Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Reflections on an Unromantic Brief Encounter with an Onto-Epic Quantum Physicist

Graham P. Smetham


A recent encounter with a quantum physicist has prompted me to examine the claims made by some interpreters of the work of Wojciech H. Zurek, and perhaps by Zurek himself – he does not seem to be clear on this point, that the quantum Darwinian approach to decoherence provides a means to establish the ‘objectivity’ of the classical world through the quantum ‘epiontic’ mechanism. A detailed and rigorous philosophical analysis of Zurek’s perspective indicates that the kind of objectivity provided by the quantum Darwinian physical-metaphysical perspective corresponds to what Bernard d’Espagnat terms ‘weak objectivity’, which is in fact a mixture of objectivity and subjectivity. Some of Zurek’s remarks seem to indicate that he thinks that his analysis undermines the ‘ultimate evidence’ that the classical world is entangled and dependent upon consciousness. However, a rigorous analysis shows that the opposite is the case; Zurek’s epiontic quantum Darwinian classical universe is ultimately dependent upon consciousness. I also indicate some remarkable points of contact with Buddhist metaphysics.

Full Text: