Accepted paper:

Structuring nature along time's arrow


Naoki Kasuga (Hitotsubashi University)

Paper short abstract:

Regardless of the time symmetrical character of physical laws, physics has been dealing with nature where time proceeds but not regresses. This issue of time asymmetry in physics enables us to further understand of Viti Kambani, the largest religious-political movement in Colonial Fiji.

Paper long abstract:

Let's have a read at textbooks of physics and documents on Viti Kambani (see above) together. How these two become related seems not the matter of nature/culture contrast but that of different styles of thinking and practices. While physics for us, difficult as it is, basically consists of logically and empirically understandable ideas and practices, Viti Kambani remains incomprehensive even after taking 'Fijian way of life' into consideration. What especially puzzles us is a certain sense of time supposedly held by the participants. Huw Price, an analytic philosopher, provides a helpful view for this point in examining 'bilking argument' which blocks backward causality. This argument turns out to be ineffective where past events for present actors are epistemologically inaccessible. Despite that Price's advocacy of retrocausation is derived from his inadequate interpretation of quantum mechanics, and that 'bilking argument' calls for critical comments on itself, the 'inaccessibility' of past should be one of crucial elements for approaching Viti Kambani. For further discussion, a compelling idea introduced 60 years ago by a Japanese physicist, Satoshi Watanabe, needs to be analyzed. He explored Bayes' theorem to the point that nature for physics is predictable but not retrodictable. This paper will develop Watanabe's idea and reveal how nature has been structured by 'time-less' laws and time assymetrical practices in physics. Then Viti Kambani appears in autonomous field detached from physics based reasoning.

panel P008
Multiple nature-cultures and diverse anthropologies (CLOSED)