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January 20, 2018

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: Temporal Platonic Metaphysics by Aleksandar Mikovic [refresh]
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Aleksandar Mikovic wrote on Dec. 1, 2008 @ 10:54 GMT
Essay Abstract

In this essay we describe a platonic metaphysics where time is a fundamental idea such that the passage of time is independent of observers and the laws of physics. Furthermore, time serves to distinguish between a real and an abstract universe, where a real universe is an appropriatelly ordered set of ideas in time, while an abstract universe is such a set outside of time. We allow for non-computable and non-mathematical ideas to be part of our model of the universe in order to include intelligent observers. The part of the universe which can be described by mathematics corresponds to a mathematical structure in Tegmark's sense, while the non-mathematical part can be described by a human language. We describe the mind-brain connection in our framework, and show that it resolves the problem of obtaining abstract knowledge in platonism. We briefly discuss how different interpretations of Quantum Mechanics can be implemented in our framework and point out some physics implications, most notably that the time travel would be impossible.

Author Bio

Aleksandar Mikovic is a professor of mathematics at Lusofona University in Lisbon and a member of the Mathematical Physics Group of the Lisbon University. He obtained his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Maryland in 1990. From 1990 till 1994 was a postdoc in string theory and quantum gravity at SUNY-Stony Brook, Queen Mary College, and Imperial College in London. He was a researcher at the Institute of Physics in Belgrade from 1995 till 1999. Since 1999 lives and works in Portugal. He has written over 50 papers on string theory, quantum gravity and spin foam models.

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F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 6, 2008 @ 09:45 GMT
Empiricism that drives today Science is still derivating from Plato. Einstein for example is not describing or explaining the Universe, he is stating it.

Algebraic Geometry is Empiricism and Empiricism is poetry.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 15, 2008 @ 09:20 GMT
Dear Dr. Mikovic,

I enjoyed your essay, especially because you proposed an original platonic vision. Interesting the idea of time Universe, the representation of the increase of knowledge of the observers, and your resolution of the epistemological problem in Platonism.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

Flowing with a Frozen River

Jim Stanfield wrote on Dec. 15, 2008 @ 23:51 GMT
Professor Mikovic,

I was heartened to read your essay ‘Temporal Platonic Metaphysics’ as you were one of the few to delve into the Platonic realm. As I am a Platonist at heart, I would like to repeat back the gist of your ideas in my own words to see if I have understood them, then add a few observations of my own that would not have occurred to me had it not been for your essay. ...

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Aleksandar Mikovic wrote on Dec. 19, 2008 @ 16:42 GMT
Dear Dr Stansfield,

Thank you for your comments, since they shed light on my proposal from a different angle. Let me try to answer your questions:

The objects of the Platonic Realm, I call ideas. Hence I use the name World of Ideas for PR. The PR can be split into mathematical part (PRM) and everything else (non-mathematical ideas). The mathematical ideas can be thought of as graphs, i.e. relations among some elementary objects, like natural numbers. How to specify non-mathematical ideas is an interesting problem, but the simplest approach is to use a human language to describe their relations to other ideas.

In the case of time, or the idea of passage of time T,

given a sequence of ideas H, which I call a history, then

U(H,T) would be a universe which we would perceive as the one where the instant of now is moving along the levels of H. An analogy which I like is that H is a DVD and U(H,T) is a movie played by a DVD player T.

As far as the consciousness is concerned, it is a temporal sequence C of ideas contained in U(H,T), which are attached to a particular brain. C contains both mathematical and non-mathematical ideas. Therefore I beleive that C is not a subset of PRM, since we can imagine T, and T is a non-mathematical idea. On the other hand I beleive that the brain is a part of PRM. In other words, mind contains mathematical and non-mathematical ideas, while the matter is mathematical.

matthew kolasinski wrote on Dec. 24, 2008 @ 08:41 GMT
Hello Prof. Mikovic,

while i'm particularly sympathetic to the general premise here, because i am sympathetic to the cause, there are a couple of aspects here i think i'd like to see taken a little more deeply in their consideration.


The ideas stored in our brain can be of two types: the ideas which are records of our interactions with the environment and the ideas which...

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Joao Leao wrote on Mar. 11, 2009 @ 20:11 GMT
Dear Dr. Mikovic’

I read with interest your essay since it deals with questions that I have worked on and have been interested for some time. I would like to offer you a number of observations which, though, avowedly critical, remain sympathetic and may help you sharpen up your interesting and estimable undertaking.

Tegmark’s Mathematical Universe Hypothesis is not so much a...

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