Overview of Western Philosophy – Part 14

(Read Part 13 of the series.)

Pragmatism and William James to Linguistic Analysis and Wittgenstein

Pragmatism
Developed originally in America, and to some extent in rebellion against the metaphysical theories current in Europe at the time (especially Idealism), Pragmatism is effectively a method for determining the worth of philosophical problems and their proposed solutions. What was thought to matter was not all of the intellectual speculation and theorising usually associated with philosophising but the practical worth at the end of the day. Is a theory actually of any use to us in our day to day life? Will it make any difference to me if I follow it or am even aware of its existence? The word ‘pragmatic’ has now passed into everyday usage as referring to an approach that actually works.

The original ideas were developed by C. S. Peirce, who saw himself as following up the system devised by Kant. He thought the only purpose in philosophising to begin with was in order to solve problems that we actually encounter. We should then use the scientific method to enquire into the problem, drawing up hypotheses, experiments to test them and so on. Once we have an answer that gets us over the original problem we should simply stop there. A proposition is ‘true’ if everyone who investigates sufficiently thoroughly comes to the same conclusion. Continue reading

The Simulation Hypothesis

digital-universe Wow! Wow!!

I have no words to describe.

A sheer Joy of 50 minutes. I was sitting glued to the seat. It’s almost like a Meditation where a ‘you’ dissolves untraceably and seamlessly into each pixel appearing on the screen.

All the super Stars of Physics, both of the past and current times, and their theories are discussed in simple understandable terms. The scientific evidence thus far available points to the inevitable inference that the perceived world is no more than a dream-like virtual reality, with no solidity or physicality to it. Nor do the space and time have true existence. Every object and every event in the universe is equidistant from the One Consciousness that is crafting the projection.   Continue reading

Time Does Not Exist

Truth will set you free: Time Does Not Exist by Hans Meijer

Why time does not exist

When we ask ourselves why we think time exists, most of us would say: because we see everything changing, always. And so it is: everything in and around us is constantly changing, from beginning until the end.

The question however is: is the reason for this perpetual change to be found outside the changing subject (caused by a phenomena called time) or is all change coming from inside the changing subject itself?

I don’t think that it is hard to see that the latter is correct. That which makes things change (the cycle of life) to a flower, a human being or an animal is set by the characteristics of that particular life’s form and not by an outer cause such as time. What we call ‘time’ is just a method for measuring the ‘perpetual change’.

Because of our need to measure this perpetual change we decided to divide the ‘cyclic changes’ such as seasons and day and night, into months, twenty-four hours, minutes etc. These well-known changes are caused by the ever-moving planetary positions within our solar system and not because there exists such a thing as ‘time’.

So, there are no minutes, but we decided that after counting 60 (seconds) we say that a minute has passed. Based on minutes we calculate hours, days, months, years, centuries etc.

In this way we can count the number of heartbeats per minute, years from birth to death and we even can calculate the number of years from the Big Bang until today.

But we also say: ‘it seems as if time has stood still (in that old village), nothing has changed`.

Actually there is only NOW – in which all that is manifested appeared, changes and disappears. Continue reading

Science vs. Philosophy – Part II

Y – I can not parse your meaning, i.e. I have no idea what you are trying to say.

Still have no idea what you are trying to say.

X – What I’m trying to say is to point at core insights within Eastern philosophy (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism), particularly in advaita Vedanta – but also in Christianity and Islam in their highest metaphysical conceptions. If you are not interested in any of this, that’s alright.

Actually, whatever science – and its highfaluting ‘scientific method’ – is is shot through with difficulties and controversies, including the sacrosanct falsifiability principle (or dogma). Just read the Wickipedia article on this (and on rationality, etc.) and the respective positions of Khun, I. Lakatos, and P. Feyerabend among others. You must know something about all this already if you are scientifically inclined.

Y – What “core insights”?  There is nothing insightful about making up unevidenced tosh, anyone can do it and each piece of tosh has exactly equal validity, none.

And with regard to your ludicrous and unfounded “criticism” of the scientific method, I have one response, yea shall know them by their fruits.

