[OPE-L:3521] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Marxism and 19th century materialism

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Tue Jun 20 2000 - 01:12:42 EDT

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On Mon, 19 Jun 2000, Paul Cockshott wrote:

> >IMO the starting point for New Age appropriations of quantum
> >mechanics is not actually Bohr's interpretation
> >("Complementarity", the idea that nature is irreducibly
> >stochastic), but rather the notion von Neumann introduced, that
> >the collapse of the wave-function is located in the
> >consciousness of "the observer".
> >
> Are you sure that von Neumann introduced this idea?
> I dont recall him saying that from my reading of him.

I don't have a direct reference to back this up. My secondary
source (Herbert, "Quantum Reality") says that von Neumann
"reluctantly came to the conclusion that human consciousness is
the site of the wave function collapse". I don't know if it's
in his 1955 book but its certainly part of the folklore.
Apparently Wigner took the idea up. Bohr didn't really have a
"wave-function collapse" because he took an instrumental view of
the Schroedinger equation.

Allin Cottrell.

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