The views of Lee Smolin as opposed to those of
the Platonist, Leibniz
A. Leibniz would agree with these views of Smolin:
A1. QM is unfinished.
A2. Time is not well understood. Leibniz did
not think of time as substantial or time as flowing,
it is just an indexed sequence of events.
A3. There is no multiverse, only the universe.
B. Leibniz would disagree with Smolin on these issues:
B1. Smolin believes that computationalism is false (because there cannot
be internal isomorphisms. Here the issue of Leibniz's
pre-established harmony might be challenged. Hmmm).
B2. Smolin is not a Platonist. (Leibniz was.)
"Lee Smolin's view on the nature of time:
"More and more, I have the feeling that quantum theory and general
relativity are both
deeply wrong about the nature of time. It is not enough to combine them. There
is a deeper
problem, perhaps going back to the beginning of physics."
Smolin does not believe that quantum mechanics is a "final theory":
"I am convinced that quantum mechanics is not a final theory. I believe
I have never encountered an interpretation of the present formulation of
that makes sense to me. I have studied most of them in depth and thought hard
and in the end I still can't make real sense of quantum theory as it
In a 2009 article, Smolin has articulated the following philosophical views
(the sentences in italics are quotations):
There is only one universe [I agree. RBC. ] There are no others, nor is
there anything isomorphic to it.
Smolin denies the existence of a "timeless" multiverse. Neither other universes
nor copies of our universe — within or outside — exist.[clarification needed]
No copies can
exist within the universe, because no subsystem can
model precisely the larger system it is a part of. No copies can exist outside
the universe, because the universe is by definition all there is. This
rules out the notion of a mathematical object isomorphic in every respect to
history of the entire universe [computationalism - L would disagree.
due to his concept of Pre-established Harmony. RBC] , a notion more
metaphysical than scientific.
All that is real is real in a moment, which is a succession of moments.
is true is true of the present moment. Not only is time real, but everything
that is real is
situated in time. Nothing exists timelessly [I disagree. This rules out
Platonism, which Leibniz and I believe in.
L also b elieved that time as not real, only an indexed set of situations.
[The following paragraph is in accord with Leibniz, except that L held that
only ideas are real - RBC]
Everything that is real in a moment is a process of change leading to the next
future moments. Anything that is true is then a feature of a process in this
process causing or implying
future moments. This principle incorporates the notion that time is an aspect
of causal relations.
A reason for asserting it is that anything that existed for just one moment,
without causing or implying
some aspect of the world at a future moment, would be gone in the next moment.
persist must be thought of as processes leading to newly changed processes.
An atom at one moment is a process leading to a different or a changed atom at
the next moment.
Mathematics is derived from experience as a generalization of observed
regularities, when time and particularity
are removed. Under this heading, Smolin distances himself from mathematical
platonism [ Leibniz and I are Platonists- RBC] ,
and gives his reaction to Eugene Wigner's "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of
Mathematics in the Natural Sciences".
He also opposes the anthropic principle, which he claims "cannot help us to do
science." [See below]
He also advocates “principles for an open future” which he claims underlie the
work of both healthy scientific communities and
democratic societies: “(1) When rational argument from public evidence suffices
to decide a question, it must be considered to be so decided. (2) When rational
argument from public
evidence does not suffice to decide a question, the community must encourage a
diverse range of
viewpoints and hypotheses consistent with a good-faith attempt to develop
convincing public evidence.” (Time Reborn p 265.)
The Anthropic Principle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
" The anthropic principle (from the Greek, anthropos, human) is the
that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the
conscious life that observes it.
Some proponents of the anthropic principle reason that it explains why the
Universe has the age and the
fundamental physical constants necessary to accommodate conscious life. As a
result, they believe it is
unremarkable that the universe's fundamental constants happen to fall within
the narrow range thought to be compatible with life."
[I hvae no problem personally with the AP, not sure as of the moment about L's
Dr. Roger Clough NIST (ret.) 6/18/2013
See my Leibniz site at
DreamMail - New experience in email software www.dreammail.org
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