Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Alexander, Bryan Magee and Graham Farmelo

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5 ideas

16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Limits of Introspection
Why don't we experience or remember going to sleep at night? [Magee]
     Full Idea: As a child it was incomprehensible to me that I did not experience going to sleep, and never remembered it. When my sister said 'Nobody remembers that', I just thought 'How does she know?'
     From: Bryan Magee (Confessions of a Philosopher [1997], Ch.I)
     A reaction: This is actually evidence for something - that we do not have some sort of personal identity which is separate from consciousness, so that "I am conscious" would literally mean that an item has a property, which it can lose.
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / g. Atomism
How can things without weight compose weight? [Alexander]
     Full Idea: How could weight come about out of things composed of what is without weight?
     From: Alexander (On Aristotle's Metaphysics Book 2 [c.200], p.36.21-27)
     A reaction: This is obviously why Epicurus added weight to the features of atoms. Alexander seems unaware of this move.
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / d. Gravity
Instead of gravitational force, we now have a pervasive gravitational field [Farmelo]
     Full Idea: Physics replaced the notion that bodies exert gravitational force on each other by the more effective picture that the bodies in the universe give rise to a pervasive gravitational field which exerts a force on each particle.
     From: Graham Farmelo (The Strangest Man [2009], 08)
     A reaction: This still uses the word 'force'. I sometimes get the impression that gravity is the curvature of space, but gravity needs more. Which direction along the curvature are particles attracted? The bottom line is the power of the bodies.
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 2. Electrodynamics / d. Quantum mechanics
The Schrödinger waves are just the maths of transforming energy values to positions [Farmelo]
     Full Idea: Dirac showed that the Schrödinger waves were simply the mathematical quantities involved in transforming the description of a quantum based on its energy values to one based on possible values of its position.
     From: Graham Farmelo (The Strangest Man [2009], 08)
     A reaction: Does this eliminate actual physical 'waves' from the theory?
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / c. Particle properties
Experiments show that fundamental particles of one type are identical [Farmelo]
     Full Idea: It is an established experimental fact ...that every single fundamental particle in the universe is the same and identical to all other particles of the same type.
     From: Graham Farmelo (The Strangest Man [2009], 07)
     A reaction: A loud groan is heard from the tomb of Leibniz. I'm unclear how experiments can establish this. If electrons have internal structure (which is not ruled out) then uniformity is highly unlikely.