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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

John-Erik Persson: on 3/13/18 at 18:37pm UTC, wrote Flavio & Chiara Thanks for discussions. If you read this you may also be...

Marcel-Marie LeBel: on 3/5/18 at 19:14pm UTC, wrote Del Santo, Cardelli, Excellent essay, right on the subject, well argued...

Sue Lingo: on 3/3/18 at 21:34pm UTC, wrote Hi Flavio and Chiara... Semantic issues are fundamental to verbalization...

Eckard Blumschein: on 3/2/18 at 18:51pm UTC, wrote Dear Mr. Del Santo, If a problem is called insurmountable, this means "it...

Gary Hansen: on 2/26/18 at 22:54pm UTC, wrote Hello Flavio, Congratulations! You appear to be more than qualified to...

Ulla Mattfolk: on 2/26/18 at 18:29pm UTC, wrote Hi, You say: On the contrary, we believe, with David Bohm, that “the...

corciovei silviu: on 2/26/18 at 10:16am UTC, wrote Mr. Del Santo, I fully enjoyed the way you put things together it and I...

Noson Yanofsky: on 2/26/18 at 3:42am UTC, wrote Dear Flavio and Chiara, Thank you for commenting on my paper and for your...


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FQXi FORUM
November 19, 2018

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: Demolishing prejudices to get to the foundations by Flavio Del Santo and Chiara Cardelli [refresh]
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Author Flavio Del Santo wrote on Jan. 12, 2018 @ 19:49 GMT
Essay Abstract

Commonly accepted views on foundations of science, either based on bottom-up construction or top-down reduction of fundamental entities are here rejected. We show how the current scientific methodology entails a certain kind of research for foundations of science, which are here regarded as insurmountable limitations. At the same time, this methodology allows to surpass the bounds classically accepted as fundamental, yet often based on mere “philosophical prejudices”. Practical examples are provided from quantum mechanics and biophysics.

Author Bio

Flavio Del Santo is a graduate student in physics at the University of Vienna and member of the international association for the foundations of physics BRCP. His main interests are foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum information theory (besides history and philosophy of physics). He has been promoter of several activities (conferences, lectures, groups of discussion) connecting foundations of physics, philosophy of science and societal problems of science. Chiara Cardelli is a PhD student in computational physics at the University of Vienna. She is interested in soft matter, science communication and sustainable development.

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Jan. 13, 2018 @ 10:37 GMT
Flavio Del Santo,

thank you, that is something explained to me. It turns out that I'm on my way of reductionism and physicalism has made significant progress, as explained by the formula of equivalence of mass and energy and the existence pressure of the Universe, which determines the quantum properties of space. Next, I found the connection of the Lorentz factor with a probability of States of the electron and determined the mass of the particles through the stream of the acceleration vector through a closed surface (a generalized Gauss law). Using the principle of the identity of space and matter Descartes I'm ready to go further and explain that you called the unexplained.

Do not look at my essay New Cartesian philosophy. I do physics but not philosophy. In philosophy I was looking for an answer to the question: "What is matter?" an not found. When philosophers argued that matter exists in space and in time, I said, "No, this is wrong, matter does not exist, and it creates space and time". When there is no matter, no space and time.

Your philosophical work is very deep and requires a great deal of recognition. I hope that you will not pass by the assertion of Descartes, that the notion of physical space and matter are identical.

I wish you success!

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 13, 2018 @ 16:31 GMT
Dear Mr. Semyonovich,

thank you for your comment. If I understand correctly, you are much in favour of a reductionist picture. However, my concern is deeper than that. If if read carefully I do not embrace any particular argument against reductionism, but is seems only too narrow to me. To stay on the safe side, I surely agree with Bohm, who states that “the notion that everything is, in principle, reducible to physics [is] an unproved assumption, which is capable of limiting our thinking in such a way that we are blinded to the possibility of whole new classes of fact and law" [see my essay for the reference].

All good wishes,

Flavio Del Santo

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich replied on Jan. 13, 2018 @ 17:48 GMT
Flavio Del Santo,

You are doing it right. However, your philosophical analysis concerns the current state of science. I'm trying with the help of the principle of identity of space and matter Descartes to turn the page in its history and then require other philosophical reflections. But I am far from the philosophy and leave it to others. I only focus on the principle of identity of space and matter Descartes and think only about how to use it to improve the physics.

All the best to you!

Boris Semyonovich Dizhechko.

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Alan M. Kadin wrote on Jan. 13, 2018 @ 15:08 GMT
Dear Ms. Cardelli and Mr. Del Santo,

Your essay makes important points regarding philosophical prejudices in the foundations of physics.

You might be interested in my own essay, “Fundamental Waves and the Reunification of Physics”. I argue that current orthodoxy reflects such prejudices that became established due in part to earlier misconceptions or inappropriate mathematical constructions. I present an analogy with earlier scientific controversies, namely the orbital epicycles in Ptolemaic cosmology. Epicycles were quite accurate for calculational purposes, even though they had absolutely no physical basis. I argue, for example, that quantum entanglement is a mathematical artifact of Pauli’s formulation of the exclusion principle, and this mathematical formulation has no physical basis. With the advent of the field of quantum computing, entanglement now has major technological implications. I suggest that quantum computing will fail completely, and this will lead to a major reassessment of the foundations of quantum mechanics within about 5 years.

Best Wishes,

Alan Kadin

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Declan Andrew Traill replied on Jan. 15, 2018 @ 03:56 GMT
Dear Ms. Cardelli and Mr. Del Santo & Alan,

May I suggest this failure and reassessment of QM has already begun!?

Please read my essay titled "A Fundamental Misunderstanding" where I show that the correlation found in the EPR experiment (currently attributed to QM entanglement) can be fully explained by Classical Physics. My results even include the latest so called...

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Donald G Palmer wrote on Jan. 13, 2018 @ 23:14 GMT
Thank you Ms. Cardelli and Mr. Del Santo for an interesting and incisive read,

Since you build upon the concept of 'philosophical prejudices' and appear to at least question reductionism, might you consider the larger picture of what science is attempting to be about - rather than the very reductionist perspective of physicists?

Science is supposed to be about describing all of...

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 14, 2018 @ 11:46 GMT
Dear Mr. Palmer,

thank you for your very interesting and valuable comments.

Indeed, we do agree with most of them. We have tried to show in our essay - within the quite strict limit of length - that there are today several examples from the literature about genuine emergent phenomena (i.e. not reducible to elementary interactions between single parts) or holistic approaches. We obviously do not have a proposal on how to revolutionize science, but we have tried to show that sticking to such narrow pre-assumptions as reductionism (that in our opinion pre-assumes a certain form of ontological realism) or strict determinism are unnecessary prejucdice that limit the scope of science.

Very interesting is also your last comment on the role of mathematics. Indeed, this is a serious concern to which it is difficult to answer. In principle, you are totally right, maths could well be a limiting tool for our science and prevent us to develop entirely new scientific fields. However, science is also a matter of surviving of “less fit” theories, and until there is not a concrete proposal that goes beyond a mathematical description, it would be very though to speculate on it.

Thank you once more, and we wish you the best,

Flavio & Chiara

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Scott S Gordon wrote on Jan. 14, 2018 @ 04:44 GMT
Dear Flavio Del Santo and Chiara Cardelli,

Hmmm... Do I sound as arrogant when I make statements in my essay as you do in yours? The premise of your essay needs a serious challenge and you should consider yourselves honored in the fact that I am putting your essay in my memoirs, to be recalled as an example of why physicists failed to find the theory of everything. (Maybe I am that...

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 14, 2018 @ 12:05 GMT
Dear Mr. Gordon,

thank you for your comments.

I am very sorry if our assay sound arrogant, I didn’t mean this. It is more of a reaction against the typical arrogant physicists that approach problems as it was given that at the end everything must be simple, or elegant, or at least complex behaviour are merely a result of interactions of very many simple objects. it ain't necessarily so.

Let me then clarify a semantic misunderstanding. When I say “primitive”, this is an abjective referred to “approach” and not to the theories as you have interpreted it. A theory of everything, if by any means possible, should (as conventionally all the theories) have a minimal number of elements. However, minimal in this context could be arbitrarily large, and the theory arbitrarily complex. There is nothing in principle that prevents a theory from being complex.

I would like to point out that you maybe take me too much as an enemy of reductionism. As states in a previous post, I do not stand on any particular anti-reductionist position. I only show that this maybe the case that reductionism is a nice starting point, but a limiting one, an approach that prevent us to explore entirely new theoretical directions. My essay is not a treatise against reductionism, it only takes a step back and look for higher form of philosophical approach to fundamental problems.

Thank you once more.

All good wishes,

Flavio

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Scott S Gordon replied on Jan. 14, 2018 @ 15:58 GMT
I truly appreciate your kind response. I hope I did not sound too arrogant or forthright in my comment. It is nice to see we have one thing in common. We do think that there is an air of arrogance among some physicists in academia. I don't blame them, they did everything right - so where did they go do wrong! LOL! Smashing particles together will never reveal the answer (the fundamental...

