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Vladimir Fedorov: on 2/25/18 at 7:41am UTC, wrote Dear Heinrich, I highly appreciate your well-written essay in an effort...

Peter Jackson: on 2/23/18 at 16:59pm UTC, wrote Heinrich, Hope you get to read my essay,... carefully! If you're not a...

Heinrich Luediger: on 2/23/18 at 15:29pm UTC, wrote this essay contest proves...

Heinrich Luediger: on 2/23/18 at 15:27pm UTC, wrote Thanks to all my readers, reviewers and commentators! Only world is where...

Heinrich Luediger: on 2/21/18 at 16:13pm UTC, wrote Dear Cristinel, thanks for your detailed (and more than fair, given my...

Cristinel Stoica: on 2/21/18 at 14:47pm UTC, wrote Dear Heinrich, It often happens that in my research I decide to go back to...

Terry Bollinger: on 2/19/18 at 20:12pm UTC, wrote For anyone who has read or is interested in this particular essay, my...

Jeffrey Schmitz: on 2/12/18 at 5:56am UTC, wrote The author does show a mastery of the history of philosophy. This essay...


Lorraine Ford: "(continued) 3. “…so this is what defines a free choice : the Zeta..." in Measuring Free Will: Ian...

Lorraine Ford: "(continued) Notes: 1." in Measuring Free Will: Ian...

Georgina Woodward: "What is happening in material reality provides the connection to inertia...." in Bonus Koan: Distant...

Georgina Woodward: ""We saw early on that as conformed by countless experiment, there is no..." in Bonus Koan: Distant...

andrea gonzalez: "Interesting stuff to read. Keep it up. If want to collect free gift card..." in Memory, Causality and...

Joe Fisher: "Dear Dr. Kuhn, Today’s Closer To Truth Facebook page contained this..." in First Things First: The...

Poker Online: "" in Downward causation:...

Enquire us: "Your Ro system desires regular maintenance to confirm it’s continually in..." in Agency in the Physical...

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First Things First: The Physics of Causality
Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.

Can Time Be Saved From Physics?
Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

A devilish new framework of thermodynamics that focuses on how we observe information could help illuminate our understanding of probability and rewrite quantum theory.

Gravity's Residue
An unusual approach to unifying the laws of physics could solve Hawking's black-hole information paradox—and its predicted gravitational "memory effect" could be picked up by LIGO.

Could Mind Forge the Universe?
Objective reality, and the laws of physics themselves, emerge from our observations, according to a new framework that turns what we think of as fundamental on its head.

August 25, 2019

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: Context by Heinrich Luediger [refresh]
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Author Heinrich Luediger wrote on Dec. 21, 2017 @ 21:02 GMT
Essay Abstract

The particular fate of modern theoretical physics is in its belief that scientific questions are answerable, rather than merely rhetoric. And by giving and having given answer, physics has successively become entrained in the romantic doctrine of Becoming and the machinations of its handmaid logicism. In this essay I shall defend the thesis that early 20th century physics, which ever since has been lauded as a scientific revolution, has practically maneuvered itself into the mind-contorting off by sacrificing context in favor of positive fundamentalism.

Author Bio

H.H.J. Luediger holds a Dipl. Ing. degree in telecommunnications science. His private interests include the theory of science and language with emphasis on the nature of 'time'.

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Anthony John Garrett wrote on Dec. 22, 2017 @ 15:43 GMT
Hi Heinrich

I think the trouble with Kuhn is that he was an anti-inductivist. Because inductive logic is the logic of formal uncertainty, and because science is never certain, his rejection of induction meant that he could not countenance the idea that science ever makes progress. He therefore insisted that paradigms come and go as arbitrarily as fashions in clothing. Yet it is obvious that...

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Author Heinrich Luediger replied on Jan. 2, 2018 @ 16:50 GMT
Hi Anthony,

the trouble with induction is i) that it can only induct what is already known and ergo produce no progress, and ii) that it deals with facts (or events) rather than meaning. But the most troubling thing coming out of induction is ‘prediction’, for it deals with microscopic slices of reality. Hence it is always possible to adapt the whole rest to the microscopic prediction (this is what happened in modern physics).

