The misconception is that once you have specified everything... - Deepstash

The misconception is that once you have specified everything that exists in the physical world and what happens to it, then you have explained every­thing that can be explained. Does that sound indisputable? For it is easy to get drawn into this way of thinking with­out ever realising that one has swallowed a number of substantive assumptions that are unwarranted. You can't explain what a computer is solely by specifying the computation it is actually per­forming at a given time; you need to explain what the possible com­putations it could perform are, if it were programmed in possible ways.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THEBOOK

Things that have not happened -- but could happen -- are the things that constitute the world of counterfactuals, a neglected area of scientific theory.

A luminous guide to how the radical new science of counterfactuals can reveal the full scope of our universe. There is a vast class of properties, which science has so far neglected, that relate not only to what is true the actual but to what could be true: the counterfactual. This is the science of can and can't.

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