• Reformed Nihilist
    219
    To preface this post, I should profess my level of ignorance of quantum mechanics. I have a small, broad, but I believe accurate layman's understanding of quantum mechanics. I don't know much more than a person could pick up reading Wikipedia.

    With that amount of knowledge, I believe that it is a correct statement that all of the interpretations of quantum mechanics are functionally equal. By that, I mean that changing the interpretation doesn't change the outcome of an observation or experiment. If I am mistaken about this, I would appreciate it if someone would correct me.

    If all interpretations are in fact functionally equivalent, then a discussion of which is the correct or appropriate interpretation, appears to have taken place almost entirely within the scientific community, but not, so far as I can tell within the philosophy of science community. Isn't that misplaced? Now to be clear, I do understand that philosophers are weighing in on the subject, which I think is appropriate, but what I don't see (maybe I am just ignorant of it) is interpretations proposed by philosophers. Isn't that what philosophy of science should be doing?

    It strikes me that the theoretical relationship in science between the observer and the observed has been historically ignored in the mainstream, as one of the goals of science as a method of inquiry has been to remove all the effects that the observer has on the observed (controls, blinding, etc). It looks to me like quantum mechanics is where the rubber hits the road in terms of the relationship between observer and observed. Now anyone who knew me from the old forum knows that I am not proposing some magical life-force of consciousness that interacts with waveforms and causes them to collapse. I think I'm proposing something both simpler and more controversial than that.

    I think that we ascribe to a convenient, but not strictly coherent notion of what science does, and what "objective reality" is. I would suggest that most people believe that science creates at increasingly higher fidelity snapshots of the world as it exists separate from the opinions, interpretations and beliefs, etc. of humankind. At this point, I think most people will want to jump into the whole realist vs. idealist debate, but for my part, I think that this is at very best a fruitless debate, and at worst the sort of mental masturbation that gives philosophy a bad name. I think that it is not controversial to say that there is no way to coherently talk about science without including observations, and by extension, observers. If this is so, then science isn't creating a snapshot of objective reality (as a strict realist would characterize it), but rather is proposing a communal model by which our communal observations can be best discussed.

    I suspect that the last paragraph is the one that will cause the most problems for people, but if I forge on ahead, then the logical implications from here are really pretty simple. Probability (with it's inherent indeterminacy) may be the best way to discuss our observations of the subatomic. Period. We don't need to propose multiple worlds, simultaneous multiple contradictory states, or anything else. If Occam's razor is (as I believe it is) a worthwhile heuristic in evaluating the value of an interpretation, isn't this superior?

    I assume it is quite likely that there exists an interpretation that I am not familiar with, that is similar to what I am proposing. I would be grateful to anyone in the know to point me in that direction.
  • Moliere
    1.8k
    Is it philosophy or is it science?

    I think that this problem straddles the line in a similar manner to consciousness. That's probably why people put the two together so frequently, even if they have nothing (so it seems to me) to do with one another. There are experiments, even, which attempt to push one interpretation or another -- but as any cursory examination of phil. o science shows, experiments are not neutral to interpretive assumptions, either.

    And then some of the most lasting contributions to science were motivated by philosophical thinking.

    I think it's safe to say that there is a space between science and philosophy that counts as both, and it's not always clear which category we should use -- but, it doesn't matter, either. There need not be a hard line between science and philosophy.


    Which Interpretation?

    Yours sounds a lot like the Copenhagen Interpretation to me. Most other interpretations try to explain away the stochastic nature of reality, but the Copenhagen Interpretation embraces that aspect regardless of which emphasis you choose (i.e., Bohr vs. Heisenberg).
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    I think that this problem straddles the line in a similar manner to consciousness. That's probably why people put the two together so frequently, even if they have nothing (so it seems to me) to do with one another.Moliere

    But on questions of consciousness, the most influential voices are Searle, Dennett and other philosophers. On quantum mechanics, it seems to be Niels Bohr, who gets granted the honor simply because he was the first to ascribe an interpretation (if my history is right). That's exactly the difference I'm taking about.

    If what I am describing sounds like the Copenhagen interpretation, then either I drastically misunderstand the Copenhagen interpretation, or you misunderstand me. From Wikipedia:
    "A wave function represents the state of the system".

