Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Creation of Matter?

"When the photon exits the medium, its identity is preserved," Lukin said. "It's the same effect we see with refraction of light in a water glass. The light enters the water, it hands off part of its energy to the medium, and inside it exists as light and matter coupled together, but when it exits, it's still light. The process that takes place is the same it's just a bit more extreme -- the light is slowed considerably, and a lot more energy is given away than during refraction." See: Seeing light in new light: Scientists create never-before-seen form of matter

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Axion of the Quark Gluon Pasma?

In physics, an anomalon is a hypothetical type of nuclear matter that shows an anomalously large reactive cross section. They were first noticed in experimental runs in the early 1980s as short tracks in film emulsions or plastic leaf detectors connected to medium-energy particle accelerators. The direction of the tracks demonstrated that they were the results of reactions taking place within the accelerator targets, but they stopped so quickly in the detectors that no obvious explanation for their behavior could be offered. A flurry of theoretical explanations followed, but over time a series of follow-up experiments failed to find strong evidence for the anomalons, and active study of the topic largely ended by the late 1980s.
Professor Emeritus Piyare L. Jain is a particle physicist at University at Buffalo. On December 6, 2006, he claimed discovery of the long-sought axion subatomic particle. [1]
The discovery involved Jain's use of 3-dimensional photographic medium targets in heavy-ion particle accelerators; modern detectors using electronic sensors were unable to detect the axion due to the very short distances and times involved, but the physical medium was able to identify about 1,200 Axion traces over years of experiment. Jain is one of the few currently working physicists with experience with that type of detector, which had been largely abandoned in favor of the modern electronic detectors.
Axions, would also have stopped interaction with normal matter at a different moment than other more massive dark particles. The lingering effects of this difference could perhaps be calculated and observed astronomically. Axions may hold the key to the Solar Corona heating problem.[40] See: Axion

Uploaded on Jan 9, 2011
SETI Archive:

The Sun's outer atmosphere or corona is heated to millions of degrees, considerably hotter than its cool surface or photosphere. Explanations for this long-standing enigma typically invoke the deposition in the corona of non-thermal energy generated by the interplay of convection and magnetic fields. However, the exact physical mechanism driving coronal heating remains unknown. During the past few years, recently built instruments like the Japanese Hinode satellite, the Swedish Solar Telescope in Spain and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) combined with advanced numerical simulations have revealed a new window into how the Sun's atmosphere is energized. These results directly challenge current theories and highlight the importance of the interface region between the photosphere and corona for understanding how the solar atmosphere is heated. Dr. De Pontieu will present some of these results and describe how NASA's recently selected Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, which is being built by Lockheed Martin's Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, in collaboration with NASA Ames, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), Montana State University, Stanford University and the University of Oslo, will be able to address many of the outstanding issues and problems.

 An article on IAXO has been published in the September 2014 issue of the CERN Courier. You can see the online version of the article here (link is external), or dowload the full CERN Courier issue here (link is external).

The central component of iAXo is a superconducting toroid magnet. The detector relies on a high magnetic field distributed across a large volume to convert solar axions to detectable X-ray photons. The magnet’s figure of merit is proportional to the square of the product of magnetic field and length, multiplied by the cross-sectional area filled with the magnetic field.IAXO: the International Axion Observatory -Pg 9 Sept 2014(PDF)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Merry Christmas Sun Light

The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:24 p.m. EST on Dec. 19, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

To see how this event may affect Earth, please visit NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center at, the U.S. government's official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

This flare is classified as an X1.8-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at:

See Also:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Numerical Relativity and Consciousness

To model any process that as a BS(Belief System) system,  as in Numerical Relativity,  is to say that such computerization incorporates such photonic principles as to adhere to some aspect of the discovery of consciousness as a basis of that modelling?

The subsystem toward understanding consciousness is then the realization that such modeling is the outcome of projections into the basis of matter orientations. Intent,  as a force has move through such matters so as to gain in matter perspectives?

But if such an entry into such matter projections find significant "scientific value" then it is appropriate to say the understanding that the belief system has become part of the foundational constructive example of our orientations as a consequence? This is what is meant then by "to be lead by science," as a basic premise of understanding the beginnings of the truth with regard to understanding consciousness?

We build in matter? Numerical relativity is such an example. So where to from here?

Spintronics and orientation perhaps, so as to reveal some correspondence toward understanding the basis of the QGP?  This understanding not only with regard to the forward decay chain of this construct, but as a flowing straight through is but to reveal such a path with regard to the use of superconductors and its use in quantum computerization?

So we emulate consciousness you see?


See Also:

The Architecture of Matter?


I cannot say for certain and I speculate. Bucky balls then bring to mind this architectural structure? Let me give you an example of a recent discovery. I have to wonder if Bucky was a Platonist at heart......with grand ideas? Perhaps you recognze some Platonist idea about perfection as if mathematically a Tegmarkan might have found some truth? Some absolute truth? Perhaps a Penrose truth (Quasicrystal and Information)?

 Aperiodic tilings serve as mathematical models for quasicrystals, physical solids that were discovered in 1982 by Dan Shechtman[3] who subsequently won the Nobel prize in 2011.[4] However, the specific local structure of these materials is still poorly understood .Aperiodic tilings -

 While one starts with a single point of entry......the whole process from another perspective is encapsulated. So you might work from the hydrogen spectrum as a start with the assumption, that this process in itself is enclosed.

 The future lies in encapsulating all electromagnetic forces under the auspice and enclosed within the understanding of gravity?

 240 E₈ polytope vertices using 5D orthographic_projection to 2D using 5-cube (Penteract) Petrie_polygon basis_vectors overlaid on electron diffraction pattern of an Icosahedron Zn-Mg-Ho Quasicrystal. E8_(mathematics) and Quasicrystals
At the same time one might understand the complexity of the issue?

 By now it is known theoretically that quantum angular momentum of any kind has a discrete spectrum, which is sometimes imprecisely expressed as "angular momentum is quantized".Stern–Gerlach experiment -


So possibly a Photon polarization principle inherent in a quantum description of the wave and such a principle inherent in the use of photosynthesis to describe a property not just of the capability of using sun light, but of understanding this principle biologically in human beings? I actually have a example of this use theoretically as a product. Maybe Elon Musk might like to use it?

Photonic molecules are a synthetic form of matter in which photons bind together to form "molecules". According to Mikhail Lukin, individual (massless) photons "interact with each other so strongly that they act as though they have mass". The effect is analogous to refraction. The light enters another medium, transferring part of its energy to the medium. Inside the medium, it exists as coupled light and matter, but it exits as light.[1]

While I would like to make it easy for you, I can only leave a title for your examination. "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1914 Max von Laue." Yes, but if it is understood that some correlate process can be understood from "a fundamental position," as to the architecture of matter, what would this light have to say about the component structuralism of the information we are missing?

