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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

John Cox: on 2/26/18 at 14:07pm UTC, wrote Thanks Jack, I quite agree. And 'appreciation of' rather than 'reliance...

Jack James: on 2/26/18 at 5:40am UTC, wrote Thanks John, Would you say that your reliance on rationalism is in many...

Vladimir Fedorov: on 2/24/18 at 4:43am UTC, wrote Dear Jack, (copy to yours and mine) Many thanks for the kind words...

John Cox: on 2/24/18 at 1:29am UTC, wrote G'day Jack! Criminal Law, eh. There's job security. Would you say that...

Anonymous: on 2/24/18 at 0:43am UTC, wrote Hi Jack, So much philosophy, so little time! My essay has a squadron of...

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 2/23/18 at 23:20pm UTC, wrote Thank you, Jack H. James , I'm here to convince everyone to use the...

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 2/23/18 at 22:38pm UTC, wrote Dear Jack H. James , you wrote a good essay, however, it was better if you...

Jack James: on 2/23/18 at 21:16pm UTC, wrote Thankyou Vladimir, I appreciate your comments on my essay and I am glad we...


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FQXi FORUM
November 19, 2018

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: How to Empirically Confirm a Rational Theory of Fundamentals by Jack H. James [refresh]
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Author Jack Hamilton James wrote on Dec. 20, 2017 @ 21:39 GMT
Essay Abstract

Rationalism (pure reasoning without experiential input) will have a vital role when it comes to revealing fundamentals. However, empirical confirmation will still be available- but not in the way (and where) we currently promulgate. This article offers insight into an empirical alternative to direct quantum experimentation.

Author Bio

I recently completed a PhD in Philosophy at the University of New England (Australia). I currently facilitate the 'philosopher.io' website, and work in criminal law.

Download Essay PDF File

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Scott S Gordon wrote on Dec. 21, 2017 @ 01:14 GMT
You made two statements that rings true...

1) Rationalism (pure reasoning without experiential input) will have a vital role when it comes to revealing fundamentals.

2) We must approach the problem of fundamentals from the empiricism we do have available, not the one we can’t probe.

Correct me if I am mis-interpreting, but is what you are saying that philosophical thinking is the only way to expose the fundamental aspects of reality which is conveyed in the field of physics? And then we have to use the knowledge that is available to hypothesize the starting fundamentals with no obvious direct link as to how we came up with them... So long as we can derive from the hypothesized fundamentals our current knowledge? I like IT!!! But by whom or what group will be able to accomplish finding the correct fundamentals? Great input from philosophy angle.

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Author Jack Hamilton James replied on Dec. 21, 2017 @ 01:51 GMT
Thanks Scott, I appreciate your comments. Yes, metaphysics of the E.J Lowe kind empirically confirmed by evolved cognition, pre-consciousness. Metaphysics becomes physics through brain science. So metaphysicians and theoretical physicists work with evolutionary neuroscientists to arrive at fundamentals.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Jan. 3, 2018 @ 23:09 GMT
Hi Jack, I read your essay with interest. It is clearly set out and easy to read too.

I like that you conclude with suggesting the way forward is multidisciplinary. I agree because we are human beings investigating the universe and so our ways of doing that are 'bound up with' what we find.That is, the findings pertain to the specific context of the investigation or observation to find them, that provide singular values or states.

More on that in my comment, on comments for "No rule without an exception, except this rule." Stefan Weckbach. Thanks for sharing you thoughts on how to progress with us. Kind regards Georgina

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jan. 3, 2018 @ 23:26 GMT
Perhaps I should add that I agree that philosophy and metaphysics is very important. Providing the framework, with the correct relations of the different parts of physics, that can then be expressed with mathematics. Georgina

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Author Jack Hamilton James replied on Jan. 4, 2018 @ 00:03 GMT
Thankyou Georgina Woodward for your kind comments. I agree with your sentiment re metaphysics, and I think E.J Lowe was pretty close to the mark in terms of their placement relative to each other. See this summary if you are interested here. Thanks, Jack

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Sue Lingo wrote on Jan. 12, 2018 @ 04:16 GMT
Hi Jack...

I am unable to concisely differentiate what may be critical sematic distinctions within the essay... e.g. rational/cognitive/consciousness... but I applaud your symbolic compression format, and if I have correctly interpreted the content, we seem to be meandering toward the same conclusions... i.e. there is requirement of, and potential for, evolved individual...

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Author Jack Hamilton James replied on Jan. 12, 2018 @ 07:35 GMT
Thanks for your kind comments Sue Lingo. I will think on them, and also read your entry. Good luck,

Jack

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jan. 14, 2018 @ 02:02 GMT
Dear Jack James,

You argue that rationalism (pure reasoning without experiential input) must have a vital role when it comes to revealing fundamentals. It is hard to find 'pure' cases (without experiential input) but I examine a case wherein a null result led to a theory based on pure reasoning, with the result that unreasonable assumptions (multiple time dimensions) took hold and have endured for a century.

