Personality Cafe banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If my understanding is correct, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle relates to limits of knowledge/observation of subatomic particles, rather than claiming their position or motion is actually random. We have no evidence of indeterminism at the subatomic level, but have to model with uncertainty because we can't look closely enough to fully observe the physics in action.

If this is true, this more or less destroys the argument(s) for such concepts as free will, but seeing as my knowledge of quantum physics is amateur at best, I was wondering if anyone could either reaffirm my hypothesis or kindly correct me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,632 Posts
The uncertainty principle is an epistemic matter. It does not actually tell, if the motion of particles in the quantum area is determined, it just expresses that we cannot grasp both the position and the momentum simultaneously. In a way you are right, it does not decribe the actual state of the particles and thus is no hard evidence for indeterminism. The latter is a matter of interpretation. Basically there are deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics possible as well (e.g. David Bohm)

If this is true, this more or less destroys the argument(s) for such concepts as free will, but seeing as my knowledge of quantum physics is amateur at best, I was wondering if anyone could either reaffirm my hypothesis or kindly correct me.
Not neccesarily. As said, it does not describe wether the quantum area is deterministic or not. We cannot presume that it is. Either way, determinisism is compatible with the doctrine of free will. To the contrary there are many arguments for the notion, that indeterminism and free will are not compatible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
The uncertainty principle is an epistemic matter. It does not actually tell, if the motion of particles in the quantum area is determined, it just expresses that we cannot grasp both the position and the momentum simultaneously. In a way you are right, it does not decribe the actual state of the particles and thus is no hard evidence for indeterminism. The latter is a matter of interpretation. Basically there are deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics possible as well (e.g. David Bohm)

Not neccesarily. As said, it does not describe wether the quantum area is deterministic or not. We cannot presume that it is. Either way, determinisism is compatible with the doctrine of free will. To the contrary there are many arguments for the notion, that indeterminism and free will are not compatible.
So the Universe exists in a superposition of deterministic and indeterministic states? Sounds familiar.

On a more serious note: Determinism and Indeterminism are equally incompatible with free will. The alternative is an exercise in semantic gymnatics to make "free will" resemble "intelligence" or "autonomy". I'm looking at you Daniel Dennet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nessie

·
Registered
Joined
·
597 Posts
If my understanding is correct, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle relates to limits of knowledge/observation of subatomic particles, rather than claiming their position or motion is actually random. We have no evidence of indeterminism at the subatomic level, but have to model with uncertainty because we can't look closely enough to fully observe the physics in action.

If this is true, this more or less destroys the argument(s) for such concepts as free will, but seeing as my knowledge of quantum physics is amateur at best, I was wondering if anyone could either reaffirm my hypothesis or kindly correct me.
Errr...Im not going to reaffirm your hypothesis or correct it, but I think, that with Heisenberg uncertainty principle you are getting too into field of physics, connecting it with philosophy.

If Ill like to take in doubt concept of absolute free will, Ill rather start with construction of brain and genetics. And how genes influence way we are already at the molecular level. In other words, I see free will like more "organic" and personal issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,025 Posts
If my understanding is correct, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle relates to limits of knowledge/observation of subatomic particles, rather than claiming their position or motion is actually random. We have no evidence of indeterminism at the subatomic level, but have to model with uncertainty because we can't look closely enough to fully observe the physics in action.

If this is true, this more or less destroys the argument(s) for such concepts as free will, but seeing as my knowledge of quantum physics is amateur at best, I was wondering if anyone could either reaffirm my hypothesis or kindly correct me.
I think Heisenberg himself corroborated the uncertainty principle with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, so it represents not just a limitation of observation or detection but quantum uncertainty is a irreducible part of reality itself and is not just limited to the quantum world. Now obviously this caused a lot of polarization of physics, especially between Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrodinger who advocated a deterministic interpretation and Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,632 Posts
I think Heisenberg himself corroborated the uncertainty principle with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, so it represents not just a limitation of observation or detection but quantum uncertainty is a irreducible part of reality itself and is not just limited to the quantum world. Now obviously this caused a lot of polarization of physics, especially between Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrodinger who advocated a deterministic interpretation and Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg.
This is pure non-sequitur. The Copenhagen interpretation is, as the name says, just an interpretation. No falsifiable or by any means ontological statement is proposed in it. It is thus not neccesary, that randomness, not determinism, is the actual course of actions. All in all the uncertainty principle is but an epistemic matter. In general, determinism and the opposite notions are essentially metaphysical and thus not scientific/have the capacity of being tested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
645 Posts
Introducing multiple paths with multiple probabilities of going one way or the other RANDOMLY, has zero free will just as determinism does. In fact, all probability and possibility can be deterministic if you just treat them as extra time dimensions. Like a time tree, with different branch thicknesses to show probability.

I don't get this "mathematically proven" theory but I can safely assume it has links with how we can never know all the fundamental truths about existence:

Gödel's incompleteness theorems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Also, as for being "falsifiable", there are plenty of possible explanations about existence that are all unfalsifiable but could also be true. This video demonstrates:
, particularly if you skip to 04:00.

My explanation for consciousness is that it's extremely passive, that the arrangement of matter that is your brain and its surroundings, if it's arranged in that way, it will invariably "be conscious" and have the exact same memories. In this way, I believe consciousness is more objective/fundamental than anything else, because it's the one basis we have to possibly perceive anything, and all scientific theories are actually more subjective because they are fundamentally based on what we have consciously perceived and what we have deduced from it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,556 Posts
Everyone here seems to be going on the notion that 'uncertainty' simply means that we can never know for sure because we can't see all the information. Also the OP seems to suggest that it's somehow linked to the idea of human freewill? Odd!

As far as I can tell, the uncertainty principle is more about the fact that sometimes two variables are combined such that knowing one means you can't ever accurately know the other. It's not about human or technological limits, it's about actual universal issues of logical computation and measurement.

The typical example is 'momentum vs position'.

If you want to know the momentum of an object, you need to know two positions, so you can calculate the time between them, and hence find out the velocity and, therefore, the momentum. But then you only know the average momentum between the two given points. You can't accurately position it. It's impossible. All you can say is that it had 'X' momentum between the points 'A' and 'B'.

Conversely, if you establish a pin-point position for the object, you then don't have a shred of data to calculate the momentum. You just know its co-ordinate position. You can't at all gauge its momentum because you have no way of deriving its speed because all you have is the data for a single point. So in this case, you have accurately positioned it, but you will never know the momentum.

So that's why it's an uncertainty. You absolutely cannot know both facts at the same time.
 

·
Grand Inquisitor
Joined
·
8,120 Posts
If free will doesn't exist, who is controlling you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
This year the Ozawa formulation of the HUP received its first confirmation and, if confirmed over the next couple of decades, Indeterminacy will be elevated to the status of Natural Law. Right now it's merely a principle, but if it becomes natural law academic science will have to no choice but to acknowledge that, according to the evidence, life is absurd. Jokes are merely jokes, rubbish, meaningless, crap, B.S., does not compute, and any attempts to explain this one as determining anything other than the limits of our perception are the stuff of late night comedy. It's a contextual system where the changing context first supports one set of metaphysics, and then another never favoring any single set of metaphysics and driving those who don't understand such thing bananas. Sort of like confusing a rubber sex doll for the real deal.

Free will itself can, therefore, be considered part of the joke and how well you get the joke is a measure of how well developed your sense of humor. If it becomes natural law, then we can say with some confidence Wittgenstein is rolling over in his grave in superposition laughing his butt off.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top