Monday, January 02, 2023

Mind and Matter

… What Is Matter (and Why Does It Matter)? - Public Discourse. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The meat of the book is a sustained critique of several well-known interpretations of quantum mechanics (such as David Bohm’s pilot wave interpretation, Hugh Everett’s many-worlds interpretation, objective collapse theories, and the standard reading of the Copenhagen interpretation). Koons points out grave difficulties facing each, which in some cases include incoherences like those referred to above (insofar as they cannot make sense of the reality of the everyday world of experience that provides the empirical evidence for affirming quantum mechanics in the first place). He proposes in their place what he calls “quantum hylomorphism,” which has the advantage of resolving some notorious puzzles facing quantum theory no less than it vindicates hylomorphism.

Or, as Werner Heisenberg himself put it: “I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”

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