Epistemology

June 26, 2009

Imaginary Time,

11 Dimensional Space, etc.

Of fictive Knowledge & fictious Reality


Abstract


Science, according to Ernst Cassirer, “is the last step in man’s mental development and may be regarded as the highest and the most characteristic attainment of human culture …” In modern world there is no other power equals to scientific thinking. Science is held to be “the summit and consummation of all our human activities, the last chapter in the history of mankind and the most important subject of a philosophy of man.”

This essay, to some extent, is about the state of the art of scientific knowledge, especially natural sciences, at the cross of the 2nd and the 3rd millennium. It is also a reflection on the nature of science and the nature of natural cosmos whose temptation will make science more than just the summit and consummation of all our human activities and the most important subject of a philosophy of man; scientific knowledge will be the most important subject of philosophy of universe, if one does exist. Through the dialectic between fictive knowledge and fictious reality, science will force humanity eventually to create, or at least to replicate, a physical universe.

I deliberately choose an old and almost forgotten word “fictious” to be juxtaposed with “fictive” not merely for literary reason (syllable and alliteration) but mainly for epistemological one: to persistently remember something easily sink into oblivion that scientific knowledge, from a certain point of view, is essentially a kind of fiction, a poem to be more precise, a mighty one lives its life in the grandest poem imaginable, the Great Universe.


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The scientific theorist is not to be envied. For Nature, or more precisely experiment, is an exorable and not very friendly judge of his work. It never says “Yes” to a theory. In the most favorable cases it says “Maybe,” and in the great majority of cases simply “No.””


— Entry into memory book for Professor Kammerling-Onnes, November 11, 1922; quoted in Dukas and Hoffmann, Albert Einstein, the Human Side, p.18.


An incomprehensible nature is an unbearable and therefore an inhabitable nature. Older than any era long lost from human memory, this law has been governing the evolution down to the sustainability of living beings in their interactions with the harsh and ever randomly changing nature. The first contemplating human, must had understood that even in its most tranquil state, the magnificent nature spread itself out in immensely complex phenomenon. The first information to human experience must have been really complex, even largely chaotic.

blakenewton

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