Mod+ [Resources] Physics & Consciousness

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Sciborg_S_Patel

#61
Thanks to Don Salmon for the heads up ->

The physicist Morhoff made a Power Point going over his views:
Transparent Brain

eta:

Radical Nonlocality

This article points out a nonlocality of quantum mechanics that is significantly more radical than that implied by violations of Bell locality or Einstein locality. It consists in the fact that the spatiotemporal differentiation of the physical world is incomplete. The so-called parts of space only exist to the extent that they are physically realized, and arbitrarily small parts cannot be physically realized. Further it is shown that intrinsically all fundamental particles are identical in the radical sense of numerical identity. Hence it is impossible to model reality "from the bottom up," whether on the basis of an intrinsically and completely differentiated space or spacetime or out of a multitude of intrinsically distinct building blocks. Quantum theory's explanatory arrow points in the opposite direction — from unity to multiplicity. In addition to establishing these conclusions, the article examines their implications for the enterprise called physics, illuminates these conclusions and their implications in a quintessential Indian philosophical context, and points out that while the radical nonlocality of the quantum world renders intelligible the possibility of paranormal correlations, quantum mechanics offers no help in explaining how paranormal phenomena come about.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#62
Someone posted this in response of one of Kastrup's essays (In Defense of Theology):

An exchange between philosopher John Searle and physicist Henry Stapp

Werner Heisenberg, commenting on my 1972 paper "The Copenhagen
Interpretation", which was published, along with my correspondence
about it with Heisenberg, in Amer. J. Phys., (and was republished
in my 1993 book "Mind, Matter, and Quantum Mechanics") said"

"There is one problem that I would like to mention, not in order to
criticize the wording of your paper, but for inducing you to more
investigation of this special point, which however is a very deep and
old philosophical problem. When you speak of ideas (especially in
[section 3.4]), you always speak about human ideas, and the question
arises, do these ideas "exist" outside the human mind, or only in the
human mind? In other words: Have these ideas existed at the time when
no human mind existed in the world?"

My answer to Heisenberg was:

"Regarding non-human ideas it seems unlikely to me that human ideas could
emerge from a universe devoid of idealike qualities. Thus I am inclined to
the view that consciousness in some form must be a fundamental quality of
the universe."
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#63

Dr Amit Goswami 'Consciousness, Quantum Physics and Being Human' Interview by Iain McNay

Author of many books including: 'How Quantum Activism Can Save Civilization,' 'The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist's Guide to Enlightenment' and 'God Is Not Dead' talks about his life and how discovering that consciousness Is the ground of being changed his scientific thinking and also his approach to life as a human being. He also explains downward causation, quantum non-locality, free will, Intention, the observer effect, quantum collapse and how consciousness creates the manifest world.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#64
I changed the title as I don't think it's clear that Idealism is what is being shown by the plausible link between consciousness and QM.

Also, from another thread here's a quick rundown of physicists not sticking to the materialist view: Stapp, Gao, Tegmark, Bohm, Goswami, Josephson, Penrose, Wheeler, Zeilinger, Kaku (here+ here), and Pepin.

*Stapp - Observer-Participancy
Gao - Panpsychism
Tegmark - Panpsychism
Bohm - Implicate Order
Goswami - Idealism
Josephson - Observer-Participancy
Penrose - Orch-OR
Wheeler - Observer-Participancy
Zeilinger - Underlying reality we can't get to via senses (See Kantian Noumenon)
Kaku - Seems agnostic about Idealism vs Panpsychism vs Materialism, but his book Future of Mind leans toward QM & Consciousness being interlinked
Pepin - Idealism
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#66
A Private View of Quantum Reality

Excerpt:

In one of your papers, you mention that Erwin Schrödinger wrote about the Greek influence on our concept of reality, and that it’s a historical contingency that we speak about reality without including the subject—the person doing the speaking. Are you trying to break the spell of Greek thinking?