The idea is not new. From a science fiction point of view, StarTrek had these units that when you were hungry or wanted a drink you would have this object materialize in a microwave type oven? Not the transporter.

So, you have this 3d printer accessing all information about the structure and access to the building blocks of all matter in energy, funneled through this replicator.


 When Bucky was waving his arm between the earth and the moon.....did he know about the three body problem, or how to look at the space between these bodies in another way. If people think this is not real, then you will have to tell those who use celestial mechanics that they are using their satellite trajectories all wrong.

 Ephemeralization, a term coined by R. Buckminster Fuller, is the ability of technological advancement to do "more and more with less and less until eventually you can do everything with nothing".[1] Fuller's vision was that ephemeralization will result in ever-increasing standards of living for an ever-growing population despite finite resources.

 Exactly. So it was not just "hand waving" Buckminister Fuller is alluding too, but some actual understanding to "more is less?" One applies the principle then? See? I am using your informational video to explain.

 ARTEMIS-P1 is the first spacecraft to navigate to and perform stationkeeping operations around the Earth-Moon L1 and L2 Lagrangian points. There are five Lagrangian points associated with the Earth-Moon system. ARTEMIS - The First Earth-Moon Libration Orbiter -

 To do more with less, it has to be understood that distance crossed needs minimum usage of fuel to project the satellite over a great distance. So they use "momentum" to swing satellites forward?

 This is a list of various types of equilibrium, the condition of a system in which all competing influences are balanced. List of types of equilibrium -

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Wavicle


 Blend of wave and particle. Noun  

Wavicle (plural wavicles)

 (quantum mechanics) A wave-particle; an entity which simultaneously has the properties of a wave and a particle.

See also:


Quantum physics says that particles can behave like waves, and vice versa. Research published in Nature Communications shows that this 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum uncertainty principle in disguise.
An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world – previously considered distinct – are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.

Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.

"The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information," says Wehner, who is now an Associate Professor at QuTech at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

The discovery deepens our understanding of quantum physics and could prompt ideas for new applications of wave-particle duality................... SEE : CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies)-Two quantum mysteries merged into one

Monday, December 15, 2014

Quantum Levitation

Tel-Aviv University demos quantum superconductors locked in a magnetic field ( For an explanation of the physics behind this demonstration, visit­_physics.html.

See Also:

Phenomenological quantum gravity

Phenomenological quantum gravity is a research field in theoretical physics and a subfield of quantum gravity. Its objective is to find observable evidence for the quantization of gravity by the development of phenomenological models. These phenomenological models quantify possible quantum gravitational effects and can ideally be tested experimentally. In many cases predicted effects are too small to be measureable with presently available technology, but examples exist of models that have been ruled out already and others that can be tested in the near future.

The relevance of this research area derives from the fact that presently none of the candidate theories for quantum gravity has made contact to experiment. Phenomenological models are designed to bridge this gap by allowing physicists to test for general properties that the to-be-found theory of quantum gravity has. Even negative results are thus useful guides to the development of the theory by excluding possible properties. Phenomenological models are also necessary to assess the promise of future experiments.


Numerical Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

Under normal conditions, quarks and gluons are confined in the protons and neutrons that make up everyday matter. But at high energy densities—the range accessible at today’s particle accelerators—quarks and gluons form a plasma reminiscent of the primordial Universe after the big bang. Understanding how the transition (Fig. 1) from the confined state to this quark-gluon plasma (and vice versa) occurs is a fundamental goal of experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and the Large Hadron Collider, which recreate the plasma by colliding nuclei at ultrarelativistic speeds. Theorists are therefore looking for new ways to study the transition with quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the mathematically challenging theory that describes the strong interaction between quarks. In Physical Review Letters, researchers in the HotQCD Collaboration report an analysis of this phase transition using a formulation of QCD that lends itself to numerical solutions on a computer, called lattice QCD [1]. Their simulations of deconfinement—the first to be performed with a version of lattice QCD that accurately describes the masses and, in particular, the symmetries of the quarks—yield the critical temperature for the transition to occur, and show that it is a smooth crossover, rather than an abrupt change.Viewpoint: Testing a Realistic Quark-Gluon Plasma  Bold and underlined added by me for emphasis

While the link(String theory may hold answers about quark-gluon plasma ) was shown in the previous post to this thread as numerical relativity it might be of difficulty that you persons respectively may be able to explain the nature of the connection,  if any,  between a relativistic interpretation with a quantum mechanical understanding? You understand it's a problem, how is it reconciled?

Record-breaking science applications have been run on the BG/Q, the first to cross 10 petaflops of sustained performance. The cosmology simulation framework HACC achieved almost 14 petaflops with a 3.6 trillion particle benchmark run,[51] while the Cardioid code,[52][53] which models the electrophysiology of the human heart, achieved nearly 12 petaflops with a near real-time simulation, both on Sequoia.Blue Gene

See also:

By using Einstein's equations to predict the pattern of gravity waves emitted during the collision of two black holes, or generated in a variety of other cataclysmic events, and comparing the predictions with the observations, an alliance of computational scientists from nine institutions plans to test this as yet unconfirmed prediction of Einstein's famous theory. These scientists belong to a research discipline called Numerical Relativity.

Numerical Relativity Code and Machine Timeline -

You may also find Feynman statement of some interest?

   As Richard Feynman put it:[13]

        "It always bothers me that, according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time. How can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space/time is going to do? So I have often made the hypotheses that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the machinery will be revealed, and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the chequer board with all its apparent complexities".

Numerical simulations

Numerical simulations have different objectives depending on the nature of the task being simulated:

  •  Reconstruct and understand known events (e.g., earthquake, tsunamis and other natural disasters).

  • Predict future or unobserved situations (e.g., weather, sub-atomic particle behaviour).

Computational science -

So, Quantum Realism has to be looked at as a description of the real world? Does Quantum realism lead you to nothing? In context of the solution toward unification of Relativity and the quantum world is a "unification point?" Meaning......

An equilibrium point is hyperbolic if none of the eigenvalues have zero real part. If all eigenvalues have negative real part, the equilibrium is a stable equation. If at least one has a positive real part, the equilibrium is an unstable node. If at least one eigenvalue has negative real part and at least one has positive real part, the equilibrium is a saddle point. Equilibrium point -

That a straight line has to somehow be explained as not bending either one way or another and without losing information(even if information is scrambled)? Hopefully, you can help me here?

Perfect fluids are often used in general relativity to model idealized distributions of matter, such as in the interior of a star. Perfect fluid -

Friday, December 12, 2014


See: eLISA

The European Space Agency (ESA) has recently begun choosing candidates for the next large mission launch slots. The first step was the submission of white papers advocating science themes. Out of many candidates, ESA now selected two.

