We are told that many physicists have “gotten interested in consciousness”:
…drawn by the so-called hard problem of consciousness. The methods of science seem inherently incapable of describing subjective experience. Our inner mental life is hidden from external observation and does not seem reducible to mathematical description. It strikes many researchers as an unnecessary add-on with no place in the physical scheme of things. By this argument, some researchers say understanding the mind could demand some new principle of science or new way of thinking. Physicists are intrigued that their basic picture of the world could be missing something so important.
That is not the only reason that physicists have been giving thought to the mind. The multiverse is one example of how we may perceive a filtered version of reality, and once you start down this path of wondering how truth might be skewed, you might entertain possibilities that make the multiverse sound tame. Immanuel Kant argued that the structure of our minds conditions what we perceive. In that tradition, physicist Markus Müller of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Vienna and cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman of the University of California, Irvine, among others, have argued that we perceive the world as divided into objects situated within space and time, not necessarily because it has this structure but because that is the only way we could perceive it…
If we find that our theories are clutching at vapors, that’s not a bad thing. It’s reminding us to be humble. Physicists can be full of themselves, but the most experienced and accomplished among them are usually circumspect. They tend to be the first people to point out the problems with their own ideas, if only to avoid the embarrassment of someone else doing it for them. No one ever said that finding the truth would be easy.George Musser, “How close can physics bring us to a truly fundamental understanding of the world?” at Scientific American
It’s not clear how the Hard Problem of Consciousness would help much with physics. Consider the quagmire below:
SWhy some scientists believe the universe is conscious
Why some scientists think the universe is an illusion
Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself
Panpsychism: You are conscious but so is your coffee mug
Follow UD News at Twitter!