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Reddit mentions of The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time: A Proposal in Natural Philosophy

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We found 5 Reddit mentions of The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time: A Proposal in Natural Philosophy. Here are the top ones.

The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time: A Proposal in Natural Philosophy
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Found 5 comments on The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time: A Proposal in Natural Philosophy:

u/amnsisc · 8 pointsr/badphilosophy

This is definitely not a stupid question, but very quickly gets to the heart of the matter.

But, to put it this way, Feyerabend's epistemic anarchism is a form of dis-unity of method, but dis-unity of method does not reduce to epistemic anarchism.

Kuhnian Paradigms, Lakatosian research programs, Dennett's Stances, Rorty's interpretative communities, Davidson's radical interpretation, Wittgenstein's modes of life, Heidegger's readiness-to-hand (with some modification), Hegelian Geists', Quinean evolutionary epistemology & jettisoning of analytic/synthetic divide, Derrida's no outside-the-text, Habermas' spheres of communication, Luhmann's systems, Putnam's later work & so on (and forgive me for some jostling, as obviously the analogies here are not perfectly apt) are all in their own way subsets of or presuppose epistemic disunity.

Furthermore, epistemic diversity & disunity is also, in many ways,
'just a fact' to the extent such things exist, in a literal & mundane way: particle physics uses different methods than paleontology which uses different methods than astronomy which uses different methods than sociology which uses different methods than ecology which uses different methods than anthropology which uses different methods than biochemistry & so on. They use different methods, different theories, different models, different discourses, different equipment and, no less important, in my opinion, they use different career tracks, different political worldviews, different funding methods, different prestige evaluation, different funding sources, different pragmatic applications & attract different personality types.

This is basically indisputable--what the disagreement it is, several-fold.

First, to get it out of the way, most philosophers of science & scientists dismiss my second group of differences as important whatsoever, relegating these to the "sociology of science" at best & triviality at worst.

Second, and related to the first point, many dismiss the relationship between context of discovery & context of justification--most of the above, they say, applies in one camp or another, but the two are not unified. Scientific method, they assert, is the province of discovery, not justification. Whether or not a 'discovery' is justified successfully & believed, they grant is empirical, but its truth, they assert, must inhere in its discovery.

Third, we have several divides disciplinarily, in that the philosophy of science itself divides into analytic & continental camps, with the former massively having priority within science itself, even as these two camps share analogies & implications.

But, even within analytic's dominance, a time issue remains, as it is early analytic philosophy like positivism & Popperianism which holds sway within science generally as a sort of folk theory of their own work & middle-to-later analytic work--Wittgenstein's turn, Putnam's strong externalism, Davidson's radical interpretations--and so on is much less pronounced.

Some later work, like Searle & Kitcher makes odes to my points above & is read by scientists & such, though is much more mundane. That said, I've some distance with the world of analytic philosophy now, but from what I gather, cool perspectives stemming from Getier cases, Modal realism, performativity in language, presentism in metaphysics & even far afield like feminist epistemology are getting more of their due--and some of this work, I know for a fact, scientists appreciate, such as Modal realism (which I think many see, somewhat inappropriately, as an empirical proposition describing their work, but hey you can't win 'em all).

But this divide then splits outward too, as the philosophy of science has remained opposed to, though in silent dialogue with, Science & Technology Studies, which as a discipline comprises sociological, anthropological, political scientific, literary, historical, archival, rhetorical, media studies of science, with some work on the economics, cognition & 'science' of science as well. STS' assertions will often be orthogonal to much analytic philosophy (though less so today as implied above) but especially to scientists sort of spontaneous worldview, for lack of a better word.

Hence, we have the 'Science Wars' & 'Sokal Affair' of the 90s, where respectively, an arrogant straw-man of STS was used as a cudgel & an act of bad faith used to mock (and not to play point counter, but the Bogdanov's got far more over on physicists than one physicist did on STS). The word 'social construction' became fatuous or an object of scorn & mockery, a short hand for postmodern lunacy. Trotted out were accusations that 'post-modernism & STS' were relativistic Trojan horses attempting to legitimate everything from religion, to fascism to folk medicine.

