J. Mazer [about Wigner and consciousness]

> Did Wigner only believe this until his change of opinion in 1983, or did he 
> continue to think this way afterwards?

Wigner wrote (Nov. 18, 1978) ...

" ... as far as living organism of any complexity are concerned, the same
initial state hardly can be realized several times. There are no two
identical people and if we repeat the same experiment on the same
individual the initial conditions are no longer the same - the individual
will remember at the second experiment the event of the first one -
his mental outlook will have changed thereby. This means that the
relevant statements of the theory encompassing life will be terribly
different from those of the present natural sciences."

and also ...

"I do not believe there are two entities: body and soul. I believe that life
and consciousness are phenomena which have a varying effect on the
event around us - just as light pressure does. Under many circumstances,
those with which present-day physics is concerned, the phenomenon
of life has an entirely negligible influence. There is then a continuous 
transition to phenomena, such as our own activities, in which this
phenomenon has a decisive influence. Probably, the behaviour of
viruses and bacteria could be described with a high accuracy with
present theories. Those of insects could be described with a moderate 
approximation, those of mammals and men are decisively influenced
by their minds. For these, present physical theory would give a false
picture even as far as their physical behavior is concerned."

E. P. Wigner, Philosophical Reflections and Syntheses,
Springer, 1995, page 272





Reply via email to