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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    search for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principles

    Failed to get the relationship between "those principles" and "deeper principles."

    Does "Ancient search for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principles" refer to "Ancient search for those principles (regarding deeper principles) that cannot be explained"?


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    Weinberg won a Nobel Prize in 1979 for helping to show that electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force are different aspects of an underlying electroweak force. Weinberg is also a graceful writer, with a sophisticated grasp of history and philosophy. In his 1993 book Dreams of a Final Theory, he extolled particle physics as the culmination of “the ancient search for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principles.” He predicted that “the convergence of explanations down to simpler and simpler principles will eventually come to an end in a final theory.”

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    Last edited by emsr2d2; 01-Nov-2016 at 09:20. Reason: Enlarged font in quote

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: search for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principle

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    ancient search ...
    ... the quest since ancient times ...

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    ... for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principles.”
    ... for the ultimate principles that do not rely on other, more basic, principles.

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    #3

    Re: search for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principle

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    ... the quest since ancient times ...


    ... for the ultimate principles that do not rely on other, more basic, principles.
    The meaning is crystal clear now. But I am still not very well to get the use of "deeper":
    "... for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principles.”

    Here, "those principles" refer to "the ultimate principles" and "deeper principles" refer to "other, more basic, principles."

    No principles are deeper than the ultimate principles.

    The grammatical structure of "... for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principles” appears to tell readers that the latter principles are deeper than those principles, which is exactly what makes me confused.

    So "... for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principles” is the simpler version of "... for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of principles which are deeper than current principles that have been grasped by scientists”?

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    #4

    Re: search for those principles that cannot be explained in terms of deeper principle

    Deeper principles evokes the idea of layers of explanations. For example, when you freeze water, molecules align into crystals to form a rigid body. If you study how individual molecules behave in order to do this, you're examining a ​deeper principle.
    I am not a teacher.

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