    This, to me at least, seems to imply an ontological stance. My point is that science has no business taking ontological stances, but should rather be engaged in offering the most useful explanations and explanatory models. In my formulation it would be "a wave function is the best description of our observations at a quantum level". Not quite as pithy, granted, but logically more concise.
  • Moliere
    1.8k
    Oh OK, my bad. Yes, I would say the CI is making an ontological claim. So if you're saying otherwise then I misunderstood you.

    To me it sounds like you're describing what has been playfully termed "Shut up and calculate" :)

    EDIT: But then, that always struck me as an attempt to avoid ontological commitments. It pairs well with your philosophy of science -- i.e. one which is instrumental (as I read you) -- but I wouldn't say that it's a necessary phil-o-sci for SUAC.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    To me it sounds like you're describing what has been playfully termed "Shut up and calculate" :)Moliere

    I guess sort of. I think what I am saying, to misappropriate Kant, is do "deontologize" science, and then take a step further, and quote Wittgenstien, but in reference to phil of sci, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.".
  • Moliere
    1.8k
    Yeah, as far as the science is concerned that sounds like SUAC to me.

    As far as philosophy is concerned then that's different. I don't think that the reality of an observed and an observer collapses the scientific project into one of useful predictions. I think that it's a mistaken philosophy of science to try and draw a barrier between science and philosophy -- at least a hard one. There are clear examples where one is neither, but there's also a middle ground between the disciplines.

    It would be interesting if philosophers were to write more about the ontology of QM, I must admit. But then, if I understand you correctly, that would cross the line that you're proposing -- since ontology should have no part in science.

    My problem with that is mostly historical. Ontological questions have driven science for a long time. So it seems to me that if we are so strictly opposed to ontology, then much of what we consider scientific breakthroughs would have been denied before they got started. And, in fact, they often were -- and it was the successors who decided what counted, rather than the inventors and their critics.

    I would note quickly hereafter that just because ontology can be a part of science, that doesn't mean that ontology should only be scientific. I disagree with the latter vehemently, but I wouldn't want to draw a clear line between the two either because it doesn't seem to fit with how science has been practiced so far.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    It would be interesting if philosophers were to write more about the ontology of QM, I must admit. But then, if I understand you correctly, that would cross the line that you're proposing -- since ontology should have no part in science.Moliere

    I don't think I'm proposing a strict line. I'm just pointing out the apparent lack of any philosophical voice making positive propositions in this area of QM interpretation, and saying that I'm a little troubled by it.

    So it seems to me that if we are so strictly opposed to ontology, then much of what we consider scientific breakthroughs would have been denied before they got started.Moliere

    I can't imagine the possibility of even one, so I think you mean something different from me. Could you give me a "for instance", so I can see where we are diverging?
  • Moliere
    1.8k
    I don't think I'm proposing a strict line. I'm just pointing out the apparent lack of any philosophical voice making positive propositions in this area of QM interpretation, and saying that I'm a little troubled by it.Reformed Nihilist

    Gotcha.

    I know that Chalmer's in A Conscious Mind points out that work still needs to be done in this region. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some philosophers working on it, but it's been maybe 5 years since I've really read up on anything more on QM.

    I can't imagine the possibility of even one, so I think you mean something different from me. Could you give me a "for instance", so I can see where we are diverging?Reformed Nihilist

    Einstein's work is the perfect example. It was built on thought experiments in addition to scientific arguments -- it drove at the nature of reality.

    QM, for that matter, was also interested in the nature of reality -- in the physics of the atom and how it really behaved. It was not interested or motivated by a desire to have a set of useful tools for predicting observations.

    The speed theory of heat vs. phlogiston was motivated by questions about the nature of reality.

    Natural selection is similar.

    They were interested in reality -- at the very least, if they believed otherwise, in the reality of nature if not the fundamental constituents of reality -- and not in merely developing statements which could predict observations.
  • Janus
    10.4k
    I think that we ascribe to a convenient, but not strictly coherent notion of what science does, and what "objective reality" is. I would suggest that most people believe that science creates at increasingly higher fidelity snapshots of the world as it exists separate from the opinions, interpretations and beliefs, etc. of humankind.Reformed Nihilist

    Is there actually a good reason to think that science does not deal with such an "objective reality"?
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    Einstein's work is the perfect example. It was built on thought experiments in addition to scientific arguments -- it drove at the nature of reality.

    QM, for that matter, was also interested in the nature of reality -- in the physics of the atom and how it really behaved. It was not interested or motivated by a desire to have a set of useful tools for predicting observations.

