Quantum Leap from Physics to Psychology

A quote from Karl H Pribram, The Form Within: My Point of View

p. 514 “The revolution in science inaugurated by quantum physics made us aware, as never before, of taking into consideration the role of observation and measurement in the construction of data. A personal experience illuminates the extent of this revolution. Eugene Wigner remarked that in quantum physics we no longer have observables (invariants) but only observations. Tongue in cheek, I asked whether that meant that quantum physics is really psychology, expecting a gruff reply to my sassiness. Instead, Wigner beamed a happy smile of understanding and replied: ‘Yes, yes, that’s exactly correct.’ In a sense, therefore, if one takes the reductive path in science one ends up with psychology, not particles of matter.”


5 responses to “Quantum Leap from Physics to Psychology”

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  1. Brett Hall says:

    It should not surprise us how mistaken some of the early pioneers of modern physics were about quantum theory. Wigner could not be more wrong on this point. We do not “have…only observations” because observations are theory laden. That is, theory must always come first. Theory about what to observe and how and, so what the observations mean. Layer upon layer of interpretation separate the observer from the observed. The observer has a theory about how their instrument works, how the observational process operates, how the experiment has been conducted and what it shows. All this before they even get to interpreting their observations. And the role of those observations? To decide between competing theories.

  2. The question would be where competing theories come from.

  3. Brett Hall says:

    Theories are guessed. They are conjectures. They “come from” human creativity. We do not understand creativity, but we do know that this is where theories of any sort come from. They are *products of the human mind*, guessed at and then tested against reality.

  4. What would you say about evolution? Is this also a part of human creativity?

  5. Brett Hall says:

    Evolution by natural selection can produce knowledge. Although he was not the first to observe this, it is explained by David Deutsch in “The Beginning of Infinity”. The *theory of* evolution by natural selection is, of course, a product of human creativity.