[ExI] Bad Epistemology?
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
sentience at pobox.com
Mon Jul 16 03:47:35 UTC 2007
Lee Corbin wrote:
> 1. There is a real world "out there" composed of all manner
> of real things. We have names for these things, e.g., electron,
> quark, photon, gluon, and so forth. We even have names for
> conglomerations of these things, e.g. "table", "star", "desk",
> "atom", and "galaxy".
> 2. These real things *affect* each other, even though they're
> really all comprised solely of quantum fields according to
> our best and awesome and outstanding theories. These fields
> not only pervade space, but space in the absence of these
> fields is not even conceivable (according to the doctrines
> of quantum field theory (QFT)). [All is plenum; Newton
> was wrong; nature indeed abhors a void; the doctrine of
> substantivalism is--or should be--dead.]
I don't want to get into an extended discussion, but...
See Julian Barbour, "The End of Time". Only relative configurations
are real; individual particles are not. Quantum amplitudes of
particular relative configurations are related to each other, but they
never change; the amplitude of a particular relative configuration is
a fixed value. The relations define time, and cannot "change" because
they are outside time.
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://singinst.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
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