"We had a difficult task in deciding which scientific themes to choose from all of the excellent candidates, but we believe that missions to study the hot, energetic Universe and gravitational waves will result in discoveries of the greatest importance to cosmology, astrophysics, and physics in general," says Catherine Cesarsky, chair of the Senior Survey Committee of the European Space Agency.

The two selected since themes are:

The Hot and Energetic Universe, addressed by the Athena mission


The Gravitational Universe, addressed by the eLISA mission

Gravitational wave observations will enable studies of: the formation and growth of massive black holes and their co-evolving host galaxies; structure formation; stellar populations and dynamics in galactic nuclei; compact stars; the structure of our Galaxy; General Relativity in extreme conditions; cosmology; and searches for new physics. Information from LISA sources will provide unique insight into extraordinary astrophysical objects. Combined with electromagnetic observations, these insights will advance the broader scientific understanding. LISA Project Office

The Lagrangian Configuration Box

  "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. Albert Einstein"
 Of course I look a Einstein's statement here and I am perplexed as one might distance them self from the subject of gravity to see that such a comparison as I list below can run contradictory to Einstein's rule? But when considering the context of "emotive valence" as a subject worthy of the innovative materialist design products,  I consider the physiological application that emotive valence might have in understanding our world today.

Quantum chemistry is a branch of chemistry whose primary focus is the application of quantum mechanics in physical models and experiments of chemical systems. It is also called molecular quantum mechanics.
When one moves through the subject of quantum biology one is lead toward the chemistry of life so as to see this trend toward understanding the conversion process that can take place as to the quantum effects as seen in quantum biology.

  The science and history of the minimal length has now been covered in a recent book by Amit Hagar:

 The Planck limits may cause a researcher to ask what particulars may be seen within reason toward the larger picture? If something is discrete in its measure then what would such particularization mean in terms of a wave?

 Several questions about consciousness must be resolved in order to acquire a full understanding of it. These questions include, but are not limited to, whether being conscious could be wholly described in physical terms, such as the aggregation of neural processes in the brain. If consciousness cannot be explained exclusively by physical events, it must transcend the capabilities of physical systems and require an explanation of nonphysical means. For philosophers who assert that consciousness is nonphysical in nature, there remains a question about what outside of physical theory is required to explain consciousness. See: The Hard Problem of Consciousness

Unification of gravity and the electrical forces may have some profound insight as too, the unification possibility that such a design could bring an understanding of logic and emotive forces. I believe,  which must be brought to bear on understanding the whole being/body? Understanding each individual's Truth. An Effective Field Theory of Emotion?

 Gravimetry is the measurement of the strength of a gravitational field.

The conversion process was self explanatory in terms of the energy consideration as to the particularity of the universe? So we look at the world in different way.

 (The CIE 1931 colour space chromaticity diagram with wavelengths in nanometers. The colours depicted depend on the colour space of the device on which the image is viewed.) International Commission on Illumination

Consider this for a moment. What may be defined as dimensional attributes, is a conversion process of the "emotive application" that I am moving toward, may have some has relevance in the affective decisions we have? I've based this on how we can see the universe in terms of Lagrangian?

A contour plot of the effective potential due to gravity and the centrifugal force of a two-body system in a rotating frame of reference. The arrows indicate the gradients of the potential around the five Lagrange points—downhill toward them (red) or away from them (blue). Counterintuitively, the L4 and L5 points are the high points of the potential. At the points themselves these forces are balanced.

On a classical scale its influence regarding the three body problem, allows one to see "variations of the gravity field" between these bodies?

Animation showing the relationship between the five Lagrangian points (red) of a planet (blue) orbiting a star (yellow), and the gravitational potential in the plane containing the orbit (grey surface with purple contours of equal potential). The potential was computed in POV-Ray using

 For fun apply a color scale to this view? You use a "configuration box" that if applied to some color scale has value in that "such points within the relationship of the three body detail aspects of the nature of this gravity?" So think about this comparison for a moment.

 We know that colour is a psychophysical experience of an observer which changes from observer to observer and is therefore impossible to replicate absolutely. In order to quantify colour in meaningful terms we must be able to measure or represent the three attributes that together give a model of colour perception. i.e. light, object and the eye. All these attributes have been standardised by the CIE or Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage. The colours of the clothes we wear and the textiles we use in our homes must be monitored to ensure that they are correct and consistent. Colour measurement is therefore essential to put numbers to colour in order to remove physical samples and the interpretation of results.See: Colour measuring equipment 

Friday, December 05, 2014

Affective Field Theory of Emotion

 "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. Albert Einstein"

While developing a philosophical understanding of emotion it has come to mind that research over the years has provided a model consideration for understanding the valence affect. This valence affect with regard to the Decision making process that from a cognitive standpoint is inclusive of logical and emotive forces. This process was a long one in which I thought to place ourselves,  in terms of a self evident point of expression,  so as to suggest,  the next question rests on a Inductive realization with which the history has thus far been explained.

So the totality of this entry is an examination with regard to emotion and its necessity in the logic analysis approach to such a question. To what is self evident. To what is decisive.

The next step is always important.  So I had to demonstrate the current historical examination for what has been done with regard to emotion so that I could reveal some of the work that I had done in the years past.

 This work then is a stepping point toward a new and entertaining thought about what the next technologies might reveal about our emotive and logical state of being as we make our decisions with all that we had gained with in experience. So the next step is a series of posts that will reflect this attempt by me to objectify what has thought to been totally subjective and without regard.

"No aspect of our mental life is more important to the quality and meaning of our existence than emotions. They are what make life worth living, or sometimes ending. So it is not surprising that most of the great classical philosophers—Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Descartes, Hobbes, Hume—had recognizable theories of emotion, conceived as responses to certain sorts of events of concern to a subject, triggering bodily changes and typically motivating characteristic behavior. What is surprising is that in much of the twentieth-century philosophers of mind and psychologists tended to neglect them—perhaps because the sheer variety of phenomena covered by the word “emotion” and its closest neighbors tends to discourage tidy theory. In recent years, however, emotions have once again become the focus of vigorous interest in philosophy, as well as in other branches of cognitive science. In view of the proliferation of increasingly fruitful exchanges between researchers of different stripes, it is no longer useful to speak of the philosophy of emotion in isolation from the approaches of other disciplines, particularly psychology, neurology, evolutionary biology, and even economics. While it is quite impossible to do justice to those approaches here, some sidelong glances in their direction will aim to suggest their philosophical importance. de Sousa, Ronald, "Emotion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),"

