• Fooloso4
    807
    I am agnostic regarding the observer's role at the quantum level, but at larger scales I do not think the observer effects the outcome of what is observed, although what is observed changes with the position of the observer.

    With regard to Rovelli's comment about realism and relationalism, I have the same problem I do with all theories of quantum mechanics.
  • fresco
    280
    Thankyou to all above
    It seems to me that the single word most resistant to discussion is 'understanding'.
    In that respect it seems ridiculous not to include 'observer states' as a crucial issue.
  • Fooloso4
    807
    With regard to quantum mechanics and time: "Quantum Leaps, Long Assumed to Be Instantaneous, Take Time" https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-leaps-long-assumed-to-be-instantaneous-take-time-20190605/

    This illustrates the problem of arguments about reality based on our lack of understanding of the quantum world.
  • Janus
    7.7k
    ' So questions like Is it reasonable to believe that the universe is 14 billion years old ?' are rendered vacuous, because they are predicated on particular views of 'time' and 'the universe' which are not given, they are human constructs whose reasonable use is contextually bound.
    So as for what is 'reasonable' to say, I suggest that 'philosophers' might confine their remarks as to the ethics involved in control aspects of epistemology.
    fresco

    I don't see how it follows from the fact that questions are contextual that they are vacuous. What it is reasonable to say is simply what coheres and is consistent with our whole body of knowledge and about which we seem to have insufficient reason for doubt,

    Thankyou to all above
    It seems to me that the single word most resistant to discussion is 'understanding'.
    In that respect it seems ridiculous not to include 'observer states' as a crucial issue.
    fresco

    How would you, for example, go about including, in the sense of factoring in "observer states" in the study of chemistry, geology or biology, or even psychology, economics or history? Do you envisage it being something like trying to play music while consciously and continuously watching yourself play in a mirror. Sounds like it would be a ridiculously cumbersome approach that even if possible would not add anything significant, and to the contrary, would only produce unnecessary confusion and ineptitude!
  • fresco
    280
    Human knowledge evolves. It involves the coexistence and coextension of what we might call 'observer states' and 'world states'. At any historical stage or area in this process there might occur a hiatus, or impasse, which the observer might call 'lack of understanding'. This tends to be partially resolved by what Kuhn called 'paradigm shifts' involving a mutual restructuring of 'observers' and 'their world view'.

    Can there be a transcendent 'vantage point' from which this epistemological evolution can be 'observed'? I suggest 'philosophy' could and should fulfil that role and in particular examine the 'human forces' which drive that evolution like 'enhanced control' and 'rivalry'.
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