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Andrew Beckwith wrote on Jan. 14, 2018 @ 07:55 GMT
I commend you on a cleverly done essay, but you did not get to the MOST foundational constructions. It is commendable how it is organized, but it looks like a top ten list of proposed linkages without a fundamental organizing principle.

Prove me wrong with a clear statement as to the most foundational PHYSICAL, versus presumed 'logical' premise.

Thanks

I did enjoy the essay. I am merely looking for something more and am here to learn

Andrew

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Jan. 14, 2018 @ 09:38 GMT
Hi Andrew, although not being the author of this essay’s site, by skimming over the newly posted comments, i stumbled over your statement

“Prove me wrong with a clear statement as to the most foundational PHYSICAL, versus presumed 'logical' premise.”

However, to answer your demand, one has at first to precicely define what one understands as “PHYSICAL”. Are physical laws, mathematics and logics PHYSICAL?

If yes, then Gödel’s results must hold for the physical realm.

If Gödel’s results hold for the physical realm, then there exist questions about the physical realm that are not decidable by experimentally asking nature. As outlined in my essay, this is a logical consequence of logics being itself subject to Gödel’s results. Hence, if we assume nature to behave strictly logically (and consistently!), physical undedicability follows – since nature itself incorporates all logical rules to at all being able to obey consistency (and logics!).

If physical laws, mathematics and logics are NOT PHYSICAL, then this implies that there have to exist -two- distinct realms, a physical and a non-physical one, the latter harbouring at least logics, some subset of maths and the physical laws.

If there exists a physical as well as a non-physical realm of existence, then the question arises which of both realms is more fundamental – or whether or not both realms are equally fundamental.

For all these possible cases, absolute provability for some fundamental axioms (to determine what kinds of entities and or ontologies are really fundamental) must fail. Only more or less reasonable inductive inferences can be made on the basis of some METAPHYSICS.

Best wishes for you – Stefan.

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 14, 2018 @ 09:51 GMT
Dear authors,

I looked almost in vain for the role of causality and non-arbitrariness for reliability in your essay.

As a layman in QM I am nonetheless aware of Bruckner's interpretation of Bell's inequality. There were many discussions devoted to this topic. I feel sad that Robert McEachern decided not to take part in this contest this time, perhaps because he is deeply disappointed that just his MATLAB simulation was ignored rather than refuted. In what was he wrong?

Regards,

Eckard Blumschein

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 14, 2018 @ 12:16 GMT
Dear Mr. Blumschein,

thank you for your contribution.

I am not sure if I am familiar with what you point out, what do you mean by "Bruckner's interpretation of Bell's inequality"?.

As for causality is actually a major concern in my essay; I state: " Since falsificationism requires

some “cause-effect” relations to meaningfully test

theories, then instantaneous signaling would break

this possibility, and any meaning of the current

methodology along with it"

If you then follow the endnote 8, you will find a shoert comment on causality in Brukner's theory.

Thank you for your time.

All the best,

Flavio

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Jan. 14, 2018 @ 13:16 GMT
Hi Eckhard,

my personal answer to your question is, that for the case of a simulation concerning quantum microscopic behaviour, be it in a computer or a human mind, one has at first to discriminate such a simulation from what nature really does.

The reason for this is grounded in correcting a huge misunderstanding. Because independent from what John Bell said or thought or not said...

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jan. 23, 2018 @ 08:47 GMT
Hi Stefan,

What is fundamental? I see it my business to ask whether or not so called no-go theorems may be questionable. In other words, are these claimed theorems and their interpretation in physics really fundamental or are they merely the fundaments of something called by Einstein's castles in the air?

I tried to explain without any emotion why I consider causality a most indispensable basis.

I am however disappointed if experts ignore my strict distinction between established theoretical constructs and what I defined in a previous essay as conjectured reality. Wigner's delayed choice gedanken didn't persuade me that it isn't reasonable to accordingly strictly distinguish between ideal past and ideal future in reality.

An ear is definitely not aware of the chosen reference point for time.

I consider this a most fundamental in the sense of undeniable fact, and I hope, at least you will agree on that.

Eckard

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Heinrich Luediger wrote on Jan. 15, 2018 @ 17:09 GMT
Flavio, Chiara,

I largely agree with what you say about the removal* of philosophical prejudices except your concept of falsification, which I think is not reflecting Popper’s. For “…it must be possible for an empirical scientific system to be refuted by experience” to make any sense, ‘experience’ must be of a ‘higher’ generality/potency than ‘empirical scientific system’. For example: the production of plastic bags was a chemically and economically viable, empirical theory. ‘Experience’, however, could have told us that it is not a clever idea. W. v. O. Quine knew that any theory can be made ‘true’ by sufficiently distorting the rest of the world.

*Hegel’s aufheben (to sublate) may be a more refined term, which in German means to preserve, to disperse and to elevate.

Heinrich

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 15, 2018 @ 19:54 GMT
Dear Mr. Luediger,

thank you for your comment. I am not sure that you are using the word "experience" with the same meaning I am using it, namely in the usual meaning of the philosophy of science. What I mean by experience is, to be based on the empirical basis, that is, knowledge resulting from an interaction with the world, with nature, the possibility of gaining new information from cleverly disgned experiments. In your post, you seem to use "experience" as "life experience", some realization based on events that one suffers and thus acquires some awareness afterwards. This is not what I meant, and surely not what Popper meant. In this regard, it is curious that you accuse me of not reflecting Popper's intention using the sentence "…it must be possible for an empirical scientific system to be refuted by experience" that is a quotation from Popper's most famous Logik der Forschung (Logic of Scientific Descovery).

In conclusion: we have bold ideas (in the form of falsifiable statements), and we go out there to interact with the "world" (experience) and we have a way to discriminate the "truth" from imagination. This is actually Popper's legacy.

I hope the misunderstand is now clarified.

I wish you the best of luck with your essay (which I enjoyed reading),

Flavio

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jan. 16, 2018 @ 03:53 GMT
Flavio,

You essay is claiming: "we have a way to discriminate the "truth" from imagination. This is actually Popper's legacy."

To me Popper's legacy includes his reportedly accepted utterance to Einstein:

"You are a Parmenides". I am not sure whether you are entitled to generalize philosophical reasoning as prejudices.

Stefan Weckbach distinguished between bird's and frog's view. I feel myself rather a frog who has no chance but to accept some philosophical conjectures, in particular causality and the preference for non-arbitrary references. e.g. the now as the natural one.

I asked you to ignore your dependency on Brukner's defense of QM by backing Bell's argument, and simply tell me in what McEachern was wrong. While I never dealt with QM, I would accept an actually based on QM computer as a strong argument in favour ot it. However, I admittedly don't trust much in Hendrik van Hees' judgement, for emotional reason. Many years ago, it took me about a year of fierce discussion with him until he apologised. Later on I managed to illustrate my view with MATLAB programs wich were not refuted but simply ignored. That's why I feel symathetic with McEachern who made a similar experience. Maybe McEachern is correct, maybe he is wrong.

For you convienience I point you to two of McEacher's papers:

A Classical System for Producing "Quantum Correlations"

viXra.org/abs/16009.0129

What Went Wrong with the "interpretation" of the Quantum Theory?

viXra.org/abs/1707.0162

If you can, please tell me in what McEachern is wrong.

I would also appreciate you refuting Alan Kadin's suspicions concerning QM.

Only as a rule, I consider viXra less trustworthy than arXiv.

I just learned from Kadin that Pauli (1925?) might have influenced Schrödinger, Heisenberg/Born and maybe Kramers.

Katz made me aware of something behind Buridan, set theory and EPR.

Curious,

Eckard

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 16, 2018 @ 10:05 GMT
Dear Mr. Blumschein,

thank you for your reply. I surely can accept your new statement (that is very different from the criticism you leveled before): " To me Popper's legacy includes his reportedly accepted utterance to Einstein: 'You are a Parmenides'. I am not sure whether you are entitled to generalize philosophical reasoning as prejudices. "

But if you look at my essay, you have...

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Anonymous wrote on Jan. 15, 2018 @ 17:59 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara,

Excellent work, content and expression. We agree on most. We argue diametric views on reductionism but I agree your grounds and think you'll agree mine, particularly as it proves productive. I think your top place is well deserved.

More importantly I need your help. You identify that QM's (CHSH >2) limit has never been experimentally violated. My essay, completely unbelievably I know, reports on what may be the first(and repeatable) experiment to do so (building on my last few finalist essays) for >2. Photographs and protocol (see end notes) are included along with assumptions and rationale.

What's more, Declan Trail's short essay (referencing those papers) provides a computer code matching the ontology and also confirmes violation of the so called 'Steering inequality' (closing the measurement loophole).

The analog experiment is absolute simplicity! Yet as few really understand the problem and QM's assumptions it needs someone who does but isn't prejudiced by docrine to study and help falsify it. I hope you may qualify! I start by effectively replacing spin up/down with Maxwell's orthogonal state pairs.