"If the view that emotions are a kind of perception can be sustained, then the connection between emotion and cognition will have been secured. But there is yet another way of establishing this connection, compatible with the perceptual model. This is to draw attention to the role of emotions as providing the framework for cognitions of the more conventional kind. de Sousa (1987) and Amélie Rorty (1980) propose this sort of account, according to which emotions are not so much perceptions as they are ways of seeing—species of determinate patterns of salience among objects of attention, lines of inquiry, and inferential strategies (see also Roberts 2003).de Sousa, Ronald, "Emotion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Emotion"
"Under the Heading of #6. Perceptual Theories-A crucial mandate of cognitivist theories is to avert the charge that emotions are merely “subjective.” But propositional attitudes are not the only cognitive states. A more basic feature of cognition is that is has a “mind-to-world direction of fit.” The expression is meant to sum up the contrast between cognition and the conative orientation, in which success is defined in terms of the opposite, world-to-mind, direction of fit (Searle 1983). We will or desire what does not yet exist, and deem ourselves successful if the world is brought into line with the mind's plan
The exploration of questions raised by these characteristics is a thriving ongoing collaborative project in the theory of emotions, in which philosophy will continue both to inform and to draw on a wide range of philosophical expertise as well as the parallel explorations of other branches of cognitive science. Conclusion: Adequacy Conditions on Philosophical Theories of Emotion -de Sousa, Ronald, "Emotion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Emotion"
"Thus, secondary reflection is one important aspect of our access to the self. It is the properly philosophical mode of reflection because, in Marcel's view, philosophy must return to concrete situations if it is to merit the name “philosophy.” These difficult reflections are “properly philosophical” insofar as they lead to a more truthful, more intimate communication with both myself and with any other person whom these reflections include (Marcel 1951a, pp. 79–80). Secondary reflection, which recoups the unity of experience, points the way toward a fuller understanding of the participation alluded to in examples of the mysterious.Primary and Secondary Reflection-Treanor, Brian, "Gabriel (-Honoré) Marcel", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming Marcel Gabriele."
"Early decision theorists recognized the importance of emotion and discussed it in detail (e.g., Bentham, 1789; Jevons, 1871; Smith, 1759). Nevertheless, emotions did not make it into decision research because they were seen as intrinsically unstable and unpredictable, partly because they could not be measured objectively. Today, most problems with unpredictability and immeasurability of emotions have been solved. Emotions can be reliably measured in various verbal (e.g., via rating scales) and non-verbal ways (e.g., via FACS or facial EMG’s; Larsen & Fredrickson, 1999; Parrott, & Hertel, 1999). More- over, the impact of emotion on behavior is actually sim- pler and more systematic than previously thought. Emo- tions behave lawfully (Frijda, 1988, 2006), and their con- sequences are clear, stable and quite predictable. This has opened up opportunities for an integrative account of the different emotional influences on decision making. We present such an account in this article.On emotion specificity in decision making: Why feeling is for doing-(PDF) Marcel Zeelenberg∗1, Rob M. A. Nelissen1, Seger M. Breugelmans2, & Rik Pieters3 1 Department of Social Psychology and TIBER, Tilburg University 2 Department of Developmental, Clinical and Cross-cultural Psychology, Tilburg University 3 Department of Marketing and TIBER, Tilburg University"

"We can now restate our opening questions. Is the special felt qualitative tendency in valence, as it is structurally represented in descriptive theories, an intrinsic feature of emotion experience as such; that is, something that exists prior to the self-reports that describe it? Or is it instead created and structured by features of second-order awareness, such as these self- reports? The argument here is that valence is created by attention in sec- ond-order awareness. There is nothing scientifically objective or precise that we can say about valence apart from its elaboration in second-order awareness. Second-order awareness does not create the underlying phenomenology of emotion experience, but it does shape and articulate what exactly it means to us. This conclusion would appear to threaten the scientific foundation of descriptive theories of affect, because it undermines the objectivity of the phenomenon they claim to study. It also contradicts the driving assumption of several dominant neuroscientific theories of valence, according to which valence is an intrinsic objective property of affective experience.Emotion Experience and the Indeterminacy of Valence by LOUIS C. CHARLAND"

 "Emotions are the key to the human decision making processes since decisions and actions are primary irrational and not cognitive-The Emotions in Emotions Analytics"
" The sort of mental processes described as cognitive are largely influenced by research which has successfully used this paradigm in the past, likely starting with Thomas Aquinas, who divided the study of behavior into two broad categories: cognitive (how we know the world), and affective (how we understand the world via feelings and emotions)[disputed ].[citation needed] Consequently, this description tends to apply to processes such as memory, association, concept formation, pattern recognition, language, attention, perception, action, problem solving and mental imagery.[14][15] Traditionally, emotion was not thought of as a cognitive process. This division is now regarded as largely artificial, and much research is currently being undertaken to examine the cognitive psychology of emotion; research also includes one's awareness of one's own strategies and methods of cognition called metacognition and includes metamemory. 
Research into cognition is usually scientific and quantitative, or involves creating models to describe or explain certain behaviors. Cognition"
 The part of the body in which the soul directly exercises its functions is not the heart at all, or the whole of the brain. It is rather the innermost part of the brain, which is a certain very small gland situated in the middle of the brain's substance and suspended above the passage through which the spirits in the brain's anterior cavities communicate with those in its posterior cavities. The slightest movements on the part of this gland may alter very greatly the course of these spirits, and conversely any change, however slight, taking place in the course of the spirits may do much to change the movements of the gland” (AT XI:351, CSM I:340). The Passions of the Soul "
 "The word endocrine derives from the Greek words ἐνδο- endo- "inside, within," and κρίνειν krinein "to separate, distinguish".Endocrine system -"

 "The thymus was known to the ancient Greeks, and its name comes from the Greek word θυμός (thumos), meaning "anger",[22] or "heart, soul, desire, life", possibly because of its location in the chest, near where emotions are subjectively felt; or else the name comes from the herb thyme (also in Greek θύμος or θυμάρι), which became the name for a "warty excrescence", possibly due to its resemblance to a bunch of thyme Thymus -"

"The James–Lange theory has remained influential. Its main contribution is the emphasis it places on the embodiment of emotions, especially the argument that changes in the bodily concomitants of emotions can alter their experienced intensity. Most contemporary neuroscientists would endorse a modified James–Lange view in which bodily feedback modulates the experience of emotion." (p. 583)James–Lange theory -"
"Phillip Bard contributed to the theory with his work on animals. Bard found that sensory, motor, and physiological information all had to pass through the diencephalon (particularly the thalamus), before being subjected to any further processing. Therefore, Cannon also argued that it was not anatomically possible for sensory events to trigger a physiological response prior to triggering conscious awareness and emotional stimuli had to trigger both physiological and experiential aspects of emotion simultaneously.[33]Cannon–Bard theory -"

