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Old March 9th, 2017, 04:35 PM   #21
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I am not a "materialist" in the crude fashion of so many people. One of the reasons is that "matter" has never been defined as a clear concept. The way that it imposes on our senses disappears in a few short orders of magnitude down into the micro world.

When we try to understand a material object, we find that it dissolves into a warp of electromagnetic fields on a woof of curved space. These, in turn, when subjected to analysis, reveal new "existences" and new Forms: elementary particles, conservation laws, units of "action" and quantum fields. Each time we try to tease out what is before our eyes, we find that it disappears to reveal a new content functioning through new Forms.

What physics reveals to us is not the "matter" of naive intuition, but an immense concatenation of Forms---in the Platonic sense. Few prejudiced people ever stop to consider what an immense predictive triumph this is of Platonic theory---stretching over twenty-five hundred years, during which, to most people, there was precious little "evidence" that the Theory of Forms was true.
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Old March 10th, 2017, 03:51 PM   #22
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From above:

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I wish to describe a half-way house for those without training in philosophy on a journey to the understanding of the thought of Plato. It is false to Plato in one supremely important aspect, yet can still be useful.
What was supremely false in what I wrote? I treated the Forms as if they were abstractions from experience. THIS IS NOT PLATO'S VIEW.

Many philosophers have treated the Forms as if they were abstractions from experience, AND THEY SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

THE FORMS ARE NOT UNIVERSALS; THEY ARE NOT ABSTRACTIONS FROM EXPERIENCE!

Plato says this over and over; he says it ever so clearly in the Allegory of the Cave!

Wikipedia: Plato's Allegory of the Cave

TRANSLATION OF THE TEXT OF THE ALLEGORY

There is even a clay animation of the Allegory, for heaven's sake!

ANIMATION OF PLATO'S ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE

The fact that even professors of philosophy can't get this simple fact right says much about the distorted, stereotypical delusions of our time!

For Plato, the Forms were not less concrete than the physical world of experience, BUT MORE CONCRETE!

This can not be stressed too much!!!

The physical world of our experience is a dim, wavering image, a shadow, of the solid, enduring REAL world of the Forms! This is very, very clear from the Allegory of the Cave!

C. S. Lewis is a writer whom I like, but who exasperates me no end. The secret is that almost everything in his timid, theistic worldview that is good and attractive comes from Plato!

He wrote an amusing little book called, The Great Divorce, that gives his slant on the Forms of Plato.

Ghosts from Hell are given a holiday in which they are brought to the borderlands of Heaven, which is a kind of twilight before dawn. There, everything is much, much more solid than the phantasmal substance of the ghosts: plant stems and leaves are immovable; blades of grass are unbendable crystal needles to their feet; every drop of rain, every flying insect, is like a bullet that tears through the bodies of the ghosts; the surface of a stream is a solid, flowing, rippling floor to their feet; and when the Sun rises, its beams are solid blocks, moving at an incredible velocity, smashing and crushing the ghosts!
.

Last edited by numan; March 10th, 2017 at 03:56 PM.
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Old March 12th, 2017, 03:16 PM   #23
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furu ike ya / kawazu tobikomu / mizu no oto

"Old pond : frog jumps in, water's sound"

Ah, the Old Pond ! (the syllable "ya" roughly represents the "Ah" or the exclamation mark, or both)

I am sure that I would be soundly thwacked on the head by any Zen master worth his salt for being far too explicit and obvious, but, being a bumptious Westerner, I will mention that the Old Pond is clearly the Ultimate: Primordial Enlightenment, out of which all things arise and into which all things return.

This is very much a poem about perception and knowledge. The most striking rhetorical feature is the hysteron proteron in awareness -- one first perceives the water's sound and only then does one realize that a frog has jumped into the water -- though the order is reversed in the poem.
Of course, no one in their right mind has the initial thought, "Oh, there is a water-sound." Instead, one's instantaneous reaction is, "Oh, a frog has jumped in."

So which comes first, the frog or the water-sound? Or is it a chicken-and-the-egg problem? Does the phenomenological concrete world produce a mind and mental awareness? Or must mental awareness be an initial condition before any sort of phenomenology is possible? [Ow!! I feel the thwacks from the Zen master coming down fast and furious on my head!]