    The speed theory of heat vs. phlogiston was motivated by questions about the nature of reality.

    Natural selection is similar.

    They were interested in reality -- at the very least, if they believed otherwise, in the reality of nature if not the fundamental constituents of reality -- and not in merely developing statements which could predict observations.
    Moliere

    Well, I think you're making a leap to imagine that we can say anything about the philosophical leanings of Einstein or Darwin in terms of an ontological vs. epistemological debate (maybe Einstein said something that could reasonably be interpreted to be about the subject, but I'd bet dimes to donuts that Darwin didn't even come close).

    It doesn't matter though. Just as most people think about the everyday physics of the world in terms of Newtonian principles, and no engineer would use quantum mechanics to design a bridge, when we speak normally, we take ontological stances rather than epistemological ones. It would be to cumbersome to say "according to the most current accepted understandings of gender, and to the best of my knowledge, I am a male", I can just skip all the things we take for granted and express it in an ontological way and say "I am a man". I assume that Darwin, et al speak, and largely think the same way as most people do, and ascribe to a not particularly well considered, but generally useful form of pragmatic ontology. The problem is, the same way that QM doesn't lend itself to building bridges, it also doesn't lend itself to being coherently spoken about using traditional ontological terms. So in a nutshell, I don't think that there's an inherent need for an ontological stance to have the same project as someone who says they want to know how thing "really are", you are just speaking more concisely if you say you are trying to find the most useful way to model our observations.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    Is there actually a good reason to think that science does not deal with such an "objective reality"?John

    It depends on what you mean. The notion of objectivity is a useful fiction, where we imagine that there is such a thing as a point of view that doesn't have a point of view (or shares all imaginable points of view). The model that makes most sense to me is that when we speak about a shared observation, that there is something that causes that observation to be shared, consistent and coherent (what we often talk about as the thing in itself). Logically, all I can do though is refer to that as a model. Anything else is making assumptions without evidence, or creating entities that are of no explanatory value.
  • Moliere
    1.8k
    Well, I think you're making a leap to imagine that we can say anything about the philosophical leanings of Einstein or Darwin in terms of an ontological vs. epistemological debate (maybe Einstein said something that could reasonably be interpreted to be about the subject, but I'd bet dimes to donuts that Darwin didn't even come close).Reformed Nihilist

    Is Origin of the Species about the state of knowledge, or is it about how species come to be?

    I take Darwin to be a thorough naturalist, at least later in his life. His writings reflect this as at least being a fair interpretation -- which would be an ontological position, no?

    I would say that we can ascertain a person's philosophical views in the same manner we ascertain a philosophers views -- by reading what they wrote and interpreting it. This is obviously not free of error and fallabalistic, but that's different from saying we can't do it at all.

    It doesn't matter though. Just as most people think about the everyday physics of the world in terms of Newtonian principles, and no engineer would use quantum mechanics to design a bridge, when we speak normally, we take ontological stances rather than epistemological ones.

    I don't think that Newtonian principles are everyday by any stretch of the imagination. If they were then they would have been found much sooner.

    I think that Aristotle's physics actually gets close to a reasonable phenomenology of the everyday natural world, but I'd also hedge that and say I doubt that his is a universal phenomenology but is more culturally embedded.

    Also, on the latter -- what are epistemological stances about, to your mind?

    It would be to cumbersome to say "according to the most current accepted understandings of gender, and to the best of my knowledge, I am a male", I can just skip all the things we take for granted and express it in an ontological way and say "I am a man". I assume that Darwin, et al speak, and largely think the same way as most people do, and ascribe to a not particularly well considered, but generally useful form of pragmatic ontology. The problem is, the same way that QM doesn't lend itself to building bridges, it also doesn't lend itself to being coherently spoken about using traditional ontological terms. So in a nutshell, I don't think that there's an inherent need for an ontological stance to have the same project as someone who says they want to know how thing "really are", you are just speaking more concisely if you say you are trying to find the most useful way to model our observations.

    To my mind one is committed to an ontology the moment they state how things are. There is something confusing in the question "How are things, really?" I'd agree. In specific, "are" seems to already denote existence -- which is a reasonable interpretation of "reality", clearly related to "really".

