Leo wrote:Â ÂCCC wrote:Again, it’s a matter of definition; anything can be defined as its quale rather than as its physical, underlying cause (as was done with sound above).
Yes, but the interesting bit is trying to discern the many possible steps between the unknowable “absolute reality” and the “quales”, always stopping before the cliff of solipsism (or self-feeding-brain-in-a-vat vertigo) to which we referred before. All the steps we discern are ultimately a product of our senses, so the enterprise seems doomed to failure, but this is all we have. The important thing is how much data we can gather and what self-consistency it possesses. This is I believe a method we use to model (intuitively and scientifically) the world, and consequently our own mind in this world.
I think we have to identify different layers of reality. There is the postulated absolute reality – unknowable; there is the perceived reality – quale. But this is not all, there is an intellectual reality in physics – an intellectual extension of our perceived reality to a realm where our senses don’t work. So we have relativity at large length and speed scales, and quantum mechanics at small scales. We also have concepts like forces and fields and fundamental particles and such. But if you think about it, they (force and such) are merely a set of self-consistent concepts. We think of them as real because our commonsense implicitly suscribes to the tenets of scientific realism. Which is why CCC can define sound as air pressure waves – because we think of air and pressure waves as real, ignoring the fact that they are only a part of the extended version of our perceived reality. The acceptance of scientific realism amounts to a philosophical stance vis-a-vis an unknowable absolute reality.
The stance I was proposing is to ascribe the properties of flat space-time to the absolute reality. Think of motion in this flat space-time (as opposed to the Minkowski space-time of SR). Figure out how this motion will be perceived. That is to say work out when light rays from different points in the trajectory of the moving object will reach an observer. If this predicted picture is what we do perceive, then we can say that what we ascribed to the absolute reality (flat space-time) is a good working hypothesis. If not, we go back and ascribe some other geometry to the absolute reality. I found that the flat space-time worked in the sense that I coud explain some astrophysical data. The algebra of this is rather trivial, that’s why I referred to it as my “theory” within inverted quotes.
Note that it is not possible to go from the percieved picture to the absolute reality (even with the postulate that the absolute reality is flat space-time) because at least two underlying motion can result in the same absolute picture. In other words, it is a one-to-many ill-posed problem. I will post more on this later.
The current interpretation of SR is that it is the absolute space-time (after taking out the light travel time effects) that is Minkowski like. This interpretation had the advantage of avoiding the ill-posed problem. But I think this interpretation is not accurate because it invalidates the derivation of the coordinate transformation part of SR. Then again, it is just my view.