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Mar 06

New Philosophy of Physics Blog

There is a new blog that I recommend you follow, if you’re interested in the philosophy of physics. http://philocosmology.wordpress.com/

I’m personally excited about this prospect because there should be top-notch philosophers involved, and I expect the discussion to reflect that. This means it offers an excellent learning opportunity within a very difficult subject.

Physics rears its head in several philosophical arguments both for and against God. It’s very difficult to comment on these articles without some background. For example, suppose you are discussing the Kalam Cosmological Argument with someone who says the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem definitively shows the past must be finite. Would you have a response or just be caught out of your element? Other relevant discussions include the multiverse hypothesis, the nature of laws/causes, the “fine-tuned” constants, and theories of time.

One warning I will offer is that you may encounter a good deal of philosophical jargon. This is unfortunate, but is bound to occur in forums meant for the interaction of specialized professionals who already have some shared understanding and language. My advice is just to try and look into terminology and ideas as you encounter them. If that isn’t working, ask for clarification. These people are probably all educators and will understand that students or non-professionals will also want to follow the conversation. I’ve emailed with philosophers, even well-known ones, and they have always been receptive to questions.

Finally, I’ve already noticed several references to Sean Carroll’s work in the first few posts. You can find his website here: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/.

H/T to exapologist for pointing out this website.

 

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2 comments

  1. Steve

    Ken,A Of course suimarmes of arguments will always be lacking in detail, but should still logically flow. The point I’m making is that these suimarmes are poorly stated the points don’t directly connect. The logic breaks. Many of the points are non sequitur (do not follow).I would have thought that the purpose of providing argument suimarmes would be so that would-be readers could follow his arguements, and then read the book for more (supporting) detail. But these suimarmes don’t function as is. And argument suimarmes should function.In short, the details in the book should merely be clarifying and/or supporting to the arguments; which should be able to be stated in a follow-able way. As is, however, the arguments need more than clarification/support they need to be re-built.B And your few examples say nothing other than you should have read the book’. Come on. Show me just one example of some actual specific detail from the book which earth-shatteringly makes any of these arguments suddenly work’.Here’s an example of an argument which logically works (even if you dont’ agree with it):1 Whatever begins to exist has a cause2 The universe began to exist3 Therefore, the universe has a causeNow, we can fill in detail, but this logically works. We can define terms ( exist’, ’cause’, universe’, etc.), and we can suggest (for example) that our universe was ’caused’ by a prior universe, or something whatever but this argument as is’ logically flows. Point 3 actually follows from 1 2.Now, one of his arguments:1 Man is finite2 God (if he exists) is infinite3 Therefore man cannot recognise God or know that God existsThe difference is stark. The therefore’ of 3 does not follow from 1 2. It’s a non-argument. What the heck does God’s infinite nature have to do with Man’s (supposed) inability to recognise him?Again, suimarmes are suimarmes so let no one say that a summary should be long, detailed and provide all the clarifications. That is no longer a summary’.But the summary can at least be sensible as a logical progression.Can you at least admit that the suimarmes could be better stated? Dale

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    Useful info. Lucky me I found your site accidentally, and I’m surprised why this coincidence
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