North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Uncertainty Principle

Uncertainty Principle

Chuck
SmithChuck
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 2
Did anyone see the latest "Numbers" episode and notice how the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle was once again extrapolated improperly, this time for general public consumption?
I'm not a scientist, but have become interested in the connection between non-objectivity and modern scientific methodology.
Can anyone out there connect with this and discuss with me? Am I missing something in thinking that the Principle, which concerns observations and measurements made of sub-atomic particles, should not be applied to strategic planning and tactical interactions between humans?
A former member
Post #: 77
Hi, I'm from San Diego, looking at how other active AR groups around the world plan to adjust to the new Meetup policy, and I notice your post about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. I would like to comment on it.

No, I don't watch "Numbers," but I am not surprised that it incorrectly interpreted the Principle. You are right. The corruption of the physical science is creeping ever more, and this misinterpretation has found a foothold in the PoMo* social sciences.

For a philosophical antidote to this, I recommend you check out from your local library a copy of Intellect: Mind over Matter, by Mortimer J. Adler, 1990. Read specifically at pages 105 through 114, which is quite self-contained. There you will find a rational and Aristotelian perspective on how to interpret anything coming from scientists in the area of quantum physics.

The gist of it is this: They don't know what they are doing. They mistake epistemology for metaphysics. They reverse the physics for philosophy. They claim to know more than they should. In other words, they may be advanced physicists, but they don't know their philosophy of science. And this makes them poor interpreters of their own findings.

Also, if you read OPAR, page 128, Leonard Peikoff has a terse one-sentence dismissal of this very problem. Philosophy needs to reign in faulty scientific theories and to stop them from spreading to the culture at large.

You are welcome to correspond privately with me at mengerite at collegeclub.com .


* "PoMo" is short for "postmodernism" or some variant of that sort. It is characterized easily enough as identity politics and socialism.
Chuck
SmithChuck
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 3
"No, I don't watch "Numbers," but I am not surprised that it incorrectly interpreted the Principle. You are right. The corruption of the physical science is creeping ever more, and this misinterpretation has found a foothold in the PoMo social sciences. "

What is PoMo? Politically Motivated?

"For a philosophical antidote to this, I recommend you check out from your local library a copy of Intellect: Mind over Matter, by Mortimer J. Adler, 1990. Read specifically at pages 105 through 114, which is quite self-contained. There you will find a rational and Aristotelian perspective on how to interpret anything coming from scientists in the area of quantum physics.

The gist of it is this: They don't know what they are doing. They mistake epistemology for metaphysics. They reverse the physics for philosophy. They claim to know more than they should. In other words, they may be advanced physicists, but they don't know their philosophy of science. And this makes them poor interpreters of their own findings."

Thanks for the Adler reference. I've read a couple of his books, and appreciate his work.

"Also, if you read OPAR, page 128, Leonard Peikoff has a terse one-sentence dismissal of this very problem. Philosophy needs to reign in faulty scientific theories and to stop them from spreading to the culture at large."

I'll check that out....and I highly recommend OPAR to anyone out there who hasn't read it.

More detail re. "Numbers": This mathematician helps his detective brother solve crimes using elaborate math formulations. The blunder I refer to is when he attributed to the Principle a gang of bank robbers' changing their behaviors because they knew the police were watching them. He completely disregarded the fact that human behaviors are conscious, volitional phenomena and not automatic physical reactions, as are the reactions of particles to the influences of measuring operations and devices.
I've read several articles by various folks about this (Travis Norsen at capmag; Russell Madden are a couple.), but I haven't seen the idea expressed as follows. Does this make sense to you?:

1. Locations and qualities of sub-atomic particles are hard to measure / predict because they are influenced by the light waves / photons / other particles we bounce off them in order to do the measuring. But this is entirely due to their near-inoccuous nature. This effect is reduced proportionally when we work with more substantive entities. So we can measure the location of a rocket or a planet without our measurement process influencing the object's apparent location.

2. Predicting the behavior of men is a completely different class of endeavor, requiring a conscious, delliberate recognition that one is no longer dealing with the direct, automatic reactions of metaphysically existing entities.

The more I think about this, the less likely it seems that this error is being perpetrated as a result of mere intellectual laziness rather than the writer's bias toward mystical interpratations. Fascinating stuff.
Lathanar
Lathanar
Dallas, TX
Post #: 62
"For a philosophical antidote to this, I recommend you check out from your local library a copy of Intellect: Mind over Matter, by Mortimer J. Adler, 1990. Read specifically at pages 105 through 114, which is quite self-contained. There you will find a rational and Aristotelian perspective on how to interpret anything coming from scientists in the area of quantum physics.

I know this is an old thread but it's late, it was on the table of contents, I can't sleep, and so naturally I'm reading some fun stuff on quantum mechanics. Does anyone actually have a copy of this book? I was searching local bookstores online and unable to find a copy. I do not like a lot of the positions some of the articles against quantum mechanics and relativity take, especially when saying they ignore causality.

I find this thread and topic very intriguing and was wondering if anyone else would still be up to discussing it at some point. One of the primary purposes of my going back to school is to explore exactly this.

- Travis
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