Terence Blake’s work has been quite influential for me over the years—specifically, his conception of the “incommensurable.” This line of thought can be traced back to his paper “Image is the Measure: Notes on Incommensurability and the Dream,” which in turn emerges out of the tradition of French continental philosophy. Blake considers his work a “metaphysical research program” in the mode of Karl Popper and Imre Lakatos, and I have taken this heuristic to be characteristic of my own method as well.
In a recent blog post, Blake writes about “bridge laws” and “catgory-crossings” (as opposed to “category-mistakes”), those procedures whereby thought can “bridge the gap of incommensurability between a general theory and the various observational auxiliary theories needed to specify its empirical consequences and to make it testable.” For Blake, bridge laws are not only to be found in the sciences, but should be deployed between philosophy and the “various practices and procedures that instantiate and inspire its concepts.”
I watched this video from Quanta Magazine the other day on the Langlands program, which emerged in the late 1960s from the construction of bridge laws between number theory and geometry. I think of this quotation from Deleuze: “I feel myself to be a pure metaphysician…. Bergson says that modern science hasn’t found its metaphysics, the metaphysics it would need. It is this metaphysics that interests me.” So I wonder, what might be the bridge law between the Langlands program and metaphysics? Or to cross in the other direction, what might be the bridge law between the Langlands program and physics? This latter crossing is already being explored.
Materials for further reading can be found, as per usual, in the Codeberg repository for this journal.