Published on July 29, 2014
From the “Free Will Theorems” : From the “Free Will Theorems” T o the “Choice Ontology” of Quantum Mechanics Vasil Penchev : Vasil Penchev Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Institute for the Study of Societies of Knowledge [email protected] Friday, October 10 th 11:15 am Center for Cognition and Neuroethics Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience 4800 S Saginaw St, Flint , Michigan 48557, USA 10 -11 October, 2014: “ Free Will Conference” The thesis: The thesis If the concept of “free will” is reduced to that of “choice” , the physical world shares the latter quality However, the physical world either in classical or quantum physics shares the “principle of least action” though in a generalized formulation The principle of least action can be also interpreted as a principle of most probability and thus as that of least choice and information in final analysis PowerPoint Presentation: Constructive choice Non-constructive choice Infinity The axiom of choice The free will of human beings The free choice of any item in the universe Quantum information as the quantity of choice The substance of the universe Choice + Goal = Free will Choice Free will versus choice: Free will versus choice The “free will” should be distinguished from the “choice”: The free will includes both a freely chosen goal and a relevant way to be achieved That goal can be really achieved or not Choice is only a relation or even a mapping between a set of alternatives and an element of this set, i.e. a given alternative (either chosen or happened ) Consequently “choice” does not requires (but not exclude) the “goal” and “relevant way” PowerPoint Presentation: A chosen element Any class or set A relation between them A chosen goal The present A way relevant for this goal Past Future Choice Free will Present Present The present as a gift The goal and way: The goal and way The “free will” involves a certain goal, and the way is only the mean, by which the aim can be achieved or not by the one who determines the target Consequently, the so-defined concept of choice serves to describe the situation of choice in an abstract way, only by means of the states before and after the choice and their relation That concept of choice is used in mathematics (set theory) and physics (quantum mechanics) being unsufficient but not irrelevant to definition of the choice of a human being It neglects both goal and way for it to be achieved, which are specific for “free will” PowerPoint Presentation: Physics Mathematics Choice as an abstraction Choice as a philosophical phenomenon Choice as experience Philosophy Choice as cognition Husserl’s phenomenology Psychology An abstract definition of choice Free will Choice as one’s experience Quantum mechanics Time Quantum information Time About electron’s “free will” and choice: About electron’s “free will” and choice Thus, for example, an electron has always a choice but not free will unlike a human possessing both However, the temporal model of choice in both cases is the same: It suggests a leap (a q uantum one for the electron) into future and after that, the determination of the way from the end of the future state to the beginning of the present state The electron determines the future state in no way, still less as “wished”, which is specific for “free will”, though PowerPoint Presentation: Future past present ! The principles of least action and most probability: 1 st stage: 2 nd stage: Physical motion: A leap from past into future A choice of a smooth trajectory from future to past, “from the end to the beginning” The subjectivism of determinism: The subjectivism of determinism Consequently, and paradoxically, the determinism of classical physics is more subjective and more anthropomorphic than the indeterminism of quantum mechanics The former presupposes a certain deterministic goal implicitly following the model of human freewill behavior However, on the other side, determinism can be interpreted as the special case of the principle of least choice when any choice misses PowerPoint Presentation: Future past present ! The principles of least action and most probability: As no choice of determinism =0 i.e. Future past Choice in the base of the world: Choice in the base of the world The choice is usually linked to very complicated systems such as human brain or society and even often associated with consciousness However one can easily demonstrate that choice originates from the one of the most fundamental phenomena, the course of time Both electron and human being share the course of time and thus both are forced to be relevant and adapted to i t PowerPoint Presentation: Future past present The world Time creates the world Quantum information builds the world The world The choice in the material world: The choice in the material wo rld The material world seems to be deterministic and absolutely devoid of choice In fact , that alleged missing choice is only a particular case of the “principle of least choice” when no choice However one can suggest that the “principle of least choice” is predetermined by