"Maranon found that most of these patients felt something but in the absence of an actual emotion-evoking stimulus, the patients were unable to interpret their physiological arousal as an experienced emotion. Schachter did agree that physiological reactions played a big role in emotions. He suggested that physiological reactions contributed to emotional experience by facilitating a focused cognitive appraisal of a given physiologically arousing event and that this appraisal was what defined the subjective emotional experience. Emotions were thus a result of two-stage process: general physiological arousal, and experience of emotion.Two-factor theory -"


TEDxSF - Roz Picard - Emotion Technology -

Empatica is an affective computing company, focused on human data analytics. We develop groundbreaking wearable devices with medical quality sensing.-
Skin conductance response in regular subjects differs when given fair and unfair offers, respectively. However, psychopaths have been shown to have no difference in skin conductance between fair and unfair offers.[2] This may indicate that the use of lie detectors relying on skin conductivity gives psychopaths an advantage that non-psychopaths do not have in criminal investigations.-"
 "Whether scientific method is at all suited for the study of the subjective aspect of emotion, feelings, is a question for philosophy of science and epistemology. In practise, the use of self-report (i.e. questionnaires) has been widely adopted by researchers. Additionally, web-based research is being used to conduct large-scale studies on the components of happiness for example. Alongside this researchers also use fMRI, EEG and physiological measures of skin conductance, muscle tension and hormone secretion. This hybrid approach should allow researchers to gradually pinpoint the affective phenomenon. There are also a few commercial systems available that claim to measure emotions, for instance using automated video analysis (nViso) or skin conductance (Affectiva).Affective Science -"

" Founded in 2011, Nymi is a spinoff from the University of Toronto, focused on delivering unique and usable digital identity solutions. The company's first product is the Nymi Band, a wearable technology device that delivers Persistent Identity experiences by using the wearer's unique electric cardiac signature as a biometric. Nymi is proudly based in Toronto and is privately-funded by Ignition Partners, Relay Ventures, MasterCard and Salesforce Ventures."
"Affective computing is the study and development of systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human affects. It is an interdisciplinary field spanning computer science, psychology, and cognitive science.[1] While the origins of the field may be traced as far back as to early philosophical enquiries into emotion,[2] the more modern branch of computer science originated with Rosalind Picard's 1995 paper[3] on affective computing.[4][5] A motivation for the research is the ability to simulate empathy. The machine should interpret the emotional state of humans and adapt its behaviour to them, giving an appropriate response for those emotions.Affective Computing -"

The advances made and put forth here paint a different picture then the one assumed here in regard to the development of emotions that work toward identifying innate characteristics of the person? As well, as factors that are now discernible physiologically with regard to the economics of barter and trade. This observation goes back to principle inherent in wireless communication(as fractal antennas) and the work of Benoit Mandelbrot who brought forward through recognition, its utilization of fractals and development by Seth Cohen.

" In view of the proliferation of increasingly fruitful exchanges between researchers of different stripes, it is no longer useful to speak of the philosophy of emotion in isolation from the approaches of other disciplines, particularly psychology, neurology, evolutionary biology, and even economics.
 Twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy and psychology tended to incorporate emotions into other, better understood mental categories. Under the influence of a “tough-minded” ideology committed to behaviorism, it seemed easier to look for adequate theories of action or will, as well as theories of belief or knowledge, than to construct adequate theories of emotion. Economic models of rational decision and agency inspired by Bayesian theory are essentially assimilative models, viewing emotion either as a species of belief, or as a species of desire.

That enviably resilient Bayesian model has been cracked, in the eyes of many philosophers, by such refractory phenomena as akrasia or “weakness of will.” In cases of akrasia, traditional descriptive rationality seems to be violated, insofar as the “strongest” desire does not win, even when paired with the appropriate belief (Davidson 1980). Emotion is ready to pick up the slack. Recent work, often drawing support from the burgeoning study of the emotional brain, has recognised that while emotions typically involve both cognitive and conative states, they are distinct from both, if only in being significantly more complex. Emotion-
de Sousa, Ronald, "Emotion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)"

 "The subjective theory of value is a theory of value which advances the idea that the value of a good is not determined by any inherent property of the good, nor by the amount of labor required to produce the good, but instead value is determined by the importance an acting individual places on a good for the achievement of their desired ends-
In the philosophy of decision theory, Bayesian inference is closely related to discussions of subjective probability, often called "Bayesian probability". Bayesian probability provides a rational method for updating beliefs.

Bayesian epistemology is an epistemological movement that uses techniques of Bayesian inference as a means of justifying the rules of inductive logic.Bayesian Inference"

 "Decision theory in economics, psychology, philosophy, mathematics, and statistics is concerned with identifying the values, uncertainties and other issues relevant in a given decision, its rationality, and the resulting optimal decision. It is closely related to the field of game theory as to interactions of agents with at least partially conflicting interests whose decisions affect each other. Decision  Theory -"
"In economics, the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, emotions are analyzed in some sub-fields of microeconomics, in order to assess the role of emotions on purchase decision-making and risk perception Disciplinary approaches -"

"Broadly speaking, there are two views on Bayesian probability that interpret the 'probability' concept in different ways. For objectivists, probability objectively measures the plausibility of propositions, i.e. the probability of a proposition corresponds to a reasonable belief everyone (even a "robot") sharing the same knowledge should share in accordance with the rules of Bayesian statistics, which can be justified by requirements of rationality and consistency.[2][5] Requirements of rationality and consistency are also important for subjectivists, for which the probability corresponds to a 'personal belief'.[6] For subjectivists however, rationality and consistency constrain the probabilities a subject may have, but allow for substantial variation within those constraints. The objective and subjective variants of Bayesian probability differ mainly in their interpretation and construction of the prior probability.Objective and subjective Bayesian probabilities -"

"Contemporary analytic philosophers of mind generally use the term “belief” to refer to the attitude we have, roughly, whenever we take something to be the case or regard it as true. To believe something, in this sense, needn't involve actively reflecting on it: Of the vast number of things ordinary adults believe, only a few can be at the fore of the mind at any single time. Nor does the term “belief”, in standard philosophical usage, imply any uncertainty or any extended reflection about the matter in question (as it sometimes does in ordinary English usage). Many of the things we believe, in the relevant sense, are quite mundane: that we have heads, that it's the 21st century, that a coffee mug is on the desk. Forming beliefs is thus one of the most basic and important features of the mind, and the concept of belief plays a crucial role in both philosophy of mind and epistemology.Belief -"

 Forming beliefs is thus one of the most basic and important features of the mind, and the concept of belief plays a crucial role in both philosophy of mind and epistemology. The “mind-body problem”, for example, so central to philosophy of mind, is in part the question of whether and how a purely physical organism can have beliefs. Much of epistemology revolves around questions about when and how our beliefs are justified or qualify as knowledge. Belief -

 Nevertheless, many contemporary philosophers of science and analytic philosophers are strongly critical of Popper's philosophy of science.[14] Popper's mistrust of inductive reasoning has led to claims that he misrepresents scientific practice. Among the professional philosophers of science, the Popperian view has never been seriously preferred to probabilistic induction, which is the mainstream account of scientific reasoning.Falsifiability -
See also: The Logic of Scientific Discovery (PDF)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Naturalness 2014-Weizmann Institute of Science

Information about the event was blogged by Professor Matt Strassler at, At the Naturalness 2014 Conference. See also his explanation on Naturalness and the Standard Model

Information about the event itself.

