Sunday, June 20, 2010

Some of the things I am working on

I've spent more than three weeks reading a bunch of books that I hope to include in my exams reading list and also for research trip that I'll be making next month. Some research questions popped to mind and I am not sure if I'll make them part of my exams question. They will be refined and refocused along the way but I think I'll just post them as they are for now, and perhaps elicit some responses from some other people. In the meantime, I have to work on completing a still languishing assignment,heh.

--------------------The questions---------------------------------

1. Is there a point, or series of points, by which one can determine the separability between ontology and epistemology in physics proof?
2. We know that the inability of a physical epistemology to accommodate certain empirical evidences can lead to the formulation of other possibilities; whereby the possibilities could either consist of irremediable delimitations in the physics, or the insertion of a new element, formula or model into the frame. How do we know whether the problem encountered within the existing framework is an epistemological question or an ontological one?
i. If it is an ontological question, then we will have to rethink the entire paradigm by which we fit the materialist traces and evidences
ii. If it is epistemological question, it is a question of proof and perhaps also philosophical and ideological adherences. We know from reading history that there are particular strengths and peculiarities within the different national sciences due to particular philosophical subscriptions stemming from its intellectual history.
3. Related to all these are questions on derivations of proofs from first principles and knowledge of when proofs break down that thus requires the injection of a new framework (through mathematical innovations), the importance of a principle in providing a rigorous framework for mathematical derivation/proofs as opposed to providing philosophical insight only (or the combination of both), and the subjectivity of the theoretical thinking versus experimental design/outcomes (level of objectivity required and how does one determine that).
4. How does one resolve the perennial chicken-and-egg question as to which should take precedence; the experimental results or mathematically derived theories as the determinant of the direction physics should take. To understand the evolution and movement of physics within these two spaces.
5. Can one think about gendering in the epistemological production of physics and mathematical physics? I don’t mean that the epistemology of science has a ‘sex’ in the biological sense but rather the notion of reproductive difference in the contestation between ideas, ideals and concepts. And the concept of the genre. How would feminist epistemology, or feminist science, come into play, if it is possible?

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