philosophy

Tag archives for philosophy

Josh Rosenau has a post about the supernatural, spinning off recent posts about a recent Calamities of Nature webcomic. Josh makes a point that I think is valid but subtle: The issue with the supernatural is not whether it’s part of the universe, but whether it is bound by the same laws as all the…

You Will Never Die

If I ever decided to abandon any pretense of integrity or credibility, and just shoot for making a bazillion dollars peddling quantum hokum, the particular brand of quantum philosophy I would peddle has already been laid out, in Robert Charles Wilson’s Divided by Infinity. In the story, the narrator is given a copy of a…

Sean Carroll and Brad DeLong have each recently asserted that relativity is easier to understand than quantum mechanics. Both quote Feynman saying that nobody understands quantum mechanics, but Sean gives more detail: “Hardness” is not a property that inheres in a theory itself; it’s a statement about the relationship between the theory and the human…

All the Myriad Inceptions

In comments to yesterday’s post about my favorite Many-Worlds story, a couple of people mention “All the Myriad Ways,” a Larry Niven short story. I don’t think I’ve ever actually read the story, but it gets brought up all the time, so I’m familiar with the concept. It’s an angle on Many-Worlds that I don’t…

Bohemian Mechanical Rhapsody

Blame Bryan O’Sullivan for this– after his comment about misreading “Bohmian Mechanics” as “Bohemian Mechanics,” I couldn’t get this silly idea out of my head. And this is the result. I like to think that this was Brian May‘s first draft (he does have a Ph.D. in astrophysics, after all), before Freddie Mercury got hold…

I get asked my opinion of Bohmian mechanics a fair bit, despite the fact that I know very little about it. This came up again recently, so I got some suggested reading from Matt Leifer, on the grounds that I ought to learn something about it if I’m going to keep being asked about it.…

Defining Science

Over at Built on Facts, Matt Springer is easing his way back into blogging by asking “What is Science?”. He offers a simple one-sentence definition: Science is the testing of ideas. That’s all. Every technicality I can think of is avoided so long as the person doing the science is honest. Create fair and objective…