Fwd: Foundations and Foundationalism

Kreinovich, Vladik vladik at utep.edu
Fri Jun 24 19:33:53 EDT 2022

As long as a theory explains all the experiments, most physicists are happy. Yes, there are philosophically inclines physicists who argue about different versions of string theory that cannot be experimentally distinguished -- and will not be distinguishable for many decades if not forever -- but most working physicists do not care about these discussions, just like probably most mathematicians usually don't care very much whether mathematics is based on ZFC on or category foundations. 

and I agree with Friedman's mention of Einstein in his arguments: e.g., his relativity principle allowed to generalize invariance with respect to change to a moving observer from electrodynamics (where it was first proven, with lots of efforts) to the whole physics, leading to many applications.  This was a good example of foundations helping working physics. 

-----Original Message-----
From: FOM [mailto:fom-bounces at cs.nyu.edu] On Behalf Of Timothy Y. Chow

The Standard Model of physics is an amazing accomplishment, but once we reach the point where disagreements can no longer be settled by experiment, what is there left to do?

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