The Purpose of these pages is to preview a forth-coming volume:
Transcendental Physics I came to undertake the task for
two reasons First was my outrage at the way in which the bankruptcy of
both Neo-Darwinism (as a sufficienheory of evolution) and
of the whole Artificial Intelligence movement was either simply being ignored or
disposed of through exercises in 'creative accounting'. Second, and more
fundamental was a sense of the deep inadequacy of the philosophical
weltanschauung presently in place, and within which physics seeks to consolidate
and enlarge its domain in reaching towards the Holy Grail of
believe that a completely New Paradigm -making as great a break from present day
orthodoxy as did Newton or Leonardo from Aquinas or Duns Scotus. What we
have at present is hampering the progress of the natural sciences for the mind
set it engenders in those chartering the course of empirical enquiry and
interrogation. This is not so much wrong as overly narrow. It has
harmful consequences stretching beyond those of the scientific enterprise
itself. It is undermining the vitality of the culture at large -where it is
a principle cause of the alienation and spiritual destitution that so disfigures
The Weltanschauung of
Positivism (or Secular Physicalism)
served well enough during the classical era but in modern times has become
increasingly inadequate and counter-productive. Unfortunately this drift
of events has failed to be recognised for what it is. Quite the reverse,
the movement seems to have taken on a life of its own. Its vaulting
ambition has o'er leaped itself, so that positivism -in one or other of its
stronger forms- is being touted as a complete and exhaustive representation of
Reality at large. I sometimes get the impression that they're getting away with
it just because its so outrageous. The siren song of simplification that
it offers is too strong to be resisted. Let's take a quick look
The first frame presents the modal components or categories -and their rough
interrelationships- That and model of the Larger Reality must sustain, if it is
to qualify for serious consideration. Now let's see what we're being asked
to live with today. The conquest of this territory is a bizarre and
surreal tale. First is a an abandonment of most of most of the territory
in which Reality retreats into the domain of basic Physics and its satellite
disciplines. Then, as though through misgivings over the penury so
imposed, a rebound expansion was executed so that the whole of the abandoned
territory was reoccupied -but by a single modality!! In
this operation of mimesis, physics sought to create doppelganger shadows of the
missing modes (e.g. by 'selfish' genes -in which agency makes a
surreptitious reentrance). As indicated by the rents in the fabric, no
amount of stretching could cover all of the landscape; in these cases the
ellipses were explained away as 'folk' notions; as when consciousness has
been dismissed as an 'illusion'.
The decision was made to compliment the six chapters comprising the main body of
the opus two extras addressing each of the two world views under consideration.
This turned out to be a tall undertaking for the way in which the tail was in
danger of wagging the dog. This is particularly the case with Neutral
Monism; should the reader have the interest, I have a second website
addressing this weltanschauung in course of preparation; I hope it will
surface early in 2004.
The physics opus itself is presented in a series of six PDF chapters that are
available for downloading as well as on-line viewing:
you must have Acrobat reader 5.0 or later, to access these files without error.]
Chapters (2), (3) and (4) are assigned,
respectively, to the three domains of Quantum Physics, Relativity and Cosmology.
A corresponding survey of particle physics is given in chapter (5) -which
complements the overview of early cosmology given in the previous chapter.
This same chapter (5) also wraps up where we stand today, in a way that suggests
and points to reasons why physics -and natural science in general- should have
fallen prey to so many distortions and misconceptions.
chapter (6) surveys the ways is which I believe physics needs to change, as it
seeks to bring itself to a deeper maturity. These are necessarily
tentative, but at least serve to make plain how great must be the change in
reorientation needed, for physics to regain its lost footing. In
approaching this task, I found myself subject to both a push and a
pull. The push came from physics itself, which seemed to me to be in
urgent need of reorientation. But my world-view of neutral monism wasn't
assembled principally in the service of physics itself. It had, in
fact, already been put together largely in advance of the needed incorporation
of physics. Such an ontology is, I believe, demanded by any
world-view that is to be authentic and worthy of serious consideration.
Whom is this Website Intended?
for the typical professional scientist who finds himself at ease with the
status quo weltanschauung, and who is only interested in the
possibilities of refinement and extrapolations that are consistent with it.
