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An Attempt at Applying Objectivism to the Foundations of Physics

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1 hour ago, SpookyKitty said:

... attempt to apply Objectivist Metaphysics to the foundations of physics...

I checked your profile and found that you have some experience with Objectivism.

Do you also have some experience with exact sciences? What is your experience with physics, especially with fundamental physics?

You certainly understand why I am asking...
 

Edited by AlexL

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3 hours ago, AlexL said:

I checked your profile and found that you have some experience with Objectivism.

Do you also have some experience with exact sciences? What is your experience with physics, especially with fundamental physics?

You certainly understand why I am asking...
 

I read books.

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7 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

I read books.

What books? Have you only read them, not studied?

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Object Socrates is constituted by object human body and object beard
and object sandals.

 

This part is incomplete. The arrangement of an object's constituents matters just as much as the constituents, themselves. If a piece of wood and some Oxygen are burned into ash and smoke, they retain all of their original pieces (their atoms); the only thing that changes is their configuration.

Your o-statements should probably be expanded from a list of an object's constituents to something that reflects their structure (although, off the top of my head, I couldn't say exactly what that would look like).

 

Quote

This is just like saying “This apple is red” but “The property
of redness is not itself red”.

 

Are you familiar with the idea that 'entities are the only primary existents'?

That's not a rhetorical question. I can't tell whether or not you've incorporated that into your theory (I don't really understand a lot of it) but it seems particularly relevant.

 

Also, it might be helpful to bear in mind that any category can only be a categorization of entities "out there" in reality.

 

On 5/6/2016 at 3:48 AM, AlexL said:

What books? Have you only read them, not studied?

 

Dude - did you study her paper, before asking that?

 

She's working on a rigorous outline of Objectivist metaphysics and ontology (which is something I don't believe any of the professionals have done, yet).

That ought to speak for itself.

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4 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

This part is incomplete. The arrangement of an object's constituents matters just as much as the constituents, themselves. If a piece of wood and some Oxygen are burned into ash and smoke, they retain all of their original pieces (their atoms); the only thing that changes is their configuration.

The configuration shouldn't have to be incorporated directly into an o-statement. The configugration should itself be defined only in terms of o-statements.

Quote

Are you familiar with the idea that 'entities are the only primary existents'?

That's not a rhetorical question. I can't tell whether or not you've incorporated that into your theory (I don't really understand a lot of it) but it seems particularly relevant.

 

Also, it might be helpful to bear in mind that any category can only be a categorization of entities "out there" in reality.

I don't know, I'll have to look into it.

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5 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Dude - did you study her paper, before asking that?

 

Dude, have you noticed that this person is attempting to "apply Objectivist Metaphysics to the foundations of physics"? For this, she should have

 

(1) a good understanding of the Objectivist metaphysics (=ontology!), and

(2) a good understanding of the concepts of fundamental physics.

 

About the physics part… she "read" some yet unspecified books…

 

Now, if she is just trying to axiomatize the Objectivist metaphysics, then she might skip the physics part. But she then should know how an axiomatized subject matter is structured: primitive concepts (and their relationship to reality), axioms, theorems. There are good sources for this. 

 

On the other hand, from what I have seen in that first part, the relationship to the specifically Objectivist metaphysics is quite weak. For example, the definitions seem to be different from A. Rand's. Thus, it is stated that:

 

- existence is a property of an object

- that existence is a category (like man, Mammal, Object) and at the same time a property

 

Also take

 

Example 3. Object Socrates is constituted by object human body and object beard and object sandals.

 

I wonder if, after he takes off his sandals and/or shaves his beard, we still have a Socrates J

Edited by AlexL

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On May 5, 2016 at 3:48 PM, SpookyKitty said:

This is the first part of my attempt to apply Objectivist Metaphysics to the foundations of physics. It's a work-in-progress but I think I've put forth some interesting results.

newfile1.pdf

The document stands more as a rejection of Objectivism than an application of it.  

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1 hour ago, AlexL said:

 

Dude, have you noticed that this person is attempting to "apply Objectivist Metaphysics to the foundations of physics"? For this, she should have

 

(1) a good understanding of the Objectivist metaphysics (=ontology!), and

(2) a good understanding of the concepts of fundamental physics.

 

About the physics part… she "read" some yet unspecified books…

 

Now, if she is just trying to axiomatize the Objectivist metaphysics, then she might skip the physics part. But she then should know how an axiomatized subject matter is structured: primitive concepts (and their relationship to reality), axioms, theorems. There are good sources for this. 

