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gary e. davis
December 15, 2014
     
     


My recent adventures in philosophy of physics didn’t result in drowning. After all, much of their talk is about how to communicate sensibly about mathematically-defined phenomena. But don’t suppose that I swim well there. I learn, though.

Each link, theme, and claim in the following preface to so much (too much) is anticipating a development (its own discursive venture), whereby this page “1.0” becomes a table of contents—eventually (sigh).



Exemplary is Alyssa Ney’s recent review of Steven French’s The Structure of the World, 2014, where she engages his structural realism with unusual detail (as reviews go). Dwelling with this, I thought that she—a neo-positivist—was lacking phenomenological and anthropic perspective. A tenable naturalism doesn’t require reductionist physicalism.

Behold!: French, at his Leeds faculty page, writes: “At some point he [referring to himself] is going to stun the world (or not) with a book on Husserl and the phenomenological approach to quantum mechanics.” (Score one for me. Ney, in her own work, squabbles with new Russellians—that’s Bertrand. Given that the character of quantum physics was already evident when Heidegger was deconstructing metaphysicalism, French’s attraction to Husserl may cause wonder about an eternal return of the same.)

Though disputes about Anthropic Principles are ongoing, most pertinent for meta-physics is not whether or not our Universe is one that especially affords intelligent life. Rather, regardless of stance in that dispute, we’re strapped with our evolving cognitive finitude. One may care about It All because our nature—our intrinsically aspiring desire to know—calls us into inquiry and adventures. But We need efficacious, consolidating comprehensibility, and we can’t stand outside of Our evolving cognitivity, i.e., our anthropic nature.

I think that Our natural reality absolves French of Ney’s sense of his “failure” to provide her with ontological commitment beyond a Tegmarkian mathematicality of the Universe as such.

Jonathan Bain’s approach to “ontic structural realism” implicitly strengthens French, I surmise. He gives up set-theoretical conceptions of relata in relational (constitutive, ontical) constructions in terms of category theory (which I hope to understand).

Perhaps a French/Bains approach can be complemented by quantum-computation theorist David Deutsch’s Constructor Theory, which prospects a constitutive continuum from quantum physics through classical (phenomenological) physics into a post-physicalist conception of life (i.e., biogenic coding is non-reducible, according to Marletto’s version of Constructor Theory).

Life evolved our current condition of self-designing comprehensibility, for which quantum computing would be a great corroborative advance—in light of emergence (and better cultivation) of more gifted talents, i.e., more emergence of more-gifted capabilities giving way to more-originary insightfulness.

So, there are at least 24 follow-up topics here.

 

 

   
    Be fair. © 2014, g. e. davis