Editorial: Monsieur Langlet's Enterprise
The philosophy of science is the study of how it is that we discover the truth about the world, and in particular those general truths that allow us to foresee, to some extent, the consequences of our actions. Without such foresight morality is impossible since morality consists in acting so as to avoid doing harm. This shows that knowledge is primary.
The standard approach to the problem of discovering laws about the world is to try to guess at what might be a law and then try to disprove it. If serious, well thought out attempts to disprove a hypothetical law have failed to find fault then we may accept it. Most scientific experiments are involved in these attempts to disprove a hypothesis.
The hypothesis is, of course, a model. It is a symbolic description of the world and carries with it, in the meaning of its symbols, the clue to what tests would disprove it.
As I understand it Gérard Langlet, apart from his other work, suggests that, at the lowest level and the finest detail, the way the world works must be simple. Complexity can only arise with structure and structure is built of parts which are combinations of the lowest level and finest details.
If the physical world is composed of quanta and time too is non-continuous then the models of the world which assume a continuum are inappropriate for dealing with quantised time and space.
Gérard suggests that, instead of forming our hypothetical models to match the world, we should build up structures from the simplest possible elements – bits. When these are elaborated to the level where the real-world counterparts could be observed then we can seek for such real world counterparts. A perfect match, that defies all attempts at disproof, between such a model and the real world would be a real breakthrough. I am not sure how close the APL Theory of Human Vision gets: getting close enough to consider the question is exciting enough.
(webpage generated: 18 October 2006, 03:45)