Of course, the irony is that STS, was actually more scientific than the philosophy of science or the naive auto-anthropology of scientists & was, in the last instance, there to improve science, not destroy it. B. Latour's book was loved by Salk whose lab he worked in. R. Lewontin & S.J. Gould came around to the STS camp. Pinker even inadvertently cites Steven Shapin & NdGT cites Naomi Oreskes' both of whom are firmly in the STS camp--not realizing they're using ostensibly relativistic, constructivist accounts (or at the very least ones which do not distinguish between justification/discovery, epistemology/sociology).

And here's my bugbear: had the acrimony & snark been stripped away in the early 90s on both sides & STS was listened to I think a lot would be different intellectually today. STS warned scientists: do not be arrogant, do not impose, do not be so self-assured, do not use loose terms & undefined words, do not force analogy or outcome, do not worship evidence or method for its own sake, do not denigrate other epistemologies, do not denigrate other disciplines, do not assure yourself of your unity, objectivity, skepticism, freedom from bias & politics & asociality. Remember, they said, science is definitionally social & institutional, involves rhetoric from step one, involves a diversity of disciplines, methods, theories, equipment, styles & personalities, is not free from the issues plaguing the fact/value, analytic/synthetic, genesis/structure & nature/culture divides and is not assured a permanent place in the world as the queen of policy, morality, culture, media, technology & esteem.

(On the other hand, had STS not been so keen to snarkily dismiss scientists & their own accounts, things may have also been different. As Paul Churchland points out, the naive & spontaneous epistemology of scientists may be 'wrong'--inasmuch as a worldview can be wrong--but an anthropologist can't dismiss the natives, they have to understand them and precisely take their own interpretations into account. An anthro or soc who mocked an Amazonian tribe or Inner city Gang would be ruthlessly untethered from the discipline--but this was acceptable, for a long time, in STS, though not as much (Edit) now. Clearly, tacit/local/folk theories of any 'natives' have to be understood: What is the content & form of their belief? Why is that their belief, both historically & practically? What effect does that belief have on their work? Can we see the world through their eyes, as members of their tribe? Etc.).

Now, this is not to say that had they accepted these issues climate denial & creationism wouldn't exist--that would be absurd & a vast over-estimation of the importance of a. abstract concepts within disciplinary practice and b. the power of academia outside generally.

BUT, to say the least, people like Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye & even Stehen Hawking, Malcolm Gladwell, E.O. Wilson, Noam Chomsky or even further afield Bill Maher, Christopher Hitchen, Sam Harris & Stefan Molyneux have done substantially more damage to the credibility of science than they have spread its belief.

Oreskes' 97% meme has been very influential in the climate debates (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/306/5702/1686).

Latour foresaw the sort of 'revisionism before the fact' that would plague modern discussions of everything from climate to fascism (http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/89-CRITICAL-INQUIRY-GB.pdf).

Acknowledgement that observer-dependence & not-integrability may 'go all the way down', so to speak, in physics was a well trodden STS point (it's your discipline but I love this account of performativity in physics: https://www.dukeupress.edu/meeting-the-universe-halfway , this account of the phil of physics: https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Measure-Physics-Philosophy-Meaning/dp/0198525362 & this awesome joint work on physics & philosophy: https://www.amazon.com/Singular-Universe-Reality-Time-Philosophy/dp/1107074061 & finally this book: https://www.amazon.com/Interpreting-Quantum-Theories-Laura-Ruetsche/dp/0199681066/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504813902&sr=8-1&keywords=interpreting+quantum+theories ).

Furthermore, my STS advisor is doing computational STS, where he is using big data batches of ancillary discussion & discursive movement in an attempt to 'quantify' bias in scientific experimentations & then is partnering with scientists in those fields to re-run the experiments accounting for this bias metric. This may turn out to be science fiction rather than science, but if it works, it'd be extremely useful to things like medicine & tech. Another professor, from Undergrad, operationalized a Darwinian model of theory formation which automated pharmaceutical discovery. He couldn't develop it because the IP costs were too steep, so they left it at only one major confirmation & publication, but the idea is still very cool.

Anyway, I hope that helps!

u/Demlos · 2 pointsr/geopolitics

Alex (I hope I can call you that, I mean it in the best way possible), I really like your replies! You get an upvote from me.

I guess I should have said, states are not the only players in IR, and IR cant be described only by state based Realism! I tried to sum it up in just a few words, not a good summation you could say!