I look forward to your comments questions.

Very well done for yours. Top marks.

Very best

Peter

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 15, 2018 @ 21:27 GMT
Dear Peter (you forgot to login, but there is only one author with your name),

thank you for the very kind words.

Just an oversight from your message: CHSH inequalities has been violated since 1981 (Aspect's experiments) on a regular basis, finding a maxima value of correlations of 2*sqrt(2) (called Tsirelson's boound). Maximally entanglement bipartite states (Bell's states) can indeed reach that value. It is this latter bound that discriminate between sets the limit of QM, and if experimentally violated it would falsify QM as we know it. In principle this is totally feasible, since there are proposal for more-than-quantum- correlations that still lie within the no-signalling region. I discuss this (the so-called PR box, in particular) in my endnote 21. However, there is so far no actual proposal on how to implement this, in practice. How to prepare a phisical state in a scenario that can implement a PR-box experiment.

Thank you again.

Best wishes,

Flavio

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Peter Jackson replied on Jan. 16, 2018 @ 20:18 GMT
Flavio,

Thanks, yes Aspect, Weihs, (with Anton Z) etc etc of course, but I'm referring to a classical violation >2, shocking & quite unbelievable I know, which is why I'd like you to check it out. My essay includes the experimental protocol (and photographs), and I identify how it corresponds to John Bells 'guess' on how it would one day be achieved.

It doesn't actually 'falsify QM' in toto but does falsify the interpretation that only 'weirdness' can produce the correlations, and offers classical physical explanations for EVERY phenomena within QM including 'superposed states,' apparent non-locality, non-integer spin etc. You appreciate it really would cause major ructions if it's correct so needs rigorous falsification! I promise it's worth the time to look.

Also see Declan Trails code, giving the same results as my (cheaply repeatable) experiment and ontology.

You may wish to also check out my (top community placed) 'Red/Green Sock trick' essay 2yrs ago.

Very best and thanks in anticipation

Peter

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Aditya Dwarkesh wrote on Jan. 16, 2018 @ 11:12 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara,

Unless I have misunderstood your essay, it seems to me that what you are proposing is that the methodology followed by us in science determines that which is fundamental in science.

However, where does one draw the line between methodology and theory? Would not some portion of the methodology followed (determinism, etc.) be part of the scientific theory? Certainly to assert,say, determinism to be true feels not much unlike asserting a new theory to be true.

One cannot fall back onto the defense that methodology is not based on empirical knowledge which theories are, for we know that methodologies can be refuted by the appropriate empirical data, which directly implies that methodologies must be based on certain empirical data-if they go that way, they must have arrived that way.

I have not read Karl Popper, and so I must ask you to forgive me if I am ending up blatantly ignoring some evident line of thought contradicting my position.

Essentially, then, my query is this: Can one ever differentiate what you refer to as "philosophical prejudices" from the remaining statements of the theory? Determinism need not be a philosophical prejudice but merely an implication of classical mechanics.

If one cannot, then there need to be found other grounds for giving, say, determinism a higher status than other propositions of the theory. I have suggested in my own essay one such ground.

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 16, 2018 @ 11:41 GMT
Dear Aditya,

thanks for the comments; they are interesting, indeed.

I think you have quite well understood our essay. The issue you point out it is an actual one, namely how to discriminate the philosophical prejudice from the rest of the theory. This is in fact, the diffcult part. However, there a re ways to do it, by means of a clear falsifiable formulation of the "prejudice". If you read the section about quantum physics, you can see what I mean by this. Kochen-Specker and Bell's theorems are two pivotal instances of this process. They found a way to put to the test some ideas which were considered a prioori assumptions in the philosophical background. What I assert, is also that if we assumer a "pre-falsificationist" methodology, namely an empiricist one, it is virtually impossible to achieve this. It it the theory which guides our experiment to test theories.

Your essay surely provide also interesting views (I have very positively commented and rated it!), yet I am concerned with the actual practice of scientists, as also Popper partly was.

Thank you again for your contribution.

Good luck,

Flavio

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John-Erik Persson wrote on Jan. 16, 2018 @ 22:44 GMT
Chiara and Flavio

Thanks for a very good article. It is very well in agreement to mine. I have described that there were many errors before Lorentz and these have been covered by more and more errors, and therefore the method of correcting errors cannot longer work.

This means that we should instead focus on finding the FIRST error. I think you would be interested if you took a look at my article.

Good luck and regards from _____________ John-Erik Persson

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 16:20 GMT
Dear Mr. Persson,

thanks for your appreciative words.

We will gladly look at your article and comment in the dedicated discussion thread.

Good luck, and best wishes,

CHiara and Flavio

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 05:10 GMT
Hi Flavio, I found your essay very readable and sensible.i do agree with you that the falsification of science is extremely important. You have focused on experimental falsification by comparison of hypothesis to the'real world'. There are many other important ways science can be evaluated and potentially falsified. On logic, on mathematical correctness, on methodology, (such as using appropriate...

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 09:48 GMT
Hi Flavio, actually the mistake I wrote about is probably better described as a physics error that leads to the wrong calculation, rather than a mathematical error (Which would be just getting the maths wrong.) I think the fact that the thought experiment involves mathematics, gives the false impression that the conclusion must be correct because the calculation is correct. There being a kind o bias in physics in favour of mathematics because of its precision and objectivity. However that precision and objectivity does not make its use infallible.There can be correct mathematics for an incorrect theory, hypothesis, thought experiment or model.I thought that an interesting bias worth mentioning.As in your essay you talk about bias, such as in favour of reductionism.

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 16:13 GMT
Dear Georgina,

many thanks for your valuable comments. After your second message, I think I see your point. Surely interpretations are at the core of science, and this notion is fortunately coming (back) a bit more often also in orthodox science. Correct calculations per se have nothing more than an easthetic value (please, see the part of my essay dealing with conventionalism).

Also, following your example, and the ideas behind it, we surely have to think of the epistemological power of Gedankenexperimenten, which are an essential theoretical tool. This, however, allows no more than to test the internal consistency of theories.

When it comes to put forward statements that claim to be about natural sciences, one necessarily has to interact with the "world out there". So, as I quote in my essay, I agree with Feynman's words: "[scientific] method is based on the principle that observation is the judge of whether something is so or not. [...] Observation is the ultimate and final judge of the truth of an idea".

Otherwise, any beautiful, consistent, simple collection of statements could be considered a scientific theory, don't you agree?

Anyway, I think we pretty much agree, it was just a clarification of my thoughs.

Thank you again, and all the best,

Flavio

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jan. 18, 2018 @ 00:16 GMT
Flavio, whether interpretation is at the core of science is debatable. I agree with you. I think it is our explanatory frameworks that let us make sense of the world, whether true or not -and science is about (or at least in my opinion should be about) understanding not just data collection and calculation. Mathematics in physics seems to be elevated in importance in contrast to your view, as...

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Leo Vuyk wrote on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 10:11 GMT
Hi Flavio:

I highly appreciate Your statement "Commonly accepted views on foundations of science, of fundamental entities are here rejected" see also my proposals in my introduction:

Neil Turok said recently: "And so we have to go back and question those founding principles and find whatever it is, whatever new principle will replace them.". Cheers Leo

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 15:40 GMT
Hi Leo,

Flavio wrote: "I am limiting myself to a review of important results, by now very well established, on the fundamental difference between quantum and classical physics."

Doesn't this admission contradict to your quotation of Neil Turok?

I don't see it my business to advocate for or against Alan Kadin, Declan Traill, Robert McEachern, and Joy Christian. However, don't...

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 16:16 GMT
Hi Leo,

many thanks for your appreciative words.

Contrarily to what was replied by Mr. Blumschein, who he feels apparently entitled to interpret my words out of their context, I obviously agree with Turok's quotation. Questioning the foundations is for me one of the prime aims of science, and I glad that you, Leo, saw a strong connection with the approach I showed in my essay and this ideas.

Thank you again for your contribution.

Best wishes,

Flavio

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Leopoldo Tansa wrote on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 15:55 GMT
I'd like to thank Chiara Cardelli and Flavio Del Santo for their very interesting paper, which, in spite of the narrow limits imposed by the rules of the contest, made me think about the delicate problems concerning the foundations of scientific knowledge.

My score is 'only' 9, because I would not take for granted the definitive failure of reductionism.

As a matter of fact, in the History of Scienze, great processes of unification - and then ultimately of reduction - are rare, but revolutionary: Newton's apple, which 'downgraded' heavens to the Earth and promoted the Earth to heavens, and the atomic theory, which reduced (in the strongest sense which physicism attributes to this word) the entire chemistry to the physics, are not processes of reduction?

Leopoldo Tansa

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 17:36 GMT
Dear Mr. Tansa,

thank you very much for your appreciation and comments.