 

On the other hand, from what I have seen in that first part, the relationship to the specifically Objectivist metaphysics is quite weak. For example, the definitions seem to be different from A. Rand's. Thus, it is stated that:

I've studied, yes STUDIED, using University Physics (by Young and Freedman). I've also read Wald's General Relativity, and Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler's Gravitation textbook, as well as the first volume of Atkinson's Quantum Mechanics: A First Course.

Quote

On the other hand, from what I have seen in that first part, the relationship to the specifically Objectivist metaphysics is quite weak. For example, the definitions seem to be different from A. Rand's. Thus, it is stated that:

You are welcome to try this yourself.

Quote

Example 3. Object Socrates is constituted by object human body and object beard and object sandals.

It's just a toy example.

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37 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

The document stands more as a rejection of Objectivism than an application of it.  

As atypical as it is, it's not like a total rejection of Objectivism to the core. But, there are issues I have. There is no rejection of "existence exists" or that objects are all that exist.

SK, it seems like you are at least starting at a good spot, but it looks like you are equivocating objects and properties. I had no major disagreement until about 24.

2. I'd be careful to say that the distinction between object and an o-statement is actually that o-statements are propositions. But really all you're saying is an object consists of all the referents your schema incorporates. Perhaps you'd want to say "o-statements" and "c-statements" (constituent statements).  
3. Sandals aren't -part- of him like his beard is. Sandals are not a clear example.
5. Why are they -invalid- if it could go on forever? Nothing you stated earlier shows it is a problem or invalidates 1-4.
6. I see no reason to say an object is constituted by itself. No reason to say o-statements contain the object they stand for. That's why it's invalid, not because it goes on forever.
7/8. I agree, but because of 6.
21. This is Russel's Paradox. I agree about what the questionable part is.
24. Or, you get out of it by saying it just doesn't also -contain- itself. By your terminology, if an object is existence, all you need to do is say the o-statement is the sum of all valid objects. Or, existence isn't an object is another way out.
27.  Wait, are properties supposed to be objects? You didn't show that properties are objects, nor did you define property as distinct from o-statements. How are objects without existence valid? Solution: Properties are not objects.
41. Resolved by saying properties are not objects. It is odd to call red a constituent - you didn't say o-statements contain properties. Why bother to say their is a property "existence"? To distinguish from imagination or ideas, which are not objects.

Edited by Eiuol

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Eiuol, you make a lot of very good points.

I think I'm going to scrap this approach. There are a lot of aspects about it that I don't like myself, in retrospect. I have a few new ideas for something even better and much more in line with 'traditional' Objectivism.

Which is not to say that this was a total waste of effort. At the very least, it got my thinkin' juices flowing, and I might reuse some of the ideas here in the future.

Edited by SpookyKitty

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5 hours ago, AlexL said:

 

On the other hand, from what I have seen in that first part, the relationship to the specifically Objectivist metaphysics is quite weak. ...

 

I wonder if, after he takes off his sandals and/or shaves his beard, we still have a Socrates J

 

Yeah; I noticed the very same thing. That was why I mentioned both the importance of "configuration" in an object's nature and the fact that entities are the only primary existents (which, taken together, would solve every problem I was able to identify).

 

You're right; it's significantly different from a proper Objectivist metaphysics. It's also a work in progress.

 

I will not respond to your thinly-veiled appeals to authority (i.e. questioning the books she's read) except to state that as the nature of that line of reasoning.

This is a courtesy I'm extending you, out of respect for the mind to which this forum is dedicated. If you don't want it then I will wholeheartedly elaborate on that.

Otherwise, let's drop her qualifications.

 

5 hours ago, AlexL said:

 

Dude, have you noticed that this person is attempting to "apply Objectivist Metaphysics to the foundations of physics"?

4 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

The document stands more as a rejection of Objectivism than an application of it.  

 

Wow! And neither of you have ever struggled to understand Rand's ideas before (nor spouted outright nonsense, in the process) either, have you?

 

There is a world of difference between attacking Objectivism and struggling to grasp it. I have yet to meet an Objectivist to whom this could possibly be a foreign issue. Hell - I've been studying this for years and just the other day I posted a stolen concept, here (which Plasmatic and Grames were kind enough to help me with).

Furthermore - this is metaphysics! It's by far the most difficult branch to analyze; the one that we all know is the most prone to errors!

 

If you don't care to help people correct such errors then that's your choice, but please reserve your contempt for the people who actually deserve it. It's not like there's any shortage of them.

