Born in Haifa, Israel, David Deutsch was educated at Cambridge University The Fabric of Reality] makes this theme coherent with some well-thought-out. DAVID DEUTSCH THINKS SO. THE FABRIC. OF REALITY tent with what we know about quantum compu- cle could be in, a kind of probability distribution. For David Deutsch, a young physicist of unusual originality, quantum theory contains our most fundamental knowledge of the physical world. Taken literally.
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Editorial Reviews. medical-site.info Review. "Our best theories are not only truer than common The Fabric of Reality: Towards a Theory of Everything (Penguin Science) - Kindle edition by David Deutsch. In The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch traces what he considers the four main strands of scientific explanation: quantum . David Deutsch's The Fabric of Reality () is a scientific work of extraordinary ambition, which aims to explain the 'Theory of Everything'. (though not in the. Deutsch is writing a book on physics and philosophy entitled The Fabric of Reality. Lockwood is a feUow of Green CoUege and lecturer at the depart- ment for.
He later considered the notes of the musical scale and inferred the heavenly harmonies produced by the celestial choir. The serious-minded Laplace, writing his brief history of astronomy a couple of centuries later, is shocked. How could someone as smart as Kepler do this? What was he thinking? If things work out well for David Deutsch, it's possible that an as yet unborn historian will write similar things about him in the twenty-third century.
Some parts of his modestly-titled The Fabric of Reality are interesting and insightful. In particular, he makes a rather good case for the reality of the quantum multiverse, which already seems to have had a considerable effect: I didn't realize it at the time, but I've seen him quoted more than once. Deutsch's presentation combines themes from two of his heroes, Hugh Everett the inventor of the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics and Karl Popper. Deutsch starts by asking, with Popper, about the nature of the scientific process.
He claims that it is primarily about using evidence-based argument to weigh the merits of rival explanations; the best scientific theory is the one that is currently winning the arguments.
He persuasively suggests that, on these reasonable-sounding criteria, Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation is in fact the best way to think about quantum mechanics. In particular, it is by far the most intuitive way to think about quantum computers, a subject where Deutsch has played a pioneering role.
If you are at all interested in these matters, I strongly recommend reading his clear, lucid exposition. And then From its logical, eminently sane beginnings, the book gradually descends into more and more bizarre territory. Deutsch introduces his eccentric personal take on the Church-Turing thesis, and uses it to derive all manner of odd consequences.
Deutsch considers that his worldview may be called the "rst genuine Theory of Everything; it would stand in strong contrast to the reductionist theories given that title at present.
In fact he believes his approach may enable us to unify and explain not just science, but philosophy, logic, mathematics, ethics, politics and aesthetics. In each strand, Deutsch argues, progress is at present obstructed because the best available theory may be accepted in principle, but in practice it is modi"ed or reinterpreted, or it is used but its real meaning is ignored.
In each strand, Deutsch has a hero who has argued for full acceptance of the theory, and the book is dedicated to the memory of the "rst three, and to the fourth.
S 1 3 5 5 - 2 1 9 8 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 - 0 Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics For quantum physics his hero is Hugh Everett, initiator of the many-universe or just multiverse view of quantum theory, the approach of which today Deutsch is himself the strongest advocate.
For all the counter-intuitive nature of the multiverse idea, Deutsch considers that Everett was merely accepting the true nature of quantum theory or, more fundamentally, the evidence from simple interference experiments , while followers of Copenhagen conspired to avoid it. It was not till the advent of quantum computation and the development of astrophysics, Deutsch believes, that practitioners of at least a few disciplines had to take the multiverse idea seriously. Deutsch's hero in epistemology is Karl Popper.
Deutsch admits that the Popperian view of the progress of science is largely accepted in principle by both scientists and philosophers. It is widely agreed that theories are conjectures, that many will be refuted by analysis and criticism in which experimental testing plays a crucial role, and that, at least in practice, surviving theories do provide reliable knowledge. But Deutsch still calls most philosophers crypto-inductivists, because they do not understand why this procedure works; they reject induction, yet they feel the need for some sort of replacement.
For Deutsch, the answer has already been given by Popper; no replacement is needed because science is not a process of deriving predictions from observations, but of "nding the best possible explanations. The work of Alan Turing, Deutsch's hero for computation, has led to the fundamental Turing principle, one form of which states that there may exist a universal computer which can be programmed to perform any computation that any other physical object can perform.
The principle is very widely accepted, but many of those who claim to accept it deny what Deutsch considers to be a simple corollary, that, at least in principle, arti"cial intelligence is possible.
Deutsch suggests that, had not Turing and Everett been obliged to waste their time and energy defending ideas which should have been seen to ow inevitably from well-accepted theories, either of them could easily have discovered quantum computation decades before Deutsch himself did so in The fourth strand is evolution, and Deutsch's hero here is Richard Dawkins.
In a popular book, Deutsch feels no need to describe the competitors to his favoured approaches, none of which, in any case, he believes, has much merit.
Neither does he feel required to defend his theories against the well-known arguments of his critics. Thus professional readers of his book will miss the cautious building-up of the argument, the willingness to consider all conceivable objections to the case being made, and to attempt to respond to them in advance, that they would expect to "nd in a learned journal or monograph.
Each reader may well "nd points to complain about. Deutsch does mention the wave approach in his discussion of the Bohm model, which he admits, unlike Copenhagen, provides a genuine explanation of quantum theory. However, there seems no reason to disallow the wave concept at the outset, and so one might argue in reverse, that Deutsch's many universes are just equivalent to Bohm's particle and wave in a single universe. Deutsch appears not to acknowledge that Bohm's theory is a genuine statistical mechanics in which each particle travels along a de"nite path.
In his discussion of epistemology, and as a keen supporter of Popper, Deutsch is obliged to launch a strong attack on Thomas Kuhn, but the Kuhn he attacks is mainly, I feel, a "gment of his own reconstruction. Thus Deutsch regards as a perfect counter-example to Kuhn the events that transpired when Everett told his supervisor, John Wheeler, of his multiverse theory. In fact a more typical example of incommensurability was Kuhn's own surprise at "nding himself unable to appreciate or make a coherent judgement on scienti"c work of an earlier age.
When a paradigm shift does occur, one might "nd, at least as often as Deutsch's negative response, a member of the old guard saddened by an inability to come to terms with the new paradigm, but still supporting the obvious talent of the new generation.
One might also question Deutsch's assertion that being sceptical of the possibility of arti"cial intelligence is akin to admitting that our best theories of physics and engineering tell us we can travel to Mars, but still denying that we could actually do so.
This is true, but it is also a truism of the history of science that extrapolating theories beyond their regions of known applicability is very dangerous. Of course, judging where the boundaries may be is likely to be just as hazardous, but we should not be too surprised if some consider that there might be something special about the human brain.
Perhaps they are wrong, and will be viewed in the course of time as reactionary, yet for the moment there may still be a case for caution, and perhaps even humility. Even Deutsch's discussion of the history of evolution may seem a little out of focus.
Darwin's ideas have long been accepted as generally true, but they were certainly not complete as originally presented, as they provided no mechanism for the mutations he required for his theory to work.
Support and explanation have been provided by later generations, who have also not been averse to re-analysing and providing variations on Darwin's original scheme.
Certainly Dawkins has been correct in emphasising that the punctuated equilibrium scheme in particular, interesting as it may be, should be regarded merely as a variant on Darwin, not as a competing theory.