    To speak of observations is to have something which is also observed -- there may be an interplay between the two, by all means, but that doesn't eliminate the observed. And, at a minimum, it seems that the world is at least populated by observations -- a bit abstruse, but a possibility -- which would mean that we're still committed to some kind of existence in speaking in this manner.
  • Janus
    10.4k


    I don't think of the "objective" as "a view from nowhere" but as an inter-subjective elimination of subjective (hypostatic) elements. Science ( ideally) reveals nature just as it appears to us when we suspend (as far as possible) our culturally received, pre-conceived notions of what it must be.

    I agree with you that the "thing in itself' ( the object) is, from one point of view, a model, a logical identity, just as the 'self" is. But if we know as accurately ( i.e. as presuppositionlessly) as possible how it appears to us, what good reason could we have for believing that this knowing is not as natural a part of the Real as what is known? This kind of scientific knowing would seem to be, just as Wittgenstein said, to deliver ourselves (as much as possible) from the bewitchments (reifications) of language.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    I would say that we can ascertain a person's philosophical views in the same manner we ascertain a philosophers views -- by reading what they wrote and interpreting it. This is obviously not free of error and fallabalistic, but that's different from saying we can't do it at all.Moliere

    That's my point. Neither spoke specifically about ontology vs. epistemology to my knowledge. Anything else would be psychologizing. Just as you can't extrapolate that I have a theistic view if I say "bless you" when someone sneezes, you can't extrapolate if someone has an ontological bias because they say something is or isn't or exists. In both cases, it's just people correctly practicing a language tradition.

    I don't think that Newtonian principles are everyday by any stretch of the imagination. If they were then they would have been found much sooner.

    I think that Aristotle's physics actually gets close to a reasonable phenomenology of the everyday natural world, but I'd also hedge that and say I doubt that his is a universal phenomenology but is more culturally embedded.
    Moliere

    Sure, if that works better for you. It was an analogy, and because you can effectively criticize it, it shows that it worked insofar as you understand the analogy I was trying to make.

    Also, on the latter -- what are epistemological stances about, to your mind?Moliere

    Whatever they're about. Epistemological stances about QM are about QM. Epistemological stances about rocks are about rocks. Either you take me for a naive idealist, which I most assuredly am not, or I don't understand your question.
    To my mind one is committed to an ontology the moment they state how things are. There is something confusing in the question "How are things, really?" I'd agree. In specific, "are" seems to already denote existence -- which is a reasonable interpretation of "reality", clearly related to "really".

    To speak of observations is to have something which is also observed -- there may be an interplay between the two, by all means, but that doesn't eliminate the observed. And, at a minimum, it seems that the world is at least populated by observations -- a bit abstruse, but a possibility -- which would mean that we're still committed to some kind of existence in speaking in this manner.
    Moliere

    Again, I'm not an idealist. It is very simple. Some explanations have the same predictive power as others. Adding unneeded ontological commitments to explanations lack parsimony. The more parsimonious the explanation, the more preferable. Ontological commitments are at best, a philosophical distraction.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    I don't think of the "objective" as "a view from nowhere" but as an inter-subjective elimination of subjective (hypostatic) elements. Science ( ideally) reveals nature just as it appears to us when we suspend (as far as possible) our culturally received, pre-conceived notions of what it must be.John

    Aye, and there's the rub! With QM, the interaction between the observed and the observer are at least practically, and perhaps intrinsically, inextricable. I hope we can agree that to those without some footing in philosophy, the notion of objective reality (as it's historical and linguistic origins imply), refers not to a cultural construct, but to what happens to the tree falling in the forest, and that's the sort of belief that the average particle physicist is bring to the table? That's what they bring to QM, and that's how we get all of the interpretations that we do, that add claims and presuppositions about "objective reality" without questioning importance of the relationship between the observer and the observed.

    Again, the only question I really have, is why isn't there a Daniel Dennett for QM? Isn't that what philosophers are supposed to do?
  • Moliere
    1.8k
    That's my point. Neither spoke specifically about ontology vs. epistemology to my knowledge. Anything else would be psychologizing. Just as you can't extrapolate that I have a theistic view if I say "bless you" when someone sneezes, you can't extrapolate if someone has an ontological bias because they say something is or isn't or exists. In both cases, it's just people correctly practicing a language tradition.Reformed Nihilist

    I wouldn't call a belief a bias -- but I would say that beliefs about what is are ontological beliefs. So one does not need to explicitly state that such and such is an ontological belief, or such and such is an epistemological belief -- it's a matter of interpretation.

