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Dirac’s Sea of Particles

In Chapter 24 of the Road to Reality Roger Penrose gives a concise explanation of the emergence of quantum field theory.

The story revolves around Paul Dirac. In order to account relativistically for quantum particles there is a requirement for the existence of various anti-particles and virtual particles. The electron must have a positron, for example, and all the forces must be transmitted by particles also, electromagnetism by photons, Nuclear force by gluons, etc.

The reason for this requirement I think is, on the basic level, two fold:

Firstly, time must be treated on the same footing as the spatial dimensions in order to combine the quantum theory with relativity. And this requires a reimagining of certain fundamental quantities such as energy and mass.

Secondly, reality is to be constrained by conservation principles and treated as a closed system where energy cannot emerge from nothing or disappear into nothing. As a result, each particle is balanced out by proposed anti-particles.

The final picture that emerges is the Dirac sea, where it is argued the reason electrons do not spontaneously get emitted from an atom below their basic positive level is because of a dirac sea of positrons occupying all the space on the mirror side of the physical universe of forces. This dirac sea is used to explain the stability of electrons in their orbits of atoms at the lowest energy levels.

Now, I need to clarify and look into this much more granted, but it raises an interesting question based on other stuff that I have read:

Could this dirac sea be equivalent to the zero point field, or ether, of energy proposed by some competing theories that don’t rely on the requirement of energy conservation for the universe as a whole, due to treating it as an open system not a closed system? If so, perhaps this could be an avenue to save us from some quite arbitrary introduction of countless new particles, that seem to keep being required to balance out the energy of the other particles. Not to mention the requirements for dark energy and dark matter.

Could all this arbitrary scaffolding be removed simply by acknowledging we live in an open universe on the fundamental level, in which processes are fundamental, not particles, and in which there is no need to restrict ourselves to a perspective or frame of reference of closing some box around the universe in order to isolate particulate entities. Is this a case of something I have been arguing in various ways for a long time, that we have been confusing our model/replica/limited copy of reality with the reality itself?

Time, and more study, will tell.

Road to Reality – Point-like Atoms vs Quantum “Stuff”

What is a quantum entity, and how do we reconcile it with the framework of space and time which is designed for atomic, point-like entities?

This could turn out to be the unsolvable conundrum of a certain paradigm in physics, from which we will only be able to extricate ourselves by questioning aspects of this paradigm.

I read back on the work of Bertrand Russell in the early 20th century before the quantum revolution and see how sure people were of some sort of atomic picture of the small scale things. Then I look at what has happened since, and see how it has blown apart these hopes of surety.

I now find myself reading through the sections on the quantum particle and quantum theory algebra in Roger Penrose’s Road to Reality and see a great attempt to face this conundrum head on, where most scientists seem to prefer to hide in the quantum formalism and ignore some of its metaphysical implications, while most non-scientists prefer to rush to simplistic airy fairy metaphysical conclusions.

If this situation is to be addressed as a real problem in a real world, we have to be clear about what we are presuming reality to be and not take anything for granted. Penrose attempts this refusal to jump to conclusions in this work of his and it is a much appreciated effort.

Who are the Experts?

We hear a lot of talk in the media about following the science and going along with the experts in society. But big presumptions are made here that we can know, trust and rely on who the experts in these fields are. And big presumptions are made that we know what an expert is. But what is an expert? And how do we define one in a non begging the question way? That is, how do we determine expert status without immediately deferring to some expert and endless chain of command of interconnected “experts” all patting each other on the back?

I think a lot of what is traditionally considered to make someone an expert revolves around how much study they have done on something, and how competently they have shown themselves to be in their studies. Once again, we hit problems immediately here though, as who is judging their competence except other people. Where is our neutral and independent arbitrator of competence? It keeps getting moved down the line, deferred to an endlessly receding ultimate authority on a subject, a bit like Aristotle’s prime mover explanation for God. Either that, or they muddy the water in a particular profession or expertise, so that one can refer to another, and another refers back to them, in such a complicated tangle of networks, that we can’t see on first view that it is really just one big, forgive the expression, circle jerk.

An expression often thrown around in this situation is “peer review”. Now, in a situation where you have genuinely independent individuals in a study area, then they have no reason to be biased to their peers in how they review their articles and ideas. But, I doubt you could say we have such a situation anymore, we are increasingly all at the mercy of the same paymasters, particularly in the academic world, who all have the same values, so peer review becomes little more than the aforementioned circle jerk, and everyone just will say what they have to say to get by and ensure they continue getting their pay check.

