File Name: quantum mechanics and the philosophy of alfred north whitehead .zip
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- WORKS CITED
- When the Part Mirrors the Whole: Interactions Beyond “Simple Location”
Home Issues II-1 Symposia. Whitehead himself regarded his philosophy as the philosophy of organism.
He is best known as the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy ,  which today has found application to a wide variety of disciplines, including ecology , theology , education , physics , biology , economics , and psychology , among other areas. In his early career Whitehead wrote primarily on mathematics , logic , and physics. His most notable work in these fields is the three-volume Principia Mathematica — , which he wrote with former student Bertrand Russell. Principia Mathematica is considered one of the twentieth century's most important works in mathematical logic , and placed 23rd in a list of the top English-language nonfiction books of the twentieth century by Modern Library. Beginning in the late s and early s, Whitehead gradually turned his attention from mathematics to philosophy of science , and finally to metaphysics.
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Panpsychism recognizes that everything in the universe has a physical dimension and a mental dimension. Another way to put this is that some form of consciousness goes all the way down to the quantum dimension of the universe and all the way up to the galactic dimension of the universe.
Each of us humans has a physical dimension and a mental dimension and they interact intimately. I can decide to keep on typing or go get a drink of water. Once I make that decision, my body carries it out, in this case keeping on typing. My mind gets kinesthetic awareness from my body and tells my body what to do.
My mind and my body are continually intimately interacting with each other. This is the way the universe works. As we look out at plants and animals on down to single celled organisms, we see what is best explained by the Panpsychic perspective.
All living creatures appear to have a physical dimension and a mental dimension that interacts intimately. Their mental dimension receives information from their physical dimension and then causes their physical dimension to act on that information. Looking further down the scale to the level of atoms and quanta of energy, the type of mind gets much further from our own human experience, but so does the type of physical reality—with quanta of energy going in and out of existence and appearing to act at a distance.
For us to try reach up and grasp the mental dimension of the Earth may be somewhat similar to what it must be like for the mental dimension of our cells to project what the mental dimension of our human experience is like. In his magnum opus, Process and Reality , Alfred North Whitehead, to my taste the best 20 th Century metaphysical philosopher, provides a speculative philosophical system that can serve as a pretty good foundation for the further exploration and development of Panpsychism.
While he is very modest about the success of his philosophical project, it seems like a sound place to start. Creativity transpires as the many become one and that one, in turn, becomes another one among the many. Each time the many become one, that one exercises its creativity in the way that it takes in some and excludes other aspects of the many every other aspect of the universe. A person or a plant or an animal or a cell are composed of these actual entities—these moments of experience and action that encounter the different aspects of the world around them and respond to that information by acting on themselves and the world beyond them.
Physical prehensions can be either positive, taking in some of the influences from the universe, or negative, excluding other aspects of the universe. Each actual entity also has a mental pole which conceptually prehends all of the mental forms, ideas, universals.
Whitehead says that every level of existence is made up of actual entities with mental and physical poles, including quanta, atoms, cells, organisms, the Earth, the solar system, our galaxy and every other galaxy all the way up to God. For God, the whole physical universe is the physical pole and all of the ideas, the forms, are the mental pole. A rock is an accumulation, a multiplicity, of actual entities — in this case atoms of various kinds.
It is acted upon by outside forces, but it does not actively participate in its own self-constitution the way a cell or an organism do. It constitutes itself over time. That is, each actual entity has beginning that positively or negatively prehends every other actual entity in the universe, all the way down and up.
The actual entities also positively and negatively prehend all the eternal objects, the forms. The positively prehended forms structure what is positively and what is negatively prehended physically and how everything that is prehended physically goes into the composition of the actual entity in question.
It takes time for an actual entity to take in experience, then organize that experience at a feeling level or a perception level or a cognitive level to make some kind of choice about that information, and then to act internally and externally in relation to that information. Mind takes time.
Consciousness takes time. Each moment of experience receives from, is caused by, its immediate past moment of experience and in turn causes its immediate future moment of experience. Each moment of experience receives from its unique past and from its engagement with all of the different aspects of the universe.
Then it puts its stamp on, acts creatively on, what it receives from its past and its engagement with the rest of the universe. Finally, it actively passes on what it has received, with its creative stamp, to the next moment and also on out throughout its engagement with all of the universe. Put another way, each moment receives a perspective on the whole universe, makes a creative contribution based on that perspective, and passes that creative contribution on to the succeeding moment and also on to the whole universe.