The discovery of a Higgs boson, with a mass around 125 GeV, at the LHC is a great victory for the Standard Model (SM). With its minimal scalar sector of electroweak symmetry breaking, the SM at short distances, well below the proton radius, is a complete weakly coupled theory. Even though the SM cannot explain several experimental observations such as neutrino masses, the baryon asymmetry of the universe and the origin of dark matter, one cannot deduce an energy scale at which the SM would be forced to be extended (with the exceptions of the Planck scale and the Landau pole of the hypercharge force). See: Naturalness 2014

In physics, naturalness is the property that the free parameters or physical constants appearing in a physical theory should take relative values "of order 1". That is, a natural theory would have parameters with values like 2.34 rather than 234,000 or 0.000234. This is in contrast to current theory like the standard model, where there are a number of parameters that vary by many orders of magnitude, and require extensive "fine-tuning" of those values in order for the theory to predict a universe like the one we live in.

The requirement that satisfactory theories should be "natural" in this sense is a current of thought initiated around the 1960s in particle physics. It is an aesthetic criterion, not a physical one, that arises from the seeming non-naturalness of the standard model and the broader topics of the hierarchy problem, fine-tuning, and the anthropic principle.

It is not always compatible with Occam's razor, since many instances of "natural" theories have more parameters than "fine-tuned" theories such as the Standard Model.

  Now that naturalism has become an accepted component of philosophy, there has recently been interest in Kuhn's work in the light of developments in the relevant sciences, many of which provide corroboration for Kuhn's claim that science is driven by relations of perceived similarity and analogy. It may yet be that a characteristically Kuhnian thesis will play a prominent part in our understanding of science

A non-technical discussion of the naturalness criterion and its implications for new physics searches at the LHC. To be published in the book "LHC Perspectives", edited by G. Kane and A. Pierce. See: Naturally Speaking: The Naturalness Criterion and Physics at the LHC

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nima Arkani-Hamed Public Lecture: Quantum Mechanics and Spacetime in the 21st Century

Dr. Nima Arkani-Hamed (Perimeter Institute and Institute for Advanced Study) delivers the second lecture of the 2014/15 Perimeter Institute Public Lecture Series, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Held at Perimeter Institute and webcast live worldwide on Nov. 6, 2014, Arkani-Hamed's lecture explores the exciting concepts of quantum mechanics and spacetime, and how our evolving understanding of their importance in fundamental physics will shape the field in the 21st Century. Perimeter Institute Public Lectures are held in the first week of each month. More information on Perimeter Public Lectures:

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Consciousness as a Derivative of Reductionism?

The idea of a smallest length fell in line with the question of a measure as a derivative of reductionism with regard to consciousness. Going to length, the idea of a fundamental reality works its way into how a approach to consciousness is sought as some fundamental unit.
 The science and history of the minimal length has now been covered in a recent book by Amit Hagar:

Amit is a philosopher but he certainly knows his math and physics. Indeed, I suspect the book would be quite hard to understand for a reader without at least some background knowledge in math and physics. Amit has made a considerable effort to address the topic of a fundamental length from as many perspectives as possible, and he covers a lot of scientific history and philosophical considerations that I had not previously been aware of. The book is also noteworthy for including a chapter on quantum gravity phenomenology. See:Backreaction
Is there a smallest length?

The basis of this examination is to deduce whether or not there are fundamental units with regard to consciousness. This topic as it began as a question had been begun on a different forum in order to develope insight to this very question.

As an INTJ personality I have little patience for those who might get in the way of what I am seeking to accomplish.

Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all phenomena, including mental phenomena and consciousness, are the result of material interactions.
Materialism is closely related to physicalism; the view that all that exists is ultimately physical. Philosophical physicalism has evolved from materialism with the discoveries of the physical sciences to incorporate far more sophisticated notions of physicality than mere ordinary matter, such as: spacetimephysical energies and forcesdark matter, and so on. Thus the term "physicalism" is preferable over "materialism", while others use the terms as if they are synonymous.

I sought to explain that there is a limit with which the word measure could be applied and going toward a historical explanation of this demonstrates the responsibility that was put forth in this effort.
"I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as a derivative of consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness. Max Planck

So insightful to the progress is and was to identify a means with which consciousness "as experience" may have had some definition as to "being" the reducible element. So quickly cutting to the heart of the issue is whether measure could have been explained as a function? IN this case as said experience become that factor.

 I suggest that a theory of consciousness should take experience as fundamental. We know that a theory of consciousness requires the addition of something fundamental to our ontology, as everything in physical theory is compatible with the absence of consciousness. We might add some entirely new nonphysical feature, from which experience can be derived, but it is hard to see what such a feature would be like. More likely, we will take experience itself as a fundamental feature of the world, alongside mass, charge, and space-time. If we take experience as fundamental, then we can go about the business of constructing a theory of experience.
Nonreductive explanation-Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness

To complicate the matters then is to say that while experience is fundamental, this then refers to some fundamental unit of expression? Experience had to be made up of something much more intricate as to suggest that given the length and determination of that measure which no longer exists, with regard to that length asks that the element still seeks to be expressed as a fact of consciousness?

Monday, October 20, 2014


Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all phenomena, including mental phenomena and consciousness, are the result of material interactions.

Materialism is typically considered by many philosophers to be closely related to physicalism; the view that all that exists is ultimately physical. Philosophical physicalism has evolved from materialism with the discoveries of the physical sciences to incorporate far more sophisticated notions of physicality than mere ordinary matter, such as: spacetime, physical energies and forces, dark matter, and so on. Thus the term "physicalism" is preferable over "materialism", while others use the terms as if they are synonymous.
Contrasting philosophies to materialism or physicalism include idealism and other forms of monism, dualism and pluralism.[according to whom?]



Materialism belongs to the class of monist ontology. As such, it is different from ontological theories based on dualism or pluralism. For singular explanations of the phenomenal reality, materialism would be in contrast to idealism, neutral monism, and spiritualism.

