Morality and Mathematics

August 18, 2018

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I have a vivid memory from my first or second year of college when discussing mathematics with an older student. I don’t remember the specific topic, but at one point he pointed out to me that mathematical truths are only true relative to particular axioms and definitions that we have assumed, and that they are […]

The Origins of Entropy

September 8, 2016

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One of the unsolved mysteries of modern physical cosmology is explaining how the universe began in a low entropy state. From within the context of physics, an explanation can only be traced backward in time. To look deeper, one must seek an explanation for the origin of entropy itself. This, as it turns out, is […]

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An Analogy between Math and Empirical Science

January 17, 2012

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Empirical science is distinguished from mathematics primarily in one crucial respect: while mathematics requires that its propositions conform to pure logic, empirical science requires in addition that its propositions conform to empirical data. Because mathematics is unconstrained by the contingencies and uncertainties of empirical data, it has the virtue of great certainty and generality in […]

Posted in: Philosophy, Science

Suffering is Proportional to Resistance

December 29, 2010

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An earlier post entitled Substantiality is Inversely Proportional to┬áPonderability discussed an insight of Franklin Merrell-Wolff which proposes a relationship between recognition of transcendent reality, or Substantiality, to cognition of objectivity, or Ponderability. Because of their inverse relationship, the more one experiences a world of ponderable objects, the less one recognizes transcendent Substantiality. This relationship can […]

Contemplating the Nature of Time

February 21, 2010

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A previous post explored the question of whether time has an objective existence. In this post, we continue this investigation in a more contemplative way. Consider, for example, the sound of a train passing by not far away. Our conventional and habitual way of interpreting such auditory phenomena is to imagine a thing called a […]

Symmetry, Invariance, and Objectivity

May 16, 2009

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Symmetry is intimately related to the idea of invariance, the persistence of something amidst change (e.g., changes in time, space, or perspective). This is also one meaning of objectivity. Thus, symmetry is a key to understanding the objective world, as is well known in physics. The basic idea here is not confined to the esoteric […]

Posted in: Philosophy, Science

The Empirical Emergence of Time and Space

March 22, 2009

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A keystone of modern science is the view that everything physical exists within time and space. Of course, these notions have themselves gone through radical revision, but they still form the basis for formulations of modern physics, and only recently have some theoretical physicists begun to consider the possibility that time and space might emerge […]

Posted in: Philosophy, Science