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I would expect that taking a longer path would also result in taking more time to travel

You're not thinking "relativistically", i.e., in terms of spacetime. You're thinking in terms of paths in space rather than in terms of paths in spacetime. Research "spacetime interval" and take some time to think it through. It will become clear but developing a relativistic intuition takes time.

Regarding force: are you familiar with the term "fictitious force"? Essentially, a genuine force cannot be "transformed away" by a coordinate transformation whereas a fictitious force can. Fictitious forces arise in accelerated coordinate systems.

In GTR, it is always possible to find a coordinate transformation in which the spacetime of the (infinitesimal) neighborhood of an event is flat, i.e., in which there is no curvature, i.e., in which the gravitational field is zero. In other words, it is always possible to "transform away" the gravitational "force" with an appropriate coordinate transformation. For that reason, within the context of GTR, gravity is not a genuine force.

Edited by Alfred Centauri

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Grames would you feel like pointing out what part of the paper you posted here and elsewhere a while ago supports abandoning entity based causation most explicitly? I read through it a while ago but was reading three other things and was a bit distracted.

I cannot because "... abandoning entity based causation" was not the point of the paper by intention or implication. It attacks metaphysical hierarchy, which all versions of determinism rely upon. The paper is, in my opinion, worth your full attention when you have the time for it.

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Grames said:

"This topic is philosophically important because the idea that there are fundamental particles that are the only thing that really exists and so the only thing that can truly be a cause and that everything else is composed of them is metaphysically poisonous in that it leads straight to reductive determinism.  I take this opportunity to once again publicize the paper Physicalism, Emergence, and Downward Causation by Campbell and Bickhard. "

I took this to be abandoning entity causation. Are you holding to a non-material substance based ontology for fields? How does one escape the idea that all entities are material? Fields and "energy" both presupposed matter in motion before the Energeticist movement and others ruined the concepts.

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How does one escape the idea that all entities are material?

Broadening our understanding of 'material' eliminates any possibility of a non-material existence. Because the word 'material' is so closely linked with many concepts that are first level and tangible I find it is not helpful to use it for physics or philosophizing about physics. Instead I would say that all entities are physical, which emphasizes the causal and omits expectation, connotations and subconscious associations drawn from first-level perceptual experience that entities must by their nature be tangible or even discrete.

The principles of identity and causality are necessarily applicable to whatever the ontology of the universe is, but the expectation that what exists must be discrete in the same way that coffee cups, dogs and financial crises are discrete or composed of many discretes is not necessarily true.

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This topic is philosophically important because the idea that there are fundamental particles that are the only thing that really exists and so the only thing that can truly be a cause and that everything else is composed of them is metaphysically poisonous in that it leads straight to reductive determinism. I take this opportunity to once again publicize the paper Physicalism, Emergence, and Downward Causation by Campbell and Bickhard.

Metaphysically is confusing to me in this. Shouldn't it be epistemologically poisonous?

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Metaphysically is confusing to me in this. Shouldn't it be epistemologically poisonous?

No, the error is specifically about asserting what exists, which is ontology, which is metaphysics.

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Thanks. That helps put into perspective that Objectivism isn't necessarily monist in this regard to this issue. Isn't the other error taking place here that it leads straight to reductive determinism? Determinism has no room for knowledge to be evaluated as correct/incorrect. Even if physics should some day demonstrate that there is some fundamental particle of which existence is entirely comprised, doesn't the deterministic argument still fail because of the fact that error does, in fact, exist?

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Broadening our understanding of 'material' eliminates any possibility of a non-material existence. Because the word 'material' is so closely linked with many concepts that are first level and tangible I find it is not helpful to use it for physics or philosophizing about physics. Instead I would say that all entities are physical, which emphasizes the causal and omits expectation, connotations and subconscious associations drawn from first-level perceptual experience that entities must by their nature be tangible or even discrete.

The principles of identity and causality are necessarily applicable to whatever the ontology of the universe is, but the expectation that what exists must be discrete in the same way that coffee cups, dogs and financial crises are discrete or composed of many discretes is not necessarily true.

Such "broadening" must have a inductive justification. If one follows this reconstruction through the perceptual origins/context of the concepts used in physical theories today one will find there is no justification inductively for such "widening" of the concepts and that the actual context the concepts were formed in pressuposes matter-entities always. Edit: added "entities"

In 1906 Lord Kelvin wrote:

"Young persons who have grown up in scientific work within the past fifteen or

twenty years seem to have forgotten that energy is not an absolute existence.

Even the Germans laugh at the "Energetikers". I do not know even if Otswald

knows that energy is a capacity for doing work; and that work done implies

mutual force between different parts of one body relatively moveable or between

two bodies or two pieces of matter ,or between two atoms of matter,or between an

atom of matter and an electron,or, at the very least between two electrons"

Edit(the concept) material hierarchally is founded on matter.