As one actual entity passes into the next one, the structure, the system, the form continues, so that there is a temporal continuity from one actual entity to the next in a stream of actual entities that are causing each other.
Each actual entity is a drop of experience in a stream of experience and the stream has a structure that continues over time. That means that each of our instants of consciousness exists as a present that is bounded by the past and the future. Just as in the quantum theory of physics, in which quanta of energy have the characteristics of particles and the characteristics of waves, so there is a particle aspect and a wave aspect of consciousness.
The wave dimension is crucial. Without the time-binding wave of consciousness established by actual entities remembering their past instant s , experiencing, choosing, and acting in their present instants, and anticipating and then passing their inheritance on to their future instant s , it would not be possible to begin a sentence and then go on to complete it in a way that has meaning.
It would not be possible to interact with ourselves or other people in a way that has meaning. We would forget where we were and what we were doing.
If we pay attention to our own consciousnesses closely, we find that, as each moment of our experience transpires, we take in sensations from outside in the world and inside in our bodies and then we layer feelings and thoughts and images on top of these sensations to form a moment of experience with some coherence and meaning.
And this moment of experience passes its sensations and feelings and thoughts and images on to the next moment of experience with some relative coherence. Now, with an untrained mind, our sensations and feelings and thoughts and images kind of jump around outside of our control.
But with a relatively trained mind, we can focus in a way that allows us to maintain a constant stream of sensations and feelings and thoughts and images and choose what we want to focus that stream on in an expansion of our consciousnesses.
That is the gift of mindfulness and meditation. An Ideology For Our Times. Time and the Great Transformation. Tiller-Einstein Model of Explanation. Share this:. Search for:. Follow Planetary Philosophy My Tweets.
Reductionism relies on expectations that it is possible to make sense of the whole by studying its parts, whereas emergentism considers that program to be unattainable, partly due to the existence of emergent properties. The emergentist holistic stance is particularly relevant in biology and cognitive neuroscience, where interactions amongst system components and environment are key. Here we consider Alfred North Whitehead's philosophy as providing important insights to metaphysics of science in general, and to the reductionism vs. Whitehead criticizes this externalist ontological perspective in which each interacting element exists, and can be thought, without essential reference to other elements. The aim of this work is to uncover such a stance, particularly in the context of dynamical systems, and to show its shortcomings. In sum, we argue that the notion of internal relations has a strong theoretical power to overcome some fundamental difficulties in the study of life and mind. This doctrine is what is here denied.
I. The Philosophical Implications of Quantum Mechanics · Read Online · Download PDF · Save · Cite this Item.
When the Part Mirrors the Whole: Interactions Beyond “Simple Location”
In Process and Reality and other works, Alfred North Whitehead struggled to come to terms with the impact the new science of quantum mechanics would have on metaphysics. This ambitious book is the first extended analysis of the intricate relationships between relativity theory, quantum mechanics, and Whitehead's cosmology. Michael Epperson illuminates the intersection of science and philosophy in Whitehead's work-and details Whitehead's attempts to fashion an ontology coherent with quantum anomalies. Including a nonspecialist introduction to quantum mechanics, Epperson adds an essential new dimension to our understanding of Whitehead-and of the constantly enriching encounter between science and philosophy in our century.
Panpsychism recognizes that everything in the universe has a physical dimension and a mental dimension.
In this Book
Но Беккер слишком устал, чтобы обращать внимание на оскорбления. Проваливай и умри. Он повернулся к Росио и заговорил с ней по-испански: - Похоже, я злоупотребил вашим гостеприимством. - Не обращайте на него внимания, - засмеялась. - Он просто расстроен. Но он получит то, что ему причитается.
О Боже! - воскликнул. - Что случилось. ГЛАВА 93 Причастие. Халохот сразу же увидел Беккера: нельзя было не заметить пиджак защитного цвета да еще с кровавым пятном на боку. Светлый силуэт двигался по центральному проходу среди моря черных одежд. Он не должен знать, что я .
- Одна неточность, и все мы погибли. Фонтейн сурово взглянул на. Уж о чем о чем, а о стрессовых ситуациях директор знал .
В трубке повисло молчание. - Мидж… - Джабба попробовал извиниться. - Позволь мне объяснить. - Голос его, однако, мягче не. - Во-первых, у нас есть фильтр, именуемый Сквозь строй, - он не пропустит ни один вирус.
Сьюзан отказывалась понимать. Не появится. - Но вы же позвонили… Стратмор позволил себе наконец засмеяться. - Трюк, старый как мир. Никуда я не звонил.
Это чистая правда! - кричал .