    Which unto itself wouldn't necessarily indicate psychologizing since there's many ways to interpret a text.

    Whatever they're about. Epistemological stances about QM are about QM. Epistemological stances about rocks are about rocks. Either you take me for a naive idealist, which I most assuredly am not, or I don't understand your question.

    Again, I'm not an idealist. It is very simple. Some explanations have the same predictive power as others. Adding unneeded ontological commitments to explanations lack parsimony. The more parsimonious the explanation, the more preferable. Ontological commitments are at best, a philosophical distraction.
    Reformed Nihilist

    I don't know if you're an idealist or what. Since you said you thought that a distraction I thought I wouldn't bring that up.

    However, I am skeptical of any sort of epistemology sans ontology -- as I'm also skeptical of the inverse of that. I don't think it quite possible to have a strictly epistemic belief without ontological commitments.
  • Moliere
    1.8k
    Again, the only question I really have, is why isn't there a Daniel Dennett for QM? Isn't that what philosophers are supposed to do?Reformed Nihilist

    I think this is more cultural than anything. Physicists are given a wider berth of respect than psychologists are. So, when a physicist says such and such, philosophers tend to listen to that statement more than when a psychologist says such and such. Philosophers feel more comfortable in the realm of psychology than they do in the realm of physics.
  • Moliere
    1.8k
    Just some more bumblings that are going around in my head:

    Physicists are not guiltless in this matter, either. By way of example: After Heisenberg had published his theory, along with Bohr, he had the audacity to go the philosopher's conferences and tell them things like "My theory proves that Kant was wrong". I mean that he said this in no uncertain terms. Clearly there's an interesting relationship to be had between QM and Kantian philosophy, but this wasn't what he said. He more or less claimed to have knowledge of "the thing in itself" without really understanding the philosophy behind said term.

    This attitude can be further exemplified by a popular quote attributed to Richard Feynman: "Philosophy of science is as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds"

    I would link such hubris to the industrialization of warfare and the impact this had upon the world, as well as the destruction of intellectual centers in Europe through the second world war and the appropriation of said intellect by an industrial power. After the atomic bomb, after the general theory of relativity, and after the various philosopher's critique's of metaphysics in the early 20th century -- what could philosophy possibly offer over what science had clearly demonstrated?

    Well, given how marvelously bad many a scientist is at philosophy (See: Roger Penrose, Hawkings, and Sam Harris), I think that question is more easy to respond to these days. :D But that would explain some of the hesitancy on the part of philosophers, I think. (though perhaps there are authors I'm unaware of who are trying to bridge this gap between philosophy and physics -- which I think, given the problem of QM interpretation alone, shows there could be something fruitful there)
  • Landru Guide Us
    245
    QM is not only science, it's one of our best scientific theories. Science is simply the social practice of using methodological naturalism to explain observed facts and to make useful predictions based on that explanation - an explanation better than the alternatives, not some perfect explanation. QM excels at both (though like all scientific theories it doesn't explain everything the weird properties of gravity for instance.)

    QM has nothing to do with philosophy, though some of the facts that it explains, being the result of experiments peculiar to QM, potentially raise interesting philosophical questions about our experience of the world. But that would be the case whether we had the theory or not.

    I'd go so far as to say that any philosophical claim that invokes QM is by definition askew and has fundamentally conflated science and philosophy.
  • Janus
    10.4k


    I can't speak to the "average particle physicist's" degree of familiarity with philosophy. But I would not agree that our 'naive' beliefs about "trees falling in the forest" are merely cultural constructs.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    I wouldn't call a belief a bias -- but I would say that beliefs about what is are ontological beliefs.Moliere

    Then according to that formulation, I'm not referring to ontological beliefs, but to beliefs about ontology, which there is no indication that either of these people had, or that beliefs about ontology had any effect on their work. That's what I'm saying. One needn't have any particularly well thought out stance on the matter to have a motivation to make scientific discoveries, and I can't imagine a single reason why adopting a (to once again misappropriate Kant) deontological position should in any way effect those motivations.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    I would link such hubris to the industrialization of warfare and the impact this had upon the world, as well as the destruction of intellectual centers in Europe through the second world war and the appropriation of said intellect by an industrial power.Moliere

    To be fair, what sometimes passes for philosophy rightly gives philosophy a bad name, and I can't fault anyone who only has a passing knowledge of philosophy to believe it is all sophistry, mental masturbation and an attempt to get easy credits.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    QM is not only science, it's one of our best scientific theories. Science is simply the social practice of using methodological naturalism to explain observed facts and to make useful predictions based on that explanation - an explanation better than the alternatives, not some perfect explanation. QM excels at both (though like all scientific theories it doesn't explain everything the weird properties of gravity for instance.)

