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A Kantian View of Quantum Mechanics

  1. Nov 27, 2012 #1
    Phenomena-anything that can potentially be made perceivable to awareness by any of the facilities of awareness (sensation, thought, memory, etc).

    Noumena-after all perception is stripped from an object, that something that still remains (Hindu thought and Kant)-that which cannot be possibly be known to awareness-“the thing in itself.”

    Defining isomorphism primitively as a valid analogy in which each member in a set of “something” can be related to each member in a set of “something else” and what “happens” in the relationships between the members of a set of “something” corresponds analogously to what happens to the corresponding members in a set of “something else,” the question could be asked; is there an “isomorphism” between noumena and phenomena which exists because of consciousness? Is this isomorphism complete? Can all objects in phenomena to mapped one to one and onto all members in noumena?

    For one thing, it would seem that this relationship, on the whole, is not two way (bijective). It would be fascinating if it were. Phenomena it would seem does not map into noumena but noumena maps into phenomena. What is real in the world effects us but what is in our minds does not affect the world unless we actively do something about it.

    Stretching this analogy further, it would seem that to say that all elements in noumena can be mapped to phenomena (what we can be potentially aware of) is simply too restrictive. Saying that there is no guarantee that all elements in noumena can be mapped to phenomena would seem less restrictive and therefore more plausible. There is no justification for saying that the potential of awareness extends to everything that exists. Some stuff may forever be hidden in noumena, behind a Kantian wall.

    Now getting, after this long winded discussion, to Quantum Mechanics: it may very well be that Quantum Mechanics has legs in noumena which are immune to the blandishments of awareness. Why should everything in Quantum Mechanics be amendable to being recognizable as phenomena? In Quantum Mechanics, there is static on the line, the message in not quite clear because parts of it are forever stuck and hidden in noumena.

    The explanation for the Schrodinger Wave equation is that there is no explanation within the limits of human knowledge (Kant).

    As an example, the EPR paradox, resolved by John Stuart Bell against Einstein. There is quantum entanglement between two particles at a distance beyond which communication is impossible, given the instantaneous change of state of one particle with that of the other.

    Why not say, as Kant did, that space is a construct of awareness to make sense of perception. Assuming this to be true, then there is no reality to space outside the human mind (other than by analogy and/or projection from noumena) .The EPR paradox is resolved because it did not exist in the first place. There is no “distance.” Ditto for time.

    While Quantum Mechanics fragments cause and effect into probability, there is, in my opinion, a sense that between noumena and phenomena there is a greater affection for cause and effect in some inexplicable way, not likely ever to be understood by human awareness.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2012 #2


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    Sorry, in my view this is just meaningless philosobabble.
  4. Nov 27, 2012 #3


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    So Bill, just curious: is meaningful philosobabble better?

  5. Nov 27, 2012 #4

    Doc Al

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    Posts that are primarily philosophical are not permitted in the technical forums. Please keep it about the physics.
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