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7 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

If you don't care to help people correct such errors then that's your choice, but please reserve your contempt for the people who actually deserve it. It's not like there's any shortage of them.

I'm not sure why you are reacting so strongly.  Perhaps you feel a strong need to rush to defend anything stated by a "Kitten".  This is not normal for you.

Your overreaction although odd, is also erroneous.

The statement that a paper stands as a rejection of certain ideas rather than application of them is not contempt.  It is an assessment of the relationship of the substance of that paper to those ideas.  You may disagree and/or wish to submit counter evidence or counter arguments.  Attacking such an assessment as contempt while ignoring its veracity or plausibility is practically ad hominem, below the level I expect from you, and not at all illuminating of the issues at hand.

I suggest you try not to act differently when it comes to cats.

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2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I'm not sure why you are reacting so strongly.  Perhaps you feel a strong need to rush to defend anything stated by a "Kitten".  This is not normal for you.

Your overreaction although odd, is also erroneous.

The statement that a paper stands as a rejection of certain ideas rather than application of them is not contempt.  It is an assessment of the relationship of the substance of that paper to those ideas.  You may disagree and/or wish to submit counter evidence or counter arguments.  Attacking such an assessment as contempt while ignoring its veracity or plausibility is practically ad hominem, below the level I expect from you, and not at all illuminating of the issues at hand.

I suggest you try not to act differently when it comes to cats.

Well you have neither specified precisely what in that paper is a rejection of Objectivism, nor arguments as to why it is a rejection of Objectivism.

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6 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I'm not sure why you are reacting so strongly.  Perhaps you feel a strong need to rush to defend anything stated by a "Kitten".  This is not normal for you.

While this may not be a typical of me, it is not because it was stated by a "Kitten". As you can see in this thread, while I haven't been as -blunt- as usual, neither am I rushing to defend anything she might post.

 

When I said that this kind of endeavor speaks for itself, I meant it.

 

6 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

The statement that a paper stands as a rejection of certain ideas rather than application of them is not contempt.  It is an assessment of the relationship of the substance of that paper to those ideas.

 

Firstly, "contempt" was the wrong word to use; it's far too strong. I'm sorry about that.

 

Secondly, let me make an analogy.

 

In your response you observed (correctly) that this is not the way I usually approach these things. You indicated what was different about it (correctly) and intimated a theory about the reasons for it (incorrectly). All things considered, it demonstrated a remarkable degree of perceptiveness. If I had simply responded that your post was incorrect, that would strictly be true (since not every part of it was correct). 

I could have done that; responded in one lump sum of "wrong" and left you to sort the rest out, for yourself, without bothering to specify what was wrong with it or why. And if that would've seemed unfair to you (despite being technically true) then you know what I'm rushing to defend this Kitten from.

 

6 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Attacking such an assessment as contempt while ignoring its veracity or plausibility is practically ad hominem, below the level I expect from you, and not at all illuminating of the issues at hand.

 

What veracity or plausibility? You didn't provide any arguments; you just made the bald assertion that it was wrong.

 

I wouldn't have acknowledged it at all, if this didn't seem to involve such an ambitious beginner.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Elaboration

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1 hour ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

While this may not be a typical of me, it is not because it was stated by a "Kitten". As you can see in this thread, while I haven't been as -blunt- as usual, neither am I rushing to defend anything she might post.

 

When I said that this kind of endeavor speaks for itself, I meant it.

 

 

Firstly, "contempt" was the wrong word to use; it's far too strong. I'm sorry about that.

 

Secondly, let me make an analogy.

 

In your response you observed (correctly) that this is not the way I usually approach these things. You indicated what was different about it (correctly) and intimated a theory about the reasons for it (incorrectly). All things considered, it demonstrated a remarkable degree of perceptiveness. If I had simply responded that your post was incorrect, that would strictly be true (since not every part of it was correct). 

I could have done that; responded in one lump sum of "wrong" and left you to sort the rest out, for yourself, without bothering to specify what was wrong with it or why. And if that would've seemed unfair to you (despite being technically true) then you know what I'm rushing to defend this Kitten from.

 

 

What veracity or plausibility? You didn't provide any arguments; you just made the bald assertion that it was wrong.

 

I wouldn't have acknowledged it at all, if this didn't seem to involve such an ambitious beginner.

