Hi Stephen; 'Yeah, the contrafactual stuff is one of the most

counterintuitive aspects of QM that we have to fit into our philosophicalmodeling.'

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`well im not sure that possible world stuff is just the province of QM or`

`that we have to fit QM necessarily into any philosophical model. but perhaps`

`those are other arguments.`

`I feel a bit out of my depth. I did mean to stay out of the debate for a`

`while, but, I think the Sophists have been given a bad rap so im going to`

`have to defend them a little.`

`For a moment consider Mr. Einstein. Now he just assumed space/time was`

`relative. He had no evidence to suppose it was, Newton's stuff predicted`

`celestial orbits fine. Well, within a narrow margin of error, the kind of`

`margin all theories need, but his equations are as workable now as they were`

`then. We still use them.`

`So why did Einstein just assume that space/time was relative? Why did he`

`assume that Newton had made a mistake at such a fundemental level? What`

`reason did he have? In truth he didnt have any justifiable reason beyond:`

`'Why the heck not?' or in otherwords: Sophistry. Real sophism, as opposed to`

`the legal wrangling we all associate with it.`

`Now, suppose Einstein was right. Suppose space/time actually is relative. We`

`dont /know/ that. We accept it on the basis of the accuracy of the`

`predictions of Albert's equations, but then where does that leave us with`

`regards to Newton? Thats the really buzzing question in my opinion.`

`It suggests that the accuracy of Newtonian equations do not depend on the`

`/truth/ of his assumptions. Newton got into a big row with Liebniz I think`

`about whether space had a frame of reference. Newton believed it did as we`

`know. Well, if we accept Einstein, the we have to accept that Newton was`

`wrong, AND that this didnt matter. Its this latter result that is a little`

`suprising. We are taught that the truth of a conclusion follows logically`

`from the truth of an arguments premises. Clearly the fact of the matter is`

`more complicated than that. In the realm of inductive reasoning that isnt`

`necessarily so.`

`Can truth then follow from falsehoods? This is a counter intuitive idea that`

`is difficult to cope with. For the life of me I cant actually see a way out`

`of concluding that in science at least, if not math, truth is not as`

`dependent on the truth of premises as we might like. The situation just gets`

`worse if we protect Newton by attacking relativity. Whats more, I'ld go so`

`far as to say that the accuracy of Newton's equations /depended/ on premises`

`that in fact were false.`

`Is this really counter intuitive? Perhaps a little bit. I dont think it is`

`counter intuitive in the manner that say wave particle duality is, or that`

`spookynatural quantum entanglement is. Sure, I can accept intuitively that a`

`theory can be wrong in a certain sense but still yield predictions that are`

`accurate.`

`for me Sophistry is about asking 'What if....'. For me Einstein was the`

`epitome of sophistry. Sophistry is about sifting through possibilities to`

`see how the world could be. Listing the lot, and seeing what follows.`

`When we talk about the world being a 10 dimensional place existing in an`

`11th dimension, like bed sheets flapping on a laundry line, I can assure you`

`that some kind of sophistry is at play. Im just sure of it.`

`In a sense we have the math and we interpret it some way. but there would`

`appear to be a distinction between the accuracy of an equation, and the`

`truth of its interpretation.`

`I dont know. These are heady issues impossible for one soul to solve. but`

`the upshot for me is that I just can not agree that:`

`'any model that ignores the implications of QM that have empirical support`

`that we have of the world is sophistry. ;-)' in any sort of perjoritive`

`sense.`

`We should spare time to ignore the implications of QM, and do that before we`

`spend money building another atom smasher. We should spare some time to be`

`as disrespectful towards QM as Einstein was towards absolute space time.`

'BTW, are you familiar with Hintikka's work?' Nope. I'll google on it. Speak soon. Chris. ;)

From: "Stephen Paul King" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To: "chris peck" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> Subject: contrafactuals Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 13:53:00 -0400 Hi Chris,Yeah, the contrafactual stuff is one of the most counterintuitiveaspects of QM that we have to fit into our philosophical modeling.Personally, I think that any model that ignores the implications of QM thathave empirical support that we have of the world is sophistry. ;-)BTW, are you familiar with Hintikka's work? Kindest regards, Stephen ----- Original Message ----- From: "chris peck" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:54 AM Subject: Re: joining.Hi StephenIm going to hang about and find my bearings for a while. Im new to thiscounterfactual stuff. but im looking forward to your posts too. :)chris.

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