Schrödinger thought that the Greeks had a kind of hold over us—they saw that the only way to make progress in thinking about the world was to talk about it without the “knowing subject” in it. QBism goes against that strain by saying that quantum mechanics is not about how the world is without us; instead it’s precisely about us in the world. The subject matter of the theory is not the world or us but us-within-the-world, the interface between the two.

It’s so ingrained in us to think about the world without thinking of ourselves in it. It reminds me of Einstein questioning space and time—these features of the world that seemed so absolute that no one even thought to question them.

It’s said that in earlier civilizations, people didn’t quite know how to distinguish between objective and subjective. But once the idea of separating the two gained a toehold, we were told that we have to do this, and that science is about the objective. And now that it’s done, it’s hard to turn back. I think the biggest fear people have of QBism is precisely this: that it’s anthropocentric. The feeling is, we got over that with Copernicus, and this has got to be a step backwards. But I think if we really want a universe that’s rife with possibility with no ultimate limits on it, this is exactly where you’ve got to go.

How does QBism get you around those limits?

One way to look at it is that the laws of physics aren’t about the stuff “out there.” Rather, they are our best expressions, our most inclusive statements, of what our own limitations are. When we say the speed of light is the ultimate speed limit, we’re saying that we can’t go beyond the speed of light. But just as our brains have gotten bigger through Darwinian evolution, one can imagine that eventually we’ll have evolved to a stage where we can take advantage of things that we can’t now. We might call those things “changes in the laws of physics.” Usually we think of the universe as this rigid thing that can’t be changed. Instead, methodologically we should assume just the opposite: that the universe is before us so that we can shape it, that it can be changed, and that it will push back on us. We’ll understand our limits by noticing how much it pushes back on us.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#67
“In the new pattern of thought we do not assume any longer the detached observer .. . but an observer who by his indeterminable effects creates a new situation, theoretically described as a new state of the observed system. In this way every observation is a singling out of a particular factual result, here and now, from the theoretical possibilities, thereby making obvious the discontinuous aspect of the physical phenomena.”
- Wolfgang Pauli

“Like an ultimate fact without any cause, the individual outcome of a measurement is, however, in general not comprehended by laws. This must necessarily be the case . .. ”
- Wolfgang Pauli

It is my personal opinion that in the science of the future reality will neither be “psychic” nor “physical” but somehow both and somehow neither.
- Wolfgang Pauli
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#68
“In the new pattern of thought we do not assume any longer the detached observer .. . but an observer who by his indeterminable effects creates a new situation, theoretically described as a new state of the observed system. In this way every observation is a singling out of a particular factual result, here and now, from the theoretical possibilities, thereby making obvious the discontinuous aspect of the physical phenomena.”
- Wolfgang Pauli

“Like an ultimate fact without any cause, the individual outcome of a measurement is, however, in general not comprehended by laws. This must necessarily be the case . .. ”
- Wolfgang Pauli

It is my personal opinion that in the science of the future reality will neither be “psychic” nor “physical” but somehow both and somehow neither.
- Wolfgang Pauli
Chris Fuchs, who is the interviewee in "A Private View of Quantum Reality", has a collection of correspondences in which he discusses philosophy and physics entitled Notes on a Paulian Idea: Foundational, Historical, Anecdotal and Forward-Looking Thoughts on the Quantum.

I've had one of his other email collections, My Struggles With A Block Universe, though I never made much of a dent even flipping around. But I think I might enjoy this one more as I've noticed some interesting excerpts such as this one:

"The thing that intrigues me about James and Peirce is that they both rejected the mechanical view of the world that was the rage of their Victorian time. James, in particular, was lead to believe something that had quite the flavor of the “many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics”— something some of the foolhardies of today would say is uniquely implied by the quantum mechanical formalism. (Many-worlds quantum mechanics was introduced in 1957 by one of Wheeler’s Ph.D. students Hugh Everett; James died in 1910.)