Despite the large number of philosophical schools and subtle nuances between many,[1][2][3] all philosophies are said to fall into one of two primary categories, which are defined in contrast to each other: Idealism, and materialism.[a] The basic proposition of these two categories pertains to the nature of reality, and the primary distinction between them is the way they answer two fundamental questions: "what does reality consist of" and "how does it originate?" To idealists, spirit or mind or the objects of mind (ideas) are primary, and matter secondary. To materialists, matter is primary, and mind or spirit or ideas are secondary, the product of matter acting upon matter.[3]

The materialist view is perhaps best understood in its opposition to the doctrines of immaterial substance applied to the mind historically, famously by René Descartes. However, by itself materialism says nothing about how material substance should be characterized. In practice, it is frequently assimilated to one variety of physicalism or another.

Materialism is often associated with reductionism, according to which the objects or phenomena individuated at one level of description, if they are genuine, must be explicable in terms of the objects or phenomena at some other level of description — typically, at a more reduced level. Non-reductive materialism explicitly rejects this notion, however, taking the material constitution of all particulars to be consistent with the existence of real objects, properties, or phenomena not explicable in the terms canonically used for the basic material constituents. Jerry Fodor influentially argues this view, according to which empirical laws and explanations in "special sciences" like psychology or geology are invisible from the perspective of basic physics. A lot of vigorous literature has grown up around the relation between these views.
Modern philosophical materialists extend the definition of other scientifically observable entities such as energy, forces, and the curvature of space. However philosophers such as Mary Midgley suggest that the concept of "matter" is elusive and poorly defined.[4]

Materialism typically contrasts with dualism, phenomenalism, idealism, vitalism, and dual-aspect monism. Its materiality can, in some ways, be linked to the concept of Determinism, as espoused by Enlightenment thinkers.

During the 19th century, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels extended the concept of materialism to elaborate a materialist conception of history centered on the roughly empirical world of human activity (practice, including labor) and the institutions created, reproduced, or destroyed by that activity (see materialist conception of history). Later Marxists developed the notion of dialectical materialism which characterized later Marxist philosophy and method.




Axial Age

Materialism developed, possibly independently, in several geographically separated regions of Eurasia during what Karl Jaspers termed the Axial Age (approximately 800 to 200 BC).

In Ancient Indian philosophy, materialism developed around 600 BC with the works of Ajita Kesakambali, Payasi, Kanada, and the proponents of the Cārvāka school of philosophy. Kanada became one of the early proponents of atomism. The NyayaVaisesika school (600 BC - 100 BC) developed one of the earliest forms of atomism, though their proofs of God and their positing that the consciousness was not material precludes labelling them as materialists. Buddhist atomism and the Jaina school continued the atomic tradition.

Xunzi (ca. 312–230 BC) developed a Confucian doctrine centered on realism and materialism in Ancient China.[citation needed]

Ancient Greek philosophers like Thales, Anaxagoras (ca. 500 BC – 428 BC), Epicurus and Democritus prefigure later materialists. The Latin poem De Rerum Natura by Lucretius (ca. 99 BC – ca. 55 BC) reflects the mechanistic philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus. According to this view, all that exists is matter and void, and all phenomena result from different motions and conglomerations of base material particles called "atoms" (literally: "indivisibles"). De Rerum Natura provides mechanistic explanations for phenomena such as erosion, evaporation, wind, and sound. Famous principles like "nothing can touch body but body" first appeared in the works of Lucretius. Democritus and Epicurus however did not hold to a monist ontology since they held to the ontological separation of matter and space i.e. space being "another kind" of being, indicating that the definition of "materialism" is wider than given scope for in this article.


Common Era

Chinese thinkers of the early common era said to be materialists include Yang Xiong (53 BC – AD 18) and Wang Chong (c AD 27 – AD 100).

Later Indian materialist Jayaraashi Bhatta (6th century) in his work Tattvopaplavasimha ("The upsetting of all principles") refuted the Nyaya Sutra epistemology. The materialistic Cārvāka philosophy appears to have died out some time after 1400. When Madhavacharya compiled Sarva-darśana-samgraha (a digest of all philosophies) in the 14th century, he had no Cārvāka/Lokāyata text to quote from, or even refer to.[5]
In early 12th-century al-Andalus, the Arabian philosopher, Ibn Tufail (Abubacer), wrote discussions on materialism in his philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqdhan (Philosophus Autodidactus), while vaguely foreshadowing the idea of a historical materialism.[6]


Modern era

The French cleric Pierre Gassendi (1592-1665) represented the materialist tradition in opposition to the attempts of René Descartes (1596-1650) to provide the natural sciences with dualist foundations. There followed the materialist and atheist abbé Jean Meslier (1664-1729), Julien Offroy de La Mettrie, the German-French Paul-Henri Thiry Baron d'Holbach (1723-1789), the Encyclopedist Denis Diderot (1713-1784), and other French Enlightenment thinkers; as well as (in England) John "Walking" Stewart (1747-1822), whose insistence in seeing matter as endowed with a moral dimension had a major impact on the philosophical poetry of William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) wrote that "...materialism is the philosophy of the subject who forgets to take account of himself".[7] He claimed that an observing subject can only know material objects through the mediation of the brain and its particular organization. That is, the brain itself is the "determiner" of how material objects will be experienced or perceived:
"Everything objective, extended, active, and hence everything material, is regarded by materialism as so solid a basis for its explanations that a reduction to this (especially if it should ultimately result in thrust and counter-thrust) can leave nothing to be desired. But all this is something that is given only very indirectly and conditionally, and is therefore only relatively present, for it has passed through the machinery and fabrication of the brain, and hence has entered the forms of time, space, and causality, by virtue of which it is first of all presented as extended in space and operating in time."[8]
The German materialist and atheist anthropologist Ludwig Feuerbach would signal a new turn in materialism through his book, The Essence of Christianity (1841), which provided a humanist account of religion as the outward projection of man's inward nature. Feuerbach's materialism would later heavily influence Karl Marx.


Scientific materialists

Many current and recent philosophers—e.g., Daniel Dennett, Willard Van Orman Quine, Donald Davidson, John Rogers Searle, and Jerry Fodor—operate within a broadly physicalist or materialist framework, producing rival accounts of how best to accommodate mind, including functionalism, anomalous monism, identity theory, and so on.[9]

Scientific "Materialism" is often synonymous with, and has so far been described, as being a reductive materialism. In recent years, Paul and Patricia Churchland have advocated a radically contrasting position (at least, in regards to certain hypotheses); eliminativist materialism holds that some mental phenomena simply do not exist at all, and that talk of those mental phenomena reflects a totally spurious "folk psychology" and introspection illusion. That is, an eliminative materialist might suggest that a concept like "belief" simply has no basis in fact - the way folk science speaks of demon-caused illnesses. Reductive materialism being at one end of a continuum (our theories will reduce to facts) and eliminative materialism on the other (certain theories will need to be eliminated in light of new facts), Revisionary materialism is somewhere in the middle.[9]

Some scientific materialists have been criticized, for example by Noam Chomsky, for failing to provide clear definitions for what constitutes matter, leaving the term "materialism" without any definite meaning. Chomsky also states that since the concept of matter may be affected by new scientific discoveries, as has happened in the past, scientific materialists are being dogmatic in assuming the opposite.[10]


Defining matter

The nature and definition of matter - like other key concepts in science and philosophy - have occasioned much debate.[11] Is there a single kind of matter (hyle) which everything is made of, or multiple kinds? Is matter a continuous substance capable of expressing multiple forms (hylomorphism),[12] or a number of discrete, unchanging constituents (atomism)?[13] Does it have intrinsic properties (substance theory),[14][15] or is it lacking them (prima materia)?

