esse est percipi

I would not have thought that Bishop Berkeley was perhaps one of the founding fathers of modern physics.
But we have to consider this:
"In the present work, quantum theory is founded on the framework of consciousness, in contrast to earlier suggestions that consciousness might be understood starting from quantum theory. [..]
Beginning from our postulated ontology that consciousness is primary and from the most elementary conscious contents, such as perception of periodic change and motion, quantum theory follows naturally as the description of the conscious experience."

Could the phenomenalism of e.g. Ernst Mach make a bit of a comeback after all?

I really like the phrase "in contrast to earlier suggestions", which sums up about 250 years of physics as "earlier suggestions". 8-)

In the appendix (section 10) a mathematical model of consciousness is presented, as a process which tries to find the solution to x² + 1 = 0 in the real numbers, which reminds me of
The Confusions of Young Törless.


Anonymous said...

This might be off topic. Do you think Hilbert space is as real as space time?
Thank you.

wolfgang said...

Nothing is off-topic in comments about a blog post about the 'stream of consciousness' 8-)

According to the 'mainstream interpretation' (a la Zurek, Zeh, Kiefer etc.), the wave function of the universe, which lives in Hilbert space, is considered the ultimate reality and 'space time' has the ontological status of an illusion, which necessarily appears to localized observers due to decoherence.

But I do not yet believe in this interpretation.

Ponder Stibbons said...

This is why I find Foundations of Physics embarrassing.

wolfgang said...

I assume you are equally sceptical of The New Scientist?

To test the predictive power of the model, Manousakis used data from similar experiments conducted on people who later turned out to
have been tripping on the drug LSD at the time. In these subjects, the neuron firing rate was slower, and when this was fed into his
quantum consciousness model it led to a different prediction for the pattern of image-flip rates that the subjects should see.

wolfgang said...

But notice that the New Scientist article follows the usual assumption that consciousness is a function/result of brain activity.
Apparently they did not really read this paper...

Anonymous said...

I don't get the reference to the Musil novel.

wolfgang said...

Among the many confusions of the young Toerless is his question about the reality of imaginary numbers, It is somehow suggested that an answer to this question could unlock his other confusions...