'To that view, actualities seem to float in a wider sea of possibilities from out of which they are chosen; and, somewhere, indeterminism says, such possibilities exist, and form a part of the truth.'
— James, 1884 (address to the Harvard Divinity Students)
"

And this one occurring later:

"OK, maybe it’s time for a little personal philosophy. Though my tolerance for equations is becoming less and less, I am finding that my view of the world is becoming firmer and firmer. Despite my own depression, I must say that I am finding myself believing that the world is more vibrant and alive than I ever have before. When was the last time I sent you a compilation of my philosophical ramblings? This much I have really started to share with my friend Herb Bernstein: the notion that there is a “reality” above and beyond man, everlasting and eternal, is simply outdated. It comes from a time when science could only make progress by extricating the human element from things; it comes from a back-reaction to religion. But now, with some hindsight from the quantum revolution, it seems clear to me that the world is so much more. It’s far more surprising than Baconian science would have us believe, and it’s far more participatory than any of the western religions (or eastern, for that matter) ever dreamt. The world, its description, and the laws that govern it, are not simply there independent of our actions. There was a time when they were, before complex organic molecules, but now that’s not the case. The world and its laws seem to me to be every bit as evolutionary as life itself. And just as the idea of radical Darwinism becomes outdated when one realizes that random natural selection fails to hold the second one being can say to another, “I love you,” so it is with the universe. The world is a big pushme-pullyou. If I could talk to the animals . .. . Is that what I’ve been doing?

But I know you want to hear a little more philosophy. Herb describes our explorations as trying to get at a new category. He calls it “realitty” . .. that is to say, reality with a little something extra thrown in. It describes the fact that the world pushes back in an unpredictable way when you push on it. And the way it pushes depends on what you do to it. And, finally, that that push is not inconsequential in the least bit. Maybe you remember John Wheeler’s “game of twenty questions (surprise version)”; I guess I subscribe to it more than ever.

What is this thing called language, and how does it fit into the whole of everything I wrote you above? I always think of Linda Henderson and the introduction to postmodernism that she tried to give us way back when I ask a question like this. I don’t think I would have ever believed in 1983 that I would be thinking of her words 15 years down the road. Looking back on it, I have to wonder whether she had just been making a bedtime reading of Foucault or Derrida, and had been trying to share it with us. You probably don’t remember this, but John Simpson and I fought some of the things she said as silliness, tooth and nail. Linda once said, “Without language there can be no thought.” We said, “That’s simply ridiculous.” Now I find myself saying to myself, “Without language and the collective action that it leads to (through the demagogues, the communicated scientific ethic, the body politic, the media, etc.), the world we see would scarcely be the same.”
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#69
Why Quantum Mechanics Matters in the Philosophy of Mind (and conversely)

"Rejecting the idea that quantum mechanics is relevant to the philosophy of mind often involves two lines of reasoning: (1) physics is irrelevant to consciousness (because consciousness is biological), and (2) consciousness is irrelevant to physics, in particular to the measurement problem (otherwise we would have to give a privileged ontological status to the human brain). These two lines of reasoning support each other: (2) is supported by (1) and conversely.

The previous article aimed at refuting (1). I argued that phenomenality is too metaphysically fundamental to be addressed within biology: instead it should be addressed within physics. Contrarily to 'knowledge', 'phenomenality' can be construed as a primitive notion without any conceptual problems, and its derivation from another primitive concept (such as 'physical existence') seems problematic. On the contrary, physical existence can be defined as potential phenomenality, where phenomenality and potentiality, not existence, are the primitive concepts of ontology. Following that view, physics is the study of the relational structure of phenomenal viewpoints.

This solution amounts to what one could dub a dispositional (or structuralist) panpsychism. It presupposes that phenomenality and consciousness (a cognitive process specific to certain biological organisms) are clearly distinguished: consciousness must be considered a peculiar form of phenomenal existence, which might involve a persistent representation of self and of the world, whereas phenomenality is a primitive notion which cannot be further analysed. The so-called 'hard problem of consciousness' is now a little bit easier: it amounts to a problem of instantiation of a single phenomenal viewpoints inside macroscopic cognitive organisms, which is both a physical and biological problem.

