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> Contradictions In The Physical World, e.g. satellite paradox
Black Swan
Posted: Mar 23 2012, 02:49 PM


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QUOTE (synthsin75 @ Mar 21 2012, 01:54 PM)
Wrong. "Seems contradictory" means "appears contradictory". The apparency of contradiction/paradox can still exist, even when the actuality is fully known to be logically consistent. The only supposed "significant difference" is that you are conflating apparency and actuality. Just because something appears one way doesn't necessarily make it so, as human perception is very limited and highly fallible.

I fully agree with your point - as representing one option. But if it would be the only option, why would we call M. C. Eschers graphics paradoxical? Why Rene Magrittes paintings? Why is the following sentence a paradox: "This sentence is false"? -- We call these examples paradoxes because there is a (more or less meaningful) contradiction. No matter how hard we try, no matter how good our explanation, the contradictory does not disappear. That is not to say there is any wrong with your interpretation. It just doesn`t capture the full complexity of a paradox.

The miss-understanding between us might come from different cultural backgrounds. Whereas you (I assume) are influenced by the english tradition, I am also influenced by the german tradition, wherein we find greater willingness to consider valid contradictions: in philosophy (e.g. Meister Eckhart, Novalis, Hegel, Nietzsche) and Science (e.g. Heisenberg, Schroedinger). This willingness - combined with a strong aim of avoiding contradictions - might be the reason why the theory of relativity and quantum physics were born in Germany to the main part. But what is more important here: it might also be the reason why germans distinguish clearly between paradox and contradiction. Interestingly, the different ways of defining "paradox" are even inherent in wikipedia, as can be seen by comparing the german and the english entry on paradox. Anyway, here is how I think we should clear up the terms:

The main difference between "paradox" and "contradiction" is that the latter is mainly a technical term, whereas paradox always involves human emotions. That`s why contradictions contain one conflict, and paradoxes always two conflicts.

CONTRADICTION... designates the relationship between two components, which - applying to the same reference-point and only in appliance to this reference-point - inevitable cause a conflict. (Thus all contradictions are conflicts, but it`s not the case that all conflicts are contradictions; not all conflicts involve a third component: a reference point which the two components apply to.)

PARADOX... is an issue or statement which we consider to be impossible and absurd due to the fact that there seems to be a meaningful contradiction. Thus, there is a twofold conflict. First, the issue or statement involves a contradiction which marks a conflict in itself. Second, the contradiction somehow seems meaningful, which inevitable causes an emotional conflict in us. --- There are three ways of interpreting the conflict which a paradox evokes in us: 1. The emotional conflict points to the fact that the issue or statement is indeed impossible and absurd; it is no more than a good illusion and has no significance whatsoever. 2. The emotional conflict is based on a lack of knowledge and understanding; the issue or statement has significance, but there is no actual contradiction involved (it merely appears to be contradictory). 3. The emotional conflict results from the incapacity of the ordinary mind to think and understand an actual contradiction; the issue or statement has significance, and there is an actual contradiction involved.

- - - - - - - -

Now, the question is: are there actual contradictions in the physical world? The resounding answer here is: NO! Nevertheless, I was led to the question by a more "universal" approach. That is, in general (not only in physics), it would be smart to distinguish between "productive contradictions" and "non-productive contradictions".

A non-productive contradiction would be two boys fighting over a toy; both claim it to be theirs: neither wins because they are equal in strength.

A productive contradiction would be two scientists claiming to have the right answer to a physical problem; their answers contradict each other; they have a discussion for years about who is right; no matter who "wins", or if there is a third and better answer - the contradiction and dispute widens their understanding of the problem.

It is in this second sense that I wondered if contradictions (as a cause for change and progress) are not only important and productive in human affairs (democracy, philosophy, science, economy, relationships, growth of personality and character), but also in "physical creations". Isn't a productive tension between (more or less) opposed tendencies essential to many phenomena in physics?
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synthsin75
Posted: Mar 23 2012, 03:01 PM


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You're just aimlessly conflating everything under the sun with science. Give it a rest.


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Any future development must involve changing something which people have never challenged up to the present,
and which will not be shown up by an axiomatic formulation. -P.A.M.Dirac
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Mekigal
Posted: Mar 23 2012, 03:17 PM


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QUOTE (Black Swan @ Mar 18 2012, 12:57 AM)
In other words, you agree with AlexG about the most appropriate interpretation being harmony?

I don't know if Harmony would be the right word for a tug-a-war. I guess you could say harmony occurs from the interaction of opposing ( opposing is really not a very descriptive word for what goes on) forces . The thing is it does not account for dissonance. Dissonance occurs and yet the forces interact . Course is there really such a thing as dissonance or harmony or would it be just different levels off of unison. The same old thing can get quite boring.
So if not opposing forces then what? So for me it is easier to think about it as one movement . Like the left hand and the right hand throwing a basket ball. Your left hand does not think about what the right hand is doing but rather it is one motion of the whole body. Hence forth we have a projectile moving in a forced direction

My first word salad at your lovely site

Kisses
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Schrödinger's cat
Posted: Mar 24 2012, 12:34 AM


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QUOTE
Thanks again. In how far does your objection shed a different light on the discussion above? Does it vitiate the statement: "the satellite falls down to earth and at the same time flys away from earth"?

