Publication 1141

Stafford R. D. (2013) The foundations of physical reality: Third edition. Alphagraphics, Pearl MS. Fulltext at
This book presents a mathematical analysis of explanations. A valid explanation must be self-consistent, and the expectations it generates must be valid. Beyond this, the correctness of any ontology defined by an explanation cannot be investigated. The analysis does not operate with speculative arguments about reality. Instead, it defines a fully general framework where the logical consequences of mere self-consistency can be analyzed. Self-consistency implies symmetries which can be mathematically expressed. That expression is true for any self-consistent explanation, and it also stands only a few algebraic steps away from the relationships of quantum mechanics, electromagnetism and special relativity. General relativity also arises as an approximated solution, from a framework that is fully consistent with quantum mechanics. The fact that modern physics can be deduced this way implies that physics is not so much about reality as it is about valid mental representations of expectations of reality. The algebraic steps in the analysis represent arbitrary terminology choices, and the rest falls out from self-consistency alone. Expectations can always be expressed in a form where the data is categorized to look like modern physics. Also it is shown that the same expectations can always be expressed in many different but equally valid forms. Relevance: The book deals with epistemological questions on a constructivist background and portrays “ontological claims,” i.e., claims about actual reality as undefendable (belief based) and thus meaningless.


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