Dialogue Abner Shimony–Shimon Malin

Dialogue Abner Shimony–Shimon Malin Malin proposes a solution to some of the conceptual problems of the foundations of quantum mechanics within the framework of Alfred North Whitehead’s “Philosophy of Organism”. Standard quantum dynamics, governed by the time-dependent Schrödinger equation, does not provide for the reduction of superpositions of physical states and hence does not account for occurrence of observational data. If consciousness is invoked to explain the results of measurements, it would appear that quantum mechanics is given an anthropocentric interpretation. Reduction of superpositions is achieved without anthropocentrism, according to Malin, by accepting Whitehead’s ontology of “actual occasions”, which are protomental entities independent of and presumably antedating human beings. Furthermore, Whitehead’s philosophy has the great virtue of offering a plausible solution to the profound problem of relating minds to material systems. Shimony is sympathetic to Whitehead’s world view, but with the reservation that it leaves an immense unexplained and unexplored gap between the conjectured “experience” of actual occasions and the high level experience of the human mind. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quantum Information Processing Springer Journals

Dialogue Abner Shimony–Shimon Malin

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Subject
Physics; Quantum Information Technology, Spintronics; Quantum Computing; Data Structures, Cryptology and Information Theory; Quantum Physics; Mathematical Physics
ISSN
1570-0755
eISSN
1573-1332
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11128-006-0019-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Malin proposes a solution to some of the conceptual problems of the foundations of quantum mechanics within the framework of Alfred North Whitehead’s “Philosophy of Organism”. Standard quantum dynamics, governed by the time-dependent Schrödinger equation, does not provide for the reduction of superpositions of physical states and hence does not account for occurrence of observational data. If consciousness is invoked to explain the results of measurements, it would appear that quantum mechanics is given an anthropocentric interpretation. Reduction of superpositions is achieved without anthropocentrism, according to Malin, by accepting Whitehead’s ontology of “actual occasions”, which are protomental entities independent of and presumably antedating human beings. Furthermore, Whitehead’s philosophy has the great virtue of offering a plausible solution to the profound problem of relating minds to material systems. Shimony is sympathetic to Whitehead’s world view, but with the reservation that it leaves an immense unexplained and unexplored gap between the conjectured “experience” of actual occasions and the high level experience of the human mind.

Journal

Quantum Information ProcessingSpringer Journals

Published: May 18, 2006

References

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