David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In P. C. W. Davies & Niels Henrik Gregersen (eds.), Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press (2010)
Copenhagen is the perfect setting for our discussion of matter and information. We have been charged by the organizers “to explore the current concept of matter from scientific, philosophical, and theological perspectives.” If by “current” one means quantum mechanical, then an essential foundation for this work is the output of the intense intellectual struggles that took place here in Copenhagen during the twenties, principally between Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, and Wolfgang Pauli. Those struggles replaced the then-prevailing Newtonian idea of matter as “solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable particles” with a new concept that allowed, and in fact demanded, the entry into the process governing the motion of matter of the consequences of decisions made by human subjects. This change in the conception of nature swept away the meaningless billiard-ball universe, and replaced it with a universe in which we human beings, by means of our intentional effort, can make a difference in how the “matter” in our bodies behaves.
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