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Re: [ontolog-forum] Grand Unified Theories

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Avril Styrman <Avril.Styrman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2015 17:26:16 +0200
Message-id: <20150309172616.Horde.JN3wcKb5G3R5gI_mItOrGg1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> Do you really think that simplicity is in the eye of the beholder?    (01)

> I mean it in *exactly* the same sense as beauty, taste, and elegance.
> You can find cases where the difference is so great that most people
> will make the same choice.  But there is an overwhelming amount of
> disagreement about intermediate cases.
> Nominalists, such as Quine, have used Ockham as an excuse for the
> claim that a theory without abstract entities is "simpler" than
> a theory that postulates them.  But even Quine admits that you
> have to admit the existence of sets (or something similar) if you
> want to define all of mathematics.  That "simple" admission opens
> the door to the unending hierarchy of infinities.
> I enjoy citing Alonzo Church's talk about the ontology of women
> and abstract entities.  He deliberately presented that talk at
> Harvard -- because he liked to annoy Quine:
>    http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/church.htm    (02)

Now I see what you mean, and I agree completely that there are often
many ways of doing the same thing. The only way out of the
nominalism-realism debate is to see them as two sides of the same
coin, i.e., to unify the fruitful features of both approaches.    (03)

My goal has never been to delete all metaphysics. Some metaphysics
is necessary, and therefore cannot be deleted. Or it can be deleted,
but this only backfires and eventually brings in more than was
shaved away. The goal is to genuinely and honestly explicate the
ontological commitments of two models, and compare their weights.
The initial assumption is that the models are equally sufficient
empirically, i.e., that they do preserve the phenomenon. The
evaluation is done after this. The simplest model contains the
least sum of commitments, and the least sum of different types of
commitments. Although it is sometimes hard to select between two
alternative types, the selection is easy when one model does not
require some type at all. That is, the selection is easy when one
model requires special types of entities, whereas the other model
gets by without the special types.    (04)

> The DU assumption that the speed of light is variable is a huge
> stumbling block.    (05)

This issue should be handled similarly as all other issues. Suppose
that economy is not used as a methodological criterion. If the
constant velocity of light leads into a model with a huge number of
parameters, and if you get by without these by supposing that the
velocity of light changes, then it is a matter which one you like
the most: the constant c and the parameters, or the changing c
without the parameters. Economy ought to bring objectivity to the
selection process, by evaluating all the parameters simultaneously.    (06)

> You don't have to read the whole article.  Just read the intro
> and browse through the history for an overview of the issues.
> QED integrates special relativity with quantum mechanics, but
> not gravity and general relativity.
> All those results assume that the speed of light is a universal
> constant.  Any theory that assumes otherwise must be tested
> against all those results (or at least some very representative
> subset of them).    (07)

DU is not only compatible with QED, but fully compatible with the
whole QT, right from the basic equations up to all applications.
The velocity of light in DU changes along the expansion of space.
The velocity must be measured by using atomic clocks, whose ticking
rate is directly proportional to the velocity of light. Therefore,
you can never measure that it changes, i.e., all measurements give
always a constant velocity. Scarcely, you must fit the pieces of
the puzzle together somehow. In the relativity-based standard model
c is constant and this is coupled with the relativity principle,
which completely messes up the notion of time, because it
contradicts absolute time. But no worries, this conflict has been
meditated away for 110 years now, so let's just continue.    (08)

Avril    (09)

Ystävällisin terveisin,    (010)

Avril Styrman
puh. +358 40 7000 589    (011)

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