And what about the Old Pond? Although the haiku does not say so, I feel certain that the scene is set at night. The Old Pond is not seen. Which raises the question: is this an Old Pond which is known and familiar to us, or have we never come across it before? -- perhaps we are walking at night in an unfamiliar neighborhood when, out of the darkness, we hear the splash and think, "Oh, there must be a pond there!" This is initial enlightenment; the sequence of awareness is, "oh, there's a pond, a frog has jumped in, that explains the water-sound."

But that is not our case. We are old, experienced Enlightened Beings. :LOL: The Old Pond is very familiar to us, and we are comfortable playing, at our ease, with the antinomies of perception and awareness!! · ·

GRAMMATICAL NOTE: In Japanese grammar, a relative clause is formed without a relative pronoun. Rather, a verb or clause is placed immediately before the noun which it modifies. Therefore, everything after "the Old Pond" can be read as a single phrase : the sound of the water into which the frog jumps -- which I, at least, find a pleasing ontological synthesis to the dialectical complexities of the phenomenological and epistemological questions raised by the poem. · · · ·

The Japanese expression is rather more fused and unified that the somewhat wordy and indirect English construction :

frog-jumps-in's-water's sound.
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Old March 12th, 2017, 03:37 PM   #24
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Though I and all who view your verbiage are rightfully impressed as you intend, Might I recommend you ease up somewhat on the exemplary effort in order to allow those of us far more intellectually limited to comprehend what is written with effortless joy.
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Old March 12th, 2017, 06:16 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by tecoyah View Post
Though I and all who view your verbiage are rightfully impressed as you intend, Might I recommend you ease up somewhat on the exemplary effort in order to allow those of us far more intellectually limited to comprehend what is written with effortless joy.
Surely the spirit of the American Way of Life is that you must work for anything that is worthwhile ! ---
.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 12:45 AM   #26
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Surely the spirit of the American Way of Life is that you must work for anything that is worthwhile ! ---
.
Yet sadly, the abilities of the American way of life tend to lessen intellectual curiosity and motivation to the point of losing interest when overly complex opportunities present difficulty in comprehension.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 11:28 AM   #27
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OPEN THREAD: A "discussion about everything from politics to daily living to ethics and moral."

Aufgeblassen, numan, et al,

Well, --- Ayn Rand would love where this is going.

• Yes, The correct answer to these issues is:

"Who is John Galt?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posted by [B
numan[/B]] Surely the spirit of the American Way of Life is that you must work for anything that is worthwhile ! ---
There is no GUARANTEE in America that you will be highly successful should you try hard to be, but your chances are much greater here than anywhere else that you will be. Especially now, with superfluous regulations being reduced.

Furthermore, should you not try at all, you are pretty well guaranteed you will not be.
(COMMENT)

Part of this is understanding whether you situation is getting better, or getting worse.

Testing improvement:
• When I had my first job (1969), a gas station attendant, I think I was making about a $1.25 an hour (plus tips).

• When I retired, I was making about $9.50 an hour.
In 1969, a gallon of gas was less than 50¢ a gallon. (I remember during the gas station wars, the cost some time dropped to 26¢/gallon.) At 50¢/ gallon, for 1 hours work, I could by (before taxes) 2.5 gallons.

At age 64, when I officially retired, I could buy (before taxed income) with gas prices at ≈ $2,49/gallon, in one hours time I could buy 3.8 gallons of gas, for one hours work. That's about a 46% improvement in the ability to purchase (before taxes).
Purchasing power is the value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy.

Read more: Purchasing Power Purchasing Power Definition | Investopedia

It is just a little harder to evaluate "success." It is correct that it is not accurate to say that "trying harder" will achieve greater success. No! that is not correct. You might work yourself as hard as you can, and still not achieve the level of performance expected by the employer.

"The average hourly wage Earnings in the US increased by 6¢ or .2% to $26.09 in February 2017."

How many gallons of gas can you buy for one hours work (after local, state and federal taxes)?

Most Respectfully,
R
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Old March 15th, 2017, 03:30 PM   #28
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Getting back to the topic of the thread:

"They're melting! They're melting! All our beautiful notions are melting!"

The polar ice caps are breaking up, the economy is breaking up, politics are breaking up, and, now, even physics is breaking up! Finally, we are being forced to confront a new world!