One challenge to the traditional concept of matter as tangible "stuff" came with the rise of field physics in the 19th century. Relativity shows that matter and energy (including the spatially distributed energy of fields) are interchangeable. This enables the ontological view that energy is prima materia and matter is one of its forms. On the other hand, the Standard Model of Particle physics uses quantum field theory to describe all interactions. On this view it could be said that fields are prima materia and the energy is a property of the field.

According to the dominant cosmological model, the Lambda-CDM model, less than 5% of the universe's energy density is made up of the "matter" described by the Standard Model of Particle Physics, and the majority of the universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy - with no agreement amongst scientists about what these are made of.[16]

With the advent of quantum physics, some scientists believed the concept of matter had merely changed, while others believed the conventional position could no longer be maintained. For instance Werner Heisenberg said "The ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct 'actuality' of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range. This extrapolation, however, is impossible... atoms are not things." Likewise, some philosophers[which?] feel that these dichotomies necessitate a switch from materialism to physicalism. Others use the terms "materialism" and "physicalism" interchangeably.[17]

The concept of matter has changed in response to new scientific discoveries. Thus materialism has no definite content independent of the particular theory of matter on which it is based. According to Noam Chomsky, any property can be considered material, if one defines matter such that it has that property.[10]



George Stack distinguishes between materialism and physicalism:
In the twentieth century, physicalism has emerged out of positivism. Physicalism restricts meaningful statements to physical bodies or processes that are verifiable or in principle verifiable. It is an empirical hypothesis that is subject to revision and, hence, lacks the dogmatic stance of classical materialism. Herbert Feigl defended physicalism in the United States and consistently held that mental states are brain states and that mental terms have the same referent as physical terms. The twentieth century has witnessed many materialist theories of the mental, and much debate surrounding them.[18]
—George J. Stack, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Criticism and alternatives


Scientific objections

Some modern day physicists and science writers—such as Paul Davies and John Gribbin—have argued that materialism has been disproven by certain scientific findings in physics, such as quantum mechanics and chaos theory. In 1991, Gribbin and Davies released their book The Matter Myth, the first chapter of which, "The Death of Materialism", contained the following passage:
Then came our Quantum theory, which totally transformed our image of matter. The old assumption that the microscopic world of atoms was simply a scaled-down version of the everyday world had to be abandoned. Newton's deterministic machine was replaced by a shadowy and paradoxical conjunction of waves and particles, governed by the laws of chance, rather than the rigid rules of causality. An extension of the quantum theory goes beyond even this; it paints a picture in which solid matter dissolves away, to be replaced by weird excitations and vibrations of invisible field energy. 
Quantum physics undermines materialism because it reveals that matter has far less "substance" than we might believe. But another development goes even further by demolishing Newton's image of matter as inert lumps. This development is the theory of chaos, which has recently gained widespread attention. 
— Paul Davies and John Gribbin, The Matter Myth, Chapter 1
Davies' and Gribbin's objections are shared by proponents of digital physics who view information rather than matter to be fundamental. Their objections were also shared by some founders of quantum theory, such as Max Planck, who wrote:
As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.
— Max Planck, Das Wesen der Materie, 1944


Religious and spiritual objections

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, materialism denies the existence of both deities and "souls".[19] It is therefore incompatible with most world religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In most of Hinduism and transcendentalism, all matter is believed to be an illusion called Maya, blinding us from knowing the truth. Maya is the limited, purely physical and mental reality in which our everyday consciousness has become entangled. Maya gets destroyed for a person when s/he perceives Brahman with transcendental knowledge. In contrast, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint Movement, taught "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter."[20] This spirit element has always existed; it is co-eternal with God.[21] It is also called intelligence or the light of truth, which like all observable matter "was not created or made, neither indeed can be."[22] Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints view the revelations of Joseph Smith as a restoration of original Christian doctrine, which they believe began to be corrupted at the hands of post-apostolic theologians in the centuries after Christ. The writings of many of these theologians indicate a clear influence of Greek metaphysical philosophies such as Neoplatonism, which characterized divinity as an utterly simple, immaterial, formless, substance/essence (ousia) that transcended all that was physical. Despite strong opposition from many Christians,[23] this metaphysical depiction of God eventually became incorporated into the doctrine of the Christian church, displacing the original Judeo-Christian concept of a physical, corporeal God who created humans in His image and likeness.[24]


Philosophical objections

Kant argued against all three forms of materialism, subjective idealism (which he contrasts with his "transcendental idealism"[25]) and dualism.[26] However, Kant also argues that change and time require an enduring substrate,[27] and does so in connection with his Refutation of Idealism.[28] Postmodern/poststructuralist thinkers also express a skepticism about any all-encompassing metaphysical scheme. Philosopher Mary Midgley,[29] among others,[30][31][32][33] argues that materialism is a self-refuting idea, at least in its eliminative form.



An argument for idealism, such as those of Hegel and Berkeley, is ipso facto an argument against materialism. Matter can be argued to be redundant, as in bundle theory, and mind-independent properties can in turn be reduced to subjective percepts. Berkeley presents an example of the latter by pointing out that it is impossible to gather direct evidence of matter, as there is no direct experience of matter; all that is experienced is perception, whether internal or external. As such, the existence of matter can only be assumed from the apparent (perceived) stability of perceptions; it finds absolutely no evidence in direct experience.
If matter and energy are seen as necessary to explain the physical world, but incapable of explaining mind, dualism results. Emergence, holism, and process philosophy seek to ameliorate the perceived shortcomings of traditional (especially mechanistic) materialism without abandoning materialism entirely.


Materialism as methodology

Some critics object to materialism as part of an overly skeptical, narrow or reductivist approach to theorizing, rather than to the ontological claim that matter is the only substance. Particle physicist and Anglican theologian John Polkinghorne objects to what he calls promissory materialism — claims that materialistic science will eventually succeed in explaining phenomena it has not so far been able to explain.[34] Polkinghorne prefers "dual-aspect monism" to faith in materialism.[35]



a. ^ Indeed it has been noted it is difficult if not impossible to define one category without contrasting it with the other.[2][3]

Further reading

External links