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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 2/24/18 at 16:45pm UTC, wrote Dear Paul Bastiaansen, you have done a deep analysis, and I put 10. For a...

Paul Bastiaansen: on 2/24/18 at 11:42am UTC, wrote Dear Marc, Somehow my reply to your comments ended up in the main thread....

Paul Bastiaansen: on 2/24/18 at 11:00am UTC, wrote Dear Marc, Thank you for your extensive comments and criticism. Let me try...

Marc Séguin: on 2/24/18 at 2:58am UTC, wrote Dear Paul, Congratulations! Your bold an thought-provoking essay is one of...

corciovei silviu: on 2/23/18 at 18:51pm UTC, wrote Very nice logical journey Mr. Bastiaansen. I fully enjoyed it and I think...

Steven Andresen: on 2/22/18 at 8:50am UTC, wrote Dear Paul If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the...

Paul Bastiaansen: on 2/22/18 at 7:50am UTC, wrote Dear Luca, I'm not sure I understand your remarks on my Game of Life...

Paul Bastiaansen: on 2/22/18 at 7:19am UTC, wrote Hi Don, Thanks for your comments. 1. Indeed it cannot, but in the same...


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FQXi FORUM
May 27, 2019

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: What if even the Theory of Everything isn’t fundamental by Paul Bastiaansen [refresh]
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Author Paul Bastiaansen wrote on Jan. 24, 2018 @ 17:31 GMT
Essay Abstract

I argue that phenomenal theories about the real world (and toy universes) are generally not reducible to, and even to a large extent independent of the underlying microscopic theory. There is no single fundamental theory, but there is a peculiar role for mathematics.

Author Bio

Paul Bastiaansen (48) holds a PhD in theoretical physics. He worked as a science writer for a few years, but has switched to software development soon and has been working as a programmer for more than fifteen years now. He has been interested in foundations of science and philosophy since he was a student. He recently started working as an unaffiliated PhD student in his spare time. This essay is his coming-out as a philosopher.

Download Essay PDF File

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Jan. 25, 2018 @ 16:39 GMT
Paul,

Interesting and funny. Sometimes hard to follow where connected to authors or principles unknown to the reader. But your conclusion is absolutely on the mark!

What is fundamental is what the universe IS and DOES before we look or even think about it.

But, we may explore, with our intellect, what may exist and happen on the guidance of the rule of non-contradiction. At the fundamental level, the roles are inverted. All physical knowledge is “subjective”; they are choiceless truths, but .... we create them. We may only have access to the choiceless “objective” truth by trusting our mind in applying simple rules of logic without contradiction. Our mind becomes the trusty “microscope”...

All the bests,

Marcel,

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Francesco D'Isa wrote on Jan. 26, 2018 @ 10:40 GMT
Dear Paul Bastiaansen,

congratulations, I found your essay very interesting and well written. The case of The Game of Life and Turing's machine is very insightful (thank you for lettin me know such an interesting experiment!) and your very original way to handle the "bridge laws"reminded me very close the Sorite's paradox, in a way that's close to what I state in my essay as well.

Your conclusion about mathematics is also very interesting, but due its relativity to rules, I would argue that it's not absolute as well.

bests and good luck!

Francesco

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DIOGENES AYBAR wrote on Jan. 26, 2018 @ 17:17 GMT
Dear Paul;

I congratulate you. This is a brilliant essay. It completely destroys the basis of reductionism. Most of the essays that I have read in this contest are trapped in reductionism.

I wish you could have space to discuss what could be considered Fundamental outside of the reductionist paradigm.

Congratulations;

Diogenes

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 6, 2018 @ 00:45 GMT
Dear Dr Paul Bastiaansen,

your wonderful arguments .... that phenomenal theories about the real world (and toy universes) are generally not reducible to, and even to a large extent independent of the underlying microscopic theory.....are exactly correct....

Here in my essay energy to mass conversion is proposed...……..….. yours is very nice essay best wishes …. I highly...

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Steven Andresen wrote on Feb. 6, 2018 @ 05:10 GMT
Dear Paul Bastiaansen

Just letting you know that I am making a start on reading of your essay, and hope that you might also take a glance over mine please? I look forward to the sharing of thoughtful opinion. Congratulations on your essay rating as it stands, and best of luck for the contest conclusion.

My essay is titled

“Darwinian Universal Fundamental Origin”. It stands as a novel test for whether a natural organisational principle can serve a rationale, for emergence of complex systems of physics and cosmology. I will be interested to have my effort judged on both the basis of prospect and of novelty.

Thank you & kind regards

Steven Andresen

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Luca Valeri wrote on Feb. 16, 2018 @ 20:29 GMT
Hi Paul,

Your essay took me in a very enjoyable journey, where at the end I was not sure where it took me. I want to make some remarks on thoughts I had on that journey.

I'm not sure, if I understood the argument concerning the game of live and Turing machines. Is it that because the game of live is able to create any forms and maybe by 'chance' (well not really by chance, because it is deterministic) is able to rebuild the forms and things we find in real life it does not explain anything and is just irrelevant, because it could explain everything? (I like that argument).

You then suggest the same applies to reductionistic explanations. I'm not so sure.

Putnam's peg and rigid bodies example is very nice. But the vast number of initial conditions or states, that can create that macro phenomena seams not an argument against reductionism.

I did not know the expression 'bridge laws'. It exited me a lot. They seem to express, that there must be something emergent (the bridge law, the description of the macro situation), that is a condition to be able to describe, what is going on.

Great statement: "The difficulty of formulating such bridge laws is, I think, grossly underrated. The reason must be that not only the answer is formulated in the language of the phenomenal domain, but also the question."

I wondered whether such bridge laws correspond to the observational language of the positivists. But then (so my critique on the positivists view in my essay) they depend on physical conditions under which, they make sense. There is no observational statement without physical law and condition under which these laws are true.

For math the same reasoning: without time and separated bodies in space, no counting, no law such as 2+3=5. The condition for it realizability is not given. Seems math as operational theory (Brower) depends on physical conditions.

Best regards,

Luca

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Author Paul Bastiaansen replied on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 07:50 GMT
Dear Luca,

I'm not sure I understand your remarks on my Game of Life argument. I’m not saying that it explains everything. My main statement is that the microscopic laws of the Game of Life are irrelevant when you want to study Turing machines.

You can build a Turing machine by carefully choosing initial configurations on the Game of Life player board. So these configurations will...

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Don Limuti wrote on Feb. 19, 2018 @ 03:42 GMT
Hi Paul,

"According to the demon, a stone is an abstraction that exists only in the eye of the beholder. We’re like a child that sees a face in the clouds. In reality, there is no face."

Questions:

1. Would you say that the LaPlace's demon cannot determine "qualia"?

2. Does your special treatment of mathematics reinforce Tegmark's mathematics/information as fundamental?

If you are interested in gravity take a look at my essay.

Thanks for your excellent presentation,

Don Limuti

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Author Paul Bastiaansen replied on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 07:19 GMT
Hi Don,

Thanks for your comments.

1. Indeed it cannot, but in the same way that you cannot determine my qualia. There is no way the daemon (nor anyone esle) can have a first-person perspective on the world's described in my essay.

2. Thank you for pointing this out, I didn't know Tegman's hypothesis, but I have been thinking along those lines as well. There is such a prominent role for mathematics in the physicists' approach of our universe. In the end, you could say, all there is, is mathematics. If you have a set of mathematical laws that completely determines the evolution of the universe, why would you need real 'stuff' to behave according to these laws? That seems superfluous. But I think this breaks down as soon as conscience and qualia are brought into play - very interesting, but I didn't follow that track in my essay.

I'm going to read your essay and put comments if I have anything to add.

Thanks,

Paul

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Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on Feb. 21, 2018 @ 11:15 GMT
Dear Paul,

I highly appreciate your beautifully written essay.

I completely agree with you. «The way the world behaves is not anything goes. Behavior must be in line with mathematics and logic on all complexity levels. You can define whatever universe you fancy, but it will never be one in which prime numbers have divisors. For me, this is a stunning conclusion, because empiricism makes such a lot of sense. Of course you won’t be able to say something about the world out there without looking at it. And yet, this very world seems at least partly understandable by thinking about it, not looking».

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. 22, 2018 @ 08:50 GMT
Dear Paul

If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the final days of the contest, will you consider mine please? I read all essays from those who comment on my page, and if I cant rate an essay highly, then I don’t rate them at all. Infact I haven’t issued a rating lower that ten. So you have nothing to lose by having me read your essay, and everything to...

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corciovei silviu wrote on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 18:51 GMT
Very nice logical journey Mr. Bastiaansen.

I fully enjoyed it and I think further words are useless.

Rate it accordingly.

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

Silviu

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Member Marc Séguin wrote on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 02:58 GMT
Dear Paul,

Congratulations! Your bold an thought-provoking essay is one of the best I’ve read so far in this contest. Contrary to many entries, that try to play it safe (or rehash the same alt-physics theories contest after contest, irrespective of the contest theme), you actually hold strong and original positions concerning the question of fundamentality. I do not necessarily agree with...

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Author Paul Bastiaansen replied on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 11:42 GMT
Dear Marc,

Somehow my reply to your comments ended up in the main thread. Please see below.

Kind regards,

Paul

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Author Paul Bastiaansen wrote on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 11:00 GMT
Dear Marc,

Thank you for your extensive comments and criticism. Let me try to give a reply.

On rigid bodies and Putnam’s peg (“In your analysis of…”): I made myself insufficiently clear. I’m not trying to say that the step from Schrödinger’s equation to rigid bodies is too difficult (although difficult it is), but that it is impossible to make this step because rigid...

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 16:45 GMT
Dear Paul Bastiaansen, you have done a deep analysis, and I put 10. For a long time believed that the Foundation for fundamental theories is matter, an attribute which was mass. Once there was a formula of mass – energy equivalence, and mass lost the status of a value characterizing the amount of matter, about it rarely began to remember and physics has lost the Foundation. Any theory of everything is created in such circumstances would not be fundamental. The principle of identity of space and matter Descartes, according to which physical space is matter and matter is space that moves, gives us the Foundation for fundamental theories. Look at my essay, FQXi Fundamental in New Cartesian Physics by Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich Where I showed how radically the physics can change if it follows this principle. Evaluate and leave your comment there. Do not allow New Cartesian Physics go away into nothingness, which can to be the theory of everything OO.

I wish you success! Sincerely, Dizhechko Boris

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