Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Mystery of the Varying Cosmological Constant (and What to Possibly Do about It)

I recently read an article by Jesus Mosterin, called “The Unity of Particle Physics and Cosmology?” (pg. 165-176 in The Problem of the Unity of Science edited by Agazzi and Faye). The article is very interesting, because it proposes something I hadn’t heard before, namely, that the Casimir effect might be the phenomenon that is the conceptual key to unifying quantum and cosmological scales.  The idea is that vacuum energies associated with a cosmological constant, Λ, might be the cause of the effect (there are numerous interpretations); but there is/are a problem(s), which has been noted by Steven Weinberg, Alan Guth, and others.  In particular, the one that immediately comes to the fore is the problematic nature of the consequences of a varying cosmological constant.  (Keep in mind that the early universe seemed to have an enormous vacuum energy present, while, now, all we have is this rinky-dink Casimir effect of quantum mechanical origin.)  Continue reading

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Filed under Cosmology, Philosophy, Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Science, Physics, Uncategorized

Cognition as Negation

The cognitive version of the onto-epistemic stance paper can be acquired by clicking on: Cognition as Negation.  Unfortunately, due to length restrictions, I had to summarize the original onto-epistemic paper, which has grown to forty pages, and try to slip in how I think it can be extended to cognition.  The headache of trying to organize the previous paper was trebly difficult, because I could not speak at length in this paper to describe in detail what was intended in: The Onto-epistemic Stance.  I included a couple of modified portions of the earlier text in this newer paper, which is being sent to the joint conference on cognition held by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.  As a result of the inordinate constraint placed on the text length of this paper, I did not have the space to do a ground-up presentation of how the onto-epistemic stance seems to be present already in cognitive science.  In fact, I am wondering whether the totality of the venture might not merit full monographic treatment.  With as little exposure as I have had to the sciences of mind, further research on, for instance, phonemes will assuredly thicken up the text, leading me to believe that a full-length endeavor might be necessary.

At any rate, please send me an e-mail or leave me a comment if you have any ideas on how to make the paper better, ideas that need to be explained further/clarified, or anything of that sort.

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Filed under Cognitive Science, Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science, Pure Philosophy