Friday, January 10, 2014

Information and the Nature of Reality

Information and the Nature of Reality
From Physics to Metaphysics

Appunti di lettura

information → laws of physics → matter. p. 3

It almost seems that it is to the potential, rather than the actual, that reality should be attributed at the most fundamental level. Yet can there be poten- tialities without the actual? The potentialities here are not indef- inite: they are quantified in various ways depending on the kind of field in question. Going from Aristotelian matter to the materialism of the early modern period involved a move from an indefinite poten- tial, constrained eventually only in terms of quantity, to spatially extended, and indisputably actual, hard massy particles. From these particles to the 'matter' of present-day physics could be described as a move back again to potentiality, although no longer indefinite. p. 33

A non- reductive solution is still called for. p. 36

Finally, one must add the name of perhaps the greatest Western metaphysician of the twentieth century, Alfred North Whitehead. Whitehead was the first major metaphysical thinker to write his system after the breakthroughs of Einstein's theories of special and general relativity. His Process and Reality (1929) is meant to be an empirically sensitive work, a response to scientific develop- ments in physics and cosmology that is continually open to revision. But commentators have also recognized that Whitehead's proposals are deeply reliant on something like a Leibnizian atomism. p. 49

As a result of this philosophical quagmire, most theologians have abandoned the idea that God exists necessarily. p. 66

The God hypothesis is not contradicted by any, and is quite strongly supported by some, of the speculations of contemporary information theory. So my conclusion is that the ultimate ontological reality is indeed information, but that infor- mation is ultimately held in the mind of God, and such a hypoth- esis expresses one of the most coherent and plausible accounts of the nature of ultimate reality that is available to us in the modern scientific age. p. 299

Accordingly, an informa- tional universe would have to wend its way narratively between the two extremes of absolute noise and absolute redundancy. p. 311

リダンダンシー 冗長性


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