As for your views, well we agree, and disagree! That tends to be usually the case when we talk about the real word! If we are talking about abstract concepts like mathematics, or simplified ones (which is what every science deals with) than we can be absolute, but the real world just has so many parameters.

Therein lies the need to simplify, in order to produce a theory (a mechanism) to better understand the interactions that occur in the world. I will not disagree with you that the world is not totally described by realism. But I believe all the other "actors" you mention above contribute a lot when looked at the human perspective, but quite less compared to states. Less enough so to be considered negligible.

The inclusion of them would mean that it would be very much harder to formulate a theory to be able to explain world affairs. Now, I do believe a time will come with enough computing power, that will allow better theories to be formed. They will be more like simulation models. I have written about simulations in my thesis (so I researched into the amply) and have come to truly believe they will hold a greater place with every decade.

Now, in relation to the world of the past, the world of today could seem totally different. The one difference in my mind is the Nuclear one. NGOs non state actors, TNC's and all the rest you refer might seem the thing of the present. But look at the Dutch East India Company, look at the The British East India Company with its two opium wars. These wars were fought on behalf of private companies, but where so vital and intertwined with the State they originated from that it became a national issue.

Trade has always gone along, from ancient times. And the more trade a state can command, the more powerful it is. Even in [roman times] (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Europe_180ad_roman_trade_map.png) trade was going on all around the Mediterranean.

So things have not changed since then, in my book. We have only become nuclear, but that has other implications, more on the military side (which still are big though, and influence IR). 10.000 years are not enough to change human nature. Humans are the same, the world is the same. Technology has improved, but has not altered those conditions, only made the easier. The laws of the game are the same

A little note here on laws being the same. Great book by Lee Smolin. You can also listen to him here to see if you might want to purchase it. It takes about how the physical laws might actually evolve

So, to sum it up, I believe realism is the best we've got for now!

ADDITION: As to why states want to survive, I have some theories which I can lay out, once I properly formulate them.

u/IslandPlaya · 1 pointr/EmDrive

I share my reasons with Smolin in this book.

u/TheElectricPeople · 1 pointr/EmDrive

Great post.

A must-read book on the way ahead for cosmology and physics:-

The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time by Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin 2014.

In it Smolin argues that momentum and energy are intrinsic and that any effect of matter beyond the cosmological horizon (the Mach effect) violates causality.

u/ZephirAWT · 1 pointr/Physics_AWT

Mainstream physics tends to ignore many indicia of it (Empirical evidences in favor of a varying speed of light, gravity constant fluctuations, kilogram prototype fluctuations, meter prototype changes, astronomical unit changes, moon eccentricity changes.

One of common explanations: Earth may be crashing through dark matter walls, Is Earth Weighed Down By Dark Matter?.
IMO many constants may change at the moment, when the Earth will pass through dark matter cloud (or just gravitational shadow at the connection line of planets during eclipses and conjunctions). Inside of dense cloud of dark matter or neutrinos the material particles would swell and the strength of gravity would decrease. Also the fine structure constant will shift because the matter would become more transparent for EM radiation. The evolution of gravitational constant and mass of kilogram prototypes follows quite well the trend in global warming (the pause in global warming after 2002 year for example). The change of speed of light will depend on the way, in which meter prototype is realized.

The affection of terrestrial life with dark matter clouds (for example during black hole eruptions or passing through galactic plane) looks like quite viable possibility not just for me (1, 2, 3, 4). As the miniature example of this event may serve the Allais effect and various gravitational anomalies observed during solar eclipses and planetary conjunctions. In my opinion even the current climatic changes could be of this origin.

>Cosmology is in crisis. ... To keep cosmology scientific, we must replace the old view in which the universe is governed by immutable laws by a new one in which laws evolve...

Actually I don't think, that the laws of universe evolve at their very general level - I've no evidence for it. Yes, the speed of light can change from place to place - but it just requires to have look at every gravitational lens for to realize it. But it doesn't mean, this speed exhibits some trend or even evolution at the highest level of reality. Such an idea is still firmly rooted in creationist notion of Big Bang scenario. The "scientific" is to support all options freely, not just these, which belong into your pet theories (Mr. Smolin is a proponent of Universe inheritance and evolution).