Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Complex levels of reality

In my blogs of  13 April 2015 and 12 April and 18 June 2016 I have argued that there is not one single fundamental level of reality.  At least not as described in our current best models. Rather, there are multiple levels. Things that are true at one level of description may not be true at another.  In the macroscopic world things may be wet or dry, I can measure this property.  Asa H measures the humidity of the surrounding air for example.  But things in the microworld are not wet or dry. It makes no sense to try to measure if an electron is wet or dry for example. That property doesn't exist at that scale. It's not a relevant concept there. Spatiotemporal patterns that are found on one level of description may, or may not, be found on other levels. Reality is then described by the concepts, patterns, and laws taken collectively from all levels. (See, also, The Philosophy of Niels Bohr, H. J. Folse, North Holland, 1985. On page 166, for example, Folse describes how the concept of temperature would have been valid all the way down if classical laws had remained true at all scale sizes.)

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