I would like to open by referring you to Michael Lockwood's talk. He seemsto be saying that we need a better quantum description of the world becauseat present the physical view has no room in it for such phenomenal mattersas
, i.e. the feels and qualities of the things that we know; and
, the factor which makes the contents of our consciousness thingswe know about; their names, their relations, etc.Michael Lockwood's talk on "The Enigma of Sentience"I think what he is saying is that the stuff we know as the qualities of things,the information that we have about things has actual physical existence,qualia "are the very essence of physical being" [Lockwood] and so whatdoes this say about the state of physics' description of the world.I understand Lockwood to be suggesting that the phenomenal: what weexperience and report about; and the physical: what it is that induces andprocesses the sensations, are two different aspects or
of thesame 'stuff'. It might be suggested that these two aspects of the world (itsphysical emodiment and our experience of it) have a kind of complementaryrelationship, which others (possibly even Bohr) seem to argue is arelationship analogous to wave/particle complementarity.
On Quantum Physics
The tasks of physics in the early years of this century concerned two matters,one was the macro universe which Einstein dealt with in his relativitytheories and the other was the micro universe.Quantum physicsis the theorynow used in scientific discussion of the micro-universe, that is, thesub-atomic world.Before it was developed two problems existed for physicists to explicate.One was the problem of the corpuscular versus the vibrational theory of lightand the other was the problem of atomic spectra and the discrete, quantised,energy values inherent in electrons in their orbits about the atomic nucleus.The problem of light was that youcould do a numberof experiments onlight which showedthat it had awave-like orvibrational nature,and you could do anumber of experiments whichshowed that lighthad a particulatenature.Light'swave-like natureshows up in theinterference of lightwaves passed
On Quantum Physics and Ordinary Consciousnesshttp://www.culture.com.au/brain_proj/quantum.htm (2 of 11) [10/2/2000 2:08:42 PM]