It is this kind of line of reasoning, when you look into the notion of experts, that explodes and demolishes at the first hurdle, the medias rhetoric, propaganda and confidence in their trust of experts and following the science. It is why I have little time for people who engage in such mindless pronouncements, as they have clearly not made any personal effort to engage in this quite simple and obvious line of reasoning.

Yes, experts still remain, genuine experts, but it has been made murky territory by the absence of true independence of the people involved in these disciplines, as to when they are making claims from a position of competence based on fair and neutral standards, and when they are making claims judged competent merely in line with the unfair biases of their selected profession, who all support each other in their shared values, which also are shared often merely because they have to do to get paid and get funding, not because of any idea that these values are true and correct.

You are much wiser in this situation to form your own critical judgments than to trust the latest media promotion of who the experts are. Deferring to experts in who we could trust was originally one of the things that allowed the modern western world to reach great heights in its science and technology. But their competence is now questioned as is their expert status, when they are not independently corroborated, but are merely protected and supported by a special, elite group of back patters. Now, it is threatening to tear the fabric of western society apart, because we have let ourselves be led on a merry dance by people, who care not for us and not even for their own true selves, but only for their misplaced privileged egos.

The Two Pathways at the Foundation of Being

At the foundation of Being we have two primary options we can choose in how we address things. We can take the Leibnizian approach of the identity of indiscernibles, where, in line with the principle of sufficient reason, for things to be distinct, there must be a ground for that distinction and that ground must be determined relative to one of the things. Or we can take the converse approach, which has become more and more popular ever since the success of Einstein’s more positivist and conventionalist approach to defining space, time and events, which is well formulated and illustrated by Quines principle of the indiscernibility of identicals. This principle states that identical things can be distinct merely and only in virtue of a purely extensional difference between the things. Where Leibniz had in mind an internal differentiation between things as primary, Quine postulates an external difference as the primary demarcating factor between things.

This decision then impacts heavily on ones whole attitude towards reality and life. For if you think an entity has its ground in something external to it, you think that entity has no essence or internal properties. It has no identity or uniqueness within it. While if you think, following Leibniz, that an entity has its ground determined based on internal qualities of its being, you will see things as all unique reflections on the world from a unique perspective. On one side we have the quantitative drudgery of a homogeneous mass of calculable and predictable entities, acting as machines or robots, fully determined by external factors. On the other side we have the quilt like pattern of a diverse range of unique beings flowering and developing in multifarious ways based on their own internal source of drive or motivation.

Personally, I think, as a society, we have had just about enough of the purely quantitative approach to being. This hit its zenith one could say in the exploitation era of pure individualism and capitalism in the late 20th century. And had been developing towards that point ever since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Where the goal was to mechanise and quantify everything. We still see the influence of this mentality in todays society via the algorithms and targeted advertising which try to attract people to certain products and ways of thinking by building up complex information databases about this persons preferences based on previous internet activity etc, in order to control or at least manage their future behaviour. We also still see it in the greed and obsession with money and wealth and property. When your understanding of being is defined on quantitative , extensional factors, it doesn’t just stay in physics class or in formal logic class or mathematics or statistics class, it seeps out into your whole attitude to the world.

This harmful impact and dangerous influence needs to be understood much more fully and in more detail, for the sake of future society, culture and education to ensure we don’t disconnect ourselves from what I believe is our true status of being as unique entities with a unique point of attention and perspective focused on the world. It is a kind of Marxist alienation analysis applied here you could say, but applied much more specifically and focused towards a respect for being and a reasonable understanding of being. Where, the problem with Marx is that he did not appreciate any rationalist philosophy, and in fact had a very naive understanding of philosophy as illustrated in his book the poverty of philosophy. As as result, Marx applied an approach of merely collective reform rather than individual spiritual reform, which actually furthered the alienation of the industrial era and its malaise, by misidentifying any concern with the individual or spirituality as some sort of bourgeiouse privileged thing. By painting it in this way, the unique individual is seen to be something that should be submerged in the collective will of the society, rather than something to be aspired to.

Hopefully we can choose the better road for being in future, and not sacrifice our value as beings to some numerical calculation of quantity.