Your point C discusses "our rational theories matching our evolved cognitive perceptions of reality". In the case of special relativity, our evolved cognitive perception of reality was that of universal time as universal simultaneity. Einstein's assumptions, upon which he rationally based his theory, led to conclusions that contradicted our evolved cognitive perception of reality. It's a real ball of wax.

Interestingly, an alternative rationale leads to the same mathematical result (the Lorentz transformation) by an entirely different path while yielding a theory that does match our evolved cognitive perceptions of reality. The difference is based on careful analysis of "perfect clocks".

The empirical confirmation offered by relativistic particle physics confirms the applicability of the Lorentz transformation without contradicting either the space-time symmetry of SR or the energy-time asymmetry of the 'real world' (one time dimension)-based theory.

I'm uncertain what the relevance of this is to your analytical approach, but it seems to provide a 'test case' for you to apply your approach to.

Thanks for reading my essay and commenting. My sense is that your approach is a reasonable take on a difficult problem.

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Jan. 20, 2018 @ 07:48 GMT
Hi Jack,

So short essay with so much content! I like your proposal "A Rational theory of quantum fundamentals", and in general I support giving rationalisms, in particular wrt quantum foundations, a much more weight in theoretical physics and philosophy of physics. Perhaps this is the reason why, in my previous essay The Tablet of the Metalaw, I used the quote by Kurt Gödel, "I don’t believe in empirical science. I only believe in a priori truths". Now of course theoretical physics has to be completely informed by and submitted to falsification of experiments. But indeed we have currently still much work to do in order to understand the experimental data and to put it on a really solid and consistent mathematical foundation, let alone to understand the foundation from physical point of view. So, despite the apparent end of physics announced by some recent thinkers because of the inflation of theories and mathematical models (in particular in quantum gravity, particle physics, and foundations of quantum mechanics), I think that these should be researched rationally until they reach maturity, and only then let the experiment make the selection. Of course, a better way is to separate general principles and keep only those consistent with experiments and use them in the multitude of models, but with caution, to not throw the baby out with the water. Good luck in the contest!

Best wishes,

Cristi

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Author Jack Hamilton James wrote on Jan. 20, 2018 @ 09:11 GMT
Thankyou for your kind commemts Cristi. I agree with your comments. To be perfectly honest the idea presented is crazy. In one way its an empirical idealism- the brain empirically in its construct holding the answer to what is fundamental. This idea goes against most thing's i am inclinded to say are true, But its just so counter-intuitive and unique that i had to put it up here. Thanks for reading.

Best

Jack

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Joe Fisher replied on Jan. 27, 2018 @ 21:49 GMT
Dear Jack H. James,

Reliable evidence exists that proves that the surface of the earth was formed millions of years before man and his utterly complex finite informational systems ever appeared on that surface. It logically follows that Nature must have permanently devised the only single physical construct of earth allowable.

All objects, be they solid, liquid, or vaporous have always had a visible surface. This is because the real Universe consists only of one single unified VISIBLE infinite surface occurring eternally in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated mostly by finite non-surface light.

Only the truth can set you free.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jan. 21, 2018 @ 18:35 GMT
Jack,

Nice job, valid, well written & argued. With the intellectual failure to unravel anything and increasing reliance maths some decades ago Metaphysics & Philosophy were somewhat 'purged' from physics leaving it in the wilderness. Vladimir Rhogozin's essay also firmly supports yours.

However I don't think you've read many of last years essays which seem to demonstrate rather more is possible that you suggest. i.e. see mine. I also hope you'll read mine this year, identifying an apparent classical mechanistic reproduction & ontology for QM (see also Declan Trails which has a matching code and plot of the results giving the magical CHSH >2). Though of course those with current doctrine embedded to abandon it without a lot of objection!

Thank you for yours. A very nice read. I could have well coped with more but you said it all well!

Best wishes

Peter

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Author Jack Hamilton James replied on Feb. 3, 2018 @ 21:07 GMT
Thanks for your kind comments Peter. I will indeed check out your essay. I am glad to hear that more is possible in terms of empirical investigation, and look forward to seeing it.

Best,

Jack

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 13:21 GMT
Hi Jack H. James

How to Empirically Confirm a theory based on pure reasoning without experiential input…. ? It is very tough, I am also struggling with ‘Dynamic Universe Model’ on similar grounds started about 35 years back. But at last many experimental verifications came slowly….. Some more predictions exist still now…………….

- Many predictions of Dynamic Universe...

