The attitude that ordinary language description of experience is in fact a description of the world is called “naïve realism.” There is an entire branch of modern Western philosophy that is devoted to critically examining the assumptions behind the everyday language we use to describe the macroscopic world in which we live and the validity of naïve realism as an adequate description of the world. This branch of philosophy is called “ordinary language philosophy.” Surprisingly, it has something in common with (...) quantum physics: insight into the inadequacy of ordinary language to describe observable reality. It is this connection between ordinary language philosophy and quantum physics that we shall explore in this article. In the process, we shall also offer a basic introduction to both basic philosophy and basic quantum theory. (shrink)
In other words, classically, probabilities add; quantum mechanically, the probability amplitudes add, leading to the presence of the extra product terms in the quantum case. What this means is that in quantum theory, even though always only one of the various outcomes is obtained in any given observation, some aspect of the non -occurring events, represented by the corresponding complex-valued quantum amplitudes, plays a role in determining the overall probabilities. Indeed, the observed quantum interference effects are correctly captured by the (...) quantum statistical description only because of the presence of these product terms. Therefore, in a realistic construal of quantum theory, if we treat the superposed Ψ function as representing the real state of an individual quantum system, these quantum amplitudes need to be given an ontological status. (shrink)
REMARKS ON EVOLUTION AND TIME-SCALES, Graham Cairns-Smith; HODGSON'S BLACK BOX, Thomas Clark; DO HODGSON'S PROPOSITIONS UNIQUELY CHARACTERIZE FREE WILL?, RaviGomatam; WHAT SHOULD WE RETAIN FROM A PLAIN PERSON'S CONCEPT OF FREE WILL?, Gilberto Gomes; ISOLATING DISPARATE CHALLENGES TO HODGSON'S ACCOUNT OF FREE WILL, Liberty Jaswal; FREE AGENCY AND LAWS OF NATURE, Robert Kane; SCIENCE VERSUS REALIZATION OF VALUE, NOT DETERMINISM VERSUS CHOICE, Nicholas Maxwell; COMMENTS ON HODGSON, J.J.C. Smart; THE VIEW FROM WITHIN, Sean Spence; COMMENTARY ON HODGSON, (...) Henry Stapp. (shrink)
The Copenhagen interpretation, which informs the textbook presentation of quantum mechanics, depends fundamentally on the notion of ontological wave-particle duality and a viewpoint called “complementarity.” In this paper, Bohr's own interpretation is traced in detail and is shown to be fundamentally different from and even opposed to the Copenhagen interpretation in virtually all its particulars. In particular, Bohr's interpretation avoids the ad hoc postulate of wave function ‘collapse' that is central to the Copenhagen interpretation. The strengths and weakness of both (...) interpretations are summarized. ‡I thank Edward Mackinnon, Henry Folse, and Greg Anderson for valuable comments on the penultimate draft. The final responsibility for the paper rests with the author. †To contact the author, please write to: Bhaktivedanta Institute, 2334 Stuart Street, Berkeley, CA; e-mail: email@example.com. I have been unable to achieve a sharp formulation of Bohr's principle of complementarity despite much effort I have expended on it. (Einstein 1949, 674) While imagining that I understand the position of Einstein, as regards the EPR correlations, I have very little understanding of his principal opponent, Bohr. (Bell 1987, 155) Niels Bohr brain-washed a generation of physicists into believing that the problem had been solved fifty years ago. (Gell-Mann 1979, 29) Every sentence I say must be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question. (Niels Bohr, quoted in Jammer 1966, 175) Bohr's interpretation has never been fully clarified. It needs an interpretation itself, and only that will be its defense. (Weizsäcker 1971, 25). (shrink)
Although quantum theory is presented as a radically non classical theory in physics, it is an open secret that our present understanding of it is based on a conceptual base borrowed from classical physics, leading to the situation that all of the radical implications of quantum theory are expressed using terminology that, in other circumstances would be considered blatantly self contradictory. To give but a few examples: wave particle duality (one and the same ontological entity can be ascribed two mutually (...) differing space time pictures), superposition (a microscopic object is required to be simultaneously in two distinct and mutually exclusive classical states), and non locality (two objects presumed to.. (shrink)
s view of free will. He also offers detailed justifications that he hopes are philosophically and scientifically respectable. While Hodgson doesn't state anywhere what would count as a "scientifically respectable" proposition, he seems to expect that any scientific theory of consciousness and free will must fully account for his nine propositions, not just explain them away. Or, alternatively, any scientific theory of free will that is incompatible with his nine propositions cannot serve as a possible framework for developing a scientific (...) theory of conscious free will. (shrink)
Non-relativistic quantum mechanics is incompatible with our everyday or ‘classical’ intuitions about realism, not only at the microscopic level but also at the macroscopic level. The latter point is highlighted by the ‘cat paradox’ presented by Schrödinger. Since our observations are always made at the macroscopic level — even when applying the formalism to the microscopic level — the failure of classical realism at the macroscopic level is actually more fundamental and crucial.