Do We Need a Monarchy? Response to Russell Brand’s latest YouTube video

Russell Brand has lately been providing a more critical perspective on power and the elite within society, informed by intelligent and reflective thinking on the subject matter. In this post he was questioning the purpose of Monarchy and how they have to walk a thin line between being relatable to regular people, at the same time as seeming distant and superior in some way to justify their continued privilege. Here is a link to his video: . At one point he argues it is hard to defend monarchy from a rational perspective when one thinks about it. And I responded with the following rational way in which one could potentially defend an institution such as monarchy, even though I don’t personally agree with monarchy:

A rational way to look at this also involves thinking about what happens when you create a void of power in a society. Something is going to fill that void, and you have to ask the question if it will be any better or any worse than what is currently entrenched in power? In that sense there are perfectly reasonable ways to defend monarchy, if you want to go down that path. A common alternative to Monarchy is what we see in France and the US, with republican style societies. The original republican society in France turned to a nightmare very fast, and the extreme individualism and Capitalism of the US has to be something also of great concern and seems related to its republican as opposed to monarchy based society. Other rational based societies in history include the Nazis in Germany the communists in Russia, and currently the authoritarian communism in China. I mean are we seeing much better in any of these cases filling the void where monarchies once were? It seems instead they are replaced by people even more ruthless and even more power hungry to control every aspect of society.

And I am not in any way a defender of monarchy. I often consider that they should be made defunct, and particularly if all they are going to contribute is to blabber on about global warming then they should definitely be made defunct. But equally our whole democracy is becoming redundant right now. Our votes clearly don’t count for anything any more, the extreme wealth inequality allows the rich to basically buy elections if not through direct cheating like we see in the US elections then through massive advertising and propaganda campaigns against any political candidate they want to demonise and not get elected. Add to this the fact that most people in the younger generation now are growing up under a science based education system, which I argue has gone too far in its science worship, and involves believing things such that there is no such thing as free will, because all is determined and predetermined by scientific laws. If you have a whole generation of people growing up who believe this kind of stuff then the very foundation of democracy no longer even exists anyway, because that foundation was based on the belief that, in voting, people have free will and agency to make their own informed decisions.

That was my response, and it raises the question is Monarchy a lesser of evils, as far as a means of ordering society goes? The value historically of such an institution is that, based on human nature, we know it is inevitable that people will organise into hierarchical orders, and so an institution least likely to become corrupted is one of passing on a familial tradition. The reasoning being that other types of order involve giving power to people who feel they have somehow “earned” that position. So they tend to become more authoritarian as they feel their power is not an obligation and a duty, but it is a justified thing based on their personal superiority to other people. When you get people like this gathering at the top of a society, I argue, you get the kind of thing we see in the US today. This is people who feel they are inherently superior and justified in wielding that superiority to teach everybody else a lesson. The lesson right now seems to be that we are going to do whatever we want with society and mould it however we feel, regardless of how you vote democratically. And the problem is that these people really think they no better. The spiritual and life connection in society is under attack by people of this kind, and they are hollowing out meaning and value for the rest of us, by turning society into an instrument tuned to fulfil only their needs and desires. The result of this will be the destruction of vitality and creativity in human beings and an increasing inability to change path and adapt when a serious crisis comes upon us. Maybe Monarchy would fair us no better, but I would say the path we are currently following is even bleaker.

The New Authoritarianism

We need to forget worrying about the extreme right and the extreme left, the new version of authoritarianism threatening society is neutral between these two outdated political ideologies. The new authoritarianism is the exploitation of extreme wealth disparity to effectively hold people hostage to that wealth. And to hold people hostage to anyone who has positions within the current bureaucratic system. This new authoritarianism is targeting any and all ways in which people have some independence of that system, and is putting people into a relationship of a cycle of abuse with the authorities from which there is no escape and to which many are submissive in a Stockholm syndrome kind of way.

Seeing children masking up to compete in sports and to go to school, and the case of a teacher in the US being sacked for refusing to enforce masks on students during sports, are just some of the examples of a new low of human control in line with the new authoritarianism. Countries that have had little covid obey the same authoritarian mandates as countries that have had supposedly loads of covid regardless of all extenuating factors. In the UK, I can manage by not meeting up with other people indoors to avoid places where masking is required, and I have refused to this point to wear a mask once. I am not going to assist authoritarians in their mindless mandates. And if that means avoiding many opportunities to socially interact with people in person then I will do that rather than play along with this obvious Stockholm syndrome inducing game.

