The Miser Project

Notes Folio n001000
Miser as Theoretical Model
Initial Notes


0.11 2017-08-29 16:40

"Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.  In our endeavor to understand reality we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch.  He sees the face and the moving hands, even hears its ticking, but he has no way of opening the case.  If he is ingenious he may form some picture of a mechanism which could be responsible for all the things he observes, but he may never be quite sure his picture is the only one which could explain his observations.  He will never be able to compare his picture with the real mechanism and he can not even imagine the possibility or the meaning of such a comparison. ..."

Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld
The Evolution of Physics (1938), p.31


1. Miser?


1. Miser?

2000-10-04: Hmm.  I got lost in researching some nomenclature problems and fell short on saying what I had in mind when I started this page.  I got stuck on models (in looking for help in Church's Mathematical Logic).

Here is what I see so far.  

It is common to look at a theory as offering a model of the (or a) world, abstracted in some way.

Another way of looking at a theory is as an abstract system which has interpretations in the (or a) world.  

This is the approach of mathematical logic and certainly formal systems (although formalists do not require that there be interpretations in any world, basically).  That is, Newtonian physics is a theory and reality offers models of it.  This has it be useful.  There may be other models of Newtonian physics and they can have nothing to do with reality.  And, as quoted above, Newtonian physics does not explain the world.  It happens that there are interpretations for it in the world.  (Note that Newtonian laws of physics don't make reference to the world at all, when taken as a mathematical system.  I want to say model here very badly and don't know how I am going to train myself not to!)


Dennis E. Hamilton
Renton, Washington
2000 October 2

" ... But he certainly believes that, as his knowledge increases, his picture of reality will become simpler and simpler and will explain a wider and wider range of his sensuous impressions.  He may also believe in the existence of the ideal limit of knowledge and that it is approached by the human mind.  He may call this ideal limit the objective truth. [p.31]"

 "With the help of physical theories we try to find our way through the maze of observed facts, to order and understand the world of our sense impressions.  We want the observed facts to follow logically from our concept of reality.  Without the belief that it is possible to grasp the reality with our theoretical constructions, without the belief in the inner harmony of our world, there could be no science.  This belief is and always will remain the fundamental motive for all scientific creation.  Throughout all our efforts, in every dramatic struggle between old and new views, we recognize the eternal longing for understanding, the ever-firm belief in the harmony of our world, continually strengthened by the increasing obstacles to comprehension. [p.296]"

Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld
The Evolution of Physics ( 1938)


Einstein, Albert., Infeld, Leopold.  The Evolution of Physics: From Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta.  Simon and Schuster (New York: 1938, 1966).  ISBN 0-671-20156-5 pbk.  A Touchstone Book.

0.11 2014-04-16-17:20 Capture as Folio Page
The original single-page note is captured as the first note in a folio on this subject.
0.10 2003-02-02-18:53: Initial Draft (orcmid)
Create placeholder with Einstein and Infield quotation.  Then update with the complete citation and additional material.  Include a little bit about the challenge around nomenclature, go research that, and then come back here.
0.00 2000-09-18-17:25 Create Placeholder
An initial page was created to be customized later.

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