When I referred to Kuhn then just for the reason of contrasting ‘scientific revolutions’ with what might be called ‘orthogonal expansion’ or simply ‘natural growth’.


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Zoran Mijatovic wrote on Dec. 24, 2017 @ 02:00 GMT
Hello Heinrich

I liked your essay, especially the reference to knowledge we don’t yet have. Asking a question regarding knowledge which we don’t yet have is asking for information about something which we know exists; asking a question about the true nature of mind and consciousness which we know exist intuitively, only to then say that consciousness does not exist because all answers appear to be nonsensical is itself a nonsensical assertion. To ask the question what is “Fundamental”, while subscribing to the proposition that everything comes from absolutely nothing, is nonsensical because it makes ‘absolutely nothing’ fundamental; and worse still, it’s a contradiction if those crying for help from the dark have no ears for ideas which don’t support their own thesis. It’s a bit like the guy addicted to a shopping channel complaining that everything on offer is either luggage he can’t carry or garbage. The Fqxi forum is a shopping channel watched by theoretical physicists going nowhere fast, and that’s why they’re having a nervous breakdown. The only thing that gets their attention is verifiable prediction, which, if it comes to pass, may free them from their self imposed straightjacket and the psychologist’s couch. So, while I enjoyed reading your contribution, I don’t think it will be heard by those who can not escape the black hole which comes from their math and not their intuition.

Hope you do well.


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Author Heinrich Luediger replied on Jan. 2, 2018 @ 16:54 GMT
Hi Zoran,

I agree that theoretical physicists will be going nowhere fast. It will probably take another generation to get Darwin’s romantic ideas (of evolution in grammatical-historical time) out of their heads.


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Alan M. Kadin wrote on Dec. 24, 2017 @ 18:34 GMT
Dear Dr. Luediger:

You make a number of points in your rather philosophical essay, not all of which I fully understand. However, you seem to be questioning whether 20th century physical theories of quantum mechanics and relativity have provided anything more fundamental in our understanding of the physical universe, since they apply in different (orthogonal) regimes.

You might be interested in my essay “Fundamental Waves and the Reunification of Physics”, in which I propose that a set of slight modifications from classical physics can give rise to a consistent unified physical picture on all scales. This incorporates discreteness (on the scale of Planck’s constant) via quantization of spin in real quantum fields, and defines time and space via parameters of these same fields. It maintains local reality, causality, and determinism, avoiding problematic concepts of duality, superposition, and entanglement. This suggests that the Hilbert-space mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics is analogous to epicycles in pre-Copernican astronomy – it provides accurate results, but is conceptually incorrect. This also makes specific predictions that deviate sharply from the orthodox approach, but do not appear to have been tested.

Best Wishes,

Alan Kadin

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Author Heinrich Luediger replied on Jan. 2, 2018 @ 17:00 GMT
Dear Dr. Kadin,

I have enjoyed reading your essay. If I understand correctly you’re trying to ‘repair’ 20th century physics by introducing new quantities, reinterpreting old and projecting still to be discovered equations. Now, Feynman said that the double slit experiment “…has in it the heart [dynamite?] of quantum mechanics”. How would your theory of fundamental electron fields deal with the matter?


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Alan M. Kadin replied on Jan. 6, 2018 @ 18:25 GMT
Dear Heinrich,

Thank you for reading my essay. You describe the intent correctly, although you seem skeptical that such an ambitious agenda is reasonable. This agenda is not yet complete; I require some assistance from mathematicians expert in nonlinear differential equations. But I think this is more reasonable than the massive expansion in dimensionality central to quantum entanglement, for example.

Regarding electron diffraction, I realize that this historically provided the first experimental evidence for the reality of deBroglie waves. However, I argue (based in part on the analysis of Van Vliet cited in the essay) that diffraction experiments provide NO information on the wave nature of electrons or any other particles. The diffraction results are due to quantized momentum transfer of the slits or lattice producing the diffraction. So I can say that electrons are distributed waves but neutrons are particles, even though both produce diffraction.

One can never prove that a theory is fundamentally correct by showing results that agree with the theory; one can only disprove a theory. I have proposed accessible experiments that could disprove either my theory or orthodox quantum mechanics.