The compliance and mask wearing is like in the old story of the emperor with no clothes. Everyone puts on a pretence that the emperor has clothes on out of fear of disobeying authority. The reason most people are masking is out of fear that more lockdown restrictions will be enacted, if they are seen to not be complying by hiding behind a mask, not because they have a genuine fear of a virus. This is the sad reality, and it is the reason I refuse to comply with it. Any act done purely as token gesture rather than because you feel it in your own being is giving away some of your freedom and selling away a bit of your soul. They want to scrape away at peoples souls and peoples “Being” till there is no freedom left, and then the authoritarians will have achieved their goal, which is to convince people they have no freedom so that they give it away, for free, ironically enough.

We need to discover a new core of freedom to defend in this new era against all these encroachments. It is difficult and will take time in this globally interconnected world with technology and computer dependence of so many activities, but I think there is a way to discover this core of freedom, and it will be a true and reasonable and impenetrable defence against authoritarianism, unlike all the ideological distractions on the left and the right, which provide no answer, no solace, only stress, confusion and more division.

Book Review: Genesis of the Cosmos, Paul LaViolette

Genesis of the Cosmos: The Ancient Science of Continuous CreationGenesis of the Cosmos: The Ancient Science of Continuous Creation by Paul A. LaViolette
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Quite a convincing alternative cosmological account, guided by a whole new approach to physics called subquantum kinetics. At times I feel that the astrological and other esoteric connections, though they may have some merit, only take away from the purely physical science based ideas, but this is part of the account. For instance, the notions of tired light and some of his criticisms of the big bang theory, black holes, closed systems and theories such as special relativity, he backs up with strong empirical support, regardless of what you think of the more esoteric speculations.

I think in one physics area I do disagree, which is in his suggestion of going back to Newtonian absolute space. We can criticise the finer points of relativity without needing to go back to this notion. And I think we should do this, because a relational view of space and time can be salvaged from special relativity, if not perhaps from aspects of general relativity. The ether that LaViolette refers to as an environment or open system underlying the cosmos from which stars and all matter draw their genic energy from, can be a real thing, without needing to postulate an absolute space container or arena, this latter is part of the closed systems mechanical approach that he rightfully criticises in other areas.

If LaViolette is only part way correct regarding his different view of what is going on at the center of galaxies, and with tired light as explanation for red shift rather than expanding universe, then it will require significant paradigm shifts in physical science, and I do feel that Barbour’s Janus point is perhaps groping towards some of these same ideas from a very different angle, with the common realisation that the universe as a whole cannot be coherently considered as a closed system, but must be considered as an open system. The suggestion is that the center of the galaxy is more like a vibrant pulsating heart, sending out regular wave bursts of matter and energy out in to the galaxy, rather than a cold, dark, lifeless black hole. If correct, it would turn our understanding of our place in the cosmos, and of what the cosmos basically is on a physical level, completely on its head.

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Newton’s Inert Universe Lingers on in our Hearts and Minds

I want to think a bit about in this post why the Newtonian world view has become so dominant in the Anglo Saxon Western Psyche. Firstly, I want to point out that this perspective still predominates despite of Einstein’s theories of Relativity and despite of the findings of Quantum Mechanics, and even through these theories it still wields great influence. The Quantum Field Theory model of today is basically still the same Newtonian model of atoms crashing into each other and exchanging energy, with a few added tweaks of virtual particle exchange and more technical and mathematical complications to allow for. And Einstein’s true relativistic revolution from the special theory and his original relationalist insights in line with Mach and Poincare, was ultimately rejected or shrugged in the general theory’s new form of absolutism. I read a later article by Einstein from around 1937 recently, and in it you can see that his view is very much that of some sort of positivism. A perspective that has simply been rendered long obsolete in philosophical discourse, yet it lingers on in popular discourse and in some natural science presumptions.

I could indicate this state of affairs in many other ways, of the continued preponderance of the Inert Universe of Newton. The way in which we envisage Thermodynamics is also very much geared towards Newtons idea of the clockwork/mechanical universe, that is slowly running down as its parts wear out and fall apart, like some industrial mechanism. And the understanding of Evolution is geared to make itself consistent with this inert realm by insisting that any evolutionary advances or advantages are a result of pure chance and arbitrary luck. Then you can look at favored theories in cosmology, and regarding earth history and the way they still do experiments in physics today. They favor events where objects collide with each other to explain dinosaurs going extinct and other events of this nature and to explain the existence of the moon. And their favorite experiments still involve smashing particles together and seeing what happens in their particle accelerators. All of this has not moved on hardly at all from the billiard ball inert universe that Newton presented us with all that time ago.