the course of time itself and thus shared by the free will of any human being as the free will should be relevant to time, too PowerPoint Presentation: Future past present The world The world Both experimenter’s free will and electron’s choice are relevant to the course of time As well as anything in the world The world Quantum mechanics and choice: Quantum mechanics and choice Quantum mechanics introduces the choice in the fundament of physical world and even in the only way, in which it can exist : Thus quantum mechanics reveals the specific way for any quantum item to be referred to time The time is what generates the being in final analysis though by the meditation of choice and information as the quantitative measure of the choices and their number So quantum mechanics rewrites Heidegger’s “ Sein und Zeit ” as “ Zeit und Sein ” PowerPoint Presentation: Sein und Zeit Zeit Sein choice and information Quantum information The present as a “phase transition”: The present as a “phase transition” Two absolute different media, that of future and that of past, collide each other Thus the present is not other than a phase transition between them All exist in the “phase transition” of the present between the uncertain future and the well-ordered past The essence and “atom” of this transition is the choice for only the choice can transform future into past PowerPoint Presentation: Past Future Present Choice The way of transforming future into past: The way of transforming future into past Thus the present is forced to “choose” in order to be able to transform the coherent state of the future into the well-ordering of the past The future is unorderable in principle but the past is always well-ordered in time: This implies that the phase transition between them, i.e. the present is the only which transforms the one into the other Mathematically, this is the so-called “well-ordering theorem” equivalent to the axiom of choice PowerPoint Presentation: Future A coherent state All possibilities as a whole The unorderable in principle Past A well-ordering in time Choice The well-ordering theorem The axiom of choice Choice versus the choosing: Choice versus the choosing The concept of choice in common sense as if suggests that there is one who chooses However, the axiom of choice does not suggest anybody who chooses neither the well-ordering theorem, anybody who orders One might say that the time itself is what chooses or orders However, it is still better to be introduced a special kind of subjectless choice or ordering Choice and ordering should be thought as relations rather than actions still less as human actions PowerPoint Presentation: Subjectless choice Choice as a relation Non-constructive choice The axiom of choice Choice as an action The human being’s choice Constructive choice An option for a formal definition of “subject” as an equivalent or guarantee of constructive choice Choice One’s choice Time’s choice Goal Choice The “subjectless” choice of quantum mechanics: The “ subjectless ” choice of quantum mechanics Indeed quantum mechanics involves a generalized case of choice, which can be called “ subjectless ”: One might say that the apparatus is what chooses and thus quantum mechanics is fundamentally subjective unlike classical physics Even more, quantum mechanics ostensibly needs a subject without whom reality might not exist In fact all those wrong conclusions originate from the misunderstanding of the subjectless choice involved by quantum mechanics PowerPoint Presentation: The misunderstanding of choice Any choice should be one’s Subjectless choice The apparatus is what chooses The experimenter is who chooses Quantum mechanics is subjective Quantum mechanics is incomplete Ostensibly In fact Choice in quantum mechanics “Time’s choice” The axiom of choice Quantum information The unity of set theory and quantum mechanics The unity of physics and mathematics Neo- Pythagoreanism In fact That choice transforming future into past: That choice transforming future into past There is certain choice, which originates from the transition of the future into the past This is the same choice introduced by quantum mechanics as the relation between: 1) The coherent state unorderable in principle for the theorems about the absence of hidden variables in quantum mechanics (Neumann 1932; Kochen , Specker 1968) 2) The results of the measurement constituting always a well-ordered statistical ensemble PowerPoint Presentation: Time’s choice Future Past ∴ Present = choice The Kochen – Specker theorem (1968) The Neumann theorem (1932) A coherent state unorderable in principle The well-ordering theorem = The axiom of choice A well-ordering by the parameter of time Time’s choice The omnipresence of choice: The omnipresence of choice Thus, that kind of choice is shared of all existing and does not need any subject: The subjecteless choice of quantum mechanics can be deduced from the subjectless choice of time Consequently, the time is what can relate to each other and even unify the subjectless choice of quantum mechanics and the freewill choice of a human being Any item in the universe