One for later, some tough reading (120 page technical PDF), but a philosophical view of “modern” physics by Hans Christian Öttinger that dares suggest:
… in the words of Margenau:
“it is quite proper for us to assume that we know what a dog is
even if we may not be able to define him”
Philosophy shall here serve as
a practical tool for doing better physics.
Very much Dennett’s “hold your definition” stance, and very much the same rejection of definitive objectivity I was referring to here. As Öttinger says:
Emphasis on the importance of beliefs,
even if they are justied by a variety
of philosophical and physical ideas,
may irritate the physicist.
Definitions are matters of hindsight, like species in evolution. Objects are simply abstractions – artefacts – of the model we are using, even when we’re doing physics of what we consider to be the “real” world.