While a neoclassical theory of this type could have been proposed any time in the past 90 years, I have been unable to find anything like this in the literature. As quantum computing is now developing the first real technological applications of quantum entanglement, it may be time that this alternative is seriously considered.


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Author Heinrich Luediger replied on Jan. 9, 2018 @ 15:33 GMT
Dear Alan,

still trying to make sense of your theory…but yes, I’m skeptical. Simply doing away with long standing paradoxes by redressing those parts of the theory arousing them may be too simple a strategy. I’m also skeptical of your ‘integration’ efforts, because they point to case-based abstractions rather than general intuitions. In some places I do see pedagogical advantages of your theory which, however, appear to be torpedoed in other places. Haven't "distributed objects that maintain particle integrity while remaining waves…” been a tacid assumption in many labs all along? So, in general and maybe due to the yet missing keystone of your theory (nonlinear wave equations with soliton-like solutions (which may bring more trouble than benefit?)) my central criticism is that nothing seems to flow from your theory in the sense of redispositioning certain branches of physics. And finally, experimental proof/disproof has never decided anything (see LHC).


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Georgina Woodward wrote on Jan. 2, 2018 @ 09:07 GMT
Hi Heinrich, I think you have done a really good job presenting not just a critique of the question but the history of scientific thought. I take the point well that what is fundamental depends on the context. There is safety in numbers, that is a biological fact, with which we have evolved. Independent thinking is not always seen in a good light. Yet as FQXi shows there are people 'swimming against the flow'. Though it would be easier to be one of the shoal, or an ant : ). I look forward to reading your informative essay more thoroughly another time. Kind regards Georgina

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Author Heinrich Luediger wrote on Jan. 15, 2018 @ 12:13 GMT
Dear Jo,

try to convince me of your ?theory? not using words, symbols, graphics or pictures.


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Author Heinrich Luediger replied on Jan. 15, 2018 @ 12:14 GMT
Dear Joe,

Sorry for misspelling your name!


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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 17:12 GMT
Hi Heinrich Luediger,

Your thinking that “early 20th century physics, which ever since has been lauded as a scientific revolution, has practically maneuvered itself into the mind-contorting like a ROAD ROLLER and flattened off by sacrificing context in favor of positive fundamentalism.” Is exactly correct My dear Heinrich Luediger………. Time is very important fundamental...

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jan. 28, 2018 @ 16:42 GMT
Dear Fellow Essayists

This will be my final plea for fair treatment.,

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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George Gantz wrote on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 17:15 GMT
Heinrich - a brilliant, if incomplete, philosophical essay. We humans are, regrettably, dammed by dualism. We cannot reconcile it and yet we cannot exist without it, despite the efforts of philosophers across the millennia. However, we need to move past the positivists and linguists. That dead end was eloquently laid out by Wittgenstein, "That whereof we cannot speak, we must remain silent," the incompleteness theorems of Godel and even, more recently, the capitulation of Hawking and Mlodnow - "there is no model-independent concept of reality".

If we continue the philosophical journey through the 20th century, as I attempt to do (Faith is Fundamental) we can re-engage with the curse of dualism. Life is comprehensible - but the empirical must be leavened with .... something more. Call it the axiomatic, the bottom turtle, the fundamental --- I call it faith.

Cheers - George Gantz

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Author Heinrich Luediger wrote on Feb. 1, 2018 @ 10:03 GMT
Dear George,

thanks for your kind remarks!

I agree that the 'linguistic turn' failed for reasons of positivity. That's why I embarked on a philosophy of 'negation' (which has nothing to do with negative theology). Rather, there are some for which modern philosophy does not begin with Descartes, but 200 years earlier with Cusanus (Nikolaus von Kues). He spoke of 'docta ignorantia' and 'coincidentia oppositorum'. So true belief for him (faith) IS knowledge by understanding that learned ignorance (the acceptance that there are unanswerable questions) is not a defeat, but the very condition for there to be knowledge at all. That is, only the existence of unanswerable questions leads to the performative consistency of the 'world'.

So what you refer to as a curse, I consider it as the condition sine qua non. Isn't logic what turns 'coincidentia oppositorum' into problem in the first place? Is there a problem when we stop asking undue questions?


