Physics

Mathematics

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I have been intrigued by the theory expounded by the MIT physicist Max Tegmark that the universe is composed entirely of mathematical structure and logical pattern, and that all perceived and measured reality is that which has emerged quite naturally from the mathematics. That theory simplifies the question of why mathematics is such a powerful and necessary tool in the sciences. The theory is platonist in essence, reducing all of existence to pure mathematical forms that, perhaps, lie even beyond the realm of spacetime. Mathematics, in fact, may be eternal in that sense.
The Tegmarkian scheme contains some compelling arguments. One is that atomic and subatomic particles have only mathematical properties (mass, spin, wavelength, etc). Any proton, for example, is quite interchangeable with any other. And, of course, these mathematical particles are the building blocks of the universe, so it follows that the universe is composed of mathematical structures. Another is that the vastness of the universe is not so vast if composed of math, which can outpace any physical greatness with ease, even when all specie of multiple multiplying universes are in the mix. Tegmark's theory coexists happily and cozily with Hugh Everett's famous many-worlds hypothesis.
Dr. Tegmark, by the way, explains our conscious-being status as being the result of the evolution of "self-aware mathematical structures".
I have taken a liking to Max Tegmark. His ideas somehow make a lot of sense to me, and I find his theory actually liberating and satisfying. However, it just about makes the case that reality itself is illusory (which in my heart I'm quite okay with).
Anyway, given the power of his theory, and it's potential utility, I am surprised it has not been a more visible subject of inquiry and reflection among philosophers. I would be delighted to know the place that such theory has in the philosophy of existence, the philosophy of mathematics, the theory of knowledge, or the philosophy of science. Is Tegmark's theory an active and common subject of debate? (I think it should be.)
Accepted:September 24, 2016

Accepted:

September 24, 2016