The assumption of
an objective world underlying all our experiences is deeply embedded in our
everyday thinking and in our language, and has been an unquestioned presupposition
of the scientific enterprise for at least four centuries. Yet it is well known
that quantum physics raises some highly problematic questions in this respect,
questions that are still open, almost a century from the inception of the
theory. I would like to propose that these questions stem from deep philosophical
assumptions and can be answered in a much more coherent way if we understand
the notion of an objective world not as a primary reality, but as an emergent
aspect of a primary process that can be described as “experiencing”. A coherent
description of the appearance of an objective world in the process of
experiencing relies on a certain understanding of what is technically known
as the “quantum measurement problem”, i.e. the description of the process of
observation in quantum physics, which is the key problematic aspect of the
theory. I will propose that the basic features that characterize a quantum
observation have a much wider scope, and describe in fact all acquisition of
information by an “embodied observer”, in short all experiencing happening in
the world. By applying to this larger context work I have done in the more
technical frame of the quantum measurement problem it can be shown that the
nature of the process of experiencing is such as to inevitably generate the
appearance of an objective world. Thus the objectivity of the world, although
not primary and ultimately real, is an intrinsic consequence of our “experiential
embodiment”, i.e. of the fact that we are in the world and all our experiences
correspond to physical happenings in the world. When examined in this
perspective, the “paradoxes” of quantum physics are an invitation to abandon
the metaphysical assumption of the primacy of the objective dimension of
reality. A philosophical position much more in tune with quantum physics views
the process of experiencing as the primary source of both subject and object,
consciousness and world.
Cite this paper
Sabbadini, S. (2014) Is the World Objective?. Open Journal of Philosophy
, 107-116. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2014.42015
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