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Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
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It From Bit or Bit From It
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

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graham smetham: on 6/24/09 at 20:08pm UTC, wrote I have just finsihed writing two books about the epiontic and reflexive of...

Cristi Stoica: on 12/8/08 at 19:52pm UTC, wrote Dear Luigi, Nice essay, interesting the idea of epiontic principle. Best...

Luigi Acerbi: on 12/3/08 at 22:31pm UTC, wrote Well, I think that the two concepts stem from a similar root. In fact,...

Petr Frish: on 12/3/08 at 13:47pm UTC, wrote I wonder if the EP has something in common with 'refextivity' described...

Luigi Acerbi: on 12/1/08 at 10:52am UTC, wrote Essay Abstract In this short essay we postulate the "Epiontic...


Georgina Woodward: "Having a number of events that measure out the duration does depend upon..." in Understanding...

Georgina Woodward: "Time is not a foundational aspect of the material world. Change/happening/..." in Understanding...

Stefan Weckbach: "According to the paper linked in the article, Tejinder Singh's explanatory..." in Towards the unification...

Lorraine Ford: "No matter what the variables are, e.g. the energy or position variables,..." in Towards the unification...

Scott Patrick Ryan: "Scintifict exprement double slit shot test proves we live in an Computer..." in Time Dilation Gets a...

click titles to read articles

Time to Think
Philosopher Jenann Ismael invokes the thermodynamic arrow of time to explain how human intelligence emerged through culture.

Lockdown Lab Life
Grounded physicists are exploring the use of online and virtual-reality conferencing, and AI-controlled experiments, to maintain social distancing. Post-pandemic, these positive innovations could make science more accessible and environmentally-friendly.

Is Causality Fundamental?
Untangling how the human perception of cause-and-effect might arise from quantum physics, may help us understand the limits and the potential of AI.

Building Agency in the Biology Lab
Physicists are using optogenetics techniques to make a rudimentary agent, from cellular components, which can convert measurements into actions using light.

Think Quantum to Build Better AI
Investigating how quantum memory storage could aid machine learning and how quantum interactions with the environment may have played a role in evolution.

January 19, 2021

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: The Epiontic Principle, Time and the Laws of Physics by Luigi Acerbi [refresh]
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Luigi Acerbi wrote on Dec. 1, 2008 @ 10:52 GMT
Essay Abstract

In this short essay we postulate the "Epiontic Principle" (EP), a concept which underlies more or less explicitly many physical theories, and we study its implications, in particular for the nature of time. After a brief discussion about the distinction between temporal dimension and time evolution, we adopt the EP as a guideline in Gedankenexperiments in order to understand the inde finite and shifting essence of what it is commonly called "the past". Real experimental results -- analyzed here in accordance with the epiontic paradigm -- confirm our qualitative predictions. In a subsequent speculative section, the EP is applied to the understanding of temporal evolution and thus to the laws of physics. The essay terminates with some thoughts of a cosmological nature and on desirable future quantitative developments allowing to study the EP with the aid of toy-models: the epiontic foils.

Author Bio

Luigi Acerbi received a B.Sc. in physics (2005), a B.Sc. in computer science (2006), and he is currently finishing his Master's degree in theoretical physics at the University of Milan, Italy (Università di Milano-Bicocca). As a computer scientist, he has done research on the field of topological dynamics, studying cellular automata as discrete-time dynamical systems (to be published in Theoretical Computer Science). As a physicist, he is working towards his degree with a thesis on a computational model of reheating which adopts interacting scalar fields on a inflationary background.

Download Essay PDF File

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Petr Frish wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 13:47 GMT
I wonder if the EP has something in common with 'refextivity'

described here


call the passive relationship the “cognitive function” and the active relationship the “participating function,” and the interaction between the two functions I call “reflexivity.” Reflexivity is, in effect, a two-way feedback mechanism in which reality helps shape the participants’ ....

Petr Frish

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Luigi Acerbi wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 22:31 GMT
Well, I think that the two concepts stem from a similar root.

In fact, John A. Wheeler pointed out that we may live in a "participatory universe" and that physics-observer-information are entangled in a strange loop (John Wheeler, Information, Physics, Quantum. The Search for Links).

The passage following the one you quoted states the same thing with almost the same words:

"... reality helps shape the participants’ thinking and the participants’ thinking helps shape reality in an unending process in which thinking and reality may come to approach each other but can never become identical..."

It seems to me that "reflexivity" can be described generally as a property of self-determining epistemic systems -- which is an epiontic feature indeed.

This is good news... maybe epiontic models could have applications beyond (meta)physics and deserve attention in any case.

Thanks for the interesting link!

L. Acerbi

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 8, 2008 @ 19:52 GMT
Dear Luigi,

Nice essay, interesting the idea of epiontic principle.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

Flowing with a Frozen River

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graham smetham wrote on Jun. 24, 2009 @ 20:08 GMT
I have just finsihed writing two books about the epiontic and reflexive of the universe. You may be surprised to know that Buddhist philosophers two thousand years ago (Yogacara) proposed exactly such a view of the process of reality. I have attached an essay `Quantum Intentional Universe` which I wrote in appreciation of the work of Professor Henry Stapp who has agreed to look at my second book `The Quantum Mind-Only Universe` which deals with these issues in depth. Further details of my work can be found at quantum buddhism.

attachments: QuantumIntentionalUniverse.pdf

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