We start with what you call "back-references" but it is going back to the true fundamentals of science...the experiment. Get too far from this and you begin arguing about things no-one can observe and that is a theological debate, not science.
No of course not. At some point the mathematical terms must be related to the physical...that by the way is the true interpretation of the theory. How a ket or Hermitian operator relates to an actual experimental device.
How can we define anything without "we"? Science is what scientists do.
I think I found why our views are so different.
Take the Classical mechanics. lets take F=ma. Do you see any 'we', 'our knowledge about'? For that reason Hilbert wanted to find the axiomatisation of physics.
No, the fundamental of science is a THEORY. An experiment is just a tool to prove or disapprove it. Without theories, the science would be just a heap of recepies... like alchemistry... This is what science about: the underlying formulas!
Let me ask some questions again
What do you think about the max Tegmark program 'physics from scratch'
We define TOE is a pure mathematical form, TOE(f)=0. So there are only equations, no words. Then we derive everything from there. We ask 'what a complicated system would percieve?" building frog's view from the equations?
Or do you believe that there are some 'physical' axioms which can not be expressed in forms of equations?
Do you agree that MWI is the best to be expressed in the TOE(f)=0 form?
Do you agree that MWI (when we pay a contre-intuitive price of accepting parralel realities) saves not only determinism, but also realism?