    QM has nothing to do with philosophy, though some of the facts that it explains, being the result of experiments peculiar to QM, potentially raise interesting philosophical questions about our experience of the world. But that would be the case whether we had the theory or not.

    I'd go so far as to say that any philosophical claim that invokes QM is by definition askew and has fundamentally conflated science and philosophy.
    Landru Guide Us

    This comment seems off the mark to me. I am not proposing any philosophical claims that invoke QM, I am trying to discuss the relative merits of QM interpretations in terms of philosophy.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    I can't speak to the "average particle physicist's" degree of familiarity with philosophy. But I would not agree that our 'naive' beliefs about "trees falling in the forest" are merely cultural constructs.John

    I'm not sure how this distinction matters in the context of this particular subject. Do I have to once again protest that I am not a naive idealist? I'm really, really not, but I feel like the only reason to make this point is to disabuse me of such a position. Or are you trying to make some other point?
  • Landru Guide Us
    245
    This comment seems off the mark to me. I am not proposing any philosophical claims that invoke QM, I am trying to discuss the relative merits of QM interpretations in terms of philosophy.Reformed Nihilist
    I'm not sure what this could possibly mean except the category error I stated.

    QM is science. It isn't philosophy. How could philosophy possibly sort out which interpretation of a scientific theory is the best scientific interpretation? The only possible way to sort that out is more hypotheses and more empirical testing.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    QM is science. It isn't philosophy. How could philosophy possibly sort out which interpretation of a scientific theory is the best scientific interpretation? The only possible way to sort that out is more hypotheses and more empirical testing.Landru Guide Us

    Unless I am greatly mistaken, QM interpretations are absolutely not science. If they were, they would be falsifiable. Rather, each interpretation is equally consistent with all the given evidence, and each will in principle remain consistent with future evidence if any of them does. There is no theoretical scientific manner by which to choose preference between one and the other. So far as I can tell, the only reason they are considered science in any way is that their origins are from scientists working in the field of QM.

    If I am incorrect on this, please cite a source for further reading, because so far as I have read, this is the case.
  • darthbarracuda
    3.2k
    I will be honest here, I don't know very much about quantum mechanics. But I'm interesting in purchasing a book on the philosophy of physics which will hopefully give me more information.

    But anyway, quantum mechanics, as far as I can tell, is one of those areas of science that is filled with very smart scientists making very stupid metaphysical assumptions. It seems like it's one of the gray areas between strict philosophy and strict science. In fact, I might go as far as to say that theoretical physics, such as quantum mechanics, is philosophy that is built around empirical science.
  • Janus
    10.4k


    I have some idea of a distinction between naive and other kinds of realist , but no idea at all of a distinction between naive and other kinds of idealist, so I'm not sure what you are wanting to say when you say that you are not a naive idealist.

    In any case thinking of you as an idealist of any kind was not what I had in mind. I had thought that you were saying that nuclear physicists, being generally philosophically untutored. consequently brought naive realist assumptions (which you believe are merely cultural accretions) to their interpretations of QM. If I have misunderstood you then please advise.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    consequently brought naive realist assumptions (which you believe are merely cultural accretions) to their interpretations of QM.John

    Not necessarily merely cultural, but for the sake of this discussion, calling them cultural should be sufficient. That's why I was asking why you felt it necessary to make the distinction between what the average person considers considers objective being cultural and being merely cultural.
  • Reformed Nihilist
    219
    quantum mechanics, as far as I can tell, is one of those areas of science that is filled with very smart scientists making very stupid metaphysical assumptionsdarthbarracuda

    That is what I was saying, in a nutshell.
  • Janus
    10.4k


    It is because I believe that it is reasonable to think there is a basic kernel of truth in naive realist assumptions insofar as they are pre-reflectively natural and not merely based on linguistic hypostatizations.

    In consequence of the natural disposition of the human organism all our language and all our discourse is permeated with the ineliminable logic of naive realism.
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