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Author Jack Hamilton James replied on Feb. 3, 2018 @ 21:11 GMT
Thanks SNP

Excellent thoughts you provide, I like the totality of your views across all domains. Good luck with your essay.

Best,

Jack

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jan. 29, 2018 @ 00:01 GMT
Jack,

You say, "Some would suggest that the human brains quantum elements are as unknowable as quantum reality (of course!). But this argument misreads the ontological structure presented in terms of what B and A invite. A is one of quantum operation, not the cognitive empiricism that validates it in B."

Is the quantum operation what neuroscientists call the electrical activity in the brain preceding a conscious decison? Does that constitute your "rational theory of quantum fundamentals"? In my essay, I see fundamental as evolving with discovery due to experiments and study. Does that mean that cognitive reality alters or catches up with rational theory and quantum reality changes? I must admit that my grasp of philosophy is weak. Hope you get a chance to check out my ideas as well.

Interesting essay.

Jim Hoover

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James N Rose wrote on Feb. 2, 2018 @ 17:54 GMT
Jack James, Fascinating. You replying to Christi Stoica that you assess your own paper's ideas as 'crazy', but that you thought it worthwhile to propose them anyway.

I suppose it's because you use a definition of rationalism that is uniquely different from common meaning. "Experience" is generally defined as: 'having knowledge or skill from observation or participation'. Where as you write that Rationalism is educed from 'pure reasoning without experiential input'.

A true Quantum Mechanical superpositioning of mutually exclusive states, now assigned to existential logic. ... as Mr.Spock's character would intone ... "Interesting!"

I presume you might want to further develop your self proclaimed 'crazy' hypothesis using probabilities in a follow-up paper, rather than Aristotelian categories, as you developed in the current one. (Just a thought :-) )

The one problematic issue that I think you might encounter, is that ... ideas, notions, logic ... self arising without benefit of some real event basis ... would necessarily have to include relevant properties of flying pigs, breathing in a vacuum, weight without mass, etc. The wonderful list of 'realism logic' entities - and their qualities (being potentially "fundamental" - relevant to them) - would far outstrip the smaller list of observed and actually interacted with .. data.

That would skew the weight of 'real fundamentals' against independent evidence ... discovered properties after observation/encounter. And 'reproducable' would no longer have to be a verification criteria.

hmmmmm. I think I agree with your self assessment.

James Rose

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Author Jack Hamilton James replied on Feb. 2, 2018 @ 21:46 GMT
I agree! Close to aristotles categories yes, im writing an article on those atm actually.

Though in regards to your last point there wouldnt be empirical evidence of flying pigs etc. In the full tranlation mentioned they would have a seperate place. Thanks for indulging in this crazy idea!

Best

Jack

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Luca Valeri wrote on Feb. 2, 2018 @ 23:23 GMT
Hi Jack,

I love your essay, although I could not follow all of it. But the question of empirical confirmation (or falsification) of fundamental theories is a problem. And is not specific to quantum mechanics. We expect from a fundamental theory, that it provides its own theory of observation. But then the theory as a whole seems circular and it is not evident at all how it can be falsified. Certainly your steps B and C play a crucial role.

What I did not clearly understand is the role of A. My essay indicates the possibility to have a general theory of observable physical properties. Such a theory as a general theory (very much as maybe abstract quantum mechanics) would have the role of the condition of the possibility of empirical experience. So is itself a rational construct, but would enable the possibility of observation of physical properties. Could the 'rational theory of quantum fundamentals' A be thought as such a thing?

Best regards,

Luca

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Author Jack Hamilton James wrote on Feb. 2, 2018 @ 23:50 GMT
Thanks Luca.

To answer your last question it certainly sounds like it. I think a purely rational theory of our minds proofed in empirical brain science -so we find the fundamental core of our reductive mind- will be the quantum solution.

Best

Jack

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William C. McHarris wrote on Feb. 3, 2018 @ 19:32 GMT
Dear Jack,

I liked your essay. It contains a lot of profound ideas in a small space. I have written a more lengthy reply to your comments on my essay. It concerns how philosophers might handle nonlinear logic.

Again, thanks for your comments and for a fine essay.

Bill

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Jouko Harri Tiainen wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 12:36 GMT
WOW -- you do say a lot in a few pages, and the way you do your "idea flow charts" is brilliant. Your essay strikes deeply into the current metaphysical doldrums we have in modern physics and maths. Basically there is no room for the "beyond physics" since science (with maths) claims "everything" as its vantage point with no room for anything else even the "mind" (just about almost). And yes it is...

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Author Jack Hamilton James replied on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 23:29 GMT
Thankyou Mr H,

For your kind comments on my short essay. I am glad it got you thinking about how we think and measure reality in the realms of sense and empiricism and their limits. I will definitely check out your essay and hopefully provide some feedback if I can.

