Hi Bakmoon, the sentence is “Madhyamika philosophy allows us to include the role of consciousness in quantum physics …” (not that Madhyamika philosophy directly includes the role of consciousness …).Bakmoon wrote:But how does Madhyamaka include the role of consciousness? That's what has my head scratching. You say that it avoids the errors of solipsism and materialism, but I don't see in your paper where you lay out the Madhyamaka alternative. If solipsism says that everything is the production of a single mind and materialism says that mind is derived from matter, what alternative model does Madhyamaka give us on the level of convention that avoids these? It's not enough to say that Madhyamaka says they are both empty of inherent existence, because although it's true that they are empty, that doesn't give a specific explanation on how things work conventionally because emptiness is an ultimate truth, not a conventional truth.Kenneth Chan wrote:Let me state here categorically that that is NOT my claim. Context, context, context. What I am showing is that, at the conventional truth level, interpreting the mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics in terms of the Madhyamaka view of reality resolves the inconsistencies, while doing so in terms of an inherently existing mind-matter duality would end up with all sorts of inconsistencies. Essentially, Madhyamika philosophy allows us to include the role of consciousness in quantum physics without ending up in the extremes of either solipsism or materialism. And that solves the problems.Malcolm wrote: The problem is the claim that Madhyamaka validates any conventional truth presentation, which is the essence of your claim.
The solution to the problems of quantum physics is not derived solely from Madhyamika philosophy in isolation from everything else. It is obtained, instead, from the application of Madhyamika philosophy to the interpretation of the mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics. So the formulation of quantum mechanics itself plays a big role here.
The role of consciousness in quantum physics is actually a natural consequence of the formulation of quantum mechanics. The role of consciousness does not arise from Madhyamika philosophy per se. It is, instead, a natural consequence of quantum mechanics.
This is because quantum mechanics does not directly provide rules for the behaviour of particles. Instead, it only provides rules concerning the results of measurements by observers. So observers are an intrinsic part of the formulation of quantum mechanics. And, as John von Neumann and Eugene Wigner point out, what differentiates observers from physical particles has to be mind and consciousness.
So the role of consciousness in quantum physics is indicated by the formulation of quantum mechanics itself. If we accept this role of consciousness in interpreting quantum mechanics, everything actually falls into place naturally. Up till this point, Madhyamika philosophy need not be considered.
The problem now is that of having to fit this role of consciousness into the Western philosophical framework of an inherently existing mind-matter duality. If we try to do that, we end up with solipsism. And here is where the problems start.
Since solipsism is totally unacceptable to physicists, they adopt, instead, the stance of materialism. This means that they now have to get rid of the role of the conscious observer in the formulation of quantum mechanics. Physicists have, over an entire century, repeatedly tried to do this by introducing all sorts of additional ad hoc conditions to the formulation, including some bizarre ones like “infinite alternative universes.” But, even then, all the interpretations they have come up with contain conceptual problems and inconsistencies. It basically shows that we actually cannot remove the conscious observer because it is an intrinsic part of the formulation of quantum mechanics.
It is only at this point that Madhyamika philosophy becomes important. If we replace the philosophical framework of an inherently existing mind-matter duality with the Madhyamaka view of reality, we can now include the role of consciousness in quantum mechanics without ending up with solipsism. And that essentially solves the problem.
What is highly significant is that Madhyamika philosophy seems to fit naturally with the formulation of quantum mechanics. There is no need to insert any additional ad hoc conditions in order to make it fit. So if we look at this fact the other way around, we can say that the formulation of quantum mechanics actually indicates that the Madhyamaka view of reality is correct.