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Against “experience”

Lewis, Peter J. (2019) Against “experience”. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Just as Bell proposed that we excise the word “measurement” from physics, so I propose that we should excise the word “experience”: “experience” and its cognates should not appear in the formulation of any physical theory, including quantum mechanics and its various interpretations. The reasons are more or less the same as Bell gives for “measurement”: “experience” is a vague term, and experiencing systems are made out of atoms obeying quantum mechanics. Bell’s exhortation concerning “measurement” has largely been taken on board in the foundations of quantum mechanics. But appeals to “experience” remain—in part, I will argue, because of a bad argument that can be traced back to von Neumann, and in part because of mistaken impressions about the fundamentality of experience.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Lewis, Peter J.
Keywords: quantum mechanics, experience, consciousness, measurement, Bell
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Peter J. Lewis
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2019 01:12
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2019 01:12
Item ID: 15779
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 31 January 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15779

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