Lexicon of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute
 


[german]  

Find counter arguments by entering NameVs… or …VsName.

The author or concept searched is found in the following 3 entries.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Entry
Reference
Definitions Feynman
 
Books on Amazon
I 174
Laws Definition//Meaning/Laws of Nature/Feynman: it is generally believed that laws of nature represent some kind of genuine knowledge. What does that mean? What does F = ma mean? What is the meaning of force, mass, acceleration?
We can feel mass intuitively and we can define acceleration.
Definition e.g. "when a body accelerates, a force acts upon it".
Definitions/Feynman: such definitions cannot be the content of physics, because they are circular. Nevertheless, the Newtonian statement above appears to be the most precise definition of force.
But it is completely pointless, because no predictions can be made from it. (From no definition!).
The way in which objects behave is completely independent of the choice of definitions.
For example, we define something new:
Def "Gorce"/Fictitious Force/Terminology/Feynman: temporal change of position with a new law: everything stands still, except when a gorce is effective.
This would be analogous to the old force and would not contain any new information. (But: see below...)
I 175
Forces/Laws of Nature/Newtonian Laws/Theory/Feynman: their true content is that the force, in addition to the law F = ma, should have some independent properties. But these specific properties have not not been described by Newton, nor by anyone else, and therefore F = ma is an incomplete law. It implies that we will find some simple properties when studying the forces. It is an indication that forces are simple. This is a good program for analyzing nature.
Laws/Laws of Nature/Theory/Feynman: if nothing but gravitation existed, then the combination of the law of gravitation and the law of force would be a complete theory.
We need further properties of the force: e.g. if no physical object is present, the force equals zero, if it is different from zero, and something is found in the neighborhood, then that must be the cause.
That is the difference to "gorce" (see above).
That power has a material origin is one of its most important properties, and that is not only a definition.
I 175
Definition/Law/Feynman: e.g. second Newtonian Law. Action equals response: that is not quite precise. If it were a definition, we would have to say that it is always precise, but it is not! Feynman: every simple thought is approximated. E.g. chair: superposition of atoms, constant decrease and increase, depending on the accuracy of the measurement.
I 176
Mathematical definitions can never work in the real world.
I 233
Empiricism/Definition/Mach/Feynman: you can only define what you can measure. FeynmanVsMach: whether a thing is measurable or not cannot be decided a priori solely by reasoning! It can only be decided in experiments.
((s) VsFeynman: but doesn't it need to be defined before the experiment?)
Feynman: it is clear that absolute speed has no meaning. Whether or not it can be defined is the same as the problem, whether you can prove if you are moving or not!

I 642
Definition/Temperature/Physics/Chemistry/Feynman: two different definitions: 1) Assuming the kinetic energy of the molecules is proportional to the temperature, this assumption defines a temperature scale:
"Scale of the ideal gas".
We call the correspondingly measured temperatures
kinetic temperature.
2) Other temperature definition: independent of any substance:
"Great thermodynamic absolute temperature".

Fey
R. Feynman
Vom Wesen physikalischer Gesetze München 1993

Fey I
R. Feynman
Vorlesungen über Physik I München 2001

Empiricism Feynman
 
Books on Amazon
I 233
Empiricism/Definition/Mach/Feynman: you can only define what you can measure. FeynmanVsMach: whether a thing is measurable or not, cannot be decided a priori solely by reasoning! It can only be decided in experiments.
((s) VsFeynman: but doesn't it need to be defined before the experiment?)
Feynman: it is clear that absolute speed has no meaning. Whether or not it can be defined is the same as the problem, whether you can prove if you are moving or not!

Fey
R. Feynman
Vom Wesen physikalischer Gesetze München 1993

Fey I
R. Feynman
Vorlesungen über Physik I München 2001

Explanation Vollmer
 
Books on Amazon
I 228
Explanation / Vollmer: misconception: each cognitive system would have to be more complex than the object that it explains.
I 278
Explanation / "too much" / "too little" / Vollmer: a tautological explanation explains too little, an untestable explanation explains too much.
I 279
Questions / Science / Biology / Evolution / Vollmer: the question "Why?" is in biology always welcome - even if it does not always find an answer.
II 58
Why-questions / Science / VollmerVsFeynman / Vollmer: why questions must always be asked - when they are unanswerable, they are therefore not illegitimate - This shows the relational character of explanations.

Vo I
G. Vollmer
Die Natur der Erkenntnis Bd I Stuttgart 1988

Vo II
G. Vollmer
Die Natur der Erkenntnis Bd II Stuttgart 1988


The author or concept searched is found in the following controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Entry
Reference
Feynman, R. Cartwright Vs Feynman, R.
 
Books on Amazon
I 19
Science/Cartwright: My image of it is not as pure as that of positivism. It is a jumble of unobservable entities, causal processes, and phenomenological laws. Reality/Positivism/Cartwright: pro: we have no better reality apart from the one we have at hand.
Cartwright: Thesis: there is no reality behind the things, which would be described by theoretical laws.
Explanation/Feynman: fitting the phenomena into the patterns of nature.
CartwrightVsFeynman: What patterns?
Nature/Cartwright: is a wild abundance that our thinking does not tame. Things that seem to be the same are not if we look at them up close.
I 59
Force/Forces/Composition/Cause/Composition/Causality/Physics/Laws of Nature/LoN/Cartwright: E.g. the mix of electromechanics and gravity is an example of the composition of forces. Forces: are composed vectorially. Is that not a solution for all fears? We then obtain from vector addition the "resultant force".
Vector Addition/Cartwright: We add numbers here (that represent the forces). These are calculations. It is not nature that "adds" the forces. For the "component forces" do not even exist! Only in a metaphorical sense. And the related laws must be seen metaphorically as well. The story with the vector addition presupposes that Feynman has forgotten something in his version of the law of gravitation, because it sounds as if the law described the results rather than the components.
I 60
Law of Gravitation/CartwrightVsFeynman: should be better be written as follows: instead of ’... exercise ... ": "two bodies produce a force between each other.... (the force according to the gravitational)..."
I 161
Refraction/Causality/Model/Feynman: (2nd Volume Berkeley Physics lectures: ~ "...we can now solve differential equations better than in the first semester. Previously, we were only able to find the refraction index for materials of low density such as gases, but during this process the physical principles that produced this index became clear.
I 162
Now on the other hand (with differential equations) the physical origin is obscured! (This comes from reflected waves that interfere with the original ones. However, the theory is now simpler. CartwrightVsFeynman: I do not understand what it means for a theory to be "telling a causal story". How does he explain in the first volume that the physical principles produce the refraction?
Cartwright: I already know what he does and he is successful in extracting a causal representation from his model.
Causality/CartwrightVsFeynman: but I have no philosophical theory about how this is done.
Causality/Philosophy/Cartwright: we need a new theory for the relation between causal processes and the fundamental laws. Our old theories are not suitable.
Here, neither the covering law approach nor my simulacrum view are of any help.

Car I
N. Cartwright
How the laws of physics lie Oxford New York 1983