Wolfgang’s Weekly

21 July 2021

Our ultimate objective is to examine the physics initiated by Galileo in light of Platonist ontology; and this inquiry — so far from constituting an “academic exercise” — turns out in fact to be crucial to the resolution of the impasse in which fundamental physics has now found itself for the better part of a century. The fact is that contemporary physics rests upon a concomitant ontology — unacknowledged though the fact may be — which moreover proves ultimately to be spurious. There is  in truth no such thing as a purely operational or “positivistic” physics, if only because the physicist does not reduce to an automaton or a computer. He may indeed be schizoid — may believe, one moment, that “the grass is green,” and the next that it has no color at all — but yet he is human,  which entails that physics exists perforce  within the ambience of a Weltanschauung.  And whereas that worldview is reputedly based upon the “hard facts of science,” it is that Weltanschauung  itself that ultimately determines what is or is not such a “hard fact.” In the final count we are all metaphysicians, whether we admit to it or not; and I find it ironic that those who pretend to despise metaphysics, prove as a rule to be justified in respect to their own.

—Excerpt from The Vertical Ascent