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Thread: Realism vs Idealism: Philosophy Is Relevant to Science

  1. #1 Realism vs Idealism: Philosophy Is Relevant to Science 
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    Jul 2012
    Wiki on Idealism:
    In philosophy, idealism is the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing.
    Wiki on direct vs indirect realism:
    The question of direct or "naïve" realism, as opposed to indirect or "representational" realism, arises in the philosophy of perception....
    I am not concerned here with “the philosophy of perception.” Direct/ naive realism says that the world is as we see it.... a major overstatement of sensory/perceptive accuracy! Realism in the most general sense is the philosophy that there is a real world of “actual physical objects” and forces independent of how we “see” and “measure” them.

    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Scientific Realism:
    It is perhaps only a slight exaggeration to say that scientific realism is characterized differently by every author who discusses it, and this presents a challenge to anyone hoping to learn what it is.

    Traditionally, scientific realism asserts that the objects of scientific knowledge exist independently of the minds or acts of scientists and that scientific theories are true of that objective (mind-independent) world.
    Q: How does this support the claim of relativity that there are no actual physical objects with intrinsic properties, but that rather reality depends on observation/measurement? This stance is in direct contradiction of the above and of Wiki’s version below:

    Scientific realism is, at the most general level, the view that the world described by science (perhaps ideal science) is the real world, as it is, independent of what we might take it to be. Within philosophy of science, it is often framed as an answer to the question "how is the success of science to be explained?"...

    One of the main arguments for scientific realism centers on the notion that scientific knowledge is progressive in nature, and that it is able to predict phenomena successfully.
    Clearly GR improved on Newtonian theory of gravity. Yet claiming that “spacetime” is an entity curved by mass is not a requirement for that success, as such “curvature” is in the coordinate system modeled by GR, not even addressing the ontology of what space is, what time is, or what the coalescence or the two are as spacetime.

    Likewise, SR has clearly shown that lightspeed through space is constant regardless of how it is observed. This, however, does not require that objects are in fact shorter or flatter according to how they are observed.... that observation/measurement defines “reality” for objects.

    The following quotes are gleaned from an article, Philosophy: Idealism vs Realism...
    Mostly authored by Geoff Haselhurst. This will focus on the philosophy not the specifics of the “The Spherical Standing Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) in Space” in that paper. (my bold)

    Finally, if nothing can be truly asserted, even the following claim would be false, the claim that there is no true assertion.

    The central problem of postmodern Philosophy is to connect our incomplete senses of the world with the real world of what exists (Kant's thing in itself).
    (Geoff Haselhurst... GH)

    Nothing seems of more importance, towards erecting a firm system of sound and real knowledge, which may be proof against the assaults of scepticism, than to lay the beginning in a distinct explication of what is meant by thing, reality, existence: for in vain shall we dispute concerning the real existence of things, or pretend to any knowledge thereof, so long as we have not fixed the meaning of those words.
    (George Berkeley)

    So what does physically exist, what is Reality, and how can we get from the mind and the representation of Reality to knowing Reality itself? (Or as Kant puts it, from knowing our ideas of things to knowing things in themselves.)

    I wished to show that space time is not necessarily something to which one can ascribe to a separate existence, independently of the actual objects of physical reality. Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended. In this way the concept 'empty space' loses its meaning.
    Clearly, Einstein disagreed with the prevailing opinion in this forum (see my closed thread) that “there are no such things as”...” actual objects of physical reaity.”

    Btw, I disagree with his opinion stated in his last two sentences. I see space as 3-D volume (disregarding its contents). Clearly its contents are physical objects and forces. Without them, what is left is “empty space.” I know that disagreement with Einstein is relativity’s version of blasphemy, so such disageement is left to heretics, usually labeled as cranks or crackpots.

    (Erwin SWchrodinger):
    Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist.
    No wonder his “cat” is both dead and alive until the box is opened and the cat observed.
    However, as we all know, a cat can not be both dead and alive. It is *either* dead *or* alive. We find out which when we open the box.
    Likewise, the shape of earth: It can not be both flattened and spherical, in "the real world"... and a fast fly-by frame of observation does not make it flat... real-istically speaking.



  3. #2  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    This is just restarting a previously locked thread. It's the same old same old.

    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"

  4. #3  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    It's like the undead. Unless some cuts his head off (or is it a stake through the heart?) he will keep popping up and spouting ignorant nonsense. Shame he isn't smart enough to understand that NO ONE CARES about his delusions.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat

  5. #4  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    South Africa
    Ok Mikiel, consider this your final word from the last thread, your swan song. Have a nice life.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle

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