This statement is abject nonsense. I don't see any point arguing over absurdities like this, it's neither science nor philosophy.
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Black Swan
Posted: Mar 28 2012, 11:40 AM


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QUOTE (synthsin75 @ Mar 23 2012, 03:01 PM)
You're just aimlessly conflating everything under the sun with science. Give it a rest.

QUOTE
This statement is abject nonsense. I don't see any point arguing over absurdities like this, it's neither science nor philosophy.


Right out of the textbook "Arguing for Idiots": If you`re too tired or mindless to give a proper argument, become insulting and rude, or bring forth an over generalized statement that cannot be disproved. All in all, a simple "Nonsense!" will do. It never fails. Well done, boys.

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Black Swan
Posted: Mar 28 2012, 11:56 AM


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As you prove once more, the law of non-contradiction more than anything is a holy doctrine; it means to the scientific mind what the resurrection of Jesus means to the christian mind. It must not be challenged! In my view, someone who claims to be a scientific person but is not ready to question the very foundation on which the scientific skyscraper is built on is no better than someone only believing in Jesus because his parents have told him to do so.

Here are three more examples. At least we should consider if there is a contradictory element involved.


1. What is a surface? The concept of something being a surface of something is basic to our understanding of the world. It refers to a border and warrants the possiblity to speak of a self-contained object. But what is a surface? Is it something? If so, how big is it? Or is it nothing at all? Does it belong to the object? Or does it also belong to the space enclosing the object?

2. If you stand right on the doorway of a house, one arm and leg slightly outside, the other arm and leg slightly inside: where are you? Inside or outside? I`m not asking, where is your arm, where is your leg. The question is, where are you as an indivisible being?

3. Finally, the question of all questions: Is the mind nothing but a physical object? Or is the world nothing but a fiction of the mind?


If you know, as you claim, that "everything has been found to be logically consistent", you ought to be able to answer these questions.

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synthsin75
Posted: Mar 28 2012, 02:38 PM


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You apparently don't understand what the domain of applicability is in a field of science, nor do you differentiate between the common usage of words like "paradox" and "contradiction" and what their precise meaning is when used in a physics context.


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and which will not be shown up by an axiomatic formulation. -P.A.M.Dirac
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Black Swan
Posted: Mar 29 2012, 08:54 AM


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QUOTE (synthsin75 @ Mar 28 2012, 02:38 PM)
You apparently don't understand what the domain of applicability is in a field of science, nor do you differentiate between the common usage of words like "paradox" and "contradiction" and what their precise meaning is when used in a physics context.

Now you`re suprising me! You seem to have thought more about the topic than anyone I know or read of. For until now I did not come across anyone who claimed that we should make a significant difference between the terms used in daily life and in a physical context. All I know, indeed, is that "paradox" and "contradiction" are important terms and that our understanding of them should be applicable to all domains of culture.

So, what is the precise meaning when used in physics? And why should we rupture the terms at all? And where is the connection to the examples given above? You`re not saying the question, "what is a surface?", does not belong to the domain of science, are you? If so, I shall be surprised once more.
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synthsin75
Posted: Mar 29 2012, 01:47 PM


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QUOTE (Black Swan @ Mar 29 2012, 02:54 AM)
So, what is the precise meaning when used in physics? And why should we rupture the terms at all? And where is the connection to the examples given above? You`re not saying the question, "what is a surface?", does not belong to the domain of science, are you? If so, I shall be surprised once more.

QUOTE (Merriam-Webster)
paradox
1 : a tenet contrary to received opinion
2 a : a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true
   b : a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true
   c : an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises
3 : one (as a person, situation, or action) having seemingly contradictory qualities or phases


Of the several definitions, only one usually applies to any given case. I've emphasized the one applicable to science in general. There are many terms, such as theory, hypothesis, etc., that have more precise meanings when used in the context of physics. More rigorous subjects require more precise terms. Simple as that.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_science

This post has been edited by synthsin75 on Mar 29 2012, 01:48 PM


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and which will not be shown up by an axiomatic formulation. -P.A.M.Dirac
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Black Swan
Posted: Mar 30 2012, 01:53 PM


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QUOTE
a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true

I don`t understand you anymore. That is exactly the definition I have given above. The only difference being that I have included human emotion as a key aspect of paradoxes and have made the three options more clearly.

"(merely) seemingly contradictory" and "perhaps true (perhaps not)"
=== my first option: the issue or statement is indeed impossible and absurd; it is no more than a good illusion and has no significance whatsoever.

