Gravitation, Quanta and Quantum Gravity – The Epistemological Solution

–  At the end of this  Introduction See links to:
full text of Abstract,  Table of Contents, and the Manuscript

On Transcending Tautology and

The Question of Reality and Knowledge in Theoretical Physics

by  W.F. Heinrich

 The Solution to the QG- and λproblem

      The manuscript made available on this site represents original research and the solution to the quantum gravity and the cosmological constant problem. The material posted here is that which had been available on my old website between Oct. 2011 and Oct. 2013. Since I made this first draft of my research available to the general public, improvements in its representation have caused me to delay the publication of the hard cover version until I am satisfied with the simpler presentation. The results of the analysis remain the same. However, new insights strengthen the underlying logical basis oft this analysis and its methodology and make its results easier to understand.

      The quantum gravity problem, the relationship between general relativity and quantum theory, and the cosmological constant problem are considered to be two important and fundamental problems of physics. In this analysis, they are viewed as problems in relating the concept of energy density in general relativity and in quantum field theory. Despite beliefs to the contrary, these are not problems solvable by experimental research but are epistemological in nature. They are also related to the issue of the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the physical sciences, a phrase made popular by the title of Wigner’s 1960 article. This issue is restricted here to physics. The technical solution of these two problems in this context demonstrate the correctness of the views expressed by Margenau, Kuhn and others, that the physicist does not discover, but creates his universe.

      The reason the two problems are epistemological in nature hinges on a simple point of logic. The concept mass, with the concept of gravitational mass identified with the concept of inertial mass, is quantified and defined by gravitational phenomenology. Therefore, on purely logical grounds, the concept of mass so defined cannot then be used in the theories of physics as an explanation of the very phenomenology used to define and quantify it. This applies to later castings of Newton’s theory of gravitation (after the value of G was determined by the Cavendish experiment) and would appear as well apply to Einstein’s theory of gravitation, if indeed it is one. What actually is the case, and the methodology used to deal with these issues, is described in the Manuscript made available here although not in its most recent form.



Local Links  to Documents (PDF’s)

Links to other relevant articles:

Brian D. Josephson The truth of Science: Physical Theories and Reality

Brian D. Josephson: Pathological Disbelief


Content copyright 2011   All rights reserved.



3 thoughts on “Gravitation, Quanta and Quantum Gravity – The Epistemological Solution

  1. Prof. Henry Margenau, from “Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist” :
    ” It is perfectly clear that Albert Einstein, in common with practically all scientists, assumes the existence of the external world, an objective world, i.e., one that is largely independent of the human observer. To quote Einstein from his “Clerk Maxwell’s Influence on the Evolution of the Idea of Physical Reality” : ‘ The belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science. Since, however, sense perception only gives information of this external world or of ‘physical reality’ indirectly, we can only grasp the latter by speculative means. It follows from this that our notions of physical reality can never be final. We must always be ready to change these notions — that is to say, the axiomatic structure of physics — in order to do justice to perceived facts in the most logically perfect way. ‘
    On the one hand one has here as identification of physical reality with the external world, on the other an insistence upon the difference between an essence of reality and what it appears to be. Indeed there is implied a three-fold distinction between an external world, the observer’s perception of that external world, and our notions of it; for as we have seen before, the axiomatic structure of physics is not abstracted from sensory experience. To some of the interesting questions, which arise at this point, answers seem to be lacking. Having been reared in the Kantian tradition, Einstein conceivably espouses a ‘Ding an sich’, [‘thing per se’] which is intrinsically unknowable. More likely, however, he would hold any characterization of reality in terms other than those provided by science as irrelevant and regard the question as to the metaphysical attributes of reality as unimportant. Under those conditions, what is meant by the assertion that there is an external world independent of the perceiving subject becomes problematical. Like most scientists, Einstein leaves unanswered the basic metaphysical problem underlying all science, the meaning of externality. There may be perceived a curious trace of rationalism in the passage last quoted. Sense perception, we are told, gives information about physical reality in a manner called indirect. This innocent word, of course, hides a multitude of epistemological problems upon which the scientist does not care to express himself. ” —

    Prof. William Byers, from “The Blind Spot” :
    ” It is certainly conceivable that the clarity we perceive in the world is something we bring to the world, not something that is there independent of us. The clarity of the natural world is a metaphysical belief that we unconsciously impose on the situation. We consider it to be obvious that the natural world is something exterior of us and independent of our thoughts and sense impressions; we believe in a mind-independent reality. Paradoxically, we do not recognize that the belief in a mind-independent reality is itself mind-dependent. Logically, we cannot work our way free of the bubble we live in, which consists of all of our sense impression and thoughts. The pristine world of clarity, the natural [external] world independent of the observer, is merely a hypothesis that cannot, in principle, ever be verified. To say that the natural world is ambiguous is to highlight this assumption. It is to emphasize that the feeling that there is a natural world ‘out there’ that is the same for all people at all times, is an assumption that is not self-evident. This is not to embrace a kind of solipsism and to deny the reality of the world. It is to emphasize that the natural [external] world is intimately intertwined with the world of the mind.” —

  2. The Question of [external] Reality and Knowledge — To make the long story short, our knowledge of the so-called “external” reality comes from our sensory perceptions. According to science, when we experience “seeing”, we experience it where it happens, and it happens INSIDE the brain, of course, because where else?

    However, despite this obvious scientific empirical “fact”, we seem to be under a strong impression that, somehow, we see the external reality OUTSIDE our brains, where it rightfully belongs, as opposed to, for example, seeing our dreams that take place entirely inside our brains.

    Interestingly, even while dreaming, we are still subject to similar impression, namely that there is an “external” reality to our dreams, which is independent of us, our wishes and actions.

    If science were to be correct, then it simply follows that it would be physically impossible for us to be “seeing” outside of our brains.

    Then, the following question arises: if we are not “seeing” outside of our brains, because it is simply physically impossible (according to science) then do we really see the external reality?

    It would follow that what we really see is at best, essentially, a waking state equivalent of a dream. In other words we could say that what we call “external” reality is an aspect of our consciousness, which is created by our mind :

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