This post is motivated by recent essay "What Is Science" of Mrs. Helen Quinn (former president of the APS), which was published in the July 2009 issue of Physics Today (via ZapperZ) and discussed here and which pregnantly distinguishes subject of science from philosophy by single sentence:
"Religion and philosophy are interested in reasons and purposes, but science cares only about mechanisms."
Such definition has a deep meaning in AWT, because contemporary science is based on consecutive logics of formal math, which is strictly atemporal, which effectively means, that this logics can be reproduced any time without change. This gives math the power of general language for logical and exact communication. We cannot define and share our ideas exactly, until we are express them in predicate logics and symbolic language of formal math (Feynman: "Shut up and calculate!"). But from Gödel theorems follows, even the most strict / limited axiomatic system can lead to uncertain conclusions about reality and this finding has a good meaning in implicate geometry of AWT.
From more general perspective formal view remains quite limited, because it operates in space dimension only, not time dimension and consecutive logics is strictly single time arrow based. So we can call the science "a philosophy of locality" or "atemporal philosophy", which leads to sort of conceptual opportunism or even hypocrisy, because due its strictly local character their proponents often didn't realize, their stance changes in time and/or it doesn't fit exactly their well minded, but more general ideas due the lack of personal feedback, which always requires wider, nonlocal perspective. Just because our mind can operate in wider concept, we can ask for mechanism in time dimension, so we can even ask "philosophical" questions about reasons and consequences and these questions even remains fully motivated from fractally nested perspective of implicate order. The question "WHY?" about causality isn't less important here, then the descriptive question "HOW?"
In AWT the interactions along time dimensions leads to quantum fuzziness and chaos on both small scale of details, both on large scale (the fuzziness of vague answers about very general questions) and this character can be modeled by spreading of waves at water surface. Therefore the fuzzy character of philosophy is quite predictable and it goes as the price for its universality - it's not a manifestation of intellectual laziness or incompetence of philosophers or something similar.
Therefore from AWT follows, the excessive usage of strictly formal approach leads to fuzziness at small scale (extensive landscapes of string theory and quantum gravity solutions as an example) and to separation from reality in similar way, like overly philosophical approach. A formally thinking theorist cannot explain things in intuitive way even if such explanation becomes quite simple (for example explanation of Lorentz invariance or string concept by density fluctuations of particle environment). In Weinberg's essay it is explained, why the main doctrine of positivism is wrong - if taken strictly - and why it has slowed down science in the past. And vice-versa: a philosophical mind cannot postulate formal description of phenomena even at the case, such description becomes quite simple (the derivation of parabolic equation of free fall as an example).
Both approaches have their predictability power, therefore the strategy of highest fitness from evolutionary perspective is usually based on balanced equilibrium of both intuitive, both formal approach, while the intuitive approach usually goes first and the formal one finalizes intuitive ideas in reproducible manner, which can be exchanged freely without lost of information.
Dark Empire Strikes Back
4 months ago