Continue reading

Invisible Energy In Empty Space

The Universe is overwhelmingly empty!

Up in the heavens, galaxies are interspersed by huge empty spaces. Matter constitutes less than one percent of the universe – about one atom in ten cubic meters of space.  structure of the universe (Planck 2013)Within an atom too, there is more empty space than substance.  If the atom is magnified to the size of a football stadium, matter (nucleus) in it will be no bigger than a golf ball, the remaining space being just emptiness.  However, many ancient Indian scriptures hold that there is energy aplenty in space.  Physicists unhesitatingly agree.  Evidence for energy in empty space comes both from Cosmology that deals with the astronomical objects of huge proportions and Quantum Physics which studies atomic- and subatomic-sized particles.

Continue reading

The Weird World Of Small Things

You are certain of your toothbrush being in the  bathroom when you walk in there after a good night’s sleep.  You have no doubt, the water comes to a boil in two minutes in the microwave for the delicious morning cuppa.  You are pretty sure how long it takes you to drive to the office.  That is all true. But the particles that constitute you or your toothbrush are not  predictable with that sort of certitude where they will be at any given time or when they appear at a given place!

Quantum Physics studies how the tiny particles like electrons, protons and atoms that constitute everything behave. Quantum Physics sobers us down quite a bit when it is a question of being sure of things.  It teaches us not to be so definite and deterministic.  It comes out with mind-bending mathematics and unbelievable concepts almost bordering Vedanta.  Dr. Niels Bohr, a giant among Quantum Physicists, famously said: “Anyone who is not shocked (by the concepts of Quantum Physics) has not understood it.”

For all that, Quantum Physics is not an esoteric theory. It comes with redoubtable experimental back up and unfailing proof.  Continue reading

We are all an entangled web

Quantum Physics is the science of small particles. The strange and counter-intuitive phenomena it predicts often leave us stunned. It says that if two particles were together once, they never lose their connectedness even after they get separated.  Each particle readjusts itself in response to any change in the state of its counterpart which might even  be several millions of miles away.  The readjustment is instantaneous and happens without any sort of messaging link between them.  So if you met Dr. Singh once, you can never escape from getting affected by what happens to him, even if you run away to another galaxy!

Unconvincing?  Do not blame yourself. Continue reading

Reality ‘Out There’ And Quantum Physics

 “Hello!”

Hello!”

“Is Dr. Singh there?”

Sure, he is.”

“Is he not in New York?”

Certainly not.”

Not in London either?”

No, he is definitely here in Delhi.”

“Is he sleeping?”

What?! …….  Sleeping? …….  No, he is in his office and very much awake.”

Dr. Singh’s Assistant, though a bit bewildered, sounded very confident in his replies. But I remained unconvinced.

If the probability of Dr. Singh being in New York is zero, and his being present in Delhi is one hundred percent, there must be some probability of his being in London in-between!  Further, his Assistant asserts that Dr. Singh is awake. How does he know Singh’s state so definitely without actually seeing him?  Don’t think that I lost my wits or I am an over the top Vedantin.

Continue reading

The Past and Future Are In The “Now” Only

The 53 min long Physics Video on “Illusion of Time” is now available on Youtube.
If you have not already seen it, you should not miss as a Vedantin.
Please watch it to know the latest developments in Physics on What is Time, Time travel etc.  What does “Now” mean is covered from about 20th minute to 32nd minute.  There is nothing like a  ‘past’ that has given way to the ‘present’ in absolute one dimensional time. 
As Dr. Albert Einstein said: “The distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion, however persistent. (In a letter to Michelangelo Besso, 21 March 1955).
One aspect not covered in the Video is this: It is easy to imagine for any one that the present “now” (at this moment) can develop into any number of different possible scenarios in the “future.”  Each such possibility could happen in one or the other universe out of multiple universes (H. Everett’s hypothesis).  Similarly then, because of time symmetry in physical laws, one can imagine that the present “now”  (as an outcome) has multiple possibilities in the past.  (One strange consequence is one can never be sure that one is definitely the child of only a specific couple!).
The Link:  Click  here.