reality answered

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Zuber
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reality answered

Post by Zuber » Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:18 pm

Apologies if what follows is somewhat muddled.

I’m in the middle of a tempestuous discussion with a density of physics graduates… all of whom insist on the literal accuracy of the following statement:

Reality is predictable, coherent, not chaos. The evidence is everywhere. We do not understand the rules / laws perfectly but that does not change the FACT that ‘they’ (rules / relationships) exist. Our cognitive activity (represented through laws etc.) simply observed and comprehended what has always been true. The relationships (between, for example, energy and mass) existed long before Einstein.

Now I’m not going to dispute the conclusion that the epistemology of science does a whiz-bang job of describing and predicting stuff. But…is it not a category error to, well, categorically and unconditionally claim that the phenomenology of reality actually can be represented by the words ‘rules’ and / or ‘relationships’? Do not these words merely describe our perception of how what is…is.

‘Rules’ / ‘relationships’ are conceptual metaphysical (Aristotle) concepts are they not? It’s not so much that they don’t exist as a part of the natural world so much as that no one has a clue what manner of phenomenological existence they actually have. Therefore the error is twofold. First my physics protagonists are claiming an equivalence by mere correlation (reality follows rules and is relationships because our epistemology describes it thus)…and second they are claiming an equivalence between two phenomena…one of which (reality) nothing is actually definitively known about…and the other of which (conceptual reality) all-but-nothing is actually definitively known about (what is consciousness…????).

Would an accurate statement not be more like:

By deduction and inference, reality looks like it can be described by the words ‘rules’ and / or ‘relationships’. This is nothing more than a description though. We have no idea whether or not anything like our understanding of ‘rules’ and / or ‘relationships’ does actually exist, primarily because we have no definitive idea of the phenomenology of ‘understanding’ / ‘knowledge’ nor do we have any definitive idea of the phenomenology of reality itself.

Any assistance on clarifying / resolving these questions (including clarifying my expression of them) would be greatly appreciated.

Ramu
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:55 pm

Re: reality answered

Post by Ramu » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:01 pm

The map is never to be confused with the territory.

Dalek Prime
Posts: 4922
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Location: Living in a tree with Polly.

Re: reality answered

Post by Dalek Prime » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:05 pm

Zuber wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:18 pm
Apologies if what follows is somewhat muddled.

I’m in the middle of a tempestuous discussion with a density of physics graduates… all of whom insist on the literal accuracy of the following statement:

Reality is predictable, coherent, not chaos. The evidence is everywhere. We do not understand the rules / laws perfectly but that does not change the FACT that ‘they’ (rules / relationships) exist. Our cognitive activity (represented through laws etc.) simply observed and comprehended what has always been true. The relationships (between, for example, energy and mass) existed long before Einstein.

Now I’m not going to dispute the conclusion that the epistemology of science does a whiz-bang job of describing and predicting stuff. But…is it not a category error to, well, categorically and unconditionally claim that the phenomenology of reality actually can be represented by the words ‘rules’ and / or ‘relationships’? Do not these words merely describe our perception of how what is…is.

‘Rules’ / ‘relationships’ are conceptual metaphysical (Aristotle) concepts are they not? It’s not so much that they don’t exist as a part of the natural world so much as that no one has a clue what manner of phenomenological existence they actually have. Therefore the error is twofold. First my physics protagonists are claiming an equivalence by mere correlation (reality follows rules and is relationships because our epistemology describes it thus)…and second they are claiming an equivalence between two phenomena…one of which (reality) nothing is actually definitively known about…and the other of which (conceptual reality) all-but-nothing is actually definitively known about (what is consciousness…????).

Would an accurate statement not be more like:

By deduction and inference, reality looks like it can be described by the words ‘rules’ and / or ‘relationships’. This is nothing more than a description though. We have no idea whether or not anything like our understanding of ‘rules’ and / or ‘relationships’ does actually exist, primarily because we have no definitive idea of the phenomenology of ‘understanding’ / ‘knowledge’ nor do we have any definitive idea of the phenomenology of reality itself.

Any assistance on clarifying / resolving these questions (including clarifying my expression of them) would be greatly appreciated.
I personally think you're right. It's all perception. There is a reality out there, but as soon as we begin discussing it, it becomes a model of reality. But as I've discovered with many physics types, they don't discuss consciousness readily. So unless you want the hassle, I'd give it up. You won't change their minds, and thus not change their reality.

(I'm kind of bummed out now. I had every intention of giving a flippant answer.) :(

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Noax
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Re: reality answered

Post by Noax » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:12 am

Dalek Prime wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:05 pm
(I'm kind of bummed out now. I had every intention of giving a flippant answer.) :(
Might as well give it. I don't think Zuber has 3 years of patience waiting for the first reply to his only post ever.

PhysicsTypes wrote:Reality is predictable, coherent, not chaos. The evidence is everywhere.
Well, they're pretty much correct on that.
We do not understand the rules / laws perfectly but that does not change the FACT that ‘they’ (rules / relationships) exist.
But the philosophical implication of wording this in this manner probably escapes them. They're not philosophers, and find little need to worry about the full implication of that statement.
Our cognitive activity (represented through laws etc.) simply observed and comprehended what has always been true. The relationships (between, for example, energy and mass) existed long before Einstein.
Dalek Prime wrote:
Zuber wrote:Would an accurate statement not be more like:

By deduction and inference, reality looks like it can be described by the words ‘rules’ and / or ‘relationships’. This is nothing more than a description though.
I personally think you're right. It's all perception. There is a reality out there, but as soon as we begin discussing it, it becomes a model of reality.
Agree from the metaphysical standpoint. Keep in mind that most posters here, even those who would pass a decent philosophy exam (I wouldn't), have about as much of a physics background as the physicists have in philosophy.
Zuber wrote:all-but-nothing is actually definitively known about (what is consciousness…????)
Heh... The science guys know a lot about it, but I know Zuber's position on the topic because only one position requires this assertion that nothing is known. It is however quite open to empirical investigation.
Dalek Prime wrote:But as I've discovered with many physics types, they don't discuss consciousness readily.
Mostly because it isn't a physics problem, at least not until you propose an alternative model that makes empirical distinctions at the physics level, in which case they treat it like any other armchair theory that isn't fully developed: They ignore it.

Dalek Prime
Posts: 4922
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:48 am
Location: Living in a tree with Polly.

Re: reality answered

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:16 am

Yeah, I was looking at the second post date when I answered.

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