The universe is real; philosophers and post modernists pout.

Quote:
What the several researchers found was that there were more photons in some places than there should have been and fewer in others. The stunning result, though, was that in some places the number of photons was actually less than zero. Fewer than zero particles being present usually means that you have antiparticles instead. But there is no such thing as an antiphoton (photons are their own antiparticles, and are pure energy in any case), so that cannot apply here.

The only mathematically consistent explanation known for this result is therefore Hardy's. The weird things he predicted are real.... Dr Yokota and his colleagues went so far as to call their results "preposterous".
The world turns out to be real, after all! But it is a real world that is very, very weird!

Wheeler-Feynman Absorber Theory involves waves, propagating from the future with waves propagating in the present, "mixing" and creating our "particle" reality as a "sum of complex-wave quantum interferences."

This is a departure from the "quantum fuzziness" of the past which involved "concrete real particles" whose existence were always positive probability contributions (inner products with real values). Negative particle probabilities are now an "observed reality"' indicating an alternative interpretation to so called "particle" phenomena, as spatial and temporal complex waves interacting in spacetime, in order to resolve the obvious retrodiction anomalies that are actually measured.

In the standard interpretation of Quantum Theory, the probabilities can never be negative and they must "add up". What we have are negative probabilities and they "add up". The negative probabilities are logical impossibilities in probability theory, clearly Quantum Mechanics is not a probability theory. It is "something else".

Quantum mechanics is often explained as a theory of probabilities and statistics, but this is very misleading. In statistics, you never have negative probabilities (for how can you have a probability of less than zero?), and certainly not probabilities that are complex numbers! (that is, numbers composed of regular positive and negative real numbers, and imaginary numbers [ involving the square root of minus one ]) But complex probability components are the bread and butter of quantum mechanics. Usually the imaginary components cancel out and you are left with garden-variety positive probabilities for such things as position and momentum measurements, but now we see that it ain't always so!

Complex components of a physical system should not seem to be overly mysterious. Minkowski space-time in relativity theory and electromagnetism are analysed into real and imaginary mathematical components. Electric fields and magnetic fields are not identical, but they are related mathematically in precise ways and they can turn into each other. The same is true of space and time. Equations with complex numbers are a way of keeping electricity and magnetism distinct, but related. The great divide heretofore between electromagnetic theory and quantum theory is that electric and magnetic fields are considered to be actual components of the external world, but the complex components of probability fields have been regarded as heuristic devices, convenient fictions that made mathematical calculation convenient, but were not actual entities in the external world. The experimental results of Dr. Yokota and his colleagues have destroyed this comforting illusion.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 03:35 PM   #29
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Here is a diagram of Hardy's original proposed experiment, which involved electrons and positrons, rather than photons:



The brown cylinders are detectors; the gray disks are mirrors; the blue disks are interferometers ("beam-splitters"). An electron and a positron (anti-electron) are introduced into the system at the same time. Each particle goes through an interferometer and is split into two quantum states; one state represents the particle travelling along the outer pathway, the other state represents it travelling along the inner pathway. If the particles travel the inner pathway, they reach an "annihilation area". If both electron and positron travel the inner pathways, they may annihilate each other and will not affect the detectors. It is also possible that they will survive their "close encounter", but in that case, their quantum states will have been "disturbed".

The electron can only be detected at C- and D-, the positron at C+ and D+. Near their associated detectors, each particle will encounter another interferometer. If the two states of each particle have been undisturbed, they cause Detector C to register an impact. If a quantum state has been disturbed, Detector D registers an impact.

Quantum Mechanics predicts probabilities for various outcomes: a probability for mutual annihilation, and probabilities for various combinations of detectors firing simultaneously:

C+ and C-
C+ and D-
C- and D+
D- and D+

It is the combination D- and D+ that causes the trouble. There will be a well-defined percentage of cases where D- and D+ fire simultaneously. The outer-arm quantum states are always undisturbed; therefore, if Detector D- registers an impact, the inner-arm electron state must have been disturbed, and that can only occur if it is 100% certain that the positron was in the "annihilation area". Likewise, if Detector D+ registers an impact, the inner-arm positron state must have been disturbed, and that can only occur if it is 100% certain that the electron was in the "annihilation area". If both Detector D- and Detector D+ are activated, it is 100% certain that both the electron and the positron were in the "annihilation area" at the same time. But this means that they would have annihilated each other, and none of the detectors would have been activated! But both D- and D+ were activated!! This is the heart of the contradiction.

