The physics of first-person perspective: An introduction

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The physics of first-person perspective: An introduction




Quote:Here is an informal chat between Dr. Markus Müller (IQOIQ-Vienna, Austrian Academy of Sciences), Dr. Bernardo Kastrup and Hans Busstra (Essentia Foundation), recorded just after the online conference “The physics of first-person perspective.” The conversation provides a tantalizing preview of the themes discussed in the conference, as well as their relevance to how we view the nature of reality. The conference’s presentations will be published by Essentia Foundation over the coming weeks.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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Panel discussion, the physics of first-person perspective (day 1)

[Image: shutterstock_1919352848-scaled-2000x1000.jpg]

Quote:The Nobel Prize in physics in 2022 went the scientists who, for over 40 years, have carried out a series of experiments indicating that, contrary to materialist expectations, physical entities do not have standalone existence but are, in fact, products of observation. This result is extraordinarily relevant to our understanding of the nature of reality, and so Essentia Foundation, in collaboration with the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Vienna, of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (home to Prof. Anton Zeilinger, one of this year’s Nobel Laureates in physics), organized a conference discussing the implications of this result. The conference was hosted by IQOQI-Vienna’s Dr. Markus Müller and featured seven other speakers.

'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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Quote:The Nobel Prize in physics in 2022 went the scientists who, for over 40 years, have carried out a series of experiments indicating that, contrary to materialist expectations, physical entities do not have standalone existence but are, in fact, products of observation. This result is extraordinarily relevant to our understanding of the nature of reality...

Please pardon an apparently simple-minded question about this statement of I guess one of the foundations of at least one major interpretation of quantum mechanics, that I can't seem to get beyond. 

Even at first glance this statement seems to have major problems. The act of observation of anything implies the prior existence of that which is now observed. Or it could never have transitioned from not being observed to being observed. But the statement claims that no physical entity can have a standalone existence, that is, have an existence prior to the observation. 

Apparently self contradictory and violates causality, because: it assumes that something can exist prior to the cause of that thing, which implies that thing must have always existed. But the statement claims nothing can have a prior existence.
(This post was last modified: 2023-02-28, 10:51 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 2 times in total.)
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(2023-02-28, 10:38 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: Please pardon an apparently simple-minded question about this statement of I guess one of the foundations of at least one major interpretation of quantum mechanics, that I can't seem to get beyond. 

Even at first glance this statement seems to have major problems. The act of observation of anything implies the prior existence of that which is now observed. Or it could never have transitioned from not being observed to being observed. But the statement claims that no physical entity can have a standalone existence, that is, have an existence prior to the observation. 

Apparently self contradictory and violates causality, because: it assumes that something can exist prior to the cause of that thing, which implies that thing must have always existed. But the statement claims nothing can have a prior existence.

I don't think the statement is saying that the fundamental "stuff" at the Ground level of reality is created by [human] observers, but rather than physical entities as distinct objects are not extant without observation. As in the character of these entities is in part made via observation.

See this entry by Kastrup on the derived nature of the physical from the mental.

Quote:In my view, if the physical world has no standalone reality and is entirely relational, then there necessarily is a deeper, by definition non-physical but absolute (in the sense of not being relative) layer of reality that grounds the physical world, and of which the physical world is but a measurement image akin to a set of dials. I've known for a while now that Rovelli isn't comfortable with this conclusion of mine, but neither did I expect or require him—as someone approaching the problem from an eminently scientific perspective—to agree with my philosophical exploration of the topic.

Quote:What Rovelli seems to be now saying is that, although the physical world is constituted of no more than relationships, there is no underlying, non-physical world to ground those relationships. This is problematic for a number of reasons. For one, it immediately runs into infinite regress: if the things that are in relationship are themselves meta-relationships, then those meta-relationships must be constituted by meta-things engaging in relationship. But wait, those meta-things are themselves meta-meta-relationships... You see the point. It's turtles... err, relationships all the way down.

Admittedly I do think the statement that we can now conclude observation influences the physical in every instance is a bit of a stretch, as there seem to be varied alternative interpretations possible. However it seems that something like this might have to be true if Consciousness is an irreducible, fundamental aspect of reality. It doesn't mean *human* consciousness is the Mind/Spirit that governs reality around us or in total, but some conscious agent does have influence at the most basic Ground level.

