Athel Cornish-Bowden wrote:
> On 2022-05-14 16:48:21 +0000, Bob Casanova said:
>> On Fri, 13 May 2022 23:25:54 -0700 (PDT), the following
>> appeared in talk.origins, posted by israel socratus
>>> Referring to Wittgenstein as an expert in quantum physics is not
>>> entirely convincing...
>> Assuming you're referring to Ludwig Wittgenstein*, and
>> assuming that this is accurate:
>> ....I'd say that's quite an understatement, since AFAICT he
>> had zero expertise in physics; he was a noted philosopher in
>> various subjects, but that's all. The first sentence of the
>> above reference...
>> "Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (26 April 1889 – 29 April
>> 1951) was an Austrian-British philosopher who worked
>> primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the
>> philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language."
>> ....indicates essentially zero qualifications for expertise
>> in such an esoteric branch of physics as QM.
> Yes, but unfortunately philosophy is a discipline that encourages claims
> of much greater expertise and knowledge than one has.
Mhh - did either of you actually read the paper that was linked to?
Wittgenstein is not evoked as an authority on quantum mechanics. He is
evoked as an expert on the way languages (including formal languages
like mathematics) work. He is used by the author for a critique of
(some) physicists who try to become (bad) philosophers, by imbuing QM of
metaphysical or philosophical meaning, either intentionally or
unintentionally by trying to "explain beyond what the mathematical
So it boils down to issues such as "is the Schroedinger cat thought
experiment" ultimately more confusing than illuminating", and what it
means to "understand" a formula - issues that have less to do with
physics than how we use thought experiments, visualizations and
metaphors - and on these issues his expertise, whether you agree with
him or nor, is on point I'd say