Indeed you are right; surely scientific progress has benefited by reductionism in many instances, and you recalled a few of them. In our essay we do take for granted an euristic power of reductionism. However, ehat we wanted to point out is that reductionism (and even more its stronger form of physicalism) is not necessarily the best research program to be pursued, because it can prevent us from approaching theories more holistically. And we provide some evidences from the literature of anti-reductionist approaches. It is just a way to think less narrow, that it is in my opinion the way to get towards an understanding of the foundations, istead of merely separate systems in smaller and smaller or more and more (theoretically) elementary components.

Thank you again, and all the best,

Flavio and Chiara

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David Lyle Peterson wrote on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 21:35 GMT
I liked your essay showing the interesting facet of the foundations problem – progress by overcoming older beliefs such as local realism (LR), simultaneity, and one could add belief in left-right parity P (violated for weak interactions) leaving the product CPT as a likely goal of “fundamental constraint” (FC). Perhaps one could also add a prejudice of the “unreality” of wave-function represented by complex and hypercomplex variables separately from (or prior to) Born Rule actualization (psi-star-psi). Protein folding is also interesting—such as left handed amino-acids making right handed alpha-helices misfolding to beta sheets. Proteins have so much complexity that it seems hard to avoid a landscape having many possible energy minima for foldings.

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jan. 20, 2018 @ 20:21 GMT
Dear Flavio Del Santo and Chiara Cardelli,

I read with great interest your extremely deep essay on the problem of fundamentality in natural scientific knowledge and your conclusions on a new methodology for finding a reliable support for knowledge, a higher form of a philosophical approach to the fundamental problems of natural science with the aim of overcoming the crisis of interpretation and representation, the crisis of methodology , the crisis of understanding. Great essay. My highest score. Yes, indeed, it's time to "demolishing prejudices to get to the foundations".

Successes in the contest!

Yours faithfully,

Vladimir

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 20, 2018 @ 21:14 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

thank you som much for your very kind words. I really appreciate them!

I posted my commments to your thread already.

I really wish you the best of luck for the contest.

With my best regards,

Flavio

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DIOGENES AYBAR wrote on Jan. 21, 2018 @ 14:28 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara

Your essay is a very high quality work, mainly as a critique of the physical sciences for determining what is fundamental.

A very in depth discussion of the Popperian falsificationism, as applied and adapted by physicists in different frontiers of physics.

It is a very good methodological application of epistemology for “demolishing the prejudices” implicit in the construction and falsification of scientific theories in physics.

But it ends abruptly without constructing or proposing an epistemological methodology for establishing what is and what is not fundamental in science, avoiding the biases of reductionism and implicitly accepted traditional conceptions. This would have made a superb closing for this essay.

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 12:50 GMT
Dear Mr. Aybar,

thank you for your comments.

You are indeed write that we do not propose a new methodology that can open up frontiers even more.

What we showed is that (1) we should not rely on very intutive thought, that incorporate prejudices, a reductionist approach, and naive empiricism as a methodology. Falsificationism surely brought new ways of testing a new variety of phenomena.

We will anyway take your suggestion to further develop our ideas.

Best wishes,

Flavio

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 11:58 GMT
Dear Del Santo and Cardelli,

Your paper is very well written. Your focus on no-go theorems with respect to quantum mechanics is a good overview of that area. It is as you indicate the case that modern physics does lean on such ideas. In relativity there is something similar with the invariance of the interval that gives a “no-go” theorem result that information and matter must move at...

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 12:58 GMT
Dear Mr. Crowell,

thank you for your appreciation.

As I state in the essay I strongly believe that results such as no-signaling theorem and its relativistic analogous no-fast-than-light-movement are the most fundamental that we have so far. They might change and be surpassed, possibly in different methodological framework (but who knows?). The fact that such constrains arise from different theories, are surely a fuerther evidence of fundamentality, in my opinion.

I was not aware of the connectionof no-cloning with relativity that you point out. I will have a look at it.

I look forward to read your essay. Very many thanks once again for your kind remarks.

I wish you success,

Flavio

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John-Erik Persson wrote on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 13:07 GMT
Chiara and Flavio

Your idea that we should look for very basic assumptions and prejudices is in good agreement to my article. I regard the confusion in physics to be started before Einstein and even before Lorentz and in reality due to Stokes.

I therefore think that it would be very interesting to here your opinions about my article. So, I hope that you will take a look at Fundamental Errors in Physics.

Regards from ______________ John-Erik Persson

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Francesco D'Isa wrote on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 15:13 GMT
Dear Del Santo and Cardelli,

I found your essay very interesting, systematic and well written, and voted it very high, congratulations. Sadly I was lost in the §3.1 due the lack of mathematical tools – my formation is in philosophy.

Anyway, you wrote that "the search for foundations is a dynamical process that aims at removing “philosophical prejudices” by means of empirical falsification.". I was wondering, could we consider also "empirical falsification" like a possible philosophical prejudice?

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 16:31 GMT
Deat Mr. D'Isa,

thank you for your very kind comments.

It could well be the case that falsification is not the definitive methodology (and indeed, as you know even better than I do, most of modern philosophers of science do not adhere to falsificationism). What our essay tries to show is that within falsificationism we can strive for a systematic demolition of prejudices in our theories. And also with our examples we support the idea that falsificationism is what scientists are doing every day (or at least what they are convinced to do). But surely, a different methodology can lead to possibly surpass this.

However, if is the empirical part that you would like to remove, than I cannot agree, because otherwise we are not doing natural science: we can do mathematics, art, or any kind of beautiful and imaginative activities, but that have nothing to do with the "world".

I will read soon also your essay, that is in my list of the ones worth reading.

Thank you again, and I wish you the best of luck!

Flavio

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Francesco D'Isa replied on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 20:33 GMT
Dear Flavio,

thank you for your reply. I understand your point, and as I said I find your theory useful and well argument. I agree that within falsificationism we can strive for a systematic demolition of prejudices in our theories.

I have to partially disagree in what you said in the last part of your comment: it's true that empirical facts are necessary to natural science, but it's not true in my opinion that mathematics, art or other disciplines have nothing to do or to say (and I mean something true) about the world, even if within different languages. But maybe I misunderstood your statement.

Thank you again, I wish you luck! In bocca al lupo (by your names it looks like you are Italian) ;)

Francesco

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 23:02 GMT
Dear Francesco,

thanks for your further reply.

Surely I didn't mean that maths is useless or meaningless in natural science. Far from me this! I only meant that is somethnig different, but I think we pretty much agree.

I am reading your essay and will comment in the dedicated page.

Crepi il lupo! And in bocca al lupo anche a te!

Flavio

p.s.

Sono nato e cresciuto a Firenze, dove vedo che tu hai studiato

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Gregory Derry wrote on Jan. 23, 2018 @ 18:34 GMT
Flavio and Chiara--

I found your essay very interesting and stimulating. Although your essay is more rigorous and technical than mine, we actually cover some of the same ground and arrive at some similar conclusions (e.g. about the limits of reductionism). Also, in addition to being less formal, my essay argues for some conclusions that are a bit different than those you argue for here. I hope you will have a chance to read my essay and comment on it, I'd be interested in your analysis.

Meanwhile, I have a few brief comments on your essay to offer some (hopefully) constructive criticism. Regarding what you call "fundamental constraints," my issue is that I don't believe that we can establish those reliably. Historically, what seemed like a fundamental constraints in one time period was sometimes found to not be so--how can we know what we don't know? Regarding Popper, it's true that philosophers dispute his approach and that scientists typically quote him approvingly, but I disagree with the contention that scientists behave in accordance with Popper's dictums. If you examine what scientist do instead of what they say, you find very little to support Popper. For a more sophisticated alternative view, I think Polanyi was a much better thinker. On a related note, it seems like you are not taking into account at all the Quine-Duhem thesis and underdetermination more generally. Well, I'll leave it at those comments for now. Thanks.

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 24, 2018 @ 10:14 GMT
Dear Gregory,

many thanks for your kind words, and for the very interesting end relevant comments.

About 'fundamental constraints', you write "I don't believe that we can establish those reliably". Indeed, as I point out several time, this is a methodology-dependent definition. What is important is actually that we have defined a dynamical process that is irriversible, due to the falsification (so far accepted methodology in some form). As I showed, the problem with phenomena the likes of violation of no-signaling theorem would violate a cause-effect relation and, as such, they undermine the very possibility of empirically test them. However, I do not exclude that a possible methodology beyond falsificationism can in principle test such constraints and remove them. But until there is the most fundamental we can think of.

About your statement: "If you examine what scientist do instead of what they say, you find very little to support Popper", I actually agree in some cases (not always, though). However, in my essay "We just assume as a working hypothesis

- build upon a number of instances - that this is what scientists do, or at least what they are convinced to do: this is enough to lead them to pursue certain (theoretical) directions." What I mean by this is that scientists actively propose their line of reseach with an aim and a (more or less consciously) methodology in mind, and this actually has tangible consequences on scince (i.e. my example of no-go theorems).

thank you again, and I will have a look at your essay soon.

Good luck!

Flavio

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Author Flavio Del Santo wrote on Jan. 24, 2018 @ 10:15 GMT
Dear Gregory,

many thanks for your kind words, and for the very interesting end relevant comments.