This answers the first part (1) of the question as to whether quantum mechanics is relevant to the philosophy of mind. Physics is relevant to consciousness, insofar as it is relevant to phenomenality, because phenomenality is primitive. Furthermore it is now easy to see that the second part (2) of the question is not well founded: phenomenality, not consciousness, is relevant to physics, but phenomenality is of interest in the philosophy of mind.

I shall now go a little further by attempting to show how exactly phenomenality can be relevant to the measurement problem in quantum mechanics."
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#70
The Conscious Electromagnetic (Cemi) Field Theory

"In the steam whistle view, consciousness just pops out of the complex interconnected computations performed by the network of neurons within our brain. But why should it? The Internet now links up millions of computers in a gigantic superbrain that will soon rival our own organic version in computational capability. But does anyone seriously believe that, like HAL, driven by its digital consciousness, the Internet may soon turn on us its creators? The plain fact is that nothing rendered in silicon remotely resembles a conscious mind.

Another problem with the steam whistle is that it goes against the grain of everything we have learnt since Darwin about how complex biological systems evolved. Every bit of our body and our mind is here today because it provides some function some advantage to us – that been captured, and improved upon by natural selection over millennia. Bodies dont have steam whistles, but if they did, they would have a role to play in the survival of the creature that blew them. Consciousness is a product of evolution and, as such, it has a role to play in our survival. What is that role?

The most obvious answer may be the right one – we are aware because we then have the power to change our actions. Consciousness endows us with free will. There are many operations that our brain performs automatically, without conscious control simple tasks like walking, to incredibly complex tasks like playing a musical instrument from a written score. But it is hard to remove the impression that under some circumstances, our conscious brain takes over, to influence and will these actions.

Consider driving along a familiar road. You may be listening to the radio, thinking about some problem at work, but your brain is busy performing all the complex computations necessary to control your limb movements and maintain your car on the busy road, unconsciously. You spot a hazard sign Roadworks Major Congestion Ahead!and immediately your conscious mind takes control, to slow the car and perhaps try to find an alternative route home.What is it that is taking control in these situations?

What we need to look for is something that is a product of the brains activity, but which also has the power to influence that activity. Surprisingly, we have known for years that such an entity exists within our brain. The neurons in our brain transmit electrical signals along and between nerve fibres. It is always assumed that the electrons and neurotransmitters moving down these nerves are the movers and shakers of neuronal computation.

However, all electrical circuits – and that’s basically all neurones are generate an associated energy field, known as an electromagnetic field or em field. This field contains precisely the same information as the circuitry that generated it. However, unlike neuronal information, which is localised in single or groups of neurons, the brain’s em field will bind the neuronal information into a single integrated whole..."
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#71
On ‘Known-To-Be-False’ Materialist Philosophies of Mind

Henry Stapp has also consistently pointed out the deeply erroneous and flawed nature of simplistic materialist viewpoints when considered from the perspective of quantum physics. Indeed, he is quite scathing about many philosophers of mind:

“Philosophers of mind appear to have arrived today at less-than-satisfactory solutions to the mind-brain and free will problems, and the difficulties seem, at least prima facie, very closely connected with their acceptance of a known-to-be-false understanding of the nature of the physical world, and of the causal role of our conscious thoughts within it.”
‘Philosophy of Mind and the Problem of Free Will in the Light of Quantum Mechanics’

The most interesting phrase here is ‘known-to-be-false’. The astonishing fact is that the academic philosophy community has allowed a large number of its members, especially philosophers of mind or science, to flagrantly ignore or misrepresent contemporary physics in order to defend obviously incorrect ‘classical’ pre-quantum positions redolent of the worldview of the late nineteenth century. As Stapp has pointed out:

“the re-bonding [of mind and matter in QM] achieved by physicists during the first half of the twentieth century must be seen as a momentous development: a lifting of the veil. Ignoring this huge and enormously pertinent development in basic science, and proclaiming the validity of materialism on the basis of an inapplicable-in-this-context nineteenth century science, is an irrational act.”
‘Quantum Interactive Dualism’ p.18

