On 1/12/2014 12:55 AM, LizR wrote:

On 12 January 2014 19:53, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>>wrote:## Advertising

The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work. --â€”John von NeumannHow does one know which mathematical construct to try out, to see if it will work?Surely interpretation becomes necessary at some point.

`Von Neumann recognizes above that some interpretation is necessary for the application of`

`mathematics, "the addition of certain verbal interpretations". Which mathematics to try`

`may be suggested by the interpretation of some earlier theories, which is what I see as`

`useful about metaphysics - it may suggest improved physics.`

`But the interesting thing about this quote, which I think is generally overlooked, is that`

`even those theories/models we think of a providing "good explanations" only seem that way`

`because of familiarity. We think easily of gravity as explaining the orbit of the Moon.`

`But in the 17th century it prompted the question, "But what is pushing on the Moon to`

`provide the force?" Now we say there is no force, it's just a distortion of space, so the`

`Moon is just going in a "straight line". So the observable facts stay the same, the`

`predictions become a little more accurate, but the ontological "explanation" varies`

`drastically.`

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