About 'fundamental constraints', you write "I don't believe that we can establish those reliably". Indeed, as I point out several time, this is a methodology-dependent definition. What is important is actually that we have defined a dynamical process that is irriversible, due to the...

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Jan. 25, 2018 @ 19:51 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara,

Thank you for a beautiful essay and well done criticism of some of the current prejudices in science. I agree with most of your criticism, including of conventionalism, reductionism, the pop-Popperianism which pervaded much of current research. Not that I would find the current situation wrong, I think that it was expected (1) since we departed so much of the...

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 26, 2018 @ 12:32 GMT
Dear Cristinel,

I am flattered by your kind words. Thank you for your very interesting comments.

As you have pointed, I accept indeed the descriptive, and not the normative, aspect of Popper's falsificationism. I truly believe that whether it is what scientist do or otherwise, their conviction is enough to lead them to pursue a falsificationist approach to foundations of science. No-go theorems are in my view the clear expression of this research program, they would not arise from simple inductive observations. And, in fact, falsificationism it is a deductive process that start with "bold conjectures" and as you highlight from mathematics. Then it requires as a final judje the experiment though, but I don't see a strong divergence between our views.

Thanks so much again.

I wish you the best of luck!

Flavio

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Ilja Schmelzer wrote on Jan. 27, 2018 @ 19:02 GMT
Interesting essay, but I have found something to object:

" forPopper, a statement is scientific if and only if it can be formulated in a way that the set of its possible falsifiers (in the form of single existential statements) is not empty"

I disagree because this misses the important distinction between particular statements and scientific theories. Particular statements are almost always unfalsifiable, to obtain falsifiable statements one needs complete theories, and (if one takes into account Quine's arguments for his holism) even a lot of different theories. Popper has discussed this somewhere in Conjectures and Refutations.

Then, there is no "impossibility of instantaneous signaling implied by both quantum formalism and special relativity". The impossibility is purely relativistic, non-relativistic QM has no limiting velocity.

"Indeed, a theory that would violate this condition allows for instantaneous signaling and it thus would mean a failure of the scientific method as we conceive it. It would be in principle not falsifiable"

This is wrong. Only a particular observation which falsifies relativity would not falsify this theory. The theory could make a lot of other falsifiable predictions. For example, such superluminal signaling would define a preferred frame. A natural falsifiable prediction would be that this is the CMBR frame.

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Jan. 29, 2018 @ 12:07 GMT
Dear Schmelzer,

let me start replying from the most unfortunate of your comments. You say:

"Then, there is no "impossibility of instantaneous signaling implied by both quantum formalism and special relativity". The impossibility is purely relativistic, non-relativistic QM has no limiting velocity."

What you say is just wrong. The no-signaling theorem, which I have illustraded in my assay too, is derived ONLY using the non-relativistic quantum formalism. It proves that QM lies within the boundaries of instantaneuos signaling. Your comment that make use of the word "velocity" is obviously inappropriate because it is clear that I never made any claim on speed limits, but on the possibility of having instantaneous signals.

Also your comments on Popper's I think are based on some common misconceptions, but I will comment separately on them.

Regards,

Flavio Del Santo

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jan. 29, 2018 @ 23:02 GMT
Hi Flavio Del Santo

Hi Chiara Cardelli

Wonderful demonstration… “how the current scientific methodology entails a certain kind of research for foundations of science, which are here regarded as insurmountable limitations.” to get to the foundations dears Flavio Del Santo and Chiara Cardelli……..….. very nice idea…. I highly appreciate your essay and hope for...

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William C. McHarris wrote on Jan. 30, 2018 @ 18:54 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara,

What a lovely and insightful essay! We have reached remarkably similar conclusions. I have written more extensively in reply to your comments on my essay, "Reductionism Is Not Fundamental."

A few additional comments: I was especially impressed by your treatment of Bell-type theorems, which you have done very elegantly and philosophically. In addition, I read and studied your arXiv paper on the new no-go theorem, your ref. [30]. It is exactly the type of "outside the box" thinking that modern theory needs.

And Chiara, your algorithm for the correct folding of proteins is fascinating. It's neat that you can get a reasonable M just with directionality added to the toy blocks. Does adding additional characteristics of specific amino acids, such as the potential for hydrogen bonding, limit the value of M to one or a few "correct structures? Organic and/or biochemists should like your model, for they are adept at playing with realistic toy structures.

All in all, a very impressive piece of work.

Cheers,

Bill

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 3, 2018 @ 15:50 GMT
Dear Bill,

Very many thanks for your very flattering words, and all the incisive comments! Thank you also for having read and appreciated our respective works in general, as well.

Regarding the biophysics part, the introduction of directionality reduces the number of accessible structures M, but it is always the sequence that selects one unique native structure among these. In natural proteins, the extra constraints introduced by the protein backbone, and the hydrogen bonds (our directional potential is alreay the one commonly used to model hydrogen bonds in computational models) reduce M and then the sequence selects one native structure among the M structures.

I really wish you success for the contest!

With kindest regards,

Chiara and Flavio

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Theodore St. John wrote on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 13:35 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara,

I very much enjoyed reading your essay. Your grasp of the topic is impressive and your essay is the most intelligent one I have read so far.

Throughout my years of education in physics, electrical and radiological engineering I have appreciated the fact that curriculum is presented in “a building block” fashion because it is easier to learn, but I agree...

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 3, 2018 @ 11:02 GMT
Dear Theodore,

thanks so much for your appreciative comments. I totally agree that it is very difficult to put together a very innovative and critical viewpoint that radically challenge the established knowledge. It was Max Plank, a very conservative physicist (and person) who realised that "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

I will gladly have a look at your essay soon.

All the best,

Flavio

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Theodore St. John replied on Feb. 4, 2018 @ 17:37 GMT
Here is a link to my essay.

“A Simple Model For Integrating Quantum And Relativistic Physics with application to the evolution of consciousness by Theodore St. John”

I've only received 2 ratings so I'd appreciate it if you would rate it (I have rated yours).

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 16:19 GMT
Dear Fellow Essayists

This will be my final plea for fair treatment.,

FQXI is clearly seeking to find out if there is a fundamental REALITY.

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 must consist 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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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 3, 2018 @ 13:19 GMT
Fisher,

is maybe the tenth time you write your more or less copied and pasted sentence (as you did with most of the authors) that has no meaning to me.

Please, if you really wish to keep posting, contribute to the discussion in a reasonable and constructive way.

Regards,

Flavio Del Santo

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George Gantz wrote on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 22:13 GMT
A brilliant paper, thank you! You have demonstrated a rigorous process for challenging philosophical prejudices (what I refer to as articles of faith in "Faith is Fundamental") with empirical and theoretic falsification. You have specifically debunked the prejudice of non-directionality or, as I put it, the faith in randomness. Interestingly, although you have not discussed it, this specifically calls into question the key premises of the multiverse theory. I agree, and believe that a variety of scientific findings in the past century in physics, life sciences and complexity have increasingly demonstrated a directionality or purposefulness in the cosmic evolutionary process.

I would suggest however, that there are also logical constraints to the empirical enterprise. There are features of our universe that are self-referential, specifically invoking the logical limits of Godellian incompleteness. Under this constraint, there are categories of propositions that are not falsifiable. Certain things need to be accepted on faith - but we should be clear about our faith and humble about the possibility that we are wrong.

Many thanks - George Gantz

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 3, 2018 @ 10:55 GMT
Dear Mr. Gantz,

thank you for your kind words.

I have to admit from the start that "faith" is a word that does not belong to my vocabulary, being the antithesis of critical thinking that should animate not only science but society as well.

However, I don't want to judge your work on a prejudicial basis, so I will read it and comment on the dedicated section.

All good wishes,

FLavio

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Terry Bollinger wrote on Feb. 1, 2018 @ 04:23 GMT
Flavio Del Santo and Chiara Cardelli,

Let me ask you about a very specific physics example to see if I am correctly understanding (part) of the intent of your essay:

Mathematically, regular space (xyz) and momentum space (pxpypz) are extraordinarily symmetric in terms of them being Fourier transforms of each other, and in terms of their importance in...

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 3, 2018 @ 13:16 GMT
Dear Terry Bollinger,

thank you for your interesting comments. However, I don't really see the example that you consider in detatail as very representative of my proposal. It seems that what you are proposing is to switch from a mathematical description to another, but this barely have anything to do with fundamental science. I would also not claim that space is fundamental. My idea is much more based on hypothesis testing and it does not give any importance to the (mathematical, but not necessarily) structure used to describe and predict phenomena to be tested. Actually, I think that what you propose is done on a regular basis in quantum mechanics, when the freedom of choice of the basis allows one to use the momenta or the positions basis interchangeably.