The evidence from quantum mechanics for this is now overwhelming. Despite this, hard-headed (a fitting epithet) materialists are regularly allowed the public arena to proclaim their unscientific views in the name of philosophy or science, and in so doing they grievously mislead the public.
Anyone who reads Penrose’s books on the subject cannot fail to conclude that quantum physics removes the primacy of the ‘purely material’ from the ultimate realm of reality, whilst keeping consciousness in some form centre stage. For instance, in The Road to Reality (2004), he writes, “almost all the ‘conventional’ interpretations of quantum mechanics ultimately depend upon the presence of a ‘perceiving being’.” (p.1031). And “As far as I can make out, the only interpretations that do not necessarily depend upon some notion of ‘conscious observer’… require some fundamental change in the rules of quantum mechanics” (p.1032).

Penrose makes several remarks indicating that perception/consciousness is fundamentally entangled with quantum reality. Furthermore, Penrose has apparently always hated this conclusion. However, he was forced by the evidence to conclude that in the quantum realm, “the place where ‘the buck stops’ is provided by ourconscious perceptions.” (Shadows of the Mind, 1995, p.309). In a sense, one might say Penrose’s work has been a desperate but failed effort to avoid this conclusion.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#75
In relation to this, Arvan discusses how the wave function relates to his New Theory of Free Will in the comments of this post:

In a P2P video game, there are two distinct levels of indeterminacy. The first, background indeterminacy is comprised by the P2P network as a whole. So, for example, a rock in a P2P simulation does not have a determinate location in space time because "its location" is just a superposition of the parallel representations on the different machines. Call this indeterminacy the P2P wave function. In a P2P a second indeterminacy on top of this one occurs at level of the characters you control (their behavior cannot be fully predicted within the sim because of the choices made outside of the sim. Call this the Choice wave function. On the P2P model, the first kind of indeterminacy (indeterminacy in nature) is only slightly affected by free choice (since our choices do affect the entire network). However, the second class of indeterminacies -- each person's "Choice wave function" -- is predominantly the result of free choice ex nihilo.

In this way, the P2P model provides a clear, unified picture of why some indeterminacies involve libertarian free will and others do not.
More of Arvan's ideas on the P2P model in this thread, and his argument for intrinsic/extrinsic dualism here.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#76

In this conversation John Hagelin and Henry Stapp discuss the collapse of the wave function, the connection between mind and wave function, superposition, quantum observer, experience and objective reality and other quantum conundrums.

Henry Stapp, Ph.D. Quantum Physicist

Stapp received his Ph.D. in particle physics at the University of California, Berkeley, under the supervision of Nobel Laureates Emilio Segrè and Owen Chamberlain. Wolfgang Pauli visited Berkeley in the spring of 1958. He talked extensively with Stapp, and invited him to work with him in Zurich in the Fall. Stapp worked in Zurich with Pauli on fundamental problems until Pauli sudden unexpected death in December. In 1970 Werner Heisenberg invited Stapp to Munich, where the two conversed often on fundamental issues surrounding quantum mechanics. After returning to Berkeley wrote an influential article The Copenhagen Interpretation, published in the American Journal of Physics with Heisenberg’s comments appearing in an Appendix. Stapp has has made major contributions to analytic S-matrix theory, generalizations of Bell’s theorems, and understanding the quantum
connection of mind to physical processes.

John Hagelin, Ph.D.
President of the David Lynch Foundation
President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace

SAND14_John-HagelinJohn Hagelin, Ph.D., is a world-renowned quantum physicist, educator, public policy expert, and leading proponent of peace. Dr. Hagelin received his A.B. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, and conducted pioneering research at CERN (the European Center for Particle Physics) and SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). His scientific contributions in the fields of electroweak unification, grand unification, super-symmetry and cosmology include some of the most cited references in the physical sciences. He is also responsible for the development of a highly successful Grand Unified Field Theory based on the Superstring. But Dr. Hagelin is unique among scientists in being the first to apply this most advanced knowledge for the practical benefit of humankind. He has pioneered the use of Unified Field-based technologies proven to reduce crime, violence, terrorism, and war and to promote peace throughout society—technologies derived from the ancient Vedic science of consciousness.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#78

