[Fis] Fwd: The shadows are real !!!

2018-02-26 Thread Dino Buzzetti
Dear Joseph,

Merleau-Ponty is undoubtedly a philosopher, but I would surmise
that when "foundations", as you say, are a matter of discussion,
it is difficult to keep philosophy out of the door. More to the
point, would you absolutely exclude the relevance of self-
organisation for the construction of information science ?
If not, allow me to mention how significant was the influence
of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy in Francisco Varela's work—see
Varela, Francisco J., Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch. 1991.
*The embodied mind: **Cognitive science and human experience*.
Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Best regards,-dino

On 26 February 2018 at 03:58, joe.bren...@bluewin.ch  wrote:

> Dear FISers,
> With all due respect to Krassimir, Sung, and his son, it is becoming a
> matter of scientific interest that statements by them and others to the
> effect that "systematic research of what the 'shadows' are a part" has not
> been done are made routinely. First of all, the logic in reality  of
> Lupasco about which I have been talking here for 10 years, includes a new
> mereology in which the dynamic relations between part and whole are set out
> for discussion. Second, while the 'diagram' of Merleau-Ponty may be
> considered interesting as philosophy and as a foundation of religious
> belief, I see no reason to include it, without heavy qualification, in a
> discussion of the foundations of information science.
> Thank you,
> Joseph
> Message d'origine
> De : s...@pharmacy.rutgers.edu
> Date : 25/02/2018 - 15:04 (PST)
> À : ag...@ncf.ca, fis@listas.unizar.es
> Objet : Re: [Fis] The shadows are real !!!
> Hi Krassimir,
> I agree with you that  "*The shadows are real* but only a part of the
> whole. What is needed is a systematic research from what they are part."
> In my previous post,  I was suggesting that Shadows are a part of
> the irreudicible triad consisting of *Form (A), Shadow (B) *and* Thought
> (C)*.  The essential notion of the ITR (Irreducible Triadic realrtion) is
> that A, B, and C cannot be reduced to any one or a pair of the triad.  This
> automatically means that 'Shadow' is a part of the whole triad (which is,
> to me, another name for the Ultimate Reality), as Form and Thought are.  In
> other words, the Ultimate Reality is not Form nor Shadow nor Thought
> individually but all of them together, since they constitute an irreducible
> triad.This idea is expressed in 1995  in another way: The Ultimate
> Reality is the *complementary union* of the *Visble* and the *Invisible
> World* (see *Table 1* attached).  Apparently a similar idea underlies the
> philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), according to my son,
> Douglas Sayer Ji (see his semior research thesis submitted in 1996 to the
> Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University under the guidance of B.
> Wilshire, attached).
> All the best.
> Sung
> --
> *From:* Fis  on behalf of John Collier <
> ag...@ncf.ca>
> *Sent:* Sunday, February 25, 2018 2:51 PM
> *To:* fis@listas.unizar.es
> *Subject:* Re: [Fis] The shadows are real !!!
> Daer Krassimir, List
> I basically support what you are saying. I understand the mathematics you
> presented, I am good at mathematics and studied logic with some of the
> best. However, and this is a big however, giving a mathematical or logical
> proof by itself, in its formalism, does not show anything at all. One has
> to be able to connect teh mathematics to experience in a comprehensible
> way. This was partly the topic of my dissertation, and I take a basically
> Peircean approach, though there are others that are pretty strong as well.
> I fgenerally skip over the mathematics and look for the empirical
> connections. If I find them, then generally all becomes clear. Without
> this, the formalism is nothing more than formalism. It does not help to
> give formal names to things and assume that this identifies things, Often
> trying to follow up approaches kine this is a profound waste of time. I try
> to, and often am able to, express my ideas in a nonformal way. Some
> mathematically oriented colleagues see this as automatically defective,
> since they think that formal representation is all that really rigorously
> explains things. This sort of thinking (in Logical Positivism) eventually
> led to its own destruction as people started to ask the meaning of
> theoretical terms and their relation to observations. It is a defunct and
> self destructive metaphysics. Irt leads nowhere -- my PhD thesis was about
> this problem. It hurts me to see people making the same mistake, especially
> when it leads them to bizarre conclusions that are compatible with the
> formalism (actually, it is provable that almost anything is compatible with
> a specific formalism, up to numerosity).
> I don't like to waste my time with such emptiness,
> John
> On 2018/02/25 6:22 PM, 

[Fis] New Year Lecture wrap-up

2014-01-21 Thread Dino Buzzetti
Dear Hans,

Thank you very much again for your lecture and your
subsequent comments and replies.  I dare posting a new
comment as an aftermath to your wrap-up and to Pedro's
official closure.  But I am sure you agree with me, that the
matter cannot be settled yet and that a continuation of the
discussion is a sign of the fruitfulness of your lecture.  As
a matter of fact, when I received Pedro's official closure
announcement I was a little disappointed because I had
been gathering some evidence in support of a previous
comment of mine, which probably was not clear enough.
I would not like to bother you any more, but since you
mention the usefulness of a philosophical outlook, here
is a philosophical observation I was able to find.

