Synopses & Reviews
This book offers a series of contributions written by scientists interested in a philosophical reflection on recent advances of science. Profound scientific theorems in modern mathematics and physics shed new light on two fundamental questions often only implicitly dealt with: is mathematical truth a purely man-made construction and is the physical reality behind the phenomena at least in principle always observable? The answers to both questions are closely related to the possible existence of an omniscient and omnipotent being. In this sense mathematical undecidability and quantum nonlocality are proposed as a possible road to metaphysical principles and eventually to God. The reader will find generally understandable presentations of recent results from mathematics, like the theorems of Gödel and Turing, and physics, mostly related to EPR Gedanken experiments and Bell's theorem. In the case of physics special attention is directed to old and new experiments supporting a nonlocal approach. Especially worth mentioning is the until now unedited contribution of the late John Bell on Bell's theorem held on 22 January 1990 in a Seminar at CERN.
Synopsis
A collection of philosophical reflections on advances of science. Papers explore scientific theorems and mathematical truths as purely man-made constructions and mathematical undecidability and quantum nonlocality are then proposed as a road to metaphysical principles and eventually to God.
Synopsis
On January 22, 1990, the late John Bell held at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics), Geneva a seminar organized by the Center of Quantum Philosophy, that at this time was an association of scientists interested in the interpretation of quantum mechanics. In this seminar Bell presented once again his famous theorem. Thereafter a discussion took place in which not only physical but also highly speculative epistemological and philosophical questions were vividly debated. The list of topics included: assumption of free will in Bell's theorem, the understanding of mind, the relationship between the mathematical and the physical world, the existence of unobservable causes and the limits of human knowledge in mathematics and physics. Encouraged by this stimulating discussion some of the participants decided to found an Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (lIS) to promote philosoph ical and interdisciplinary reflection on the advances of science. Meanwhile the lIS has associated its activities with the Swiss foundation, Fondation du Leman, and the Dutch foundation, Stichting Instudo, registered in Geneva and Amsterdam, respectively. With its activities the lIS intends to strengthen the unity between the professional activities in science and the reflection on fun damental philosophical questions. In addition the interdisciplinary approach is expected to give a contribution to the progress of science and the socio economic development. At present three working groups are active within the lIS, i. e.: - the Center for Quantum Philosophy, - the Wealth Creation and Sustainable Development Group, - the Neural Science Group."
Table of Contents
Preface; A. Driessen, A. Suarez. Introduction; A. Driessen, A. Suarez. Part I: Mathematics and Undecidability. I. How Can or Should the Recent Developments in Mathematics Influence the Philosophy of Mathematics? H.C. Reichel. II. Number and Randomness, Algorithmic Information Theory - New Results on the Foundations of Mathematics; G.J. Chaitin. III. Meaning, Reality and Algorithms: Implications of the Turing Theorem; F. Cacace. IV. The Limits of Mathematical Reasoning; A. Suarez. V. Mathematics: A Pointer to an Independent Reality, Penrose's Interpretation of the Gödel and Turing Theorems; J.M. Schins. Part II: Physics and Nonlocality. VI. A Critical Approach to Complexity and Self Organization; F.T. Arecchi. VII. Indeterminism and Nonlocality; J.S. Bell. VIII. Nonlocality and the Principle of Free Experimentation; P. Pliska. IX. Optical Tests of Bell's Theorem; A.M. Fox. X. Nonlocal Phenomena: Physical Explanation and Philosophical Implications; A. Suarez. XI. Quantum Theory: A Pointer to an Independent Reality, a Discussion of Bernard d'Espagnat's `Veiled Reality'; J.M. Schins. Part III: Science, Meta-Science and the Existence of God. XII. Scientism and Scientific Knowledge of Things and God; J. Laeuffer. XIII. Physics and the Mind of God; P. Davies. XIV. The Question of the Existence of God in the Book of Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time; A. Driessen. XV. Final Remarks: Becoming Aware of Our Fundamental Limits in Knowing and Doing, Implications for the Question of the Existence of God; A. Driessen, A. Suarez. Notes on Contributors. Index.