Far two much of the contents of the site is non-peer-review-able. He will
find it only good for laughs and perhaps for the glow of rationalistic
self-righteousness that it engenders.
Nor is it really aimed at the curious, serious-minded man-in-the-street whose
grasp of science is insecure and superficial. However, his heart is more
likely to be in the right place, and that counts for a great deal. Long
shore man Eric Hoffer lacked a high school education , but this didn't prevent
him from gaining a very savvy overview of what was going on in modern science.
The books he came to write, delight both for their glowing insights and for the
graceful and fluent use of unpretentious language. Hoffman was nobody's
fool -not at all one to be bothered by political rectitude.
the most promising candidates will be those who are professional philosophers
who are knowledgeable in physics and its satellite disciplines but who baulk at
the lack-luster and strait-jacketed 'philosophy of science' touted as the real
thing; they are searching for a deeper and broader synthesis, as have I
Finally I am hopeful that it might catch the eye of the odd high school
student in his senior year. I have in mind someone who is
heading for a career in science but whose commonsense fitness of things hasn't
yet been lobotomized away in the Cabinet of Dr Caligari -that anteroom through
which all are expected to pass in gaining entrance to the Halls of Science
beyond. I shall have more to say later about this Karlovian chamber.
I have done my best to avoid a stuffy, pedantic and scholar style -though much
of the time with scant success. Much of my own stuff bores the hell about
of me, so I can but conjecture what it must do to the reader. I envy
the likes of Arthur Köstler and Raymond Tallis for
the 'contemptuous ease' with which they can put a good sentence together.
Perhaps my problem is a malformed left lobe of the cerebral hemisphere;
this might be one of the reasons for my preference for the gestalt of the
diagram over the symbolic articulation of the sentential string. I have
also employed Gif animations here and there. They are relatively crude but
have the great merit of instant on-the-spot execution.
One final comment about this newly-available avenue of publication and
communication of ideas. The Web with its many search engines roaming
through its convoluted configuration. Through their offices it is now
possible for anyone to seek out those of similar interests and inclinations. One
wonder just how many 'out there' are responsible, intelligent and energetic
people who might have been heard of were it not for the peer review firewall.
Nowhere is this shielding of heterodoxy more evident that in the programs of the
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the USA. These are magnificently
mounted presentations flawed only by their scrupulous hewing to the Party Line.
Here are the physicists to whom I'm most indebted, as I
went about the task of reconstruction and redirection. All of them were
wise as well as clever, and of none was this more true than of Schrödinger, who
nestled his physics within a larger philosophical overview. He was a
prince among men, someone I wish I had known personally. In particular he
was a monist, and it is this lead of his that I have sought to follow. I
don't know what he would have made of the outcome, but I'm sure at least,
that he would have understood and approved of what it is I have been trying to
I would like to record a special note of
indebtedness to Dr Joseph Gerver, a professor of mathematics at Rutgers
university. Joe is one of those rare, truly civilized human beings who
is able to bring an open mind and give a fair hearing to someone whose views are,
at times, the very antithesis of their own. He was someone prepared to
hold a discourse. Thanks to Joe, what has ensued has been a dialogue
rather than a debate, in which the concern has been what's right rather
than who's right. His criticisms have forced me to
clarify my own views, and to give up some ground, here and there. He also
caught me out in a huge blunder -as the reader will discover in chapter
three that addresses Relativity. It took him over ten years to finally
convince me that I was wrong, and I'm so thankful that he persisted.
I am pleased to acknowledge a grant from the Nawierol Foundation; the
funds turned up just when they were needed
I must also acknowledge the continuing forbearance and support of my
long-suffering family. Many of the hours were of stolen time; they
rightfully belonged to them.
Be assured that this is a living
site. Corrections will be made, refinements added and links established to other domains of my philosophical
overview, and also to other websites addressing themselves to similar issues.
In particular, the present revision almost triples the
size of the site as last revised in May 2003; its scope has been both
broadened and deepened
I also hope to enjoy the benefits of your own observations reservations and
comments, so I have included some 'feedback' machinery with this end in view.
Number of visitors to this site:
Created by Stephen Harrison, December 31
Site Completely Reorganized and Extended
Previous Revision August 2003
© by Stephen Harrison 2003.
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