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The challenge of finding notes

May 31, 2011

I ran across an old notebook from my days at the American Institute for Economic Research–the days when I studied and wrote in the philosophy of science–with a note the back pag:

In describing the human body we must realize the whole and particulars. The whole is the body we see and touch. It is what we assign names, such as Scott or Tara. However, there are particulars, namely atoms that comprise the whole.

Now let’s look at the forces on the body. One may ask, how can such a body stay together here on Earth? Why not when we walk do our legs move and our torso remain in place? That being so, why are we not being pulled apart, but instead remain steady on Earth.

The answer is two-fold. For one, we stay together because bones and tissue make us continguous. Bone and tissue are comprised of cells which are built by atoms. We, therefore, stay in one piece becasue of atoms and the strong and weak forces of physics.

The second part, why we are not floating away, rests on gravity.

So to answer the question, how can we physically exist on Earth, is answered by two parts, both necessary and yet not sufficient. We stay as a whole because of the strong and weak forces of atomic physics. We remain together in one piece here on Earth because of gravity. Is this not two theories to answer one question which can also be phrased as a hypothesis? If it is a bad hypothesis/question, what makes it so?

It seems to be an introduction to a paper I never finished writing. I think it was going to address the Duhem-Quine thesis with some elements relating to a good or bad hypothesis. Probably on the separability of the two concepts. I wonder if it was going to be a good paper…

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