Compressibility and the Algorithmic Theory of Laws


  • Billy Wheeler Department of Philosophy Sun Yat-Sen University



The algorithmic theory of laws claims that the laws of nature are the algorithms in the best possible compression of all empirical data. This position assumes that the universe is compressible and that data received from observing it is easily reproducible using a simple set of rules. However, there are three sources of evidence that suggest that the universe as a whole is incompressible. The first comes from the practice of science. The other two come from the nature of the universe itself: the presence of chaotic behavior and the nature of quantum systems also suggests that the universe is incompressible. This paper evaluates these sources and argues that none provides a convincing case to reject the algorithmic theory of laws.

Author Biography

Billy Wheeler, Department of Philosophy Sun Yat-Sen University

Department of Philosophy (Zhuhai), Sun Yat-Sen University, CHINA


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