All the best,

Flavio

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Terry Bollinger wrote on Feb. 4, 2018 @ 04:23 GMT
Flavio, thanks. Your response clearly answers my main question: I clearly do not have even a clue what you are really talking about! Yours is still one of the most cogent essays I've read here, though. Good luck --Cheers, Terry Bollinger

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 4, 2018 @ 11:14 GMT
Well, I a sorry to hear that you are so puzzled by my essay, which basically makes a trivial point. Scientists believe to use, or actually use (this doesn't change much) falsificationism as their methodology. That is, they discard stateements on the basis of empirical tests. What I am saying is that this particular methodology allows, to a certain extent, to test the fundamental assumptions, which are the postulates of a theory, often coming from a philosophical prjudice like the assumption of determinism, or a strong form of realism. The way one formalises the postulates, being mathematics or not, is not of prime interest here.

All the best,

Flavio

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Terry Bollinger wrote on Feb. 4, 2018 @ 10:43 GMT
Flavio,

After re-reading your (for me) puzzling response, I should emphasize that the intent was that even for a tool as widely used as the momentum wave function, unconscious biases can inhibit the range of hypotheses generated. I used math symmetries as one of many possible sources of hypotheses, and I used the physics of spaces only as an example.

Cheers, Terry Bollinger

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Terry Bollinger wrote on Feb. 4, 2018 @ 21:52 GMT
Flavio,

I’m not sure our views are all that different? What I call foundation messages in my essay (topic 3099), by which I mean the invariant realities imposed by the universe independently of anything we as human think or say, do not seem to be much different from your foundation constraints. The main difference in our approaches is that I suggest using an information-theory approach to uncovering and discarding human biases. That has the advantage of transforming them into “noise” with quantifiable metrics. Human self-examination in contrast is always a tricky business, and I say that as someone who knows the state of human cognition research pretty well (it was part of my day job).

The best example in your essay of falsifying a philosophical stand is John Bell’s inequality. But ironically, in Speakable and Unspeakable Bell asserts that he was able to derive his inequality only through the clarity of thought provided by his own version of the pilot wave model, which was both local and deterministic. Implementation of your strategy thus would seem at least partially dependent on having a vibrant complex ecology of diverse but individually biased researchers with enough enthusiasm (and luck) to create such tests.

Finally, your paper (ref 30) on one-particle, two-way correlation is pretty fascinating. I gather it requires a conventional c-limited channel to validate the correlation.

Cheers, Terry

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 22:36 GMT
Flavio and Chiara,

Certainly we must make clear that searching for the fundamental involves "Demolishing prejudices to get to the foundations." Even the dominate theories like the Big Bang and the Standard Theory must be taken as theories and not override what the process of discovery focuses on as your reductionism and methodology sections point out. As my essay develops I point out the same cautions but not as emphatically as you do. Many times the expectations of looking for habitable exoplanets are constrained by the solar system we know. The Jupiter probe -- I pointed out -- revealed surprises to scientists. Your biophysics sections touched on bio studies that might not have seen the discovery of quantum coherence in warm, wet, turbulent systems such as plants in photosynthesis. Hope you get a chance to check mine out. Your essay rates highly in clearly showing the unencumbered road to fundamentalism.

Jim Hoover

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 8, 2018 @ 00:41 GMT
Dear Jim,

thanks very much for toyr kind comments. I look forward to reading your own essay and possibly draw a parallel between our views, as you have anticipated.

All good wishes,

Flavio

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Feb. 8, 2018 @ 23:21 GMT
Dear Flavio,

Thank you for reading my essay and commenting. Your invited me to read your essay and compare and contrast. It's difficult for me to summarize in a few words. My last essay, The Nature of Mind, offers nine pages that address the issue of intuition, which you appear down on. You seem to lump determinism and absolute simultaneity, local realism and conservation laws into the...

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 9, 2018 @ 14:52 GMT
Dear Mr. Klingman

Thank you for having found the time to go through my essay and for your remarks.

It is maybe a bit simplistic to say that I lump "determinism and absolute simultaneity, local realism and conservation laws into the same category of 'prejudice'". I propose a way to regard our more rooted assumptions as questionable, without being scared of doing it. The word 'prejudice' made several people uneasy, but is more of a provocations, and I have taken it from a nice quotation by Feyerabend, while speaking of determinism.

Some have understood my essay as if I stanchly stood on a anti-realistic position: it is not so. I think I have pointed out some problems in a naive form of realism, that's it.

About Bell's inequalities, I am afraid we completely disagree on the importance and scope of these findings. You seem to point out some kind of inconsistency between the spin-1/2 and the photon experiment, if I get it correctly, but I don't think there is any. Bell's inequalities are something striking, and this must be understood. What are they telling us? This is the subject of the debate.

Thank you again for your consideration.

All good wishes,

Flavio

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Christian Corda wrote on Feb. 9, 2018 @ 10:38 GMT
Dear Flavio (and Chiara),

Thanks for inviting me to read your very interesting and provocative Essay. I find it contains very wise advices. Here are some comments:

1) I think that insurmountable limitations are due not only to “philosophical prejudices” as you correctly stress, but also to the issue that, today, science is sadly dominated by politics.

2) I am essentially a physicist of gravitation. Personally, I have various doubts on emergent gravity. This is NOT in contrast with your point of view expressed here, but with the issue that gravity is considered to not be fundamental in the emergent gravity framework. I think that it should be, instead, the fundamental field of the Universe, which goes even beyond quantum theory.

3) I appreciate your discussion on Popper. This great philosopher has been exploited too often.

4) Your agreement with Bohm that “scientists generally apply the scientific method, more or less intuitively” is also my agreement.

5) Congrats for your nice explanation of Bell’s inequality. In general, it is not a simple task and there are various people who still make a lot of confusion on this issue.

In general, I have found your Essay remarkable and very entertaining. It deserves my highest score. Congrats and good luck in the Contest.

Cheers, Ch.

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 9, 2018 @ 15:00 GMT
Dear Christian,

Thanks very much for your kind words and your support!

I answer to some of your point in order:

1) Surely I am not following Popper in his somehow naive view of a Logic of scientific progress, which pre-assumes a complete honesty of scientists and no interference by other parties. Surely historical, social and political environment is a decisive factor for the developement of science.

2) I have not strong arguments neither for nor against emergence of gravity. I just mentioned it among the many possible instances that might show a crisis of the reduction ad libitum.

5) Thank you for this. I know that still Bell's inequalities are not understood also by a great number of professional physicists.

I wish you the best of luck for the contest!

All good wishes,

Flavio

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Author Flavio Del Santo wrote on Feb. 9, 2018 @ 19:00 GMT
Dear Luca,

thanks for spending time on our essay, and for the very interesting comments.

I could't be more sympathetic with your statement "some sort of realism has to be maintained", in fact I definitely call myself a realist. We can maybe reject some form of realism on a scientific and not on a metaphysical basis. It could be an utopistic proposal, but I think that no-go theorems provided many new insights on this.

I also agree that reductionism is a "successful working hypothesis", and surely it had a tremendous heuristic power as I explicitly pointed out. However it might be very reductiove to take it as the starting point, and not even try new way. They are going to be more complicated, and maybe less elegant, but still.

That "there is no observation, that is independent of any theory" is partly true. We always assume a theory before designing a crucial experiment, and in doing so we put it to the test. However, the operational approach (operationalism), that surely is in a positivistic spirit, but at the same time compatible with falsificationism, allow to formulate what I describe in my essay as device-independent formulations. We can thus take the falsification of a certain assumption as granted for the theories to come.

Thank you again for your thorough remarks.

With my best wishes,

Flavio

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 10, 2018 @ 10:52 GMT
This reply was written in response to very valuable critical remarks by Luca Valeri. These have been erased by someone, probably reporting them se inappropriate, although they were not only appropriate, but interesting and thorough. It is a shame that someone felt like erasing them.

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George Gantz wrote on Feb. 10, 2018 @ 21:31 GMT
To the authors -

Thanks for a brilliant and erudite essay, seeking to establish a philosophically grounded procedure for eliminating philosophical prejudices from the fields of science. After all is said and done, however, I'm not sure I see what has been accomplished. We are left with FC in every field. And while anti-proof through falsification of no-go theorems is helpful to eliminate unwarranted philosophical prejudices, it it not the only way. I propose a rather more simple and transparent process - take a hard look at the "tenets of faith" (unprovable yet necessary postulates) that guide our thinking, our theories and our techniques. Reductionism, scientism, determinism, and the denial of agency (fundamental to the multiverse theory) may all be self-consistent, but they get in the way of productive advances in our understanding and should be thrown out.

Many thanks for your challenge to conventional thinking. It is indeed time to get out of the box. - George Gantz

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 01:02 GMT
Dear George Gantz,

thank you very much for the appreciation.

I am going to read your essay now, and comment on it in the dedicated page.

Best of luck for the contest!

Flavio

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Terry Bollinger wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 04:02 GMT
Flavio,

It might be worth mentioning an example where an experimental test, if it can be defined, could distinguish between two very different philosophical perspectives:

(a) Einstein's block universe, where the idea of "now" is an illusion, with all of the past and future already existing as a "block", and

(b) Minority theories in which "now" is real. These are not popular...

