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It From Bit or Bit From It
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Peter Jackson: on 2/26/18 at 17:07pm UTC, wrote Jose, You make a brave and well founded "..attempt to formalize a concept...

Jose Koshy: on 2/24/18 at 5:40am UTC, wrote Dear Steven, I remember that last year we have had some discussions. Your...

Jose Koshy: on 2/24/18 at 5:07am UTC, wrote Dear Silviu, Thank you for the comments. I will go through your essay...

Jose Koshy: on 2/24/18 at 5:04am UTC, wrote Dear Fedorov, Thank you for the comments. I have been busy with some...

Steven Andresen: on 2/23/18 at 13:10pm UTC, wrote Dear Jose If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the...

corciovei silviu: on 2/23/18 at 11:38am UTC, wrote Very nice logical journey Mr. Koshy. I fully enjoyed and I think further...

Vladimir Fedorov: on 2/21/18 at 7:44am UTC, wrote Dear Jose, Here we are again all together. I highly appreciate your...

Jose Koshy: on 2/17/18 at 14:15pm UTC, wrote Dear Rajpal, The first law of motion is actually a mathematical statement...


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FQXi FORUM
August 25, 2019

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: Fundamentalism as a metaphysical concept by Jose P. Koshy [refresh]
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Author Jose P. Koshy wrote on Jan. 18, 2018 @ 19:18 GMT
Essay Abstract

Fundamentalism, the belief that there exists some irreducible basic truths in anything connected with nature, has existed for a very long time. But its significance as a distinct metaphysical concept has not been properly analyzed so far. FQXi now offers the rare opportunity for this. This essay is an attempt to formalize 'a concept of fundamentalism', which can be defined as follows: “Any field of knowledge has some fundamentals, based on which everything in that field can be logically explained, and so by identifying the fundamentals, we can arrive at the truth”.

Author Bio

Doing independent research in theoretical physics. Proponent of 'Finiteness Theory' an alternate model based on the hypotheses that motion (at speed 'c') is a property of matter, and force is reaction to motion. Finiteness Theory is a 'Theory of Everything', the first of its kind that presents a 'complete model' (the main stream, it may be noted, has so far proposed only 'incomplete would-be models' as Theory of Everything).

Download Essay PDF File

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 04:44 GMT
Hi John,

i enjoyed reading your essay. Your lines of reasoning are easily tracable in a systematic manner, since you define ‘fundamental’ as systematically, deterministically evolving processes of nature.

However, I cannot see why the anthropocentrical demand of knowing as much as possible together with the fact that there could unknowable things beyond our complete reach –...

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 04:45 GMT
Should of course be Jose, not John - Jose, please excuse the mistake :-)

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Author Jose P. Koshy wrote on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 07:57 GMT
Dear Stephan,

Thank you for the long comment posted. I think that long comments imply that the person is interested in a serious debate.

I think the difference between our viewpoints arises from how we interpret determinism. Determinism leads to a unique final state. That does not mean it follows a single predetermined path. It follows multiple paths, but ultimately reaches the...

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 08:33 GMT
Hi Jose, thanks for your reply. I conclude that if a deterministic environment (including the brain) allows to some extent genuine choices between alternative paths, the outcome of such a choice cannot have been fixed by some previous deterministic state of such a system. So, what you call some freewill, the choice itself, is not itself determined anywhere in nature. Is this choice - according to your approach - defined as a random event (pseudo-random?) that cannot be traced back to something other or is this choice a real causa finalis that can be traced back to a kind of descriptive dualism, a dualism that is ontologically real in nature? Are there two effective causes in nature, the physical ones and the one that is only available for conscious observers?

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 17:41 GMT
Dear Stefan,

The choice is always there. It only implies that there are more than one possibility, and depending on the environment one of the possibilities happen. When a freewill is applied, a slight change happens in the environment favoring one possibility, which sometimes may be the least possible one to happen naturally. That is, freewill does not create any additional possibility....

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Jan. 20, 2018 @ 09:32 GMT
Hi Jose, thanks for your reply. Albeit i agree that choices are limited by the past and by the conditions of the environment, i have huge trouble to decipher what you really mean by 'choices'.

You wrote

"When a freewill is applied, a slight change happens in the environment favoring one possibility, which sometimes may be the least possible one to happen naturally"

Could you explain what this slight change is, what you physically mean by such a change and how it comes about?

Thanks!

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Stephen I. Ternyik wrote on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 10:16 GMT
You have clearly described the possibility of science,against meta-physical hubris.

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Stephen I. Ternyik replied on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 10:17 GMT
This is fundamental.

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 17:48 GMT
Dear Stephen I Ternyik,

Thank you for going through my essay and for the comments.