According to Jules Vuillemin (*Necessity or Contingency*,
Stanford CA, CSLI Publications, 1996), “probability in the
classical sense,” as is well known, is “relative to our ignorance
only” (p. 261), but “probability amplitude is something
altogether different” (264). For “when physicists today make
reference to [...] probability amplitudes [...] they indeed
allude to second order probabilities” (167). Therefore, the
distinction “between a probability and a probability amplitude”
entails a “new distinction in the history of modal notions,”
a distinction that Vuillemin describes in the following way:

“Classical physics was content with the opposition 'This particle
passes through A' versus 'This particle has the probability π
of passing through A'. This opposition has nothing to do with
ontology: it incorporates what is due to our ignorance into the
determination of natural phenomena. Instead of attributing
a property or magnitude to a physical system, we attribute it
a disposition or propensity to have that property or magnitude.
Probability measures that disposition or propensity that belongs
to the system in act. A probability amplitude is something
altogether different. We can compare it to an embryonic
probability as the inventors of the infinitesimal calculus
compared the moment of motion to an embryonic motion
that an integration would bring to a state of whole motion.
But the comparison limps. For the probability amplitude,
which is generally a complex quantity, does not figure among
the elements of reality. To obtain a probability we must multiply
two conjugated probability amplitudes. This means that, when
we attribute that amplitude to a system, it is attributed neither
as an actual property or magnitude nor as an actual disposition
or propensity to having such property or magnitude, but as a
purely virtual disposition or propensity to having it. The second-
order potentiality, as it were, thus put into play is no longer the
measure of an ignorance that might have some chance of being
only provisional. It is physical. It describes nature.” (264-65)

This is just the conclusion of a long-winded argument, but if
Vuillemin is right, then, the interpretation of a superposition
of probability amplitudes cannot be Bayesian, or “relative to
our ignorance only.” (261)

As S. Barry Cooper observes (
*Definability in the Real Universe*, http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.1416 ), “the
model has a deeply ingrained hold on the rational mind.
For a bromeliad-like late flowering of the paradigm we tend
to think of Hilbert and his assertion of very general expectations
for axiomatic mathematics. Or of  the state of physics before
quantum mechanics.”  From this point of view, QBism might
be described, to use Barry Cooper's own words, as “a defensive
response to an uncompleted paradigm change” (p. 4).

Kind regards,  -dino buzzetti

On 18 January 2014 18:47, Hans von Baeyer henrikrit...@gmail.com wrote:

 Dear Friends: In keeping with the message of my lecture, that knowledge of
 the world is based on the ensemble of individual experiences, more than on
 assumed objective, actual properties of an external reality, I will tell
 you about my experiences of writing and discussing the New Year Lecture. I
 enjoyed the entire process enormously, and wish once more to applaud Pedro
 for inventing this new tradition!

 Even as I started this email I learned something that piqued my interest.
  Gregory Bateson was quoted: Kant argued long ago that this piece of chalk
 contains a million potential facts (Tatsachen) but that only a very few of
  these become truly facts by affecting the behavior of entities capable of
  responding to facts.  Google.de informed me that Tatsache is probably an
 18th century translation of the English matter of fact. Tat is a deed,
 a factum, something done or performed, while Sache means a thing or a
 matter.  This tenuous etymology connects factuality with action rather than
 with some intrinsic essence. Kant's words affecting, behavior and
 responding are QBist to the core. More and more I realize that philosophy
 matters. Chris Fuchs, the chief spokesman for QBism, is among the rare
 physicists who give credit to philosophers for the contributions

Re: [Fis] Probability Amplitudes

2014-01-21 Thread Dino Buzzetti
Dear Hans,

Thank you for your explanation about probability amplitudes,
that clarifies a lot.  My only worry was about the *epistemological*
implications of quantum mechanics in its standard formulation,
that in my opinion point to a paradigm shift, which is felt not only
in this domain, but in all fields where *emergent* phenomena are
accounted for—a process that I thought was hinted to by Wheeler's
famous words It from Bit, that I remember reading for the first
time precisely in your book on information.  That's the ground for
expressing my worry that reverting to classical probability theory
might entail a drawback to this decisive epistemological turn.

But I might misunderstand the whole story, that is certainly not
over yet  :-)  -dino

On 22 January 2014 00:21, Hans von Baeyer henrikrit...@gmail.com wrote:

 Dear Dino and friends, thanks for bringing up the issue of probability
 amplitudes.  Since they are technical tools of physics, and since I didn't
 want to go too far afield, I did not mention them in my lecture.  The
 closest I came was the wavefunction, which, indeed, is a probability
 amplitude.  In order to make contact with real, measurable quantities, it
 must be multiplied by its complex conjugate. This recipe is called the Born
 rule, and it is an ad hoc addition to the quantum theory. It lacks any
 motivation except that it works.

