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- Thread starter entropy2information
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- #72

Elias1960

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I would suggest to compare realism with the Lagrange formalism.It's typical that one can only say what "physical reality" is not, but there seems to be no clear definition of it. If it's not the sum of (at least in principle possible) objective observations of phenomena, what is it then?

Theories with a Lagrange formalism have a certain structure. It consists of some configuration space, a parameter named time, and the Lagrangian, a function which defines some action S for a given continuous trajectory. And there is a formula which defines the Euler-Lagrange equations as the evolution equations of the theory, a formula derived from some (quite metaphysical) minimum principle.

Is there some "clear definition of the Lagrangian"? No, not in general. Is the Lagrangian observable? Not at all. Is it useful to have a Lagrange formalism? Certainly.

The situation with realism is quite similar. It is the particular realist theory which defines what, according to this theory, really exists. This is its ontology. In classical theories with a Lagrange formalism, this ontology is simply defined by the configuration space of that theory.

So, a realistic theory is a theory with some additional structure, and such an additional structure is useful. This is quite typical for fundamental principles like realism, causality, minimum principle, Hamilton formalism and so on: They require some additional restrictive structure.

There cannot be such an observable fact like randomness. There are well-known deterministic theories which, because of our inability to specify the initial values with sufficient accuracy, show random results for all observations. The question if this randomness is some genuine, fundamental one or simply deterministic chaos is nothing one can decide by looking only at the outcome of experiments.There's no determinism in QT, i.e., observables do not need to take certain values independent of the state the system is in, but that doesn't mean that there's anything incomplete in our description, because the randomness of the outcome of measurements is an observed fact, and the prediction of QT concerning the probabilities are consistent with the observations to a high confidence level.

In this sense QT covers all known observable stuff, no matter whether it's observed or not.

- #73

Lord Jestocost

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There's also no doubt that the moon is there when nobody looks at it, because it has been observed in the past, and there are conservation laws telling us that it is still there no matter whether one looks or not.

- The moon was "factual" somewhere (time, coordinates) when it was observed in the past, and the moon is "factual" somewhere, when it is observed at present.

- Quantum theory:

- A statement like "

- The correct statement would be: "

- #74

Elias1960

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I would suggest to compare realism with the Lagrange formalism.It's typical that one can only say what "physical reality" is not, but there seems to be no clear definition of it. If it's not the sum of (at least in principle possible) objective observations of phenomena, what is it then?

Theories with a Lagrange formalism have a certain structure. It consists of some configuration space, a parameter named time, and the Lagrangian, a function which defines some action S for a given continuous trajectory. And there is a formula which defines the Euler-Lagrange equations as the evolution equations of the theory, a formula derived from some (quite metaphysical) minimum principle.

Is there some "clear definition of the Lagrangian"? No, not in general. Is the Lagrangian observable? Not at all. Is it useful to have a Lagrange formalism? Certainly.

The situation with realism is quite similar. It is the particular realist theory which defines what, according to this theory, really exists. This is its ontology. In classical theories with a Lagrange formalism, this ontology is simply defined by the configuration space of that theory.

So, realism is a structural requirement. A realistic theory has to have some structure, namely an ontology. This structure has some properties. So, the evolution equations of the theory describe how that reality changes in time.

Randomness cannot be an observed fact, because randomness may be the consequence of deterministic chaos. Randomness is a property of a theory, and the next more fundamental theory can easily switch to determinism.There's no determinism in QT, i.e., observables do not need to take certain values independent of the state the system is in, but that doesn't mean that there's anything incomplete in our description, because the randomness of the outcome of measurements is an observed fact,

- #75

hutchphd

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Please do not misquote. Clearly @vanhees71 says only the randomness manifests in our observations and refrains from drawing unwarranted causal inferences. Would that you were as careful.Randomness cannot be an observed fact, because randomness may be the consequence of deterministic chaos.

- #76

Elias1960

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Sorry, but my quote was correct.Please do not misquote.

- #77

PeterDonis

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Thread closed for moderation.

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