The Concept of the Infinite and the Crisis in Modern Physics
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Speculations in Science and Technology 6 (4):413-425 (1983)
The basic thesis is that the problem of infinity underlies the current dilemma in modern theoretical physics. The traditional and set-theoretic conceptions of infinity are considered. It is demonstrated that standard mathematical analysis is dependent on the complete relativity of the infinite. In examining the domains of modern physics, infinity is found to lose its entirely relative character and, therefore, to be less amenable to classical analysis. Complementary aspects of microworld infinity are identified and are associated with the equivalent features (inertial and gravitational mass) of Einstein's macroworld theory. The persisting effort to treat essentially non-classical phenomena in classical terms is critically discussed. A new attitude toward the infinite is recommended, one that might lead to establishing a second principle of the relativity of the infinite. The prospect for implementing the suggested approach through a "trans-analytic" meta-theory of dimensional generation is briefly entertained.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|External links||This entry has no external links. Add one.|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Sylvia Wenmackers & Leon Horsten (2013). Fair Infinite Lotteries. Synthese 190 (1):37-61.
Manuel Bremer (2007). Varieties of Finitism. Metaphysica 8 (2):131-148.
Eric Steinhart (2009). A Modern Analysis of Divine Infinity. Theology and Science 7 (3):261-274.
Ernest J. Welti (1987). The Philosophy of Strict Finitism. Theoria 2 (2):575-582.
Max Jammer (2006). Concepts of Simultaneity: From Antiquity to Einstein and Beyond. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Richard Staley (2008). Einstein's Generation: The Origins of the Relativity Revolution. University of Chicago Press.
Peter Fletcher (2002). A Constructivist Perspective on Physics. Philosophia Mathematica 10 (1):26-42.
Michał Heller & W. H. Woodin (eds.) (2011). Infinity: New Research Frontiers. Cambridge University Press.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2009-07-13
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?