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Sep 02

Jeremy Butterfield's "Naivete about Physics"

Posted by: JackSarfatti |
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Bohm's theory in contrast to what Butterfield seems to suggest, does permit us to think of matter in motion, but it's no longer classical in the sense of Newton and Maxwell because of the magickal quantum potential with very weird properties as described in detail by Bohm and Hiley in "The Undivided Universe."

Quantum Curiosities of Psychophysics, by Jeremy Butterfield

Naivete about Physics
The first danger arises from a cluster of views, widespread in our intellectual culture, about
physics as a science: that it has as its subject-matter, matter in motion, which it describes with precise mathematics; that what it tells us about this subject-matter is cumulative (i.e. it never gives up previously established claims); and even that at any given time, discussion among practitioners is uncontroversial. In short, the picture is of physics as a concrete floor of established, precise facts about simple concepts of matter and motion: a floor so firm (albeit perhaps dull!) that other sciences can build upon it. Needless to say, this picture is false. Physics is much more interesting than this picture suggests! It has a much more varied, and strange, subject-matter than the matter in motion of classical mechanics; and it is steeped in controversy. (For an antidote to this false picture, cf. Leggett 1987, esp. Chap.s 5 and 6.)


Roughly speaking, the measurement problem is: QT's laws about how the states of objects
change over time seem committed to the prediction that macroscopic objects often have no definite positions—nor definite values for other familiar physical quantities like momentum or energy. ('Quantity' is jargon for 'numerically measurable property'; 'magnitude', 'variable' and 'coordinate' are also used.) But this seems manifestly false: tables and chairs surely have definite positions etc. As it is sometimes put: the macrorealm is definite. (Or at least, we experience the macrorealm as being definite. So, if QT is to account for our experience, it must either secure such definiteness, or at least explain the appearance of it.


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