should be adequate to the course of time in order to be able to exist PowerPoint Presentation: Both electron and human being need adequacy to time to be able to exist An electron A human being Subjectless choice Non-constructive choice The axiom of choice guaranteeing that choice Goal Constructive choice by intentions and plans The free will guaranteeing that choice to be able to exist Choice as an universal law of nature: Choice as an universal law of nature Choice can be considered as an absolutely universal law of nature That law originates from time So, choice should be an universal law not only of nature but not less, of consciousness, too A human being unlike an electron possesses consciousness, but both share choice for both are relate to time So, choice is an universal law of nature and consciousness PowerPoint Presentation: Choice An universal law Nature Consciousness The axiom of choice Free will An electron An experimenter The free-will theorems An universal law The “free will theorems” in quantum mechanics: The “free will theorems” in quantum mechanics There are a few theorems in quantum mechanics directly relevant to the topic: two of them were called “free will theorems” by their authors (Conway, Kochen 2006; 2009 ) A mathematically absolutely rigorous way for the theorems to be proved is demonstrated by the two authors in their paper Furthermore, their conclusions can be grounded philosophically on the base of quantum holism, i.e. by means of the quantum and holistic unity of the quantum entity and experimenter: PowerPoint Presentation: The free will theorems The free will theorems Any item in quantum mechanics such as an electron Any freewill being such as a human experimenter Quantum holism Choice as solidarity: Choice as solidarity If the experimenter possesses “free will ”, the holistic unity implies the same for the electron However, one can found the unity of the electron and human being in another way Both are forced to be “solidary” in front of the time, of the future So, both share choice for that solidarity Even more, they should be a coherent whole in their common future and only the choice is what can isolate them from each other in the present PowerPoint Presentation: Future The coherent “superposition” and inseparable whole of the electron, experimenter, and any other item in the universe Their solidarity in front of time Their gradual appearing and isolating by the choice The absolute isolation between them (no any interaction) Past The quantum “holism of free will”: The quantum “holism of free will” A few quotations from their papers: “Do we really have free will, or, as a few determined folk maintain, is it all an illusion ?” (Conway, Kochen 2006: 1441 ). “We don’t know, but will prove in this paper that if indeed there exist any experimenters with a modicum of free will, then elementary particles must have their own share of this valuable commodity” (Conway, Kochen 2006: 1441). PowerPoint Presentation: Two possible interpretations of the free will theorems Indeterminism Determinism T he experimenter possesses free will The electron shares that “valuable commodity” The electron is predetermined T he experimenter possesses no free will If If If The non-deterministic universe: The non-deterministic universe The conclusion of the second paper is: “The import of the free will theorem is that it is not only current quantum theory, but the world itself that is non-deterministic, so that no future theory can return us to a clockwork universe” (Conway, Kochen 2009: 232) If the world itself is “non-deterministic”, neither the universe is “clockwork”, this means that the choice is put in their base The law of least choice or information (i.e. zero as a borderline case) is what creates the illusion of a “clockwork” and deterministic universe without any choice PowerPoint Presentation: Obviously, Conway and Specker share the nondeterministic interpretation of their theorem Determinism Indeterminism A borderline case No choice No information The general case Both experimenter and electron “choose” The choice (information) during a trajectory is less, the trajectory is more probable The “law of least choice and information” Obviously, Conway and Specker share the nondeterministic interpretation of their theorem The missing “hidden variables” in quantum mechanics: The missing “hidden variables” in quantum mechanics The “free-will theorems” can be considered as a continuation of the so-called theorems about the absence of “hidden variables” in quantum mechanics (Neumann 1932; Kochen , Specker 1968 ) They refute the hypothesis (of Einstein and others) about hidden but unknown variables after the reveal of which, ostensibly, quantum mechanics would become “complete” The quoted theorems deduce this rigorously from the mathematical formalism used by quantum mechanics PowerPoint Presentation: The “no hidden variables” theorems The “free will” theorems Their equivalence implies the quantum information as the single substance of the universe Simon Kochen The human link Choice versus hidden variables: Choice versus hidden variables In fact, those “hidden