•  31
    The quest for truth of Stephen Hawking
    Scientia et Fides 9 (1): 47-61. 2021.
    With his bestselling publication, A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking introduced in 1988 a new genre by connecting modern science with the question of the existence of God. In the posthumous publication Brief Answers to the Big Questions, he continues with his quest for the ultimate truth. The current study presents a philosophical analysis of this search in terms of the classical philosophy of Aristotle and Aquinas. Causality is the central concept employed by Hawking. However, its meaning…Read more
  •  28
    Aristotle and the Foundation of Quantum Mechanics
    Acta Philosophica 29 (II): 395-414. 2020.
    The four antinomies of Zeno of Elea continue to be provoking issues that remain relevant for the foundation of science. Aristotle used this antinomy to arrive at a deeper understanding of movement : it is a fluent continuum that he considers to be a whole. The parts, if any, are only potentially present. Similarly, quantum mechanics states that movement is quantized ; things move or change in nonreducible steps, the so-called quanta. This view is in contrast to classical mechanics, where infinit…Read more
  •  56
    The four antinomies of Zeno of Elea, especially Achilles and the tortoise continue to be provoking issues which are even now not always satisfactory solved. Aristotle himself used this antinomy to develop his understanding of movement: it is a fluent continuum that has to be treated as a whole. The parts, if any, are only potentially present in the whole. And that is exactly what quantum mechanics is claiming: movement is quantized in contrast to classical mechanics. The objective of this study …Read more
  •  175
    The Universe as a Computer Game, from Virtual to Actual Reality
    Scientia et Fides 6 (1): 31-52. 2018.
    From the very beginning of ancient Greek philosophy up to the present day a puzzling correlation is found between rationality and reality. In this study this relation is examined with emphasis on the philosophical tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas. A comparison is made with the virtual reality created by computers and actual reality of our universe. The view expressed in the scientific neopositivism of Jordan and Mach is found to be an adequate approach to avoid contradictions in the interpreta…Read more
  •  303
    This chapter summarizes the reflections of a scientist active in optical communication about the need of ethical considerations in technological research. An optimistic definition of ethics, being the art to make good use of technology, is proposed that emphasizes the necessarily involvement of not only technologists but also experts in humanity. The paper then reviews briefly the research activities of a Dutch national consortium where the author had been involved. This mainly academic research…Read more
  •  521
    Life and Quantum Biology, an Interdisciplinary Approach
    Acta Philosophica 24 (1): 69-86. 2015.
    The rapidly increasing interest in the quantum properties of living matter stimulates a discussion of the fundamental properties of life as well as quantum mechanics. In this discussion often concepts are used that originate in philosophy and ask for a philosophical analysis. In the present work the classic philosophical tradition based on Aristotle and Aquinas is employed which surprisingly is able to shed light on important aspects. Especially one could mention the high degree of unity in livi…Read more
  •  810
    The title of the present book suggests that scientific results obtained in mathematics and quantum physics can be in some way related to the question of the existence of God. This seems possible to us, because it is our conviction that reality in all its dimensions is intelligible. The really impressive progress in science and technology demonstrates that we can trust our intellect, and that nature is not offering us a collection of meaningless absurdities. We first of all intend to show with r…Read more
  •  49
    Probably the most challenging issue in science and advanced technology is the ever increasing complexity. The term complexity refers to the experience that the complex whole is more than the sum of the parts. Emergence of new properties is observed at all levels, from relatively simple physical systems up to high-end evolution in biology or state-of-the-art microprocessors in technology. In this study an effort is made to arrive at an understanding of the underlying ontological basis in terms of…Read more
  •  374
    The continuing interest in the book of S. Hawking "A Brief History of Time" makes a philosophical evaluation of the content highly desirable. As will be shown, the genre of this work can be identified as a speciality in philosophy, namely the proof of the existence of God. In this study an attempt is given to unveil the philosophical concepts and steps that lead to the final conclusions, without discussing in detail the remarkable review of modern physical theories. In order to clarify these con…Read more
  •  1817
    Philosophical Consequences of the Gödel Theorem
    In Eeva Martikainen (ed.), Human Approaches to the Universe, Luther-agricola-society. 2005.
    In this contribution an attempt is made to analyze an important mathematical discovery, the theorem of Gödel, and to explore the possible impact on the consistency of metaphysical systems. It is shown that mathematics is a pointer to a reality that is not exclusively subjected to physical laws. As the Gödel theorem deals with pure mathematics, the philosopher as such can not decide on the rightness of this theorem. What he, instead can do, is evaluating the general acceptance of this mathematica…Read more
  •  581
    The continuing interest in the book of S. Hawking "A Brief History of Time" makes a philosophical evaluation of the content highly desirable. As will be shown, the genre of this work can be identified as a speciality in philosophy, namely the proof of the existence of God. In this study an attempt is given to unveil the philosophical concepts and steps that lead to the final conclusions, without discussing in detail the remarkable review of modern physical theories. In the first place the concep…Read more