I whole-heartedly believe a number of their “interpretations” in the paper are correct. However, I also find some of their thoughts extremely puzzling, in light of drawing certain interpretations to their logical conclusion, as one philosopher, Kant, has hundreds of years ago. I will give a little technical breakdown of the paper —just bear with me through the math/math-speak, which I only include for the sake of the clarity that my colleagues in the sciences would prefer—, and then discuss issues I see. Given that I have been, for a long time, working with another philosopher of physics on a scientifically-technical philosophical paper that forcefully argues some of the same points, I will not comment on those items I agree with, so as not to give anything away from unpublished work.
This is the first in a series of blog posts about a work done by Dr. David Lee Cale, professor at West Virginia University. Cale, a polymath, is chiefly a philosopher, trained in physics, political science, mathematics, economics, and numerous other disciplines, holds a Ph.D. in philosophy, an M.B.A., a B.A. in political science, and is ABD in economics, and is a notable ethicist. The work of his being examined is “The Simplest Possible Universe,” a monograph that synthesizes ancient Greek and Scholastic styles of thinking with modern physical insight. The work is striking, in that its brand of creativity is not common in modern intellectual enterprises. Retaining the good sense and substance of modern physics, Cale employs modes of thinking that are on loan from times nearly forgotten. The objective of this blog series is to deconstruct the monograph, examine its components, and assess the merits of each, redoubting where possible. At the end, if efficacious, an attempt at resynthesis of the project, consequent upon the conceptual retooling, will be made. Continue reading →
Kant had a pretty trippy and extremely fascinating view of time. (The Hstorical Dictionary of Kant and Kantianism says “innovative,” which I gladly grant.) For Kant, time is a “pure form of sensible intuition” (Critique of Pure Reason, N. K. Smith trans., 2003, pg. 75), and “[t]ime is nothing but the form of internal sense, that is, of the intuition of ourselves and of our inner senses. It cannot be a determination of outer appearances; it has to do neither with shape nor position, but with the relation of representations in our inner state” (ibid. pg. 77). Continue reading →