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 17:21 GMT
Flavio,

Plenty to say, but nothing more appropriate than "well done"! Deserving of a prize, publishable now.

Since we share the same view of falsification, I hope we can have a later discussion of Popper's take on probability theory.

For now, congratulations. My essay.

All best,

Tom

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 19:42 GMT
Dear Tom,

I am flattered by your kind words.

I have read your essay already and rated it some days ago, being glad that we share several ideas.

I'll be glad to discuss Popper's probability theory with you, any time (I assume you refer to his "propensity interpretation").

Best of luck with your essay,

Flavio

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 17:24 GMT
Flavio and Chiara,

I feel every concept contributes to an understanding of “fundamental,” so I am reviewing my own sketchy evaluations to help my understanding and see if I have rated them. I find that I rated yours on 2/7 reflecting my high regard for your contribution. Hope you get a chance to check out mine.

Jim

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 19:29 GMT
Dear Mr. Hoover,

thanks for writing. I have indeed read your essay, and now commented on the dedicated thread.

All the best,

Flavio

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 18:16 GMT
Flavio and Chiara,

I saw you had some critical comments but you are still doing very well on the leader board so it must have been healthy criticism. I will offer some criticism in the same spirit.

You say that "... the reductionist program has failed even within physics alone, not

having so far being capable to unify the fundamental forces ..." This seems a little harsh....

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 23:35 GMT
Dear Madam or Sir (the post was anonymous),

thanks for your valuable comments.

I seem to have indeed been harsh towards reductionism, but my blame was merely on those physicists who take reductionism as the ONLY way. This seemed to me an unnecessary assumption to start a genuine scientific investigation towards what is fundamental. So, I am not keen on any particular counter argument against reductionism, I was just trying to show that there are several ones in the contemporary literature, and that we don't have to be for ever trapped in the reductionist framework.

I agree with your comment that "[theorists] have forgotten that most science from biology upwards requires some extra information about the environment and cannot be derived uniquely from the underlying physics."

For what concern you including me in the "popperazzi" (a rather offensive word for what I can judge from a fast research on google: "popperazzi, i.e. rather unthinking followers of the philosopher Karl Popper") I don't think you have the element to say so just because of the fact that I "say a lot about falsification". If you read carefully my assay you would find the following passage: "We are here not concerned with the justification of falsificationism as the right methodology to aspire to; we avoid any normative judgment. We just assume as a working hypothesis - build upon a number of instances - that this is what scientists do, or at least what they are convinced to do: this is enough to lead them to pursue certain (theoretical) directions."

And this, at least partly, answers your last question as well; although methodology is a convention and deals with epistemology only, different methodologies allow indeed the "emergence" of certain theoretical lines of research. What i pointed out are examples of no-go theorems in QM, or novel research in biophysics, that would have not been put forward in a purely empirical framework.

Thank you again for the interesting and intelligent remarks.

All good wishes,

Flavio

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 22:46 GMT
Flavio & Chiara,

This is an excellent essay. You write clearly and use appropriate supporting quotations. Empirical falsification is the very backbone of science and you show how to combine it with philosophy to produce testable questions. The bit about amino acids at the end was a nice touch.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 23:15 GMT
Dear Mr. Simpson,

very many thanks for your support.

We have already read, appreciated, and voted your essay several days ago.

Besto of luck for the contest,

Flavio and Chiara

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Gary Valentine Hansen wrote on Feb. 12, 2018 @ 02:54 GMT
Hello Flavio and Chiara,

I appreciate that your perceptions regarding what qualifies an entity to bear recognition as being ‘fundamental’ significantly departs from ‘commonly accepted views’.

What is surprising to me is that many more thoughtful people don’t accept a broader span of possibilities than the ‘bottom-up construction or top-down reduction of fundamental entities’.

The reason, I suggest, is that other questions require to be asked and answered prior to engaging in the search for any fundamental unit. One cannot reasonably expect to define what constitutes a fundamental principle or part until one has clearly identified a context within which one can then proceed with the search.

Understanding this contingent requirement necessarily admits the prospect of there being as many ‘fundamentals’ as there are contexts within which one can proceed.

Physics is a very broad subject, some may say an all-inclusive subject, but how physics relates to the mind, to memory, to ideas, to beliefs, to judgements, to decisions, to time and space, to God, etc., to mention just a few subjects, is not very clear. In the absence of clarity I prefer to step further back to embrace all-there-is, the physical and the abstract, in search of what is the most fundamental prerequisite to enable all-there-is, regardless of form, to be.

The FQXi question What is “Fundamental?” invites a singular response; otherwise the question would be framed: What are “Fundamental?” Thus I am led to my singular fundamental conclusion: ‘Existence’ is the prerequisite for all else.

Good luck. You are well on your way to happy days!

Gary.

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 12, 2018 @ 17:48 GMT
Dear Gary,

thanks for the very kind words. I think we agree on many points, judging from your comments. I have your essay on my reading list, and I will comment and rate it soon.

I wish you the best of luck!

Flavio

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 12, 2018 @ 15:28 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara,

Much enjoyed reading your essay, seemed very professional, organized, and informative.

My sense in the first section is that you don't give balance to reductionism and emergence, seem to rule out the possibility that with a satisfactory QM one might arrive at wavefunctions who interactions yield calculable emergence at larger scales. Given the detailed...

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peter cameron replied on Feb. 12, 2018 @ 15:43 GMT
apologies for the anonymous tag on the previous post. Thought I was logged in while commenting.

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 12, 2018 @ 17:46 GMT
Dear Mr. Cameron,

thanks for writing.

However, I find your (long) comments confusing and I think that they are based on several misunderstandings. It so seems that you have not quite got the main theses of my essay, yet they are childish simple.

I will try to make my argument almost trivial: what I propose is to reach the foundation through successive experimental (i.e. full of empirical content) falsifications. Obviously this allows only to rule out things, but it's the price one has to pay. We acquire new empirical content by removing assumption that we empirically falsify.

I hope this is clearer.

I just finish to read your essay, trying to figure out whether I could find there the answers to these misunderstandings on the empirical content, but I didn't. I will comment on the contents of your essay on the dedicate thread, though.

All the best,

FLavio

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peter cameron replied on Feb. 12, 2018 @ 20:11 GMT
Dear Flavio,

Thank you for the courtesy of your reply. My apologies for not being able to communicate my understanding clearly to you. Given that it arises from the mind of and old man, possibilities exist beyond nuance of a young horizon.

Your main theses are imo as you say, childish simple. They have been in my understanding for the greater portion of my life. My sense is that...

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peter cameron wrote on Feb. 12, 2018 @ 15:42 GMT
apologies for the anonymous tag on the previous post. Thought I was logged in while commenting.

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Feb. 13, 2018 @ 00:49 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara,

I like your attempt to separate “formulable theories” from “physical theories” by means of the latter’s empirical contents. To distinguish between philosophy and natural science, empirism is necessarily needed. Your attempt of turning the limits of science into a science of limits seems quite obvious for me, since every limit demarcates a distinction and...

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Wayne R Lundberg wrote on Feb. 13, 2018 @ 13:32 GMT
Dear Flavio,

I was enticed by your title but disappointed to find your philosophical objections to reductionism. While the particle physics community is VERY presumptuous of their 'dominant' role, it is not because of reductionism.

In fact, reductionism has not proposed a single theoretical development since the mid-80s (other than my own work...

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 14, 2018 @ 01:26 GMT
Dear Lundberg,

to be honest, I am not sure what the main poin of the criticism is. You are upset because of my critique of reductionism, that is in fact merely a more open minded position, an agnostic position towards reductionisim; anyway my doubts are argued on a reasonable number of historical examples from the literature. You write: "As such, while we agree that a "philosophical prejudice" must be broken down for real progress to be made, I am certain that your advice is off-target." Why is so? Because I have started saying that we do not necessarily need reductionism as a starting point for fundamental reaserch?

For what concern the rest of your comments on how "academia as a whole is rather biased against innovation, and rarely accepts new ideas from outside its clique" and furthermore "This contest is rather badly biased in its rules, which favor people in large academic institutions over innovators." I don't know why did you think it was approrpriate to post this under my essay, unless you are accusing me of being part of this allaged clique, for some reason.

You finish your outburst stessing that this bias "is quite evident in the results thus far, and in the fact that it rewards only philosophical writing".

Regarding this, I just want you to remind you of the guidelines of the contest; they give an easy answer to your concerns about 'philosophical writing': "This contest does not ask for new proposals about what some “fundamental” constituents of the universe are. Rather, it addresses what “fundamental” means,[...] While this topic is broad, successful essays will not use this breadth as an excuse to shoehorn in the author's pet topic, but will rather keep as their central focus the theme of the contest.

All the best,

Flavio

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Wayne R Lundberg replied on Feb. 17, 2018 @ 15:02 GMT
Flavio,

I thank you for your philosophical views. Such things do interest me.

