Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Maybe this was covered in the linked diary, but my main gripe with quantum mechanics being linked to consciousness is that such an interpretation goes against a fundamental assumption in physics, that is that the universe we observe in creating the laws of physics is the same that exists out there. (There are proper philosophical terms for this, but the snot in my brain does not allow retrival of them.)

As I see it, the choice is either to accept an interpretation that does not do us humans to the centre of the universe or to re-do physics as a model of what is observable instead of what is, that is including every observation and solve for the observable. But I think that would be a huge pain.

To draw conclusions about the natur of consciousness from quantum mechanics is the kind of trickyness I enjoyed in high school. If say we had a problem including an instruction to disregard the effects of friction (since that would create a to tricky problem) I enjoyed pointing out how the whole problem would collapse, if not for friction (since machine X included can not function without friction or something like that). While fun, it did not prove that the problem was pointless or the machine not working, only that the model was constructed not to include what I forced it to include. In the same way physics was not constructed to include us as observers.

In addition, I suspect that the eagerness to get QM to say something essential about humans is a case of Physicalism:

Physicalism is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things. The term was coined by Otto Neurath in a series of early twentieth century essays on the subject, in which he wrote:

"According to physicalism, the language of physics is the universal language of science and, consequently, any knowledge can be brought back to the statements on the physical objects."[1]

In contemporary philosophy, physicalism is most frequently associated with the mind-body problem in philosophy of mind, regarding which physicalism holds that all that has been ascribed to "mind" is more correctly ascribed to "brain" or the activity of the brain. Physicalism is also called "materialism", but the term "physicalism" is preferable because it has evolved with the physical sciences to incorporate far more sophisticated notions of physicality than matter, for example wave/particle relationships and non-material forces produced by particles. The related position of methodological naturalism says that philosophy and science should at least operate under the assumptions of natural sciences (and thus physicalism).

Or perhaps, a consequence of physicalism being so dominant that even that which is stripped away at the start of physics has to be explained in terms of physics to be credible.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Aug 29th, 2011 at 04:43:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:

melo 4


Occasional Series