Jose P Koshy

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Heinrich Luediger wrote on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 12:09 GMT
Dear Jose,

as regards laws I’d like to play on your chess analogy. The termination rule of chess (checkmate) says that the game is over when the king can make no legal move. I found some numbers saying that there are some 1e43 potential configurations of pieces of which 1e34 are checkmate configurations. Let me for the purpose of discussion call this number infinite. Now, while the termination rule is an entirely unanschaulich prohibition (negation) in itself, it allows the observation of an infinity of actual checkmate configurations – when they occur! That is, only the negation of the negation ‘produces’ the actual case. So, I think there is a way from finiteness to infinity.

Heinrich

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 14:26 GMT
Dear Heinrich,

In my opinion, the only way from finite to infinity is attaching a 'clause' for infinity. For example, 'go an adding finite numbers infinitely' takes us to infinity. In the case of chess, the number of possible configurations is a very large finite number as you have pointed out. You add the clause 'let us take this finite number as infinite', and a way from finite to infinite seems possible. Without such a clause, finite things always remains finite. It is just a logical argument; based on it, I will argue that there exists a finite number of finite universes in infinite space. If actually infinite number of universes exist, my inference is wrong. However, it is impossible for us to know that, and so I just depend on logic.

Jose P Koshy

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Aditya Dwarkesh wrote on Jan. 20, 2018 @ 10:30 GMT
Hi John,

It seems to me that both of us have started off at different points to arrive at a somewhat similar destination. Your analysis was crisp and fun to read; certainly among the best ones.

How do you, however, propose to deal with the block put up by Gödel's incompleteness theorem? In this context, unless I have misunderstood, it seems to imply that no respectable system can be reduced to a set of fundamentals. (In fact, it is this apparent roadblock that made me take a different path to this conclusion.)

Regards,

Aditya

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Jan. 21, 2018 @ 05:37 GMT
Dear Aditya,

What I propose is theoretical model-building based on 'fundamentals' and laws of mathematics. The fundamentals are either arbitrary or self-explanatory. That means these cannot be explained within the model built up from the fundamentals. As such we can say the model is incomplete in itself because it contains statements that cannot be proved from the model.

The model-building is intended for acquiring knowledge. The model thus obtained is a system that follows laws. Here the terms fundamentals, knowledge, system, laws and completeness are well defined. Fundamentals are the primary-causes, knowledge is understanding the causal factors and laws, laws are mathematical statements, and a system is something that is finite, dynamic, deterministic and made up of quantized entities. The model is complete if the formation of the system (starting from from the fundamentals) can be explained using relevant laws of mathematics. Our knowledge in that field is complete if we can identify the primary causes, all emergent causal factors, and the mathematical laws applicable at all levels.

So what we have is a 'defined completeness'. Complete knowledge does not mean complete predictability; we need not know all paths leading from 'the fundamentals' to 'the system', we need know just the main route. We need not know from where the fundamentals came or why they came. These are either 'not much relevant' or 'just impossible'.

Jose P Koshy

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jan. 20, 2018 @ 19:40 GMT
Dear Jose,

I think FQXi.org might be trying to find out if there could be a Natural fundamental. I am surprised that so many of the contest's entrants do not appear to know what am fundamental to science, or mathematics, or quantum histrionics.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Jan. 25, 2018 @ 06:48 GMT
Dear Joe Fisher,

FQXi has not asked us to identify the Natural fundamental. We are asked to explain what fundamental is, whether there is any need for something fundamental. None of us knows what is fundamental to science or mathematics. We can only try to do so.

Jose P Koshy

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 02:16 GMT
Dear Jose, thanks for your more precise description of your lines of reasoning.

I have some more questions and annotations to make for fully understanding whether or not nature exhibits unnatural choices.

I consider a Boing 747. In our world, it is very unlikely that the natural path is such that the probability that nature facilitates this Boing 747 must be considered very...

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Jan. 25, 2018 @ 07:40 GMT
Dear Stefan,

I agree with you that a finished Boeing 747 is a totally unnatural event. This unnaturalness comes from the fact that some free will action has taken place. I will take this as a proof for the existence of free will.

Because of this unnaturalness, the event need not be repeated in any other Earth in our universe or other universes. However, if it repeats anywhere, the conditions would be identical to that of Earth (In my model of the universes, structures having freewill emerges during the middle period of expansion, and so any Boeing will emerge more or less at the same period of history of that universe.)

So in my opinion, the emergence of humans or human like structures having free will is predetermined in any universe (assuming that all universes are identical and made up of the same fundamental entities). But, our creations like the Boeing are not predetermined. It is a teleological event caused by our purposeful action. Nature allows such actions; we can say that such possibilities exist in nature.