Best,

Jack

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Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 07:10 GMT
Dear Jack,

I highly appreciate your well-written essay in an effort to understand.

It is so close to me. «In this article, I will argue that rationalism (pure reasoning without experiential input) must have a vitalrole when it comes to revealing fundamentals».

Read my message to the question of the anthology of Vladimir I. Rogozhin https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3001

I hope that my modest achievements can be information for reflection for you.

Vladimir Fedorov

https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3080

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Author Jack Hamilton James replied on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 21:16 GMT
Thankyou Vladimir,

I appreciate your comments on my essay and I am glad we had a similar approach. I read your current essay and found your claims on Newton very interesting ( from what I could understand as my physics is not as strong as yours ) and will reflect on them further.

Good luck with your latest endeavours into nature and truth.

Best,

Jack

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Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov replied on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 04:43 GMT
Dear Jack,

(copy to yours and mine)

Many thanks for the kind words about my work and for mutual understanding.

The understanding and appreciation are highly valued.

I wish you happiness in your scientific work in search of truth.

Vladimir Fedorov

https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3080

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corciovei silviu wrote on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 19:57 GMT
Hi Jack

I fully enjoyed the way you put things together it and I think further words are useless.

Rate it accordingly.

If you would have the pleasure for a related and short axiomatic approach of the subject, I will appreciate your opinion.

Silviu

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 22:38 GMT
Dear Jack H. James , you wrote a good essay, however, it was better if you were familiar with the New Cartesian Physics, where the fundamental is a space which according to the principle of identity of space and matter Descartes, is a matter and back matter is a physical space. Time is a synonym for universal total movement of the physical space. Thus, no more dualism between matter and space, between mind and body. Consciousness arises when a body appears the ability to create in space the image of the external world and to remember him for discernment and judgment. In the center of this image of the external world is the body that created it and which is actively positioning itself to prolong its existence. Descartes was a rationalist

New Cartesian Physics needs your support to develop further. Visit my page and give your assessment there. FQXi Fundamental in Dizhechko by Boris Semyonovich

I wish you success! Sincerely, Boris Dizhechko

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich replied on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 23:20 GMT
Thank you, Jack H. James , I'm here to convince everyone to use the principle of identity of space and matter to develop a theory of everything.

Sincerely, Boris Dizhechko

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 00:43 GMT
Hi Jack,

So much philosophy, so little time!

My essay has a squadron of pigs doing barrel rolls! With pictures! Do check it out. Perhaps you can change hats and help me with an empirical methodology.

I did like you essay and I found a YouTube with E.J. Lowe

All the best,

Don Limuti

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John R. Cox wrote on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 01:29 GMT
G'day Jack!

Criminal Law, eh. There's job security.

Would you say that your reliance on rationalism is in many ways in recognition that good law is good logic? That morals are to ethics, what ritual is to etiquette? That ritual is assigned to display the logic behind etiquette, so that those whom eschew the ethics of social etiquette might break fewer dishes if they come to dinner? That the Rule of Law, is a logical system of proofs intended to preserve as much as possible, that an individual has equal right as the Law itself to appeal to that system of logic in defense of one's own legitimacy of person, purpose, property, papers and affects (*note Affects). And that the challenge of any good Law Director is to assure that investigations follow strict logical rules of proofs, lest the miscreant have opportunity by council to evade interdiction in apprehension by plea to logical fallacies? And that experimental evidence must be qualified to the skeptical juror?

Cheers. Toronto John

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Author Jack Hamilton James replied on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 05:40 GMT
Thanks John,

Would you say that your reliance on rationalism is in many ways in recognition that good law is good logic?

What a heavy question! I think 'reliance on' may be wrong words for how I think about rationalism.

That morals are to ethics, what ritual is to etiquette? That ritual is assigned to display the logic behind etiquette, so that those whom eschew the ethics of social etiquette might break fewer dishes if they come to dinner? That the Rule of Law, is a logical system of proofs intended to preserve as much as possible, that an individual has equal right as the Law itself to appeal to that system of logic in defense of one's own legitimacy of person, purpose, property, papers and affects (*note Affects). And that the challenge of any good Law Director is to assure that investigations follow strict logical rules of proofs, lest the miscreant have opportunity by council to evade interdiction in apprehension by plea to logical fallacies?

Well logic is certainly a part of good law, but the ethics ought to be the key determinate not logic.

And that experimental evidence must be qualified to the skeptical juror?

Empiricism certainly has an important role in macroscopic evidential reality.

Best,

Jack

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John R. Cox replied on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 14:07 GMT
Thanks Jack,

I quite agree. And 'appreciation of' rather than 'reliance on', would be more appropriate. I sustain your objection. :-) jrc

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