Fizika

Does the moon exist when nobody is looking at it? Realists vs Antirealists (II)

https://i1.wp.com/www.planetsforkids.org/upload/-moon-a.jpg

Now let’s see what is the point of the other side:

The Realist Interpretation
Einstein, as a realist, rejected each of the above claims and replaced them with ones of his own.

-Realist claim 1:
An objective reality exists whether or not human beings exist or know its features.

Philosophers refer to this claim as “metaphysical realism”. According to it, something can exist even if we human beings do not know that it exists. The question whether
something actually exists in objective reality is said to be an “ontological” question. The question whether something is known or perceived to exist is said to be an
“epistemological” question.Einstein held that it was a grave mistake to confuse ontological questions with epistemological ones.
Thus he wrote:
[the scientist] seeks to describe a world independent of the acts of perception.

-Realist claim 2:
It is the business of physics to give true descriptions of objectively existing objects such as the moon.
Philosophers refer to this sort of claim as “scientific realism”.
According to Einstein, the whole purpose of science is to get behind the phenomena of experimental data and their mathematical description to the real world that underlies
them. As he put it, “Reality is the business of physics”. He believed, to the end, that the goal of science was to discover the way the world really is as opposed to our
perceptions and conceptions of it, and that orthodox quantum theory had not only failed to achieve such a goal but had prematurely abandoned any such quest.

This realist theory of truth is opposed to certain other theories of truth, for example to the so-called “pragmatist” or “instrumentalist” theory according to which a statement is
accepted as true if and only if it is useful to accept it. Many of Einstein’s antirealist opponents seem to have adopted a pragmatist theory. They held that physical theories,
such as those of quantum mechanics, are to be regarded as true just in so far as the mathematical description of quantum phenomena provides a useful instrument for
prediction and explanation. Niels Bohr, in particular, seems to have thought of quantum theory in this sort of way when he wrote: “There is no quantum world. There is only an
abstract [mathematical] description.”

-Realist claim 3: Microphysical particles, like atoms and their constituents, and macrophysical objects, like the moon, may exist whether or not they are being observed.

To repeat the third sentence in the passage just quoted, Einstein held that, in physics . . .A spatial position (relative to the co-ordinate system used) is attributed to, say, the moon at any definite time, quite independently of the question whether observations of this position are made or not.
Einstein’s realism (metaphysical, scientific, and semantic) was, and still is, shared by a number of other great physicists. Among them can be listed: Max Planck, Erwin
Schrodinger, Louis de Broglie, and – much later – David Bohm. In Einstein’s view, the antirealist beliefs of physicists who adopted the Copenhagen
interpretation were akin to those of a religion that is based more on faith than on evidence. As he put it, disparagingly:
The Heisenberg-Bohr tranquilizing philosophy – or religion? – is so delicately contrived that, for the time being, it provides a gentle pillow for the true believer from which he
cannot very easily be aroused. So let him lie there.

What shall we trust now??

Well, someone can think that if the existence of the moon is directly related to our action as observers, we perfectly could build a device (a camera for example) to observe the moon “without” observe it. Or we can think that if the moon doesn’t exist if we don’t look at it, why everybody sees it at the same place at the same time? Or more simple, we can think that almost always is someone looking at the moon, so it shouldn’t stop its existence ah?
If we think like a philosophical scientist, we can answer this kind of questions as follows: we can have in our human nature, in our mind, some kind of ideas like the sky is blue as default. And we can live our lives, doing and thinking everything keeping that on mind: with we all agree that sky is blue (even without knowing our daltonism), ergo we agree that the sea is blue and we now when it’s midday or evening, cloudy or sunny, winter or summer. Analogously, we can have something called moon in our mind, it’s perfectly possible, that we could have a reference in the sky, maybe a representation of an internal clock , why not, and we can see how the time is going on during the night or during a month. Maybe we have involved this usefull “defect” or “fault” of our mind’s way of perception in the construction of all our devices like cameras. And in this way, all human beings are ‘programmed’ to see the moon at the same place at the same time like all the people in one place agree that the sky is blue in that moment.
So…Enough, what the hell is the trick in all this business??! Did the whole universe begin to exist with the considered first human being appeared? Can we apply this moon’s thing to all things?? If all things are made of parts we cannot see like the atoms, can we say that something exists?
In my opinion, we live in a epistemological reality, our mind, and the connection of all minds through communication has built these reality we accept with a moon, a coffee and and a car. All we obtain is information from an external agent, and the only thing we can do is deal with that information, in the same way that we cannot really know if we call blue to the same colour. And what about the quantum physics? Well, we cannot see an object atom by atom, with our eyes naked, and each atom is almost empty,  but we can see the object because we can see a macroscopical feature of such a big group of microscopical things. Quantum physics appeared to explain a microscopical reality in a way we could understand the experimental data, based in the fact that we need to interact with something to know its properties and it’s very problematic in that scale, we try to fix a car with a tool of a car’s size,  so maybe is nosense trying to extract a philosophy from here, although the physical theory is right until now. In the same way we can solve problems thinking that the earth is flat, because it’s what we feel locally, but in a big scale we need something more that the Newton’s laws.

Conclusion: too much philosophy for a pragmatic theory.

Esekjel Lopes Lopes

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