This instrumentalisation of the universe as a dead object to be manipulated is what gave the West some success for a few centuries during the industrial revolution, so we keep going back to it, even now when it has long since passed its advantageousness to us. And like in Max Weber’s analogy of the iron cage, the weapons with which we attacked the world we are now using to attack ourselves, and slowly sucking the life and soul out of our being through layers and layers of bureaucratic and obsessive, neurotic control fuelled by distrust and paranoia of our surrounding world. It is no wonder when the world is thought of as dead and hostile, only there for us to mould how we please, to use as means to our ends, that we tend to become suspicious of that world. And it is inevitable karma that the world will bite back at some point against our controlling machinations. You could say it already is, and has been since and including the world wars, but its a long and protracted battle for sure.

I think the only way out is some sort of appreciation of a new ontological perspective, in which we don’t see the world/universe as a fundamentally cold and dead place, but recognise where it has some inherent life and vitality to it. Reading the work of Paul La Violette, who argues for a new cosmological perspective, where there are not black holes as commonly supposed, at the center of galaxies, but instead there are regions of high energy where matter is spontaneously created and periodically spat out in explosions to seed the whole galaxy with fresh bursts of material. Like a pulsating heart of the galaxy, rather than a cold dark hole. This gives us some hope to reach towards a better perspective on the universe. We keep creating theories to fit the old Newtonian paradigm of dead things colliding with each other and exchanging energy as being the basic physical reality to which all else must be reduced, but I think something has to give in this account sooner or later. We cannot expunge our own souls and life in order to save our theories, we must reject the theories for something more consonant with life and being.

Book Review: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum, Lee Smolin

Einstein's Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the QuantumEinstein’s Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum by Lee Smolin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great effort to present a new realist and principled approach to the foundations of our physical understanding of the universe. A relational view of space-time dimensions, a view of space as emergent, of experienced time felt as fundamentally real. A causal sets view of how it fits together with quantum theory, and all in line with basic principles of reasoning largely inspired by Leibniz’ principles of sufficient reason and of the identity of indiscernibles.

I have pursued and studied Leibniz myself and been likewise fascinated by the potential avenues of exploration from a relational view of space-time, ever since reading the Leibniz correspondence/debate with Newton about relational or absolute space and time, and the relative motion work, De Motu, of Berkeley. Lee Smolin, along with Julian Barbour, is on the front line in theoretical physics bringing some of these deep conceptual ideas and principles to fruition.

My only point of considerable disagreement with Smolin is that reality fundamentally be composed of atomic entities in a void. He seems to waver on this position at the end, where he converts to a more Leibnizian ontology of not full monads, but what he calls “nads”, which amount to “views” on the universe. In which case, there is an issue making this consistent with his principle of reciprocity, as this principle is something that applies very specifically to atomic style models of fundamental entities, of atomic, indivisble, spherical point-like things in the void, exchanging energy and momentum.

If the fundamental thing is instead “views” on the universe then the principle of reciprocity won’t apply to them, as they are either an action without a reaction or they are a reaction without an action. Either way, a “view” does not reciprocate in the usual physical/mechanical way. He rightfully criticises the information perspective on quantum theory for not being grounded in some physical reality and for confusing syntax with semantics, but still this issue remains of how to make a semantics, i.e. a “view” on the universe, consistent with the usual atomistic physical principles, such as reciprocity.

My personal view is that this cannot be achieved in the direction Lee Smolin follows and so we have to deny fundamental reality to the atoms, just as much as we must deny, via relationalism, fundamental reality to external space. If the void of space between the atoms doesn’t exist, then neither do the atoms. This then makes the views on the universe slightly more shadowy entities, but I think its the price you have to pay for a realism that does not confound reality with some model of reality that we created.

(A possible direction to go here would be to connect up with Saul Kripke’s ideas of names as rigid designators in philosophy of language. His causal histories way of individuating entities is somewhat reminiscent of the causal sets that Lee Smolin turns to.)

The ways in which he explains how space can be seen as an emergent phenomenon based on different views of the universe is fascinating as our many of his ideas related to his temporal relationalism, and the idea that even laws of nature can evolve over time. As soon as you take a background independent approach to space-time you are launched into all these initially very counter intuitive domains, but I think he rightfully sees that this is the only route for progress to be made, because the other route is for us to stagnate in background dependent models where we keep hitting against the same wall, making the same mistake of confounding our models of reality with reality itself.