 In keeping with Einstein's advice (which he himself often flouted) to try
 to keep unmeasurable concepts out of our description of nature, physicists
 have realized long ago that it must be possible to recast quantum mechanics
 entirely in terms of probabilities, not even mentioning probability
 amplitudes or wavefunctions. The question is only: How complicated would
 the resulting formalism be?  (To make a weak analogy, it must be possible
 to recast arithmetic in the language of Roman numerals, but the result
 would surely look much messier than what we learn in grade school.)
  Hitherto, nobody had come up with an elegant solution to this problem.

 To their happy surprise, QBists have made  progress toward a quantum
 theory without probability amplitudes.  Of course they have to pay a
 price.  Instead of unmeasurable concepts they introduce, for any
 experiment, a very special set of standard probabilities (NOT AMPLITUDES)
 which are measurable, but not actually measured.  When they re-write the
 Born rule in terms of these, they find that it looks almost, but not quite,
 like a fundamental axiom of probability theory called Unitarity.  Unitarity
 decrees that for any experiment the sum of the probabilities for all
 possible outcomes must be one. (For a coin, the probabilities of heads and
 tails are both 1/2.  Unitarity states 1/2 + 1/2 = 1.)

 This unexpected outcome of QBism suggests a deep connection between the
 Born rule and Unitarity. Since Unitarity is a logical concept unrelated to
 quantum phenomena, this gives QBists the hope that they will eventually
 succeed in explaining the significacne of the Born rule, and banishing
 probability amplitudes from quantum mechanics, leaving only (Bayesian)

 So, I'm afraid dear Dino, that the current attitude of QBists is that
 probability amplitudes are LESS fundamental than probabilities, not MORE.
  But the story is far from finished!


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Re: [Fis] Social constructivism

2014-01-08 Thread Dino Buzzetti
Dear Hans,
Your rainbow metaphor is illuminating, but in my opinion it does
not entail assuming a subjectivist Bayesian point of view.  Quantum
mechanics, as far as I understand it, assumes the interaction between
the observer and the observed.  This implies giving up positing the
distinction between subject and object as an absolute one and
trying to avoid falling back in the classical paradigm, which is
grounded precisely on that distinction.  That distinction is not an
ontological one, but it arises only in our representations, such as
measurement and experiment.  The epistemological challenge is
to find a consistent ontological model accounting for superposition
and indeterminacy and that is what, in my opinion, quantum
mechanics strives to do, without falling back consciously or
inadvertently in the old paradigm—we are not determinists just
because we cannot know...-dino

On 8 January 2014 00:52, Hans von Baeyer henrikrit...@gmail.com wrote:

 Stan asks: Would we be justified in viewing QBism the latest venture of
 [social] constructivism?

 WOW, I sure hope not!  While it is true that there are fads in science,
 and that the direction of research is influenced to some degree by the
 society that funds it and consumes its fruits, I think that the underlying
 methodology distinguishes socially constructed models of reality from
 scientific ones.  Social constructions use arguments that play no role in
 any account of the scientific method as it applies to the Natural Sciences
 (as opposed to the Social Sciences).

 Some examples: Deutsche Physik referred to the ethnicity of scientists,
 Lysenkoism adduced ideological goals; Creationism appeals to scripture;
 Feminist Science Studies consider the gender of scientists.

 QBism does not change any of the impressive successes of quantum
 mechanics.  It simply says that quantum mechanics is a very complex,
 abstract encoding of the experiences of generations of scientists
 interacting with atomic systems. It disenfranchises a physicist from
 knowing what an electron spin, for example, REALLY is, while celebrating
 her ability to predict correctly, albeit probabilistically, what to expect
 in the next experiment. She and her predecessors have created an abstract
 model, and validated it by appeal to experiments, without appeal to any of
 the other considerations listed above.

 In conversation with Joseph Brenner and others I have used the rainbow as
 a metaphor. The rainbow is a phenomenon that everyone experiences slightly
 differently, but that we all agree on. The scientific model that explains
 it is very complicated and highly abstract.  Is the rainbow real?  It
 certainly does not exist when nobody is looking.  It is, in the end, a
 personal experience.  For me the experience is enhanced considerably by my
 understanding of the scientific model of it, because it allows me to look
 for and discover details I had never noticed, but I would not presume to
 say I know what YOUR experience of it is.  Maybe you are thinking of Iris
 or Noah, and feeling awe or curiosity, and remarking on its (apparently)
 immense size and variable brightness.

 QBism suggests that we look at the world as consisting of rainbows -- an
 ensemble of complex phenomena about which we know some things, but whose
 essences we cannot capture.  The QBist says: I don't know what the world
 is.  All I know is what I experience in my interactions with the world, as
 they are illuminated and modified by what I have learned from other people,
 past and present, who have had similar experiences and encoded them in the
 succinct language of mathematics.


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Dino Buzzetti formerly
Department of Philosophy University of Bologna
Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII
via san Vitale, 114 I-40125 Bologna BO
e-mail: dino.buzze...@gmail.com
web: http://web.dfc.unibo.it/buzzetti/
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