variables” are necessary for there be no choice In other words, if the choice is not only admitted but even put in the base of the universe, any hidden variables are refuted rather than only redundant In a sense, the “free will theorems” should imply the earlier “no hidden variables” theorems Consequently, the “free will” theorems are stronger than the “no hidden variables” theorems However, if quantum information (the quantity of choices) is that hidden variable, the formers are only a different result consistent both with “hidden variables” and with “no hidden variables” PowerPoint Presentation: ? ? ? ? ? On the one hand But on the other hand Choice implies no hidden variables AS The hidden variables implies no choice The free will theorems The “no hidden variables” theorem The free will theorems The “no hidden variables” theorems Quantum information as the hidden variable The quantum measurement as ordering : The quantum measurement as ordering The “no hidden variables” theorems imply no well-ordering in any coherent state in any quantum system before measurement However, the same state is transformed into a well-ordered (e.g. by the parameter of time) statistical ensemble after measurement So, the “no hidden variables” theorems imply in turn some choice of the measured quantum entity and thus the free will theorems Consequently, the “no hidden variables” and “free will” theorems should be equivalent in a sense PowerPoint Presentation: The “no hidden variables” theorems The well-ordering theorem = The axiom of choice Choice The free will theorems The free will theorems The “no hidden variables” theorems Choice A philosophical conclusion: A philosophical conclusion The eventual equivalence of the “no hidden variables” and “free will theorems” implies the following: Quantum information as an alleged “hidden variable”, being the quantity of choices, should be equivalent to all the rest in the physical world Indeed the above equivalence is logically possible then and only then when: The world (in the case of “no hidden variable”) is exactly the same as (or exactly equal to) quantum information (in the case of the only hidden variable of quantum information) PowerPoint Presentation: The free will theorems The “no hidden variables” theorems Quantum information as the hidden variable The universe according to quantum mechanics The universe according to quantum information is the same as is the same as is the same as A philosophical speculation: A philosophical speculation If quantum information is the universal substance of the world being equivalent to it and quantum information is the quantity of choice, then: Choice grounds the universe Even more, the choice itself can be founded by the course of time So, time can be put in the base of all being PowerPoint Presentation: Time Choice Quantum information as the quantity of choices The universe Free will as choice Consciousness Time The well-ordered results: The well-ordered results Indeed the measured results by any quantum measurement are always well-ordered (e.g. by the parameter of time) If they refer to one and the same coherent state, they represent it as a statistical ensemble in final analysis As that statistical ensemble can be obtained only by well-ordering of an unorderable state as the coherent one is, the meditation of transfinite ordinal numbers is necessary PowerPoint Presentation: Future Past A coherent state unorderable in principle A well-ordering by the parameter of time Transfinite ordinal numbers The link between the states before and after measurement: The link between the states before and after measurement Thus, the link of the state before and after measurement implies the well-ordering theorem equivalent to the axiom of choice Furthermore, the state before measurement as being unorderable in principle involves some infinite set implicitly for any finite set can be always ordered somehow Therefor, the corresponding ordinal number has to be transfinite for no finite ordinal number can corresponds to an infinite set after its well-ordering PowerPoint Presentation: Before measurement After measurement A coherent state unorderable in principle A well-ordering by the parameter of time Transfinite ordinal numbers Infinity Finiteness The two definitions of “ordinal number”: The two definitions of “ordinal number” There are two definitions of ordinal number: In Neumann (1923) In Cantor (1893) – Russell Both definitions are applicable to the equivalent of a coherent quantum state after measurement However they generate different though perhaps equivalent concepts as the measure of quantum information: In Neumann: a binary transfinite number In Cantor – Russell: a statistical ensemble PowerPoint Presentation: Ordinal number In Neumann In Cantor - Russell The class of all permutations of a well-ordering That well-ordering as the representative element of that class A class (set) of sets of ones and the same elements A single set, which is well- ordered (somehow) This generates a Turing tape eventually transfinite A statistical ensemble of these elements after all sets are “mixed” in a single class (set) A measured quantum state The shared choice : The shared choice So, any quantum system either a human or an electron or whatever else has always some choice : Thus the choice can be considered as the omnipresent resource for general use in the universe shared by any item including an electron and a human being The source of this resource is the time Time is the only which grants the choice as a “gift” for all in the universe PowerPoint Presentation: Choice A resource, which is granted as a “gift” by the time, for the universe to be build An electron A human being Any item in the universe The choice is what allows of each of them both for existing and for isolating as standalone Choice Choice and past: Choice and past The behavior of any item in the universe is not predetermined by its past in general That determinism is only a particular, borderline, and idealized case according to the “law of least choice” when the choice and thus information is zero In fact, the choice and information in a trajectory can be zero when and only when the segment of the trajectory in question is thoroughly in the past Consequently, determinism is the idealization of the case when a motion is almost in the past for the big mass of the moving: That is the case in classical physics (No motion can be actually and absolutely in the past for there is no motion then) PowerPoint Presentation: “The river of death and oblivion” ἀλήθεια λήθη The gift of the present Truth ἀ - λήθεια Heidegger’s “ unhiddeness ” (or uncoveredness ) Real motions An idealized and absolutely predetermined motion “The river of death and oblivion” The effortless past : The effortless past Consequently, indeterminism is a physical law Even more, indeterminism is an universal law of the being which is in the time Motion either mechanical or physical, or whatever else means indeterminism, choice and information Motion cannot happen if it is really and absolutely predetermined The past is effortless, “dead”: No motion can occur in the past The past is always well-ordered and thus unchangeable PowerPoint Presentation: Motion means change Change means choice Any choice can happen only in the present Any motion has to be in the present (at least partly) Motion means indeterminism Indeterminism Indeterminism From choice to information: From choice to information However, quantum information underlies not only any physical motion but also any physical item (“particle ”) This implies that a form of information, the quantum information underlies all existing The unit of the quantity of information is an elementary choice: either a bit or a quantum bit ( qubit ) The boundary between “bit” and “ qubit ” is infinity: A bit means a choice between two alternatives (i.e. a finite number) while a qubit means a choice of an element among an infinite set of alternatives PowerPoint Presentation: 0 1 0 1 One bit ( a finite choice ) One qubit ( an infinite choice ) Choice Well-ordering From the shared choice to the shared quantum information: From the shared choice to the shared quantum information Thus both experimenter and electron share a common fundament of choice and quantum information That common choice and thus quantum information originate from their joint existing (co-existing) in the present They cannot help but share some minimal nonzero quantity of choice being co-existing The phenomenon of entanglement can be defined as shared quantum information originating from the shared choice Time and entanglement: Time and entanglement TIME Future present past A coherent state A few entangled states A few well-ordered series in time The goal of a human being: The goal of a human being Anyway a human (e.g. an experimenter) can predetermine a goal for achieving while an electron cannot do it in principle However, of course, the experimenter cannot predetermine the “choice of the electron” as experimenter’s goal and choice This would mean that the experimenter might deprive the electron of its legitimate choice and therefore, violate a fundamental law of nature: Its violation is impossible and even absurd PowerPoint Presentation: An experimenter The experimenter’s goal guaranteed as free will An experiment on electrons An electron The electron’s choice guaranteed as a law of nature the electron’s choice The experiment can violate the experimenter’s free will Neither Nor The goal between human’s free will and the choice of an electron: The goal between human’s free will and the choice of an electron Consequently, what distinguishes the human free will from the free choice of an electron is the goal : However any human being’s free will and goals should be limited: Not only by the other human beings’ free will and goals, but furthermore B y the freedom of choice of anything in the universe The free will theorems means: The experimenter’s behavior obeys “categorical imperative” as the principle of the universe rather than of human society only PowerPoint Presentation: “Categorical imperative” The human being’s free will Should be restricted by the other human beings’ free will by anything’s choice in the universe not only but also “Categorical imperative” The target of a human being versus the random choice of an electron: The target of a human being versus the random choice of an electron Free will supposes a target while the choice of an electron is always random The electron’s choice is guaranteed mathematically by the axiom of choice The electron does not dispose of any constructive way such as plans, targets to achieve its choice Nevertheless its choice is guaranteed as a law of nature not less than that of a human being supplied by consciousness and thus by constructive methods to all permissible goals Permissible goals are what do not contradict the “categorical imperative” of the universe PowerPoint Presentation: The “categorical imperative” of the universe Though fundamentally random, the free choice of any “quantum particle” i s not less guaranteed than the free will of any human being The “categorical imperative” of the universe The “categorical imperative” of the universe The subjectivity of classical physics: The subjectivity of classical physics Rather paradoxically, classical physics turns out to be more anthropomorphic than quantum mechanics Quantum mechanics was alleged to be dependent on an experimenter or even on an observer osten-sibly deciding for the measured result what to be This is not true, though In fact the determinism of classical physical deprives anything in the universe except the human being of the freedom of choice: a form of human chauvinism, subjectivism and anthropocentrism This is wrong, too PowerPoint Presentation: The choice is monopolized by the human free will Human chauvinism The viewpoint of classical physics All human beings The monopolized resource of choice Choice Free will All the rest in the universe Determinism No choice Slavery The omnipresent choice: The omnipresent choice In fact, free choice is shared by all existing while determinism features only beings having free will as a human but only as a self-deception In fact, the human free will is limited by “categorical imperative” guaranteeing the free choice of anything in the universe Consequently, the human free will is both only a form of the omnipresent choice and restricted by the same omnipresence of choice PowerPoint Presentation: Human free will The omnipresence of choice in the universe The anthropomorphism of classical physics: The anthropomorphism of classical physics So, classical physics remaining still anthropomorphic describes nature deterministically in simile of human behavior Thus, it conserves the choice ostensibly as a resource only for the human beings: This is self-deception The self-deception consists of the fundamental misunderstanding even of what a human being is and of how the human being differs from the rest in the universe PowerPoint Presentation: C onstructive choice Random choice Human beings Goals The omnipresence of choice in the universe Finiteness Infinity The main conclusion:: The main conclusion: The free will theorems in quantum mechanics can be interpreted philosophically That interpretation leads to the free-choice ontology of quantum mechanics Choice and quantum information as the quantity of choices is the base of the universe Both electron and experimenter share the common resource of choice “Categorical imperative” as a law of universe guarantees the “right of choice” of any item in the u niverse either a human being or an electron, or anything else in the universe More conclusions:: More conclusions: The human free well includes some goal as well as a constructive way either true or false f or it to be achieved The choice guaranteed for any item in the universe (thus for any human being, too) is not constructive in general and random in principle The choice and its quantity of quantum information originates from the course of time and thus shared by anything T he choice is the only way for the unorderable in principle coherent state of future to be transformed into the well-ordered past by the meditation of the present and choice References:: References: Cantor, G. (1897) “ Beitrage zur Begrundung der transfiniten Mengenlehre ( Zweiter Artikel )”, Mathematische Annalen , 49(2): 207-246 . Conway, John and Kochen , Simon (2006) "The Free Will Theorem," Foundations of Physics 36(10): 1441–1473 ( arXiv:quant-ph /0604079). Conway, John and Kochen , Simon (2009) “The Strong Free Will Theorem,” Notices of the AMS 56(2): 226-232 (arXiv:0807.3286) . Kochen , S., Specker , E. (1968) “The problem of hidden variables in quantum mechanics”, Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics, 17(1): 59-87. References:: References: Neumann, J. von (1923) " Zur Einführung der trasfiniten Zahlen ", Acta litterarum ac scientiarum Ragiae Universitatis Hungaricae Francisco- Josephinae , Sectio scientiarum mathematicarum , 1(4): 199–208. Neumann, J. von (1932). Mathematical foundation of quantum mechanics [ Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik , Berlin: Springer, pp. 167-173 (Chapter IV.2). Whitehead, A., N. Russell, B. (any edition) Principia Mathematica , Vol. 2(*153), Vol. 3(*251). PowerPoint Presentation: Thank you for your kind attention!