Mind, Matter, and Pauli
Wolfgang Pauli was called by Einstein his “spiritual heir”, and his unrelenting demand for precision and clarity earned him the title of “the conscience of physics”. A godson of the great philosopher of science Ernst Mach, he was philosophically astute and, with Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, a principal architect of the orthodox Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory. This approach to the theory allowed physicists to avoid assigning paradoxical properties to nature. It did so by adopting a philosophically radical stance: regard atomic theory not as a description of atomic processes themselves, but rather as a description of connections between human observations. This renunciation of the traditional scientific ideal of erecting a coherent idea of physical reality was the chief objection against the Copenhagen view raised by Einstein. Though Einstein admitted that it was still unexplained why science had succeeded even as far as it had in creating a mathematical understanding of nature, he held that we must nonetheless persist in the endeavor: otherwise even the possible would not be achieved.
KeywordsQuantum Theory Conscious Thought Copenhagen Interpretation Geiger Counter Synchronistic Process
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.W. Pauli, quoted by K. V. Laurikainen, Gesnerus 41, 213 (1984).Google Scholar
- 2.W. Pauli, quoted by K. V. Laurikainen, Gesnerus 41, 213 (1984).Google Scholar
- 3.I. Newton, Principia Mathematica, General Scholium (see LB. Cohen, Introduction to Newton’s Principia (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1978)); letter to Bentley (1691).Google Scholar
- 5.W. Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy (Harper and Row, New York, 1958), chap. III.Google Scholar
- 6.W. James, The Principles of Psychology (Dover, New York, 1950; reprint of 1890 text).Google Scholar
- 7.J. von Neumann, Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Theory (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1955).Google Scholar
- 8.H. P. Stapp, A Quantum Theory of the Mind-Brain Interface, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Report LBL-28574 Expanded, University of California, Berkeley, 1991, and chap. 6 of the present book.Google Scholar
- 9.P. S. Churchland, Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Theory of The Mind/Brain (MIT Press/A Bradford Book, Cambridge, MA, 1986).Google Scholar
- 10.J. S. Bell, Physics 1, 195 (1964)Google Scholar