I'd be interested in any inductive support for such "widening". I haven't been able to find anything but folks accepting "widened" concepts and declaring that the equations demand them.

Edit: also that entities are discreet is a consequence of identity. An unbounded entity is a contradiction.

Edited by Plasmatic

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As I see it, in Physics, the concept of matter is what separates entities from the broader group of existents. Energy exists, but only as a property of matter (an entity or group of entities). Entities (material objects) act. Physicists should determine the physical nature of those entities. Whether particles or fields are the fundamental material object is independent of the source of the concept "matter" (which is wood or timber in Latin). I don't see how the "infinite"* spatial extension of fields is any less tenable than the zero spatial extension of particles as a candidate for the ulimate "stuff." The perceptual origin of "matter" are those objects in everyday life which have finite, non-zero, perceivable spatial extension (not particles).

*"Infinite" above means extending the entirety of whatever space there is (i.e. not localizable)

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For the record I reject the rediculous notion of "zero extension" for particles as well.

Edit: the etymology of the the word matter has nothing to do with what the concept means in physics. When I spoke of hierarchy I was referring to the use of the concepts in the context they were applied in their original inductive context.

Edited by Plasmatic

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Why is that notion ridiculous? Extension can arise (emerge) as a relationship between particles.

To insist that a particle must have extension because larger entities made of particles have extension is reductive determinism.

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For the record I reject the rediculous notion of "zero extension" for particles as well.

Why is that notion ridiculous? Extension can arise (emerge) as a relationship between particles.

Zero extension is ridiculous because any particle with mass greater than zero but zero extension has infinite density, or in other words is a black hole because zero radius is guaranteed to be smaller than the Schwartzchild radius for even a subatomic mass. Such a small black hole would evaporate in an instant due to Hawking radiation, which means there would be no particles.

To insist that a particle must have extension because larger entities made of particles have extension is reductive determinism.

The proper fallacy to call out here is the fallacy of composition.

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Thanks. That helps put into perspective that Objectivism isn't necessarily monist in this regard to this issue. Isn't the other error taking place here that it leads straight to reductive determinism? Determinism has no room for knowledge to be evaluated as correct/incorrect. Even if physics should some day demonstrate that there is some fundamental particle of which existence is entirely comprised, doesn't the deterministic argument still fail because of the fact that error does, in fact, exist?

Dr. Peikoff makes a remark about monism in Notes on "Unity in Ethics and Epistemology" Lecture 1

Ancients Greeks were the first civilization to set out to find unity by seeking "the one in the many". They are the source of the quest in both metaphysics and epistemology.

Thales vs. Anaxagoras is the first expression of monism vs. pluralism.

Thales: "Everything is water."

Anaxagoras: "Everything is unique."

Monism is construed broadly, the reduction of the many things that exist to the four elements of earth, fire, air, and water counts as a type of Monism because it is still a reduction from the vast diversity of particulars that is perceived. Monism need not be restricted to literally one.

Objectivism is still best described as monistic in its ambition to integrate knowledge.

It is not a good tactic to rely upon error to refute determinism, but I forget the reasoning behind that conclusion.

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Such "broadening" must have a inductive justification. If one follows this reconstruction through the perceptual origins/context of the concepts used in physical theories today one will find there is no justification inductively for such "widening" of the concepts and that the actual context the concepts were formed in pressuposes matter-entities always. Edit: added "entities"

In 1906 Lord Kelvin wrote:

"Young persons who have grown up in scientific work within the past fifteen or

twenty years seem to have forgotten that energy is not an absolute existence.

Even the Germans laugh at the "Energetikers". I do not know even if Otswald

knows that energy is a capacity for doing work; and that work done implies

mutual force between different parts of one body relatively moveable or between

two bodies or two pieces of matter ,or between two atoms of matter,or between an

atom of matter and an electron,or, at the very least between two electrons"

Edit(the concept) material hierarchally is founded on matter.

I'd be interested in any inductive support for such "widening". I haven't been able to find anything but folks accepting "widened" concepts and declaring that the equations demand them.

Edit: also that entities are discreet is a consequence of identity. An unbounded entity is a contradiction.

Just wanted to add that divorcing a concept from it perceptual origin (the first level) is not a widening but a removal from context and ultimately reality.

The inductive justification would be the experimental evidence for non-locality in tests of Bell's inequality, quantum tunneling, Einstein's mass-energy equivalence, and the Pauli Exclusion Principle (and hence all of chemistry).

An entity is not unbounded when its existence asymptotically approaches zero at great distances.

