Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Endophysics, Time, Quantum and the Subjective

Date: January 17 - 22, 2005
Organizers: Metod Saniga (TatranskŠ Lomnica/Slovakia), Rosolino Buccheri(Palermo/Italy), Avshalom Elitzur (Ramat-Gan/Israel)

The endo-physical paradigm aims at transcending the traditional division between the observer and the observed. What is often regarded as subjective aspects of reality may eventually reveal important knowledge about reality an sich. This workshop focused on the possible role of the endo-physical paradigm in the future development of physics and in our understanding of Nature as a whole. The main topics discussed were the nature of time, quantum theory, and the concept of subjectivity, where the radical shift from the exo- to endo-principles is most likely to occur first. More particular topics were the puzzling discrepancy between the physical and psychological aspects of time, psychopathology of time, quantum entanglement, separability and non-locality, the status of first-person perspective and the prospect of naturalization of subjectivity. An in-depth interdisciplinary dialogue along these strongly interconnected issues is likely to have a profound impact on the development of natural science and philosophy. Questions to which such a dialogue might give a new twist are, for example: Could time be a process or a substance and not given as a dimension of reality? Could measurement by an observer determine not only the present and future quantum states of the particles but also their histories? What if our internal timekeepers-our biological clocks-are not measuring some external reality but rather acting as the gatekeepers of our intersubjective consensus about what is real?
Some forty lecturers from many countries-physicists, mathematicians, philosophers, physicians and life scientists-presented their works. The sessions centered around three main topics:

1 The nature of time: relativistic spacetime, entropy, time in living systems and in the nervous system, experienced vs. geometric time.
2 Quantum paradoxes: quantum measurement, entanglement, quantum time, quantum vs. classical probability, foundations of quantum theory.
3 Subjective experience and the mind-body problem: States of consciousness, mind-matter and anomalous interactions, brain research and its bearing on the nature of the subjective.
A volume based on the workshop is due by the end of 2005, to be published by World Scientific.

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