On 3/20/2013 1:01 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
On 20.03.2013 20:18 meekerdb said the following:
On 3/20/2013 2:22 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
On 19.03.2013 22:25 Alberto G. Corona said the following:


I see a bit of irony in the fact that people who believe in
physical reality often call to a principle developed by Occam.

What's the irony?  Occam is about our theories and models.  One
generally believes in some reality; that why you develop theories
about it and try to model it.  I'm not sure what 'physical' adds to

Let us take an atom as an example (you may replace it by an elementary particle or a superstring, your choice). Physicists using such a concept usually believe that the atom does exist, aren't they? In this sense, physicists are realists.

At the Occam's time, realists were people who have believed that universals exist. Occam has employed his razor to strip universals from the reality and his position has led to nominalism. That is, universals are just creation of the mind and it does not make sense to search for them in the real world.

Presumably his positions about atoms were the same, an atom is just a concept created by the mind - hence it does not make sense to search for it in reality. Here is the irony.

That's a false dichotomy. You are assuming that because something, like an atom, is an element of a model which was invented to describe reality that it is *just* a concept. No, it is a concept which is part of very successful model and which we therefore have reason to believe captures some aspect of reality. It makes perfect sense to "search for it" in the sense of test the predictions of the model to see if they agree with observation.


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