Quantum theory incorporates two seemingly-contradictory ideas about free will. On the one hand, an observer can choose both the system to measure and the kind of measurement to make; given these choices, the theory predicts a probability distribution over the
possible outcomes and nothing more. is is "quantum indeterminism." On the other hand, a system that no one is looking at evolves through time according the dynamics that are perfectly deterministic. No one is "looking at" the universe as a whole - all observers are inside the universe by definition - so the time evolution of the whole universe must be perfectly deterministic. This clash between indeterminism and determinism is sharpened by the existence of a strong theorem, the Conway-Kochen "free will theorem," that says that if human (or any other kind of) observers are assumed to have free will, everything
else in the universe, even electrons, has to be assumed to have free will, too. Is this conflict real, or might it dissolve on further analysis? This panel will examine some of the strikingly different views advanced by physicists on this question, illuminating the concept and role of entanglement in the process."

Dr. Chris Fields is an independent scientist interested in both the physics and the cognitive neuroscience underlying the human perception of objects as spatially and temporally bounded entities. His particular interests include quantum information theory and quantum computing on the one hand, and creative problem solving, early childhood development and autism-spectrum conditions on the other. His recent papers have appeared in the International Journal of Theoretical Physics, Information, International Journal of General Systems, Advances in Cognitive Psychology, Frontiers in Perception Science and Medical Hypotheses among others. He is currently editing a Research Topic titled “How humans recognize objects: Segmentation, categorization and individual identification” for Frontiers in Perception Science.

Donald Hoffman is a cognitive scientist and author of more than 90 scientific papers and three books, including Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See (W.W. Norton, 2000). He received his BA from UCLA in Quantitative Psychology and his Ph.D. from MIT in Computational Psychology. He joined the faculty of UC Irvine in 1983, where he is now a full professor in the departments of cognitive science, computer science and philosophy. He received a Distinguished Scientific Award of the American Psychological Association for early career research into visual perception, and the Troland Research Award of the US National Academy of Sciences for his research on the relationship of consciousness and the physical world.

Henry Stapp received his Ph.D. in particle physics at the University of California, Berkeley, under the supervision of Nobel Laureates Emilio Segrè and Owen Chamberlain. Wolfgang Pauli visited Berkeley in the spring of 1958. He talked extensively with Stapp, and invited him to work with him in Zurich in the Fall. Stapp worked in Zurich with Pauli on fundamental problems until Pauli sudden unexpected death in December. In 1970 Werner Heisenberg invited Stapp to Munich, where the two conversed often on fundamental issues surrounding quantum mechanics. After returning to Berkeley wrote an influential article The Copenhagen Interpretation, published in the American Journal of Physics with Heisenberg’s comments appearing in an Appendix. Stapp has has made major contributions to analytic S-matrix theory, generalizations of Bell’s theorems, and understanding the quantum connection of mind to physical processes.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#79
The Elegance of Enigma: Quantum Darwinism, Quantum Bayesianism (QBism) & Quantum Buddhism– - In Pursuit of a (Quantum) Middle Way!

Quantum Bayesianism or QBism is a new approach to quantum interpretation which offers a radically subjectivist and panexperientialist account of the functioning of quantum ‘reality’and the emergence of the ‘classical’ world. In a recent collection of essays Elegance and Enigma: The Quantum Interviews there is a debate between one of the supporters of the QBism paradigm, C. A. Fuchs, and the instigator of ‘quantum Darwinism’, W. Zurek, as to the viability of such a radically subjectivist position. Zurek suggests that the ‘many worlds’ interpretation and the QBism perspectives are extreme views and his perspective steers a ‘middle way’ between the two. In this article I show that an almost identical metaphysical debate occurred in fourteenth and fifteenth Tibetan Buddhism concerning the nature of ultimate reality. The two debates are examined, contrasted and the conclusion that it may bethe case that quantum reality may be describable in differing complementary and interrelated ways is drawn.
More on Fuch's QBism can be found here:

 
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