On 14 Jan 2014, at 15:17, Edgar L. Owen wrote:

Bruno,

Thanks for clarifying this for the group. Please let Liz know that she was wrong in stating that physics was on a formal basis long ago...

She was not really wrong. She alluded to the equations that Newton provided. She was restricting Newton to the more formal part of his discovery. For a logician, this is still informal, but at least it is mathematical, and the correspondence with nature are enough clear to make it testable and refutable (and refuted, despite a long period of wonderful explanatory successes).

For a logician, "formal" means that you give the alphabet, the grammar, the axioms and the deductive rules, so that if someone pretend to have a proof, we can check mechanically if the proof is valid.

Note that logicians reason informally, like physicists and mathematicians. They just work on the subject of formal systems, which are essentially machines, or generalization of machines.

But in the fundamental, it is very useful to make the ontology formal or at least precise enough, even if reasoning on it more informally after.

Bruno


Edgar



On Tuesday, January 14, 2014 5:01:51 AM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 14 Jan 2014, at 00:42, Edgar L. Owen wrote:

> Liz,
>
> Sigh.... Now we have several people complaining because I haven't
> offered a 'formal theory'. However not a single one of the
> complainers has themselves offered a formal theory even though they
> are continually offering theories of their own, none of which are
> formalized. Is that fair?
>
> The only person on this group who has a formal theory that I'm aware
> of is Bruno. No one else? You don't have one of your own but you are
> criticizing me because I don't have one?
>
> What you guys don't seem to understand is that whether a theory
> accurately describes reality or not is a much more important
> criterion than whether that theory is formalized or not. Physics
> described reality quite accurately for years before it reached its
> current degree of formalization and that's why it was accepted.

Physicists have not yet formal theory. Like all scientists they work
informally.



>
> Doesn't really matter whether you have a formal theory or not if
> there is no connection to reality now does there? Bruno's theory is
> apparently quite tightly formalized

The main reasoning is not formal (UDA), yet rigorous. "formalizing" in
logic, just mean "interviewing some machine", usually in case where
the machine is plausibly sound (like PA, ZF).




> but I see none of the required actual consistency with reality to
> indicate it actually applies to reality at all.
>
> Bruno's theory may itself be logically consistent, but I see no
> consistency with actual reality.

Nobody can see or prove consistency of a monist TOE (which include the
maker of the theory).

The question should be "do you see an inconsistency"?




> Mine on the other hand is entirely consistent with actual reality

Then you cannot belong as object of talk  in your theory, and your
theory cannot be fundamental (unless you explicitly make it dualist,
or "highly non computationalist).




> because it clearly states that the computations of its computational
> reality are precisely what is actually necessary to compute the real
> processes of nature, whatever they are.

terms like "necessay", "actually" "real" "processes", "nature" must be
defined. Anad as you do NOT use the satandard mathematical notion of
computation, you should (re)defined that term too.



>
> Bruno's on the other hand makes the wild and unsubstantiated
> assumption that all possible math is 'out there' in reality somehow
> even if it's doing nothing.

I do not that assumption. tegmark does it, but I have criticize it as
non sense many times on this list.

I assume only that "17 is prime" is independent of me and you. *All*
scientist assumes this. Even you assume this when mentioning for
example the quantum vacuum. If you can define it without assuming
arithmetical realism, then publish a paper, because that would be a
big discovery.







> A very improbable assumption there is no empirical evidence for
> whatsoever.

It is even inconsistent. But I do not assume it.



> Doesn't matter in the least if the logical consequences of that
> initial assumption are tight and valid (a formalized theory) if the
> assumption itself isn't.
>
> I just hope you guys understand what I'm saying is a basis of
> scientific method.


I doubt that this is the case. We still don't know you basic
assumptions. You don't have a theory, even an informal one.




> Doesn't matter so much if a theory is formalized. What matters is
> its explanatory power and consistency with actually observed
> phenomena.

It must make sense before. Non sensical theory have easily a lot of
explanatory power, but it eventually explains to much and appear
inconsistent.

Bruno



http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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