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Not My Interpretation

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Posted by Harvey on May 9, 2003 15:38:17 UTC

Hi Yaniru,

***But I do not want to be confrontational for I very much thank you for pointing me towards von Frassen, who I agree I was ignorant of. I just read his synopsis on Laws and Symmetries as well as other papers on Constructive Empiricism and find that I am one of them, a constructive empiricist.***

I hope you get to hear Van Fraassen in person sometime. I got a chance, and he is very perceptive individual.

***On another forum there is a guy making that claim. That the equations in some coded form are floating around in space-time and we observe the code and infer some sort of reality behind it.
Is that getting closer to your ideas?***

I don't think this is what Dick is saying. If you listen carefully, he is only talking in terms of subjective terms. He is talking about our knowledge at a given moment. What do we know, what do we not know. He then tries to represent this in his mathematical constructions (because it is the most self-consistent language that he knows to use), and then is able to set-up the problems in a manner that yield the laws of physics. It's interesting the kind of interpretations that Dick obtains from this, but I don't think one of those interpretations is that the laws of physics exist 'out there' (a form of scientific platonism). Rather, I think what he is saying is that if you approach our knowledge/ignorance scientifically, then the only self-consistent result that you can obtain is that the laws of physics naturally (i.e., logically) obtain from that approach. I've tried for him to give me a reason why that is, but he has been reluctant to give me a reason.

One reason that he discounts, and won't even consider, is that the conceptual scheme (e.g., wave equations, shift symmetries, etc) that he uses is the culprit. If he could only realize this important possibility, he'd realize that all he has created is a "fun with math" theorem that belongs at the back page of a math journal (the 'brain teaser' section if they have one).

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