Deutsch’s Philosophy

I’ve started David Deutsch’s “Fabric of Reality”. From his quantum information work, and his acknowledgements to others like Artur Eckert (sp?) I was execting a dive straight into “here’s why the world is realy made of quantum information” thesis. In fact the introduction is quite refreshing. A review of the philosophy of science and of philosophy itself. An ecouraging draw-back from the brink of logical positivism whereby everything (of any real world value) is predictable by logical derivation (induction) from empirical evidence. Predicting outcomes by formulae based on hypothesis and experiment, is merely the method of science, not its scope or purpose.

He believes a unifying theory of everything can explain and understand what is currently understood, but only what is understood; it can never presume to explain that which is not yet understood. ie in his original metaphor – it’s possible for a single brain to understand everything (that is understood). Fair enough.

Dwelling on science as the explanation for everything in the world, neither holistic nor analytically reductionist, but by generalisation being able to explain and hence understand everything, brings in very early the concept that general underlying explanations may be truly valid even if they are practically useless for predictions through the emergent layers of complexity above.

Very promising. Part of my thesis is that there is no metaphysics. Physics as the most fundamental of the sciences is the place to look for the most general model of the world, underlying chemistry, biology and the rest of the “ologies”.

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