Re: An idea to resolve the 1st Person/3rd person division mystery - Coarse graining is the answer!?

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Mon, 07 May 2007 21:22:51 -0700 wrote:
> Silly spelling error in my last post - I meant 'electrons' of course.
> Let avoid talk of 'electrons' then, and talk about 'Quantum Wave
> Functions' then, since surely even Russell must agree that QM fields
> are fundamental (at least as far as we know). You can't say that QM
> fields are just human inventions - take away the base level and you
> have no objective reality left to argue about! ;)

Sure you can. QF are a human invention to describe what we think the micro world of the standard model is like. But physicist already know it must be wrong, because it is not consistent with the other fundamental theory of physics, general relativity. This has no effect on their belief in an objective reality, it just implies that they don't know what it is yet. But they do know a lot about it.

> Quantum Wave Functions are yet another example of a thing which cannot
> be reduced to finite emprical parts. It is in fact an established
> fact that QM wave functions cannot be *directly* emprically verified.
> Any emprical fact or set of facts you can point to *cannot* fully
> capture the QM Wave function! It is something abstract which exists
> over and above any empirical facts. This is yet another example of
> the failure of reductionism.

What can be directly empirically verified?...Descartes, "I think therefor I am...I think". Even your perception of an ordinary object like a table or chair is theory-laden.

> I have now given three clear-cut exmaples of a failure of
> reductionism.
> (1) Infinite Sets

But there is no infinite set of anything.

>(2) The Laws of Physics and (3) Quantum Wave
> Functions
> It is established that all of these concepts are indispensible to our
> explanations of reality and they are logically well defined and
> supported. But none of these concepts can be reduced to any finite
> set of empirical facts.

That's because we invented them.

> The only way to evade the conclusion that reductionism is false is (as
> shown by Stathis's argument strategy) to deny that any of these
> concepts has objective reality. For example to evade a failure of
> reductionism as regards 'inifinite sets' one has to argue that
> infinite sets are not objectively real, or not physically real. You
> might get away with that argument for something as esoteric as
> 'Inifnite Sets' (after all there is some legitimate doubt that these
> things are real), but once you reach a concept which is clearly
> fundamental and neccessery for physical reality to exist at all (ie
> Quantum Wave Functions), your argument has lapsed to pure solipsism.
> Which is more likely: The laws of physics and QM wave functions are
> all human fictions, or reductionism is false? It has to be one or the
> other.

QM isn't even a physical theory; it's just a set of principles for formulating physical theories; as classical mechanics was before it.

Since we already know that QFT must be inconsistent with the dynamics of spacetime, it's an easy choice.

Brent Meeker
"The laws of physics are "ruleless rules" that arise not from any plan but from the very lack any plan. They are the laws of the void."
        --- Vic Stenger

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Tue May 08 2007 - 00:22:46 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:14 PST