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John Stachel’s “Holey” interpretation of the Hole Argument

I have been reading through and glancing over sections of this article the past few days and something was bothering me about it, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint it at first.

The issue revolves around Stachel’s claim that Leibniz’ principle of identity of indiscernibles is disobeyed by the points of space-time in general relativity. This is something I have covered in my first book and revolves also around this issue of external relations.

Stachel wrongly claims in an historically revisionist kind of manner that The Leibnizian view had largely held the field in the first half of the 20th century, when it is precisely a failure to appreciate his view that disconnected positivistic science in that era from philosophy, and led to the whole bitter era of dismissing all philosophy as nonsensical metaphysics. They misunderstand Leibniz and do not realise the dangerous implications for a reasonable way of understanding and being in the universe, by postulating arbitrary external relations as preceding any internal relation we have with things. The whole point, and very manifestation of this, is as an absolute, externalised, space-time arena or container, in to which we are “thrown”, to use a Heideggerian term. And the whole purpose of doing it is to disconnect us with being, as a means of organised scientific control through education.

Now, leaving aside some of my more speculative claims there, and getting into the specific details of Stacel’s error, he equivocates between two properties he uses called quiddity and haecceity, and how they are related. Quiddity is an objects general nature, while haecceity is somethings more specific nature to simplify. He argues that because we cannot individuate points of space-time, or certain types of quantum particle, they have quiddity, a general nature, but not haecceity, a specific nature. The argument and error is where he says that a point in space time is defined only in relation to other points and that this means it has no haecceity. On the contrary, I would argue that this begs the question against the Leibnizian view on this point. Leibniz’s principle requires that a thing be individuated based on its properties, and one of his key arguments regarding relationalism of space and time is that some of the properties of a thing are the unique ways it is related to other things in space and time. Those relations are also internal to a thing and give it a specific nature. It would beg the question against Leibniz to say that those properties are external, unless you have some other assumed premise or claim that relationalism is impossible as a view of space and time, but this can’t itself be part of your argument against the relationalist view of space and time, as it would then beg the question.

He may have other arguments, but not in this section of the article, and from what I have read from theoretical physicists such as Julian Barbour, and Lee Smolin in there current work, there is every reason to hope that a relationalist view of space time can be made to fit consistently with our universe and account fully for general relativity and the usual stuff. It also makes me unclear what side of the hole argument he is coming down on. For if, as I had thought and assumed, he believes the hole argument is refuted and general relativity space-time is a consistent patch work with no areas that are ambiguous and unaccountable for, then this would surely show that space-time points do have specific and individualised properties, i.e. they have haecceity as well as quiddity. I can only assume then he is claiming the hole argument is an issue of ambiguity for general relativity as Einstein himself feared for a few years in the 1910’s. But in that case the issue would effect the application of general relativity to reality, not the nature of reality itself, because it would show a limitation to the theory.

In either case, I find myself quite confused and baffled by various things Stachel says in this article that just don’t chime with what I have learned myself and read about relationalist views of space and time, and about internal and external relations and about how to use and apply the Leibnizian principle of the identity of indiscernibles. Perhaps he could clarify some of these points, and I will certainly take a fresh look at the article and other relevant literature to update my own views accordingly if I have made some error here.

But, for now, from the way I see it, the Leibnizian principle stands firm, and as I have said elsewhere and developed the story of in my first book, the implications of denying this principle are quite catastrophic for our attempts to get a genuine understanding of the reality of things.

I will concur with Stachel that when it comes to quantum particles, we do seem to have a genuine case of the identity of indiscernibles breaking down, and of entities with quiddity (a general nature) but not haecceity (a specific/individual nature), but of course in this case they actually behave in ways suggesting they are in some sense literally identical entities when we look at phenomena such as coherent light of a load of Bosons. Thus, they actually tend to become identical by being indiscernible, in line with Leibniz’ principle. Another example being the non local action between two quantum particles, this shows how their identity as entities is overcoming the spatial separation. It shows once more of the secondary and contingent nature of external ways of distinguishing things compared to the internal nature of things., that takes priority both in how things behave and in how we should interpret and discern things with our reason. If we cannot discern the individual quantum particles in certain cases, all the more proof of the standard accepted view of quantum theory that there is an uncertainty of location and identity in space and time of quantum particles.

As for the individuation of space-time points, you are dealing there with something completely different, and you cannot refuse to allow part of the individuation of a space-time point to be its relationship to other space-time points without begging the question against relationalist view, unless you provide some independent grounds for objecting to relationalism.