Is classical mechanics philosophically sound?

  • #1
A. Neumaier
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But the usual interpretations of "uncertainty" and "approximately" are subjective.
They are subjective even in the classical, nonrelativistic mechanics of a pendulum, since the notions appear when you try to relate the theory to a real pendulum. In classical, nonrelativistic mechanics, the interpretation of the words ''observation'', ''experiment'' and ''measurement'' needed to build a proper bridge between classical theory and reality are also subjective. (The respective definitions in the wikipedia pages linked to contain many unexplained words whose meaning is as subjective as those of the above two words, or even more.)

So why do you regard classical, nonrelativistic few-particle mechanics as philosophically sound, but complain about foundational problems in quantum mechanics?
 
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  • #2
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Subjectivity as you yourself say has some explanation in Classical mechanics which works with some axioms like point particle etc. But subjectivity in QM does not have any explanation may be classical explanation!
 
  • #3
stevendaryl
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They are subjective even in the classical, nonrelativistic mechanics of a pendulum, since the notions appear when you try to relate the theory to a real pendulum. In classical, nonrelativistic mechanics, the interpretation of the words ''observation'', ''experiment'' and ''measurement'' needed to build a proper bridge between classical theory and reality are also subjective. (The respective definitions in the wikipedia pages linked to contain many unexplained words whose meaning is as subjective as those of the above two words, or even more.)

So why do you regard classical, nonrelativistic few-particle mechanics as philosophically sound, but complain about foundational problems in quantum mechanics?

I don't have any problems with things being subjective. I was just objecting to your claim that using "expectations" instead of "probabilities" makes any difference, in principle.
 
  • #4
A. Neumaier
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I don't have any problems with things being subjective. I was just objecting to your claim that using "expectations" instead of "probabilities" makes any difference, in principle.
It makes no difference only in the sense that ultimately everything said on any subject boils down to using imprecise language.

But if you take this to mean that it makes no difference in principle - then there is no difference, in principle, between ancient subjective divination and modern objective science, between quantum mechanics and crackpot alternatives, or between an interpretation of quantum mechanics and shut-up-and-calculate.

You found a very elegant solution to all philosophical problems - you simply hide them under the universal rug of subjectivity. This solves everything, in principle. Congratulations!
 
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