Wednesday, May 22, 2013

re: Sean Carroll on naturalism


re: post on Rationally Speaking (Sean Carroll interview)

An alternative to ontologizing the quantum wave function, as Sean Carroll does (see also Jill North, is to ontologize Feynman paths (from Feynman's sum over paths formulation of quantum mechanics). This is what Huw Price does in "Backward causation, hidden variables and the meaning of completeness". In fact, collections of paths are ontologized ("bundles", e.g., the set of paths connected to a single location on a screen in a double-split experiment is a Feynman bundle).

If I got it right, there was an interesting remark on the podcast about there being more non-naturalists among chemists than either physicists or biologists. Maybe it's the drugs.

Whether one calls oneself a naturalist vs. physicalist vs. materialist may be debatable among some, but I'm OK with materialist. I like to think it links me back to Democritus and Epicurus.

If I had to state my own ontology, it would be "Code is all that exists."