Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #12ii

12ii. After the Copenhagen Interpretation, philosophical influences became less prominent in physics, to the point where most physicists would probably consider their philosophy, with respect the natural world, as Positivist Reductionist. In other words, the only true knowledge is scientific knowledge, and a complex system is the sum of its parts, and reducible to individual components (or accounted for anyway). However, it is doubtful that most practicing physicists would have bothered to learn enough philosophy to describes themselves as a member of any philosophical school. Philosophy is not a religion; the ignorant can create a poor one. Like any cultural disease vector, dogma can be contagious. When meaning is avoided in favor of facts, some facts may stay hidden.

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