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[Fizinfo] Philosophy of Science Colloquium, Semtember & October

Chronological Thread 
  • From: "Laszlo E. Szabo" <leszabo AT>
  • To: mafla AT, Multiple recipients of list <koglist AT>, fizinfo <fizinfo AT>
  • Subject: [Fizinfo] Philosophy of Science Colloquium, Semtember & October
  • Date: Tue Sep 17 03:03:00 2002
  • List-archive: <>
  • List-id: ELFT HRAD <>

Eötvös University, Budapest
Pázmány P. sétány 1/A
Budapest, Hungary
Phone/Fax: (36-1) 372 2924
The web site of the seminar:

Philosophy of Science Colloquium
Room 6.54 (6th floor) Monday 4:00 PM

P r o g r a m


30 September 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54
(Language of presentation: English)

Giora Hon <>
Department of Philosophy
University of Haifa

Gödel, Einstein, Mach: Constraining Completeness of Physical Theory

Can a theory turn back, as it were, upon itself and vouch for its own
features? That is, can the derived elements of a theory be the very
primitive terms that provide the presuppositions of the theory? This
form of completeness assumes a totality in which there occurs
quantification over that totality, quantification that is defined
by this very totality. I argue that the Mach principle exhibits
features of this notion of completeness. I propose an analogy
between the Mach principle as a possible selection principle in
general relativity and the vicious-circle principle in foundation
of mathematics. I finally conclude with a consequence of this
analogy vis-á-vis completeness, viz., completeness has to be
Cosmological models set the scene for the view of completeness
discussed in the paper. Specifically, the ideas encapsulated in
what Einstein called the "Mach principle" constitute the thread of
this account. The principle however is found to falter, in view of
the fact that there are several different types of solution of the
field equations that contradict it. One such important result with
ramifying consequences is the rotational mass solution of Gödel. The
question arises as to whether there is an analogy between
incompleteness in foundation of mathematics and in physics? The
analogy between the vicious-circle principle and the Mach principle
demonstrates an affirmative answer which suggests in turn that
completeness must be curtailed - that is, conditions and limits should
be imposed on completeness to render it valid.



7 October 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54
(Language of presentation: English)

René Voltz
Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg

Platonism in modern physics

Since Galileo, modern physics can be envisaged as progressing following
a Platonic program: explore the world beyond sensory appearances, with
ideas and theories based on the existence of unchanging physical laws
that are expressible in mathematics. In the search of unified theories
and the "dreams of a final theory", contemporary physics expresses more
than ever the Platonic tendencies: it basically admits the reality of
intelligible forms, representations of generalized symmetries, which
convince via their "beauty"besides the necessary verifications of their
empirical consequences.

The importance of Platonic inspirations during the successive conceptual
mutations which mark the History of physics was recognized by the most
creative actors. Representative examples are discussed in the presentation.

14 October 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54
(Language of presentation: Hungarian)

Béla Lukács
<mailto:lukacs AT>
Research Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics
Hungarian Academy of Sciences


Lélektudományok müvelöi közt hivei vannak azon álláspontnak, hogy idöben
VISSZAFELÉ terjedö hatások léteznek (habár csak rövid idötartamra), söt,
hogy ezeket statisztikailag ki is lehet mutatni (pl. pszichológiai
mérésekkel). A természettudományoktól a gondolat általában idegen.
Megmutatom azonban, hogy a retro folyamatok az általános
relativitáselméletbe beleférnek.
A "naiv" általános relativitáselméletben (+++-) szignatúra) az ilyen
folyamatok kivételes helyek közelében lehetségesek, oksági paradoxonokra
ill. a szabad akarat nemlétére vezetnek. Ezzel szemben BIZONYOS magasabb
dimenziójú téridökben a retro folyamat általános, és oksági
paradoxonokra ill. a szabad akarat nemlétére vezet.
Hogy a jelenség van-e, az a lélektudományokra tartozik egyelöre.

21 October 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54
(Language: English, except all participants speak Hungarian)

Tamás Rudas
<mailto:rudas AT>
Department of Statistics, Institute of Sociology, Eötvös University,

Measurement and modelling of association in contingency tables
Association between two variables is defined in the talk as the
information in their joint distribution not present in the univariate
distributions. Therefore, a measure of association, together with the
marginal distributions, has to parameterize the joint distribution and
has to be variationally independent from the marginals. These
requirements point to the odds ratio as the only appropriate measure of

For higher dimensional contingency tables, a possible generalization is
the system of conditional odds ratios. The conditional odds ratios, on
an ascending class of subsets, are variationally independent from the
marginal distributions on the complement descending class and together
parameterize the joint distribution. Depending on the class of subsets
used, one obtains a flexible class of parametereizations that can be
used to model the conditional association structure. The models obtained
by assuming lack of conditional association on an ascending class of
subsets are of the log-linear type.


28 October 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54
(Language: English)

Douwe Draaisma <>
Heymans Institute, Univerity of Groningen

The tracks of thought: metaphors of memory There has always been an
intimate link between human memory and the means invented to record
knowledge independently of that memory. From Plato's wax tablet to
holography and computers, artificial memories have supported,
relieved and occasionally replaced natural memory. Over the
centuries these artificial memories have also shaped our views of
remembering and forgetting, providing the terms and concepts with which
we have reflected on our own memory. After a general introduction on the
theme of metaphor and memory, I will demonstrate my analysis by the case
of 'panoramic memory', the experience sometimes reported by persons in
sudden mortal danger of seeing a rapid sequence of visual scenes from
their childhood 'flash before their eyes like a movie'. A brief history
of metaphorical descriptions of this sensation from the period before
the invention of film will make clear just how metaphors may lay down
the tracks of our thoughts.
Douwe Draaisma's book, METAFORAMASINA
<>, has been recently published in
Hungarian translation.

The 60-minute lecture is followed by a 10-minute break. Then we held a
30-60-minute discussion.

The participants may comment the talks and initiate discussion on the
Internet. The comments should be written in the language of the

The organizer of the seminar: László E. Szabó
<><mailto:leszabo AT>)

L a s z l o E. S z a b o
Theoretical Physics Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Eotvos University, Budapest
H-1518 Budapest, Pf. 32, Hungary
Phone/Fax: (36-1)372-2924 Mobil/SMS: (36) 20-366-1172

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