The paradox can be solved only if the probability is -1 for the case of both particles taking the outer pathway! This means that it is more of an impossibility than impossible!

"...a region with a negative number of photons (a hole blacker than black) would have interesting temperature and pressure, I guess."
.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 04:22 PM   #30
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In a previous posting, I wrote,

Quote:
I wish to describe a half-way house for those without training in philosophy on a journey to the understanding of the thought of Plato. It is false to Plato in one supremely important aspect, yet can still be useful.
There, I treated the Forms as if they were abstractions from experience. THIS IS NOT PLATO'S VIEW.

Many philosophers have treated the Forms as if they were abstractions from experience, AND THEY SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

THE FORMS ARE NOT UNIVERSALS; THEY ARE NOT ABSTRACTIONS FROM EXPERIENCE!

Plato says this over and over; he says it ever so clearly in the Allegory of the Cave!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave

TRANSLATION OF THE TEXT OF THE ALLEGORY

There is even a clay animation of the Allegory, for heaven's sake!

ANIMATION OF PLATO'S ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE

The fact that even doctors of philosophy can't get this simple fact right says much about the distorted, stereotypical delusions of our time!

For Plato, the Forms were not less concrete than the physical world of experience, BUT MORE CONCRETE!

This can not be stressed too much!!!

The physical world of our experience is a dim, wavering image, a shadow, of the solid, enduring REAL world of the Forms! This is very, very clear from the Allegory of the Cave!

C. S. Lewis is a writer whom I like, but who exasperates me no end. The reason is that almost everything in his timid, theistic worldview that is good and attractive comes from Plato!

He wrote an amusing little book called, The Great Divorce, that gives his slant on the Forms of Plato.

Ghosts from Hell are given a holiday in which they are brought to the borderlands of Heaven, which is a kind of twilight before dawn. There, everything is much, much more solid than the phantasmal substance of the ghosts: plant stems and leaves are immovable; blades of grass are unbendable crystal needles to their feet; every drop of rain, every flying insect, is like a bullet that tears through the bodies of the ghosts; the surface of a stream is a solid, flowing, rippling floor to their feet; and when the Sun rises, its beams are solid blocks, moving at an incredible velocity, smashing and crushing the ghosts!
.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 06:58 AM   #31
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MUMFORD & SONS LYRICS

"The Cave"


in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you've left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

‘Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I'll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker's land

So make your siren's call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

‘Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it's meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again
Thanks from numan
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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:04 AM   #32
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Quote:
So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker's land
The notion mumford and sons point to is coming out of the cave doesn't allow us to see things as they are in fact distortions of our viewpoint persist.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:07 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numan View Post
'

C. S. Lewis is a writer whom I like, but who exasperates me no end. The reason is that almost everything in his timid, theistic worldview that is good and attractive comes from Plato!

He wrote an amusing little book called, The Great Divorce, that gives his slant on the Forms of Plato.

Ghosts from Hell are given a holiday in which they are brought to the borderlands of Heaven, which is a kind of twilight before dawn. There, everything is much, much more solid than the phantasmal substance of the ghosts: plant stems and leaves are immovable; blades of grass are unbendable crystal needles to their feet; every drop of rain, every flying insect, is like a bullet that tears through the bodies of the ghosts; the surface of a stream is a solid, flowing, rippling floor to their feet; and when the Sun rises, its beams are solid blocks, moving at an incredible velocity, smashing and crushing the ghosts!
.

I'm a big fan of Lewis and liked the book. I think the theme is less platonian and more that the reality of heaven may make the present on earth seem spiritual and ghostly by comparison.

Last edited by arcturus88; March 21st, 2017 at 09:02 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 07:09 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
We see that A LOT with numan!


I like him and enjoy having an intellect on board here.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 03:02 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by arcturus88 View Post
I'm a big fan of Lewis and liked the book. I think the theme is less plutonian and more that the reality of heaven may make the present on earth seem spiritual and ghostly by comparison.
I agree with you.

