What about Ariel Caticha? Does he have some connection with Brazil?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Mangabeira_Unger" [Broken] is quite well-known in Brazil. He served as Minister of Strategic Affairs a few years ago. Considered a very controversial figure here. He is collaborating with Smolin, and is a professor at Harvard.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcelo_Gleiser" [Broken]is also a well-known physicist in Brazil. He has several books in Portuguese on science outreach published here.
Notice that both do not live in Brazil, but still they do have some participation here one way or another.
Well, I am particularly very curious about what Unger has to say. He is a very interesting figure, and as I mentioned previously, also considered a very, very controversial figure here in Brazil, to the point of some questioning whether he is a genius or a madman. In a private email, some time ago, Smolin mentioned that he was the most "challenging philosopher" that he ever worked with. If you are interested in something new, unexpected, even if you may not agree with, then listen to this man, even if for just fun. Or you may feel to take him seriously, as Smolin does. Maybe Sabine has some impressions to mention here?
I still have to watch the video, no time yet. I'm naturally curious on this. I believe Sabine will post some of her impressions on this conference.
I was impressed with his originality---which is partly stylistic but may contain a kernel of real mathematical innovation.
He gave the same talk to a small PI audience of mathematically sophisticated Quantum Foundations people, including Rafael Sorkin, on 4 May, and then repeated it to the philosophers at the LoN workshop a few days later. In my opinion the first presentation came out better, and is well worth watching. He has an extension of Bayes to describe what he calls the "entropic dynamics" evolution of probability measures. All I can say is that I found it novel, impressive, and intriguing (but sensed that Sorkin was skeptical). Maybe someone more insightful than I am will be able to see through it and show that Caticha's work is vacuous and useless after all.
To me after sampling a good many talks, it seems that the only interesting talk was Smolin/Unger, plus tentatively unless someone disillusions me: Caticha. (And Caticha's 4 May presentation of the same stuff went better.)
However the EVENT ITSELF of the workshop was surely a significant success. It means that Philosophy of Science, like the Golem, is awake and prepares to defend the righteous. Or if you prefer, it means the philosophers are doing their war-dance and sending up their smoke signals. Some of the discussion at the workshop was interesting and informative. Different ideas of science, theory, and knowledge struggling for survival.
I should be careful not to minimize my regard for Philosophers of Science. When the chips are down, their work is very very important. They are like the "conscience"---where the moral sense resides. They guard the collective ethic of empiricism which is the ultimate guarantee of its unity and progress in the long run. This is why I feel that i got more out of the event as a whole than I did out of most of the individual talks which I sampled.
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