My main point is that while you argue (very articulately) against reductionism -as a philosophy- the main proponents of such activities, meaning fellow particle theorists, aren't actually practicing it. Thus any aversion to a 'haughty' philosophical attitude toward other "approaches" which work well...

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Giovanni Prisinzano wrote on Feb. 13, 2018 @ 18:50 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara,

thank you for sharing your excellent essay, which I really appreciated! From the reading of it I can deduce that we share basic ideas and we see many problems from the same perspective, even if the methodology and the expository method we used are different. In particular, your contribution is much more detailed and informed on the scientific and epistemological literature and demonstrates first-hand knowledge in quantum mechanics. Thus, I think that your paper definitely deserves the consideration it has gained within the community and the public of the contest, to which I join with a very high evaluation.

My best wishes for everything,

Giovanni

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Author Flavio Del Santo replied on Feb. 14, 2018 @ 01:31 GMT
Dear Giovanni,

thanks so much for your kind words of appreciation.

As I wrote in the comment below your essay, I liked yours too.

Best of luck!

Flavio

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Member Markus P Mueller wrote on Feb. 14, 2018 @ 19:21 GMT
Dear Flavio,

wow, this is a great essay!

"At a naive stage of observation, our intuitive experience leads to the conviction that concepts the likes of determinism, absolute simultaneity, local realism, conservation laws (e.g. of parity) were a priori assumptions of scientific investigation. What it turns out, however, is that there is in principle no reason to pre-assume anything like that: they are mere "philosophical prejudices"."

I couldn't agree more. I've been holding this view for a long time, but you here express it, and argue for it, in a brillant way that I've never seen it before. Relating it to Popper, and illustrating it by example of quantum mechanics and biophysics (!) is really an excellent way to explain it.

There is another aspect to this insight that I'd love to discuss with you at some point. Namely, I think that it is just *a lot of fun* to "demolish philosophical prejudices" and to find that nature is different from what we thought in surprising and fascinating ways. I'm really wondering why large numbers of physicists and, in particular, philosophers devote their lives to finding a way to go back to the old prejudices (e.g. trying to build a naively realist interpretation of QM etc.). What do they find so attractive about that?

Anyways - congrats for a great essay!

Markus

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Feb. 15, 2018 @ 03:52 GMT
Flavio, Chiara,

You raise some important issues, which could be considered in other fields as well.

Cosmology, for instance, has totally ignored Popperism, as any gap between theory and observation is filled with some enormous new force of nature and all non-cosmologists assume some great discovery has been made, not that any underlaying theory has been falsified.

Before...

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 15, 2018 @ 03:56 GMT
Do NOT spend....

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peter cameron replied on Feb. 15, 2018 @ 11:09 GMT
Dear John, Flavio, Chiara,...

love the way dialogs evolve in the fqxi competition/collaboration format.

Came back to 'Demolishing Prejudices' to reply to a different thread and got caught by 'Do NOT spend...'. Being closely related to oppositional defiant disorders, i was immediately in.

takedown of cosmology and inflation is excellent, thank you. That it leads to...

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 15, 2018 @ 11:40 GMT
Peter,

I'll have to read your entry when I get back from work. I did address Dark Matter as well in my own entry. That possibly gravity is the entire spectrum of wave collapse, starting with the photon effect, so that mass is more an effect of gravity, then that gravity is a property of mass. So the Dark Matter effect is due to it extending throughout the radio and light spectrum.

Think of galaxies as cosmic convection cycles and mass is precipitating inward, as radiation expands out.

I could take this relationship much further, such as society being the dichotomy of social and biological energies expanding out, as cultural, political and civil structures contract inward. Remember we evolved entirely within this thermodynamic environment and so it makes sense to consider it might also permeate every aspect of our existence.

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Kamal L Rajpal wrote on Feb. 19, 2018 @ 10:24 GMT
Dear Flavio Del Santo and Chiara Cardelli,

I read with interest your views in, 3.1 Foundations of quantum mechanics.

QM claims that an electron can be both spin-up and spin-down at the same time. In my conceptual physics Essay on Electron Spin, I have proved that this is not true. Please read: https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3145 or https://fqxi.org/data/essay-contest-files/Rajpal_1306.0141v3
.pdf

Kamal Rajpal

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Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on Feb. 21, 2018 @ 10:52 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara,

I highly appreciate your beautifully written essay.

I completely agree with you. «the search for foundations is a dynamical process that aims at removing “philosophical prejudices” by means of empirical falsification».

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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Steven Andresen wrote on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 13:42 GMT
Dear Flavio, Chiara

If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the final days of the contest, will you consider mine please?

A couple of days in and semblance of my essay taking form, however the house bound inactivity was wearing me. I had just the remedy, so took off for a solo sail across the bay. In the lea of cove, I had underestimated the open water wind...

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Gregory Derry wrote on Feb. 25, 2018 @ 23:30 GMT
Flavio--

As you may recall, you indicated a few weeks ago that you were interested in offering some feedback on my essay. I am hoping that you will still have time to do that, as I'd be interested in your comments. Thanks.

--Greg

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Member Noson S. Yanofsky wrote on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 03:42 GMT
Dear Flavio and Chiara,

Thank you for commenting on my paper and for your excellent paper.

It is nice to see a modern appreciation of Popperism. While I am not sure most of modern science and engineering really work with Popper's falsifiability in mind, you make some very valid points.

I like your discussion of no-go theorems. I would like to point out a paper that I published with Adam Brandenburger. The paper is titled "A Classification of Hidden-Variable Properties". You can find it here: https://arxiv.org/abs/0711.4650

We actually form Venn Diagrams like you that show what is and is not possible.

Once again, thanks for an excellent essay.

All the best,

Noson Yanofsky

,

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corciovei silviu wrote on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 10:16 GMT
Mr. Del Santo,

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

Rated accordingly.

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

Respectfully,

[linkfqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3130]Silviu

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Ulla Marianne Mattfolk wrote on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 18:29 GMT
Hi,

You say:

On the contrary, we believe, with David Bohm, that “the notion that everything is, in principle, reducible to physics [is] an unproved assumption, which is capable of limiting our thinking in such a way that we are blinded to the possibility of whole new classes of fact and law”, [5].

and emergentism, consciousness as Essentials from complex (relations) systems.

I have started to Think that emergence and complexity also may be fundamental 'forces' or laws. It can be the law that rule evolution? I was happy to find Susskind is thinking of this as a quantum force. It sounds odd that a linear quantum equation would be a law of emergence, but in QM is also entanglement, uncertainty etc, and together they might form the Law. One basic fundamental in it would be consciousness, maybe. Something we yet cannot define properly. Intention is also not defined yet. Still every scientist use those charachters in their work.

How can we find new Laws? Often it happens by accident, like the p-adic pattern found. We don't push science toward finding new Laws.

Also, we have no clue about the evolution of new laws, if they evolve, or show up as new phenomena, and it relates again to emergentism.

Good essay.

Ulla Mattfolk.

https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3093

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Gary Valentine Hansen wrote on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 22:54 GMT
Hello Flavio,

Congratulations! You appear to be more than qualified to enter the final phase.

On February 12th. you noted 'I have your essay on my reading list, and I will comment and rate it soon.'

Can you find a few moments to do so on this, the final day open for comments?

I would like to believe that I can be boosted back to the high point of my ranking at 6.8, but something is happening on the last day that suggests that some authors may be desperate enough to downgrade others in expectation that they can raise their own relative standing.

In any event, it has been a most enjoyable and edifying experience.

Good luck.

Gary

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Sue Lingo wrote on Mar. 3, 2018 @ 21:34 GMT
Hi Flavio and Chiara...

Semantic issues are fundamental to verbalization by the theoretician and mathematical equationist, and the necessity for a clear distinction between logic reduction and accelerated particle annihilation has emerged in the FQXi community quest to resolve "What is fundamental?"... i.e. anti-reductionism as a "philosophical prejudice" should be qualified.

Would...

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Mar. 5, 2018 @ 19:14 GMT
Del Santo, Cardelli,

Excellent essay, right on the subject, well argued and informative.

Physics is the study of our experience of the universe. In that sense, We are fundamental to physics and science. Our mental and physical limitations are the boundaries that define our reality. When physics move beyond those boundaries (and associated philosophical prejudices), it shows a partial picture of the underlying reality in the form of this weirdness found in QM and GR. But this does not go far enough since the observer is still part of the process.

The process of science is to acquire knowledge of “how” things happen on the simple “need to know basis”. The universe, on the other hand, has no such need. All the universe requires is some stuff to support its existence and some cause or reason “why” it does what it does.

Asking a logical “why” question removes the observer while requiring a logical system with its own boundaries. My essay tackles this “why” question and therefore sits a bit outside the prescribed subject of the essay contest. In it, the substance carries the causality ... What level of realism is this?

Marcel,

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John-Erik Persson wrote on Mar. 13, 2018 @ 18:37 GMT
Flavio & Chiara

Thanks for discussions.

If you read this you may also be interested in my last blog at:

blog

Best regards from _________ John-Erik Persson

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