From Dr. Peikoff, from my Notes on "Induction in Physics and Philosophy" Lecture 6:

From previous lecture, Occam's Razor - "Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity." Utterly invalid. Versus "Concepts are not to be multiplied beyond necessity." Rand's Razor is epistemological while Occam's is metaphysical. Concepts are tools that serve the purpose of cognition, choose to create a new tool only when that purpose is advanced. But Occam says "something doesn't exist if something simpler can exist" ex. "there are no epicycles because we can get along without them" But foisting a criterion of simplicity upon reality is primacy of consciousness.

. . .

Q: Can philosophy say anything positive in physics? {Entity ontology?}

A: No. Entities are perceptually given but that does not imply that entities are the ultimate constituents of matter. There must be something, an existent, but that says very little.

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It is not a good tactic to rely upon error to refute determinism, but I forget the reasoning behind that conclusion.

Perhaps because it goes against the principles you have earlier outlined and currently referenced me to.

It has to be far better, thus more compelling, to develop a fuller grasp of all the facts knowable that demonstrate determinism.

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Grames, I'll post a more thorough response later, because I don't want to keep posting in "drive by":) For now I'll just say the the "Schwarzschild’s radius" isn't Schwarzschild’s at all, it's Hilbert's, and Schwarzschild’s work actually precludes black holes. Peikoff is wrong about ontology.

Edited by Plasmatic

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Zero extension is ridiculous because any particle with mass greater than zero but zero extension has infinite density, or in other words is a black hole because zero radius is guaranteed to be smaller than the Schwartzchild radius for even a subatomic mass. Such a small black hole would evaporate in an instant due to Hawking radiation, which means there would be no particles.

Perhaps I should have said "no extension" rather than "zero extension."

IF space emerges as a relationship between particles, and if the universe consisted of only one particle, there would be no space, and the concept of "density" would be meaningless. Volumetric density depends upon a 3-D space, which requires at least four particles (assuming the emergent-space scenario).

I don't understand your complete dismissal of particles, I thought from reading old threads between you and Travis Norsen, that you prefer the De-Broglie-Bohm approach to QFT of particle guided by wave.

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Oscar Munoz, warm hello across the years. —Stephen

You may be also interested in this thread and in this post,

the latter concerning Penrose’s proposed Conformal Cyclic Cosmology: a, b.

(PS – I see now that you and Alfred have already been discussing Penrose's CCC here.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alfred, thank you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On QM interpretation, this one.

Edited by Boydstun

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With respect to the extension of fundamental particles, we have to keep in mind that the only way to "probe" a fundamental particle is with... a fundamental particle. That is, we cannot, even in principle, determine the spatial extent of a fundamental particle with arbitrary precision. Why?

This is related to Grames comment about infinite energy density but it doesn't require the density to be infinite. In order to probe smaller and smaller regions of space, we need fundamental particles with larger and larger energy. If I'm not terribly mistaken, there is a limit to how energetic our probe, e.g., a photon, can be and that limit is when the wavelength of the photon is of the order of a Planck length. To quote, gulp, Wikipedia:

Because the
Schwarzschild radius
of a
black hole
is roughly equal to the
Compton wavelength
at the Planck scale, a photon with sufficient energy to probe this realm would yield no information whatsoever. Any photon energetic enough to precisely measure a Planck-sized object could actually create a particle of that dimension, but it would be massive enough to immediately become a black hole (a.k.a.
Planck particle
), thus completely distorting that region of space, and swallowing the photon.

The point here is that, if we accept that our current physical theories apply at this scale, there is simply no physically meaningful way to speak of spatial extent "smaller" than a Planck length.

Edited by Alfred Centauri

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Let's say you are chillin' on a galixy at the edge of the universe. On one side you can see other galixys doing thier thing and on the other side nothing. Does light still keep on going on the empty side? If so doesn't that mean there is a huge space around the universe that has nothing but photons. Why is light not the answer to dark energy? Light needs somewhere to go. And for something to be able to be a partice and a wave at the same time it really doesn't seem that far fetched to me. with all these waves floating around it's no wonder we can see more space between objects. Kind of funny that the expantion picked up the same time stars started forming. I think expantion is the wrong word. Maybe photons illuminate thier own dimention. The wave function of a photon should say it all.

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Grames in post 11 said

The appeal of this theory is that the underlying existent treats all of the many paths the same without weighting the classical ones more heavily than paths that violate conservation of energy, the least distance principle, or what have you. The underlying existent does not somehow have built into it a priori knowledge of what it is supposed to do, rather much of what we recognize as laws of physics simply falls out of the constructive and destructive summation of all the paths

How here do you mean "the underlying existent treats..."?

I understand this theory in more laymens' terminology as " a canonball will travel every possible trajectory including the one observed, because String Theory somehow postulates multiverses and since infinity can happen an infinite amount of times , basically you saw one of them."

How is what you are, postulating, or quoting, essentially different or is it the same thing ?

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