I like the comparison of dreams with waking "reality." Terrible things happen in dreams; why are we not scarred by these terrible events? It is because, after we have awakened, we realize that the dreams were not real --- or at least have a much lesser reality than the waking world.

Similarly, the basic nature of "True Reality" is so far beyond what we experience in our mortal life that it reduces our waking lives to the status of a kind of "waking dream," not quite real.

If one is bothered by the "problem of evil" (as I am not, since I follow the traditional view that evil is a privation of the Good, and not a substantial reality in itself), then the evil in our lives is like the evil in dreams, a kind of fading delirium that dissolves in the Light of Reality.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 03:07 PM   #36
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Old March 23rd, 2017, 04:40 PM   #37
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From the point of view of phenomenology, it appears that the universe, or at least an environment [whether external or not], is of primary importance, and that an Observer could not possibly exist without it, for what could the Observer observe without the data of experience?

From the point of view of epistemology [study of knowledge], it seems the Observer is primary, for how could the universe have a definite existence, how could qualia [the "suchness" or "thisness" of things] exist without being perceived by an Observer? [When a tree falls in a deserted forest, does it make a sound?]

Of course, there are philosophical way-stations between existence and non-existence. One of them is the concept of "subsistence": that entities may be conceived as potentialities, rather than actualities. Thus the external universe may be conceived as having some reality, even in the absence of any observer. For 65 million years the dinosaurs "subsisted": the fossils obeyed all the laws of physics, until snoopy hominid apes drew them back out of their subsistent potentiality into their present state of actuality.

Finally, from the point of view of ontology [study of existence], the external universe and the Observer may be considered to have equal degrees of Reality, supporting each other in a dialectical fashion. Each may be Existents, but of different states or "moments" of Reality. A universe of definite qualities may be impossible without the two supporting each other.
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Old March 24th, 2017, 05:04 PM   #38
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I am not a "materialist" in the crude fashion of so many people who pride themselves on escaping from the follies of religion and other types of superstition. One of the reasons is that "matter" has never been defined as a clear concept. The way that it imposes on our senses disappears in a few short orders of magnitude down into the micro world.

When we try to understand a material object, we find that it dissolves into a warp of electromagnetic fields on a woof of curved space. These, in turn, when subjected to analysis, reveal new "existences" and new Forms: elementary particles, conservation laws, units of "action" and quantum fields. Each time we try to tease out what is before our eyes, we find that it disappears to reveal a new content functioning through new Forms.

What physics reveals to us is not the "matter" of naive intuition, but an immense concatenation of Forms---in the Platonic sense. Few prejudiced people ever stop to consider what an immense predictive triumph this is for the Platonic theory---stretching over twenty-five hundred years, during which, to most people, there was precious little "evidence" that the Theory of Forms was true.
.
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Old March 25th, 2017, 12:15 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numan View Post
'
I am not a "materialist" in the crude fashion of so many people who pride themselves on escaping from the follies of religion and other types of superstition. One of the reasons is that "matter" has never been defined as a clear concept. The way that it imposes on our senses disappears in a few short orders of magnitude down into the micro world.

When we try to understand a material object, we find that it dissolves into a warp of electromagnetic fields on a woof of curved space. These, in turn, when subjected to analysis, reveal new "existences" and new Forms: elementary particles, conservation laws, units of "action" and quantum fields. Each time we try to tease out what is before our eyes, we find that it disappears to reveal a new content functioning through new Forms.

What physics reveals to us is not the "matter" of naive intuition, but an immense concatenation of Forms---in the Platonic sense. Few prejudiced people ever stop to consider what an immense predictive triumph this is for the Platonic theory---stretching over twenty-five hundred years, during which, to most people, there was precious little "evidence" that the Theory of Forms was true.
.
One can be (and must be) a "Materialist" in our macro material world. This does not mean ignoring the realities of the micro as they obviously exist together.
Thanks from numan
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Old March 25th, 2017, 01:47 PM   #40
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Whenever I hold the opposite poles of two magnets together, I feel a slight frisson of awe that I am, in some sense, in contact with the forces of the micro world. Of course, whenever I touch anything I am in contact with those same forces, but the amplification of magnetic forces seems much more striking.
.
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