scale as continuum:

    Scale as spacial dimension:

    I know that the positioning of such a purely theoretical formation like point is physically impossible. I gave an example, that in some way visualizes the method we use. Simply put, for practical purposes in place of the object we enter dot and its specific location coordinates.

    I feel, however, that the essence of this discussion is the same issue that I raised in the topic: "The Fifth Dimension", although seemingly topics seem unrelated. Apart from the nature (physical?, not physical?) scale is continually used to the virtual "rolling" dimensions to the point, which makes the description, which we use in everyday life is simplified. Thus, the scale hides part of dimensions. Makes that they are perceived and presented differently.

    I'm glad you agree with me that there is a need to change the concept of time, because the axis of problem is the time.

    If time is assigned to each spatial dimension, then time from the nature of things would not be one-dimensional. Of course, time is a measure of change. But I think the critical point is the information about what is changing and how? So, what exactly is going on? In my view, any direction can be relatively reduced, that means interrupted the operation of it, and thus distinguished by the relative change of its value, that means by the relative change in its size. So, I think time has a geometric origin and the popular sentence 3D + time is a simplified approach. To understand the origin of this simplification is required dynamic frame of reference. This could be a "swelling sphere" that already I had described in some way as the 5D system, though, as to the number of dimensions we could of course argue. As a rule, however, it is important that the system volume changes. And it may do it asymmetrically. But any calculation of time 3D (5D?) for a given object would be rather complicated. We would have to count the value of each direction, and in big object directions are entangled (in the colloquial sense), so from a mathematical point of view, the calculation would be the massacre. Meantime, the scale allows us to bring virtually 3D area, which is occupied by physical system to 0D. This causes that remain to us free three directions in which we can attach a simplified image of the object. In this approach, we draw some abstraction, such as e.g. a cube, but then we lack the space to draw what causes the cube to move in a certain direction, because in order to show it geometrically, we need to draw a specific physical changes governing cube ( loss and gain of the value in a particular direction, that means the time) such as e.g. the subsequent pictures. But then there would be no longer a cube (and indeed there are no physical cubes). Therefore, we write by words that cube is attracted by the planet and draw the arrow next to showing the turn (->). The point is that such a simplification causes that the time becomes one-dimensional. We treat the things like the points, so we average the interruption on three axes to interruption on one axis. We get as a result 3D virtual object and the virtual time (age of object). By introducing this simplification to study we consider the virtual elements. And that's what we have to remember, otherwise we lose the true nature of time, as we examine our impressions, which presents to us our brains, not reality.
  • Louis Brassard added an answer:
    A question about the (weak) Anthropological Principle, triggered by Jim Baggott's latest book
    In his latest book 'Farewell to Reality', Jim Baggott suggests that the Anthropological Principle, even in its 'weak' rendition, is not a valid scientific area of enquiry.

    Do you agree?

    The weak AP has given rise to many attempted explanations over the years - it spurred multiverse theories, for instance - yet as of now no one has a inkling as to how to resolve it.

    Is not JB's suggestion a case of, if you can't solve a scientific riddle, then just simply declare it as non-scientific? And, would not declaring it a purely philosophical or theological issue, as JB suggests, simply displace the issue one step over without bringing it any closer to resolution?
    You and me are part of the universe, and this part of the universe that we are seems to be interested to itself and this seem to be central to this kind of part to be interested in what it is and thus where it is coming from. Now when we look at the evolution of the universe along the theoretical framework of physics as they exist today provide a cosmic lotterie answer. It is not the type of answer we like. What we like are answer that make it probable for us to be here. The multiverse scenarios are solving the problem by saying it is probable given the enormous among of draw that occured previous to our local big bang in the cosmic lotterie. I simply do not like the cosmic lotterie idea altogheter.
  • Louis Brassard added an answer:
    How does dualism counter the argument of violation of conservation of energy in the philosophy of mind?
    a) How would dualism explain causation between concepts generated in the mind and the interactions with the brain and the body?
    b) There must be some energy expenditure involve that must be quantifiable in terms of physical laws (I guess giving rise to some sort of "ether" concept), is this correct?
    c) Would concepts like "Pegasus" (from Quine's exaples) differ from say the memory of a person in terms of tangibility in this "ether" ?
    Life exists only when free energy (food) is consumed, in a context of energy dissipation far from thermodynamic equilibrium and thus far from single causal path situations. So life do not have to deal with equilibration of energy but about its dissipation and so the choices are energically open.
  • James Broadway added an answer:
    Physics and Philosophy of Time
    Time is an extremely important concept in physics as well as in philosophy but there is no clarity on this extremely important concept.

    The concept has been discussed in different threads of this and other forums but all of aspects of the concept esp. its philosophical implications remain unexplored.

    This thread provides an opportunity to us to discuss the concept in detail.
    James Broadway · University of California, Santa Barbara
    Perhaps followers of this question would be interested in contributing to the Research Topic I am hosting at Frontiers-- here is the link
  • Bill Johnson added an answer:
    What exactly is guilt?
    Mary Midgley wrote of the Ethical Primate and recently, Christian Smith has written a book entitled Moral, Believing Animals. Why is it that human beings alone seem to experience the phenomenon of guilt? When they experience it what exactly is occurring within them?
    Bill Johnson · Husson University
    Ego certainly, but if Super-ego, then I must conceptualize a Super-ego beyond that which Freud described. It accuses about things that our parents never taught on or addressed. It is sensitive to matters that I don't usually think through. It is far more comprehensive and complex than I would have expected a Super-ego to be.

    An example I used with my students last night shows this phenomenon of guilt at work in what might seem a trivial fashion (hopefully it is benign enough to use here), but I don't think it is trivial. Last week I tried to purchase a book from a Book company here in Maine called Books-A-Million. It was inappropriately priced at $49.95 when it is usually $29.95. I went online and printed out their own website's price for it at $29.95. and took the paper into the store to show them. A young manager came over, and in an apologetic tone, she told me that although it was indeed available online for that price that it was twenty dollars more expensive in the store. This seemed idiotic and bizarre to me at the time, and it still seems counterproductive. What is the use of even having a store if you are going to charge so much more than what you would charge online? I "saw red" and got very indignant and told the young woman that I was NEVER going to do business with her store again. As I got ready to leave in anger and indignation, she said, "I'm sorry sir, have a good evening." Suddenly the unwelcome presence of guilt showed up, and I realized that (in Kantian terms anyway) I had treated a human being as a means to an end and failed to treat her with dignity and respect. I came back in from the door and gave a sheepish apology for my anger and then fled the scene in shame.

    Here I am an ethics professor and I was treating a fellow human being quite poorly. Family training had not equipped me to feel this guilt. No internalized voice of mother or father or grandparents accused me, but my own mind told me I was a hypocrite: teaching others about ethics and acting towards people as thought they were means for my ends. It is hard to disentangle the shame and disappointment with my self from the guilt, but there is that internal voice which says: "You are a walking contradiction of the things you teach, and you treated that young woman quite badly, when she did not create the situation which frustrated you, nor did she have the authority to make an exception to that seemingly unreasonable policy. You lashed out at her in unreasoning anger and thought your treatment of a person justified by your own negative outburst of emotion. If this is my Super-ego, it has done some growing and evolving since my parents imprinted their moral lessons on me.

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