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Reinterpretation of Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius: On the Antirealism Tendency in Modern Physics

Victor Christianto, Florentin Smarandache


Borges has a rare ability to put wild ideas into detective stories with a unique reporting style. At least that is the impression that we got from reading his short stories. In particular, one of his short stories is worth noting: Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. The story told us about a mysterious country called Uqbar, apparently in an unofficial reprint of Encyclopedia Britannica. It also tells about Tlön, a mysterious planet, created purely by imaginative minds. While this story clearly criticizes the Berkeleyan view and may be not related to our daily reality, a reinterpretation of this story leads us to a long-standing discourse in the philosophy of science: To what extent does the entirety of modern physics follow such a Berkeley-antirealism tendency? This paper intends to bring this subject to our attention. We will also briefly discuss antirealism in certain trends in theoretical physics and cosmology.

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