One mark of intelligence is knowing what you know (and why) when you know it, and also knowing when and that you do not know something when you don't.  When there is gap in knowledge you fill it.  If you identify a lack of such recognition or caution in the face of such a lack as "ambition" your concept of what ambition is is far from what I understand it to be.  Moral ambitiousness like intellectual ambitiousness is about reaching for and not shying from the best one can be, and as such it is an unswerving devotion to correctness.. not obliviousness nor recklessness toward it.

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Ok, so I think a productive line would be to point out that this list suffers from the same "divergences" as SK's previous thread. 

It's concepts are arbitrary and the differentiations don't follow an objective reduction to percepts making the differences asserted rationalistic symbol manipulation.

We see ontological pluralities created from what an Oist method validates as synonyms. 

We have no explanation how a metaphysics-ontology would aid one in doing fundamental physics without violating the general vs special methods that differentiate Philosophy from Physics and keeps both grounded in perception. 

We see how a knowledge of concept formation (or lack of) enables one (or hinders) to understand the process of definition. 

Metaphysics tells only what is true and necessary of everything. Only what cannot be rationally denied of all existents.  A discussion of how this subject matter would guide fundamental physics is in order.

 

 

Edited by Plasmatic

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SpookyKitty

> I've studied, yes STUDIED, using University Physics (by Young and Freedman). I've also read […]

If you studied all these (plus theor. phys. and the corresponding math courses), then this is a truly exceptional performance.

>You are welcome to try this yourself.

Now this is a kindergarten-level argument :-(

>It's just a toy example.

Precisely because it is a toy example, it should have been impeccable.

On the other hand, if you are still interested in axiomatization, I recommend Mario Bunge, a good physicist and a good philosopher, which is a rather rare combination. For example "Foundations of Physics"; you can borrow it from me in electronic form. Just PM me. Do you have access to a university library?

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16 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

I will not respond to your thinly-veiled appeals to authority (i.e. questioning the books she's read) except to state that as the nature of that line of reasoning.

But I was not questioning the books she has read! Unless you can quote me to the contrary.

 

16 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

this is metaphysics! It's by far the most difficult branch to analyze; the one that we all know is the most prone to errors!

Agreed. Especially if one misplaces the dividing line between metaphysics and the natural sciences.

 

Edited by AlexL

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1 hour ago, Plasmatic said:

It's concepts are arbitrary and the differentiations don't follow an objective reduction to percepts making the differences asserted rationalistic symbol manipulation.

If you ask me, it looks like you are committing empricism type of error by apparently not wanting to engage the -actual- argument. Just because an argument is abstract doesn't mean it is rationalistic or demands immediate skepticism. I don't even know what you're talking about - what symbol manipulation? Point it out, don't just assert. Engage the argument if there are errors. That's what I did.

"Ontological pluralities", as though Rand ever talked about it. I can't refer to Rand's works to understand this. Obtuse words don't help if you don't define them.

Perhaps knowledge of concept formation would help here, and would show SK made an error. So show it! Otherwise, you may as well be talking to yourself. The point isn't to call you out, it's to persuade you to expand your ideas.

It is great to see that AlexL and Harrison both responded about the paper's actual content.

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Eiuol:

As a moderator of an Objectivist forum, who presents himself as knowledgeable of such things as Objectivist Metaphysics, and who presents his ideas and analyses of other people's ideas as authoritative, your contribution will go a long way toward clarifying or obstructing curious persons truly desirous of understanding Ayn Rand's Philosophy of Objectivism.

For me, her philosophy means too much, so I wish the owners and administrators of this forum, and the hapless novices of Objectivism who will be graced by your toutlage the very best of much needed fortune.

StrictlyLogical

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7 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Moral ambitiousness like intellectual ambitiousness is about reaching for and not shying from the best one can be, and as such it is an unswerving devotion to correctness.. not obliviousness nor recklessness toward it.

 

I have not said that SK's theory is absolutely correct, as it stands now, nor anything else that could imply some sort of sanction on intellectual recklessness. In fact, I have given my own criticisms of it. 

My point is that we should assume intellectual innocence until and unless we have proof of guilt (most particularly with regard to newbies, here). Which means: when a newbie makes a mistake (as SK has already done, several times) let's assume it's because they don't know any better, yet, and treat them accordingly. Which doesn't mean to refrain from criticism, altogether, but to make it as specific and constructive as we can.

 

I know I'm singling you out, here, but what I'm irritated about is a pattern I've seen across this forum (which has been here long before you or I arrived). I'm addressing you, partially because you provided an excellent example of it and partially because I know my audience can handle it.

 

---

 

I'll respond to the rest, chronologically, in just a moment.

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