Tuesday, 12 April 2011

What do I want ??

A little time to reflect from the pressures of TMA deadlines made me think what is it I really want to achieve having taken the libertry of telling someone on the  M337 forum what makes a good PhD it's a question of 'physician heal thyself'. If one wants to achieve anything in life it's a question of gettting enough background knowledge to articulate a certiain insiight which no one else has thought of, but on the other hand not getting so bogged down in a lack of confidence of one's own abilities. Obviously this meams that one has to have a certain degree of self confidence, which I lack and also a degree of realism, as to what can be achieved, Thus it is highly unlikely that I am going to solve the Riemann hypothesis, or any of the Seven Millennia problems. It is highly unlikely that I am goiing to come up with a Grand unified theory of everyhiing and it is highlly unlikely that I am going to solve the problem of a coherent quantisiation of Einstein's theory of relativity. Given that better people have been there before me and have tried to solve the problem and have not achieved anything lasting.

Ok so what is it I think I can at least aritculate, it is, it is whether or not there is  a  connection between the philosophy of language and the rejection of bivalence as enshrined with Michael Dummet ideas
and the fact that the mathematical stucture of quantum mechanics seems to imply a similar rejection of bivalence as enshrined in the Kochen Specker paradox. Both would seem to imply a rejection of realism but how far does this go ?

See for example Dummett


and Kochen Specker Paradox


For a current interpreation of quantum mechanics which tries to circumvent this dilemma see Topos theory the simplest introduction to which I know of can be accessed here.


It seems to me at least articulating what the possible connections between the three  issues namely whether

1) Does Micheal Dummet's assetion that realist theories of epsitemology or metaphysics are commited to bivalence hold water

2) Does the fact that quantum mechancs seems to imply an adherence to non realism via the Kochen Specker paradox spell the death knell for realist interpreations of quantum physics such as Bohm's intepretation or even worse the Many worlds interpretation ( I hope so).

3) How far do theories such as Topos theory circumvent the problem of realism and the implications of the Kochen Specker paradox . It seems to me that they go some way but not far enough.

 would be worthy of an MSc by research in philosophy as I've not seen any full lengrh account of the issue, but it seems to be mentioned in passing in a number of papers.

So why don't I take a breather and write a research proposal for the Logic and language department of philosophy at Ediunbrgh University ?


and see whether they would take me on part time, and then get accepted by say Octobet this year or certainly October 2012 ? Instead of getting bogged down both time wise and financially in pursuing formal qualifications in mathematics and philosophy via the Open university or other sources. After all I do not need a knowledge of complex analyisis, Kant's critiique of pure reason or especially Heidegger's Being and Time or Nietszche's Genealogy of morals interesting as it would be to pursue these issues in some depth, to be able to pursue the question as  to whether there is a link between Dummet's rejection of Bivalence and realism and wheher or not quantum mechanics in it's present form implies the rejection of bivalence and as a consequence  lends some support to Dummet's ideas.  I do not need say for example the course in functional analysis offered by the OU MSc especially as it explicitly states that it does not deal with any concrete applications of the subject eg to say quantum physics.   I feel I can get such knowledge from say Kreyszig or even tackle Von Neumann directly now that being embroiled in M337 and M208 has given me a degree of confidence in handling pure mathematical concepts which I didn't have before.

Clearly I need to invesitgate these issues further the question is given time and finances whether or nor I can do this in a reasonable amount of time and financial cost ? Given that fee's are going to skyrocket over the next few years then it would seem reasonable to cut one's losses and just go for it.

On the other hand  I am handicapped by a lack of self confidence in putting this forward given the as yet lack of formal qualifications in both pure  Maths and philosophy. On the other hand waiting 5 years or so before I can gain  the qualifications to get me there isn't going to help me either. So as a compromse I wait a couple of years whilst I finish the degree in maths and my open degree in social sciences the Arts and philosophy supplemented by Geoffrey Klempner's pathway courses and his associateship. He is an expert in Dummet so at least from the philosophical side I should get some idea as to whether or not my ideas are on the right track or whether or niot I'm just talking rubbish.


After that just go for it rather than handicap myself with yet another financial and time burden just chasing after qualifications which whilst definitely worth it distract one from achieving one's real  goals. So yes I will complete my current courses and do the other pure maths course to complete the degree and also My open degree with the philosophy of mind course and Geoffrey Klempner;s pathways modules but then instead of spending circa £12000 on getting the MSc in maths and a correspoinding MA in continental philosophy spending what will be £6,000 on a parttime MSc by research (assuming I get accepted) will save me a lot of money and time to achieve the goal I really want.  So I'll finish the two degrees I'm aiming for but not bother with the MSc's and take my chances, sooner or later you have to break away, at least I am aware of what I should know and also what I want to explore.

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