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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 5, 2018 @ 19:23 GMT

A lovely essay. I studied philosophy with other degrees and well appreciated your points and argument. I think Shut up and Calculate was too high a price to pay and has stunted our understanding.

Good score from me, but more important I hope you may comment on a solution I posit to the problem of binaries, or the 'Excluded Middle'. On many grounds I propose a 'Law of the Reducing Middle' which takes the form of a non-linear Bayesian distribution; Nothing is 100% and all things are possible. My essay describes (astonishingly) a classical derivation of QM from 'soliton' fermion interactions - so also a Cos^2 Bayesian distribution, with NO action at a distance required! (I also show if SR is also slightly rationalised, as my past essays show, with CSL the two unify).

All is from a rational heristic not mathematical approach, though Declan Traill's essay has the matching computer code and plot.

I do hope you'll read it and give me your views. I show an experiment to prove the momenta distribution pattern to doctrinal physicists but have had precious little actual analysis!

Anyway thank you for yours. A great and refreshing text, beautifully written.

Very best of luck in the contest.


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Peter Jackson replied on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 16:59 GMT

Hope you get to read my essay,... carefully! If you're not a big fan of illogical Quantum beliefs!

Scoring yours now. (seems I liked it more than most!)

Very best


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Christophe Tournayre wrote on Feb. 10, 2018 @ 22:11 GMT
Interesting essay.

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Jeffrey Michael Schmitz wrote on Feb. 12, 2018 @ 05:56 GMT
The author does show a mastery of the history of philosophy. This essay sets out to challenge the reader with the style of writing and the logical steps of the argument. The cynical, but appropriate use of “Münchhausen” is an example of unique and challenging word use.

“Cultural interpretation of science is the fundamental. “ is what this reviewer understood as the message of this essay. Society is the consumer of science, so it is hard to disagree with this idea. This thesis fits into the overall goal of the contest better than any string theory essay.

Hope you get a good rating,

Jeff Schmitz

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Terry Bollinger wrote on Feb. 19, 2018 @ 20:12 GMT
For anyone who has read or is interested in this particular essay, my detailed analysis of it is located here:

Bollinger critique of Context by Heinrich Luediger

I am respectful, but I do not pull any punches.

My analysis is unfortunately listed as "Anonymous" due to one of those silent logouts that the FQXi site does every few hours, but my signature is at the bottom of the posting.


Terry Bollinger

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Feb. 21, 2018 @ 14:47 GMT
Dear Heinrich,

It often happens that in my research I decide to go back to some milestones in physics and deconstruct and reconstruct them partially, because the historical context shapes the way we make new theories. The inspirational flow of a new idea solidifies too rapidly, so it leaves little time for the fruit to ripe. Then the inflation of incremental research and of applications of...

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Author Heinrich Luediger replied on Feb. 21, 2018 @ 16:13 GMT
Dear Cristinel,

thanks for your detailed (and more than fair, given my provocations) analysis of my essay. I see that you belong to the most active commentators, so I will be brief. Since there seems to be quite some common ground I’ll concentrate on dissent. You may underestimate the trouble physics is in when you think that my motivation is nostalgia or repairing modern physics – on the contrary. In a nutshell: if we want to go the stars, we need to think us there first. And the only place ‘where’ we can do this is in the duality of relational (linguistic) ‘space’ and Euclidean space. Then, is Einstein part of the problem or part of the solution?

Good luck for your essay,


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Author Heinrich Luediger wrote on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 15:27 GMT
Thanks to all my readers, reviewers and commentators!

Only world is where language is (W. v. Humboldt)


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Author Heinrich Luediger replied on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 15:29 GMT this essay contest proves...

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Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on Feb. 25, 2018 @ 07:41 GMT
Dear Heinrich,

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

It is so close to me.

«The victims along the roadside of modern physics were Euclidean space, Newtonian time and Kantian causality, i.e. conditions of the possibility of experience. Hence it doesn’t come as a surprise that mathematically driven physics moves tons of data just to remain void of experience».

«Einstein believed that only the theory determines what can be observed. So much it seems he was a classical Kantian. But how could he have hoped to defend causality against quantum mechanics’ probability after having destroyed the a priori qualities of Euclidean space and absolute Newtonian time?»

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

Vladimir Fedorov

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