Saturday, June 24, 2006



Before we go more into the "hows" and the "whys" that are the focus of this blog one might ask what my influences have been in all this? To be truthful there are many. Too many to simply synopsize in a single entry. What I can say is that I have been fortunate enough to have a mentor in all this for several years. Now this mentorship is not the usual one. Many consider a mentor as someone who takes you by the hand to lead you to conclusions that they already have. This is not what my mentor has been for me. My mentor has been a friend , guide, confidant and critic, one that recognized my interest and encouraged me to explore it thoroughly and consider as many of the options that one can . My mentor also had me examine my current positions and thoughts in terms of their soundness. This person for me is Douglas L. Hemmick PhD . He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy who's specialty is Quantum Foundations. You will see a link to his web site listed on this page. One might say Quantum Foundations, what is that? Well to be fair I think it better for you to click the link and see what Dr. Hemmick has to say himself about this. What I will tell you is that the study of his subject brings one closer to the realization that we simply can't separate the "how" questions from the "why" questions. Now a curious thing is that the vast majority of his fellow physicists don't feel that the "foundations" as a line of research has much relevance from a scientific standpoint. Many feel his area of endeavor is better described as metaphysics and is not true physics. Well curiously enough, if one limits themselves to the narrow modern definition that I set out in my last post, that would be true.

So is this current position of not mixing the hows with the whys a valid one? What we will find when we examine this closely is that it is a position that has evolved over time. Also, to be accurate, it is not a position that is totally universal or static. In the main though it suggests that science is only to address the "how" questions and philosophy the "whys". More importantly, the sciences in general, particularly physics, in some sense doesn't feel that "why" is a valid question in relation to the understanding of our world. On the other side, main stream philosophy has evolved into something that is homocentric, with man at the centre where the "how" questions are considered somewhat unimportant. Is it not strange that the pursuit of understanding has found itself in this seemingly paradoxical state?

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I'm not sure I fully understand your paradox, but I thank Dr. Hemmick (through you) for even CONtemplating that How? and Why? aren't discrete boxes, but are rather a bit of a merge. Much to ponder, thanks to you both.

BTW, have either of you read Rutgers Dept. of Philosophy Dr. Tim Maudlin's Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity, Blackwell Publishers 2002?
Hi Steven,

Well if and when I ever hear from Doug I will pass on your gratitude as at least from my perspective it is rightfully disserved. As for the question itself with respect to the how and the why this is what formed to be what we shared in common to begin with and as such him able to find where my gaps existed in such consideration , while not being able to boast that this went as far as either of us would have liked. As for your question about Tom Maudlin he was at Rutgerā€™s at the time Dr. Hemmick was completing his PhD and would have had many interactions with him, along with many others of which Sheldon Goldstein being the most significant.


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