On Sun, 21 Dec 1997, Robert B. Waltz wrote:
> FAIR WARNING: This has *nothing* to do with textual criticism, and
> probably will never return to the subject. But I'm confused, and I'll
> ask the question on-list in case others are, too.
At the risk of appearing merely contrary, I ust express my vehement
disagreement. It has much to do with Textual Criticism. However, I
suspect that most of the subscribers (at least those who are published
professional TCers) already understand the connection well enough that
this is a wast of time for them. So your "fair warning" is appreciated.
> On Sun, 21 Dec 1997, STORYBROWN <STORYBROWN@...> wrote:
> >In a message dated 97-12-18 12:37:08 EST, waltzmn@... writes:
> ><< *All* sciences make assumptions. The goal is simply to reduce the
> >assumptions, and test all things possible. >>
> > I would just step out of lurkerdom to note in passing that this view is
> >fairly garden variety Kantianism and subject to all the objections to which
> >Kantianism is open.
I thought Kant would have known better. This view does not even merit the
name "Kantianism", but is just a late 20th century regurgitation of
> I wouldn't know anything about that. A good scientist stays away
> from philosophy, lest it pollute his or her mind. :-)
Again, I must vehemently disagree. The entire notion of "gauge theory",
which you _must_ know with your physics background, is due to a stellar
counterexample, Hermann Weyl, whose philosophical erudition overflows from
practically every one of his sentences in his classic "Group Theory and
Quantum Mechanics", which was THE book for working theoretical physicists
in both non-relativistic and relativistic Quantum Mechanics from 1932 when
it was published, to 1948 when Feynman's much simpler scattering wave
approach finally displaced Second Quantization and Hole Theory.
I'll even dare conjecture that if Weyl _had_ become interested in NT TC,
he would not persist in trying to apply the methods of the experimental
physical sciences to philology!
Nor was Weyl alone (among great physicists) in having such a thorough
classical education. Bohr and Schroedinger also had excellent humanities
backgrounds before specializing in physics. A little biographical
research on the other leading lights of quantum mechanics would surely
show that many others had such a background, since that was the _norm_ in
Europe before the War. Of course this background included philosophy.
> >The doctrine that knowledge begins with its own
> >criticism, or that nothing can be known unless first critically proven, in
> >fact presumes this proven knowledge without first critically proving it.
> >There is no algorithmical formula or demonstration that would cope with the
> >relation between the knower and the external objective world known by him.
> >(Consider Thomas, *Quaestiones disputata de anima* I, art. 5, ad resp.) Maybe
> >some of your other comments begin to come around to this.
It is refreshing to see that _someone_ else on this list appreciates
Aquinas's relevance even to modern day issues!
> I suppose I agree -- but I think I'm failing to understand this.
> The problem of interaction between the observer and the observed
> is well known (e.g. the Uncertainty Principle).
But the Uncertainty Principle seems like such a _small problem_ when
compared to the problem of Quantum MEasurement!
> There is also
> the problem of correspondence between the internal and external
> worlds -- but how can we solve *that* except by assuming some
> sort of correlation. At least science displays an ability to
> affect the perceived external world in a way that correlates with
> our internal expectations.
Even in the Bell Experiment?
> My point was different. There are things science cannot measure --
> e.g. the gravitational constant in another galaxy. We can't *get*
> there to conduct the measurement. In that case, one must make
> reasonable assumptions. They may be wrong -- but what are we
> supposed to do, make *unreasonable* assumptions?
And this judgement, which assumptions are _reasonable_, is often highly
subjective, as when Dirac assumed that all negative energy levels were
occupied (La Theorie du Positron).
Waiting for the blessed hope and the appearance of the glory of our
great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Ti 2:13).