Jose P Koshy

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Francesco D'Isa wrote on Jan. 23, 2018 @ 08:33 GMT
Dear Jose,

thank you for your essay, that's interesting for sure and I will rate it well.

I've not fully understood something about your "Fundamentalism" proposal. You write that it implies cause-effect, but in a certain sense it seems to presume it in its very definition (Any field of knowledge has some fundamentals, based on which everything in that field can be logically explained, and so by identifying the fundamentals, we can arrive at the truth). Moreover, how your approach manage the Hume's argument against causation?

bests,

Francesco

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Jan. 25, 2018 @ 07:09 GMT
Dear Fransesco,

I do not agree with Humes regarding causation. Hume, I think, consider that the regularity or pattern that is observed in nature is just our belief, and so causation is just our belief. Our technology works just because this regularity or pattern is factual and dependable, and not a mere belief. The belief may deceive us, but facts do not deceive. The technologies are developed based on causality. Then how can we deny causality.

Jose P Koshy

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Francesco D'Isa replied on Jan. 25, 2018 @ 09:51 GMT
Dear Jose,

You are right, casuality works very well, but since it depends on its repetition over time, how can we consider it fundamental? it's not logically impossible that casuality stops working even tomorrow, since the only thing that we can say about it, is that it always works – till now. How about a casuality without time? Is then time more fundamental?

Bests, thank you for answering!

Francesco

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Jan. 29, 2018 @ 04:45 GMT
Dear Fransesco,

As far as knowledge is considered, causality is fundamental. The only way available for us to understand nature is to search for the causal effects behind events. As far as nature is considered, the fundamental causal factors, not just causality, are the fundamentals. These include both time and space factors.

Jose P Koshy

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DIOGENES AYBAR wrote on Jan. 24, 2018 @ 14:31 GMT
Dear Jose;

Reading your essay was like swimming in a pool. It is full of statements without logical or factual explanations to sustain them. Your whole discourse indicates that you have what I consider a naïve conception of causality. Linear temporal causality has been shown to be inadequate to explain fundamental phenomena.

The most valuable idea you expressed in your essay (which you really explained logically), is that if there were only one fundamental (there should be either one fundamental entity having more than one property or more than one fundamental entity having different properties) there will be nothing to be explained.

In the end you left me disappointed, I was expecting that you would establish the basis for determining what’s fundamental from your postulates.

Truly yours;

Diogenes

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Jan. 25, 2018 @ 06:41 GMT
Dear Diogenes,

Thank you for your comments. I disagree with the statement, 'Linear temporal causality has been shown to be inadequate to explain fundamental phenomena'. It is argued, it is claimed, but not shown.

Causality is a very simple concept. Why make it appear to be something very complex. However, simple causal factors lead to complex situations; that does not make the concept of causality complex.

The basis for determining the fundamentals is to identify the causal factors, and finally arriving at the primary causes, which we can call fundamentals. Identifying the causal factors is not theoretical, it depends on observations.

Jose P Koshy

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Feb. 1, 2018 @ 02:59 GMT
Jose,

This is a nice essay. You are really simply arguing for logic. Your ideas should mesh very well with the Scientific Method. Your thinking reminds me a lot of the methodology used for proofs in mathematics and geometry.

I only have one minor disagreement with your thinking. When you describe dynamic/static, you argue that if something is not changing then it is impossible to determine if there are any governing laws. In engineering, we deal with this all the time. It is called "steady-state". It simply means that there are equal and opposing factors. So, if water is being added and withdrawn from a bathtub at equal rates, the water level in the tub will be constant but conservation of mass is the governing concept.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Feb. 1, 2018 @ 13:30 GMT
Dear Gary,

I would prefer to use the terms 'systems' and 'subsystems' for 'independent systems' and 'parts of systems' respectively. In my opinion, a system should be dynamic (in addition to other attributes given in the essay), but subsystems can be in steady-states (as in the example given by you). This steady-state exists as a consequence of the dynamic nature of the system to which the subsystem belongs. So I would say there is no disagreement between us in this case.

Regarding 'scientific method', there can be different shades of opinion. Can you just clarify your view?

Jose P Koshy

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Feb. 1, 2018 @ 13:56 GMT
Jose,

Regarding the Scientific Method ... I was thinking that your methodology could be applied to the underlying hypothesis. Is the hypothesis a single entity that must be taken as a whole or can the hypothesis be broken into parts? For example, with Darwinism, are variation, environment, and competition part of the same entity or are they separate things?

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Feb. 2, 2018 @ 05:50 GMT
Dear Gary,

The view that there are some fundamentals is a reductionist approach to explain the whole. However the reduction need go only to the level that is required. The choice is arbitrary; the only criterion is that the fundamentals should be capable of explaining the whole completely.

