Physics and particularly quantum physics are often invoked in discussions of consciousness. But what can physics actually tell us? I will first discuss what physics does not tell us: physics does not provide any criteria with which to distinguish conscious systems from non-conscious systems. As far as physics is concerned, consciousness is like free will - it characterizes either nothing or everything. Since we are conscious, it is reasonable to regard everything else as conscious, too. If we make this assumption, the question of interest becomes: what systems are conscious of what? Physics is fundamentally a theory of interaction, so it can tell us a lot about this. The first thing it tells us is that being conscious of something requires expending energy. How much energy a system can expend determines how much it can be conscious of. This energy requirement has surprising consequences, some of which I will describe.
This talk was recorded at SAND
So-called “higher symmetries” are illuminating everything from particle decays to the behavior of complex quantum systems.
The first step towards an ontological comprehension of physics consists in the rediscovery of what we term the corporeal domain, which is basically the perceptible, beginning with the visual.
There are many big questions to be curious about, and one of the most fascinating is this: What makes…
“Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9 percent of everything you think, and of everything you do, is for yourself — and there isn’t one.”
consciousness is a fundamental quality of the cosmos, and that what we call the material world emerges from it.
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