[FOM] proofs by contradiction in (classical?) Physics

Hendrik Boom hendrik at topoi.pooq.com
Mon Sep 19 17:09:52 EDT 2011

On Sun, Sep 18, 2011 at 09:41:45PM +0200, Fouche wrote:
> Can one use proofs by contradiction in Physics? And if it is possible, why
> they are so rare? Is there some intrinsical problem in proving a physical
> fact assuming its contrary? Is it "formally" correct, in the system we use
> to build physical models? Is the "tertium non datur" true in classical or
> quantum Physics?

It has been argued (does anyone remember where?) that intuitionistic 
math is adequate for physics, because physics theories are established 
by failing to be falsified.  The resulting negativity means that any 
classical arguments can be translated by the double-negation 
interpretation into an intuitionistic argument without loss of 
applicability to the physics.

-- hendrik

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