09-07-2016, 07:25 PM

First, a theorem is a theorem. So, its character is mathematical. It starts with assumptions and derives conclusions.

The assumptions as well as the conclusions may be philosophical as well as physical (there is anyway no certain boundary between them). Once in the case of Bell's theorem the conclusions - the inequality - can be tested empirically, the conclusions have physical character. Thus, given the mathematical character of the proof, the assumptions, taken together, have physical character too.

On the other hand, this holds only for their combination. Each of the assumptions, taken alone, may be (and with high probability really is) insufficient to derive any falsifiable conclusion. Thus, taken separately, they have metaphysical character.

Secur, your "given the observations, anyone who's competent can figure out the theory" is completely wrong. The observations of stars have been there for thousands of years, but nobody has figured out the Copernican revolution before Copernicus. Out of incompetence? The atomic system as well as the spectral properties of various elements were essentially all the observational evidence sufficient to establish quantum theory. But it was known many years before quantum theory was found. Out of incompetence?

Then I think you underestimate Popper. Popper is good in explaining things, so what he claims seems quite obvious and self-evident if one follows him. But, sorry, to defeat logical positivists was not simple at all. At least nobody has succeeded before him. And whenever I read criticism of Popper, be it Feyerabend, Lakatos, Kuhn or Habermas, I'm frustrated by the strawman they criticize - some strange mixture of Popper with positivism instead of Popper himself.

Of course, Popper is not always right, his political philosophy contains some interesting arguments but is otherwise weak, and his probability interpretation one can forget (Jaynes is much better).

The assumptions as well as the conclusions may be philosophical as well as physical (there is anyway no certain boundary between them). Once in the case of Bell's theorem the conclusions - the inequality - can be tested empirically, the conclusions have physical character. Thus, given the mathematical character of the proof, the assumptions, taken together, have physical character too.

On the other hand, this holds only for their combination. Each of the assumptions, taken alone, may be (and with high probability really is) insufficient to derive any falsifiable conclusion. Thus, taken separately, they have metaphysical character.

Secur, your "given the observations, anyone who's competent can figure out the theory" is completely wrong. The observations of stars have been there for thousands of years, but nobody has figured out the Copernican revolution before Copernicus. Out of incompetence? The atomic system as well as the spectral properties of various elements were essentially all the observational evidence sufficient to establish quantum theory. But it was known many years before quantum theory was found. Out of incompetence?

Then I think you underestimate Popper. Popper is good in explaining things, so what he claims seems quite obvious and self-evident if one follows him. But, sorry, to defeat logical positivists was not simple at all. At least nobody has succeeded before him. And whenever I read criticism of Popper, be it Feyerabend, Lakatos, Kuhn or Habermas, I'm frustrated by the strawman they criticize - some strange mixture of Popper with positivism instead of Popper himself.

Of course, Popper is not always right, his political philosophy contains some interesting arguments but is otherwise weak, and his probability interpretation one can forget (Jaynes is much better).