If 'existence of life' is our field of study, and we all agree that Darwinism is the right approach, then Darwinism is fundamental; the disagreement is only on the application of Darwinism in each context. However, if we disagree with Darwinism itself, then we have to go further downwards, and identify fundamentals that may include factors other than variation, environment and competition.

When we come to the study of nature, we have to go to the very fundamentals that cannot be further divided. In other fields, we need not go to the very bottom level; the fundamentals in that field may be divisible further.

Jose P Koshy

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Kamal L Rajpal wrote on Feb. 15, 2018 @ 14:16 GMT
Dear Jose P Koshy

Your statement “Why laws are mathematical”. Newton’s first law of motion is conceptual. No equation is involved. The second and third laws are mathematical.

Please read my essay on wave-particle and electron spin at: 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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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Feb. 17, 2018 @ 14:15 GMT
Dear Rajpal,

The first law of motion is actually a mathematical statement regarding motion. It can be expressed as,

v + 0 = v; and 0 + 0 = 0, that is, without any interference the speed 'v' and speed '0' does not change.

However, straight-line motion is the simplest form of motion, and so the law contains a 'conceptual part' regarding motion. Mathematically motion is a change in a variable; uniform increase or uniform decrease in the value of that variable is identical to uniform motion.

Generally, the first law is regarded as a 'concept' regarding bodies, rather than a concept regarding motion. So it follows that a body left to itself will either remain at rest or move along a straight line.

In my view, a real body made up of matter can neither remain at rest nor move along a straight-line, even if it is outside all external interference. Motion and gravity are fundamental properties of bodies, and its own gravity prevents the body from moving along a straight-line.

I will go through your essay within a few days.

Jose P Koshy

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Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on Feb. 21, 2018 @ 07:44 GMT
Dear Jose,

Here we are again all together.

I highly appreciate your beautifully written essay.

«Any system is dynamic, quantized, finite and deterministic, is governed by mathematical laws, and always have some fundamentals based on which the system can be explained». This is my motto as well.

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

Vladimir Fedorov

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

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 05:04 GMT
Dear Fedorov,

Thank you for the comments. I have been busy with some personal problems that I had no time to go through the essays this time. I will be going through your essay shortly.

Jose P Koshy

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corciovei silviu wrote on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 11:38 GMT
Very nice logical journey Mr. Koshy.

I fully enjoyed and I think further words are useless.

Rate it accordingly.

If you would have the pleasure for a related logical approach of the subject, I will appreciate your opinion

Silviu

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 05:07 GMT
Dear Silviu,

Thank you for the comments. I will go through your essay within a few days.

Jose P Koshy

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Steven Andresen wrote on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 13:10 GMT
Dear Jose

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 strengths. My sail...

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Author Jose P. Koshy replied on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 05:40 GMT
Dear Steven,

I remember that last year we have had some discussions. Your view that a clock is an instrument that directly links QM and GR is thought provoking. However, I have some reservations with both QM and GR - both are 'basically wrong' in my opinion.

I think that the theory of evolution put forth by Darwin has inspired you to think about such a possibility in the case of the universe. As a starting point it was good. I think it is time you removed the term Darwinian from your theoretical arguments. The term 'emergence' would be more appropriate and more fundamental than 'Darwinian emergence'. The 'Darwinian evolution' of life is not fundamental, it should be explained based on some fundamentals in physics. Your theory regarding the universe should be capable of explaining Darwinian evolution.

I will go through your essay to understand what you mean by 'principle of force dilation'. I expect that it will be independent of Darwin.

Jose P Koshy

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 17:07 GMT
Jose,

You make a brave and well founded "..attempt to formalize a concept of 'Fundamentalism'." which I think was well presented and largely successful. I'm glad I got to it and find most agreeable, certainly that; "theoretical model-building based on fundamentals can lead us to the truth." (but) "..the search for truth based on fundamentalism gets derailed due to errors."

As another down to earth realist I also very much liked and support;

"if the fundamental entities have a beginning, they will just pop out in space, remain confined in a finite region of space and will just disappear within a finite time."

"Mathematics has no role in deciding the properties of the fundamental entities. However, mathematics decides the emergent structures"

"for complete predictability, we have to measure or quantify all causal factors"

"space and time factors connected with matter are quantized and finite, and are parts of systems."

I really couldn't find much to argue with, and am interested in your bio comment; "motion (at speed 'c') is a property of matter,"[/c] I found a whole thesis partly on that, but more specifically electron (fermion) spin at c and as the modulator of local local speed c. The de-paradoxing of SR that can bring is extended in mine this year to remove non-causal weirdness from QM. It won't pass the gatekeepers of doctrine but I think you'll like it! Do comment there.

Nicely done. I'm sure you've been 1 bombed as I have so my score will help compensate.

Peter

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