Although quantum theory is applicable, in principle, to both the microscopic and macroscopic realms, the strategy of practically applying quantum theory only at the microscopic level while retaining a classical conception of the macroscopic world (through the correspondence principle) has had tremendous success. This has nevertheless rendered the task of interpretation daunting. We argue the need for recognizing and solving the 'observation problem', namely constructing a 'quantum-compatible' view of the properties and states of macroscopic objects in everyday thinking to realistically (...) interpret quantum theory consistently at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels. Toward a solution to this problem, we point out a category of properties called 'relational properties' that we regularly associate with everyday objects. We see them as being potentially quantum-compatible. Some possible physical implications are discussed. We conclude by touching upon the nexus between the relational property view within quantum physics and some neurobiological issues underlying cognition. (shrink)
In part-1, I shall outline the principle details of Bohr’s interpretation. Bohr’s basic interpretive insight is ‘ quantum inseparability’ . Complementarity of phenomena and a “revision to our attitude towards physical explanation” then follow. Together , these can be said to constitute Bohr’s general viewpoint of ‘complementarity’. Bohr does not quite clearly spell out the content of these three ideas; I do.
The Copenhagen interpretation, which informs the textbook presentation of quantum mechanics, depends fundamentally on the notion of ontological wave-particle duality and a viewpoint called “complementarity”. In this paper, Bohr’s own interpretation is traced in detail and is shown to be fundamentally different from and even opposed to the Copenhagen interpretation in virtually all its particulars. In particular, Bohr’s interpretation avoids the ad hoc postulate of wave function ‘collapse’ that is central to the Copenhagen interpretation. The strengths and weakness of both (...) interpretations are summarized. (shrink)
Broadly stated, naïve realism is the attitude that the form of our outer experiences directly and literally correspond to the structure of the real world underlying these experiences. Naïve realism permeates our everyday thinking about, and ordinary language description of, the macroscopic world. It has undeniable pragmatic justification. However, as Descartes recognized centuries ago, philosophically speaking, naïve realism requires a justification. Physicists, nevertheless, simply assume naïve realism in interpreting the laboratory observations realistically. Thus, physicists do not find the philosophical issues (...) surrounding the problem of naïve realism to be any of relevance to the development of physics per se. The problem of scientific realism is seen to arise in a different context, that of justifying the idea that our best theories in physics pragmatically succeed because its abstract entities provide a true glimpse of the external world under investigation. (shrink)
In this book, Mara Beller, a historian and philosopher of science, undertakes to examine why and how the elusive Copenhagen interpretation came to acquire the status it has. The book appears under the series ‘Science and Its Conceptual Foundations’. The first part traces in seven chapters the early major developmental phases of QT such as matrix theory, Born’s probabilistic interpretation, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and Bohr’s complementarity framework. Although the historical and scientific details are authentic, the author’s presentation in this part (...) is clearly motivated toward making the reader accept the premises that she intends to argue for in the second part over eight chapters. (shrink)
Hodgson formulates nine propositions that elaborate this plain person’s view of free will. He also offers detailed justifications that he hopes are philosophically and scientifically respectable. While Hodgson doesn't state anywhere what would count as a "scientifically respectable" proposition, he seems to expect that any scientific theory of consciousness and free will must fully account for his nine propositions, not just explain them away. Or, alternatively, any scientific theory of free will that is incompatible with his nine propositions cannot serve (...) as a possible framework for developing a scientific theory of conscious free will. (shrink)