in a philosophical account of physics. Such an evasion, however, engenders its own difficulties. It cannot treat the interrelation of theories in classical physics. Contemporary particle physics, like the atomic physics that preceded it, develops through an incessant dialog between theoreticians and experimenters. Regardless of how well theories fit reality as it exists objectively, or whether any coherent sense can be made of such a criterion, theories must be made to fit reality as reported by experimenters. The language of their discourse demands analysis. Finally, as will be argued later, a consideration of the role of language is a prerequisite to any clarification of the interrelated problems of the continuity underlying conceptual revolutions in physics and the objectivity of the physics involved.
The remainder of this article follows the following order. First, we consider ordinary language and focus on the problems of informal inferences and objectivity. Second, we consider the transformation of an ordinary language conceptual core into LCP. Third, we consider the relation between the linguistic core of classical physics and theories. Fourth, we consider the major difficulty impeding any significant interrelation of informal and formal analysis, the issue of whether mathematical formulations should be given a merely functional interpretation or be assigned a more foundational role. Finally, we return to the problem of objectivity and consider some objections to the solution proffered. What follows is not intended as a theoretical unification. LCP does not supply a basis for a deductive system. It gradually came to function as a loose unifying structure undergirding the labyrinth of separated theories and experimental traditions. What follows is an initial exploration of the archipelago of LCP and its submerged supports.
2.1 Ordinary Language Roots
We begin with ordinary language and its bearing on the basic philosophical problem that emerged from Part One. The concept of a spatio-temporal object is at the core of our ordinary language, or common sense, conceptualization of reality. It is also at the core of LCP. Traditional realism regards the claim that objects as such really exist independent of our knowledge of them as the ultimate rampart in any defense of realism. This, in turn, grounds the traditional notion of objectivity. The preceding survey led to the conclusion that classical physics, as a coherent system, must be regarded as an idealized conceptualization of reality. As such, it is a phenomenological system relative to quantum mechanics and especially relative to anticipated grand unified theories. This seems to put both ‘object’ and ‘objectivity’ on a subjective basis. We begin accordingly, with some reflections on the conceptual core or ordinary language and the status of objectivity. Since I am not presenting anything novel, I will rely on some basic themes shared by Strawson, Gadamer, and especially Davidson.27
Donald Davidson’s gradual abandonment of an extensional theory of ‘true’ led to a critical rethinking of the interrelation of truth, language, interpretation, and ontology.. I will summarize the overview presented in the concluding article of his latest
27 Gadamer is included for two reasons. First, as Davidson admits, he and Gadamer share similar view on the problem of interpretation (Davidson, 19??, Pap, ref. 2041). Second, and more importantly, standard analytic philosophy does not provide an adequate basis for treating problems of conceptual change and conceptual revolutions. The hermeneutic wing of the phenomenology movement does. It also offers a developed perspective on the problem of objectivity.