I do hold that all causation is mental causation in some way, but I can't seem to go full Idealist as I agree with you that it seems that all consciousness is taking in some "outside" that is not itself. Maybe God, if such an entity exists, is the elimination of this "outside" and so the entire Real is within Its dream/imagination...but I feel more comfortable with Steve Taylor's Pan-Spiritism even if "spirit" is a dirty word in academia. I like the word as it admits that neither the "mental" nor "physical" really captures the fundamental Ground of reality...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2023-03-01, 06:36 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 2 times in total.)
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(2023-03-01, 04:34 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I don't think the statement is saying that the fundamental "stuff" at the Ground level of reality is created by [human] observers, but rather than(t) physical entities as distinct objects are not extant without observation. As in the character of these entities is in part made via observation.

See this entry by Kastrup on the derived nature of the physical from the mental.


But the statement clearly words it that physical entities are the products of observation, not just always happening coincidental with observation. Hence the statement being both self-contradicting and violating causality.  

It occurs to me that what he might have had in mind is something along the lines of claiming that all physical things are initially created as immaterial ideas in mind or spirit, then if so chosen by spirit can be transformed into physical entities which can then be observed coincidentally with their substantiation. But the statement as is seems deeply confused to me, with the confused self-contradiction and causal violation glossed over since after all, quantum mechanics is well known to be mostly beyond ordinary common sense and Earth-based logical reasoning.
(This post was last modified: 2023-03-01, 08:01 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 1 time in total.)
Quote:But the statement clearly words it that physical entities are the products of observation, not just always happening coincidental with observation. Hence the statement being both self-contradicting and violating causality.

I don't think it's really violating causality because Consciousness exists before the physical entities in Idealism?

As Kastrup notes, under that ontology physical entities are not at the Ground level of reality.

This isn't to say the view is correct, just there is nothing contradictory in the statement...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2023-03-01, 08:30 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I don't think it's really violating causality because Consciousness exists before the physical entities in Idealism?

As Kastrup notes, under that ontology physical entities are not at the Ground level of reality.

This isn't to say the view is correct, just there is nothing contradictory in the statement...

Then (if Idealism is true), the statement that observation creates all physical entities really means that all physical entities or things first originate as ideas or thoughts or imaginings in some great Mind vastly greater than human minds. And observation of these imaginings transformed into the physical can then follow. In other words, observation follows the creation of the physical entities via the imaginings of a great Mind. So the statement that observation creates all physical entities contradicts itself.
(This post was last modified: 2023-03-03, 04:35 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 1 time in total.)
(2023-03-03, 04:32 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: Then (if Idealism is true), the statement that observation creates all physical entities really means that all physical entities or things first originate as ideas or thoughts or imaginings in some great Mind vastly greater than human minds. And observation of these imaginings transformed into the physical can then follow. In other words, observation follows the creation of the physical entities via the imaginings of a great Mind. So the statement that observation creates all physical entities contradicts itself.

I still don't see the contradiction. Physical here is in the context of entities measurable by physics, which are products of observation.

I guess in the worst case the wording could be made clearer, but in the context of the actual video I think it all gets explained well enough.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2023-03-03, 05:26 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2023-03-03, 05:25 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I still don't see the contradiction. Physical here is in the context of entities measurable by physics, which are products of observation.

I guess in the worst case the wording could be made clearer, but in the context of the actual video I think it all gets explained well enough.

Perhaps some clarity to be found here:

The Universe as Cosmic Dashboard

Kastrup

Quote:... physics was developed to describe perceptual states alone, not endogenous mental states such as volition. For this reason, physical descriptions are always observer-dependent; they don’t capture the world as it is in itself, but merely how it presents itself to each of us, given our respective point of view within the environment. Make no mistake: there still is a common environment of transpersonal volitional states, in which we are all immersed; it’s just that this environment is not what physics directly describes.

Making sense of RQM by inferring that our surrounding environment is essentially mental—a view called “objective idealism”—avoids solipsism. However, it carries with it a seemingly difficult problem: if what is really out there are transpersonal volitional states, then why do seeing or hearing feel so different from desiring or fearing? If my perceptions represent underlying states akin to desire and fear, why do I see forms and colors instead?
If only we could provide a compelling rationale for this qualitative transition, we would be able to leverage objective idealism to make sense of RQM and the latest experimental results. But can we? As it turns out, we very well can; even in more ways than one...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell



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