"(merely) seemingly contradictory" and "perhaps true"
=== my second option: lack of knowledge and understanding; the issue or statement has significance, but there is no actual contradiction involved (it merely appears to be contradictory).

"seemingly contradictory", "opposed to common sense" and "perhaps true"
=== my third option: incapacity of the ordinary mind to think and understand an actual contradiction; the issue or statement has significance, and there is an actual contradiction involved.


You don`t need to repeat that the third option is not an actual option for you. But in accordance with the german tradition I say: As long as you can`t solve or fully explain a contradiction, you just don`t know if there is an actual contradiction. It might be, it might not. You just don`t know.
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niels
Posted: Apr 6 2012, 09:35 AM


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IMO this tread should rightly be moved away from PHYSICS and to New Theories.

The OP says, Is the world of physics consistent (in the traditional logical sense) or is it possible to find "real-life" contradictions?

IMO the world of pysics is NOT consistent, if PHYSIC is referring to the concept of EXISTING, or as it is being referred to / Real Life.

This implicate that the world of physics contain contradictions or paradoxes. I see no good resons for making any differentation between contradiction and paradox.

Physics is about how we human beings (human mind) DEFINE and EXPLAIN universe or cosmos, about how cosmos by human mind (including our senses), is being translated into this vivid impression of Real Life. As far as I am concerned and kowledgable about, any and all assumptions about reality (existence) breaks down at a certain point. Physics has not as yet demonstrated any consistent theory about existence. Likewise mathematics IMO breaks down when it comes to infinite. Which is a logical coneseqence of the former.

I like this tread and how it is being argued by the OP, and the question about existense is being well put by Black Swan when asking about definition of a surface (or is the mind nothing but a physical object).

I like to think that Universe or cosmos is consistent, but HOW human mind define explain and understand the perceiving of cosmos is not consistent. We have no consistent metaphors for the perceiving act.

A key question is about das ding an sich, the question about how to define a metaphor that is consistent in order to define and explain a physical existence, in terms of a 3D changing reality.

Imminent in this context is the question about finiteness and continuity, respectively / as put forward by Bohm as the Changing Wholeness.

The question about how to understand and define surface (particle) is a question that involve the paradox of infinite and discretion, and involve the question about existence of infinitesimal, and this a deep paradox. Perhaps the mother of all physical paradoxes.

I have been proposing the metaphor of Object of Sameness as the understanding and defining and explaining metaphor to be used as origin condition, to be used as the most fundamental metaphor in how to build a consistent physical theory, and at the same time accepting that the metaphor itself is a paradox.

This can also be expressed in the insight that perceiving (of a physical reality / real life) requires discreteness. So we end up where we started, namely that physical world / real life, is inconsistent in a philosophical context.

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Black Swan
Posted: Apr 28 2012, 12:46 PM


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QUOTE (niels @ Apr 6 2012, 09:35 AM)
Imminent in this context is the question about finiteness and continuity, respectively / as put forward by Bohm as the Changing Wholeness.

The question about how to understand and define surface (particle) is a question that involve the paradox of infinite and discretion, and involve the question about existence of infinitesimal, and this a deep paradox. Perhaps the mother of all physical paradoxes.

Thanks a lot for your comment, Niels.

I agree with you, our topic is closely related to the philosophical/physical inquiries of David Bohm. I like his writings a lot. But it hasn`t sunk in that deep yet that I'd be able to share his opinions here. Maybe you can...

What you say about the existence of infinitesimal is very important. It touches the core of the problem of surfaces. Unfortunately, I can`t find any helpful books which connect infinitesimal and surfaces. Do you have any recommendations? I also would like to hear your opinion in a more extended way.

By the way, if we'd take a close look at one of those classical magnets, we might find another example. Imagine a magnet like this one:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-sto...d-image10702887

Right at the point where the red part and the blue part touch each other: is it plus or minus? neither plus nor minus? or is it both, plus and minus?
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synthsin75
Posted: Apr 28 2012, 02:56 PM


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QUOTE (niels @ Apr 6 2012, 03:35 AM)
This can also be expressed in the insight that perceiving (of a physical reality / real life) requires discreteness. So we end up where we started, namely that physical world / real life, is inconsistent in a philosophical context.

Bukh continuing to promulgate philosophy over science with his sock puppet account.


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and which will not be shown up by an axiomatic formulation. -P.A.M.Dirac
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Black Swan
Posted: Apr 28 2012, 11:46 PM


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QUOTE (synthsin75 @ Apr 28 2012, 02:56 PM)
Bukh continuing to promulgate philosophy over science with his sock puppet account.

I have to admit, I didn`t understand all niels said. But at least he contributed an interesting point to the question of surfaces (whereas you just gave us the link to the wikipage). For indeed, if we try to understand what a surface is, we have to confront ourselves with the infinitely small. And this is related to the new example given above. When it comes to a classical magnet we reach a point where it becomes difficult to say if plus and minus are still excluding each other, abolishing each other, or somehow coexist in the same space at the same time. What is your opinion about it?
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