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The Birth of Whiteheadian Physics



1. The view of Henry Stapp, and probably Rudolf Haag as well, is that the Actual Event is the Concrescence and its Potential or Superject propagates into and fills its forward light cone, until something happens to localize the diffused potential once again. What happens is that the present-future perspective is transformed into a past-present perspective, where the present corresponds to the now past and the future corresponds to the now present. This is effected by considering, in place of the Actual Event and its forward propagating Potential, the Substance emerging from past Actual Events and the State Vector for a new Actual Event, in the future now become present. This Substance and State Vector constitute a multi-particle state.

2. Now the system is primed for a question from the level of the Observer, in the form of a Projection Operator, P. The posing of this question should correspond to another type of Actual Event, namely an intentional event. The State Vector, V = PV + (1-P)V. A State Vector Reduction will be a selection by nature (the Greek *physis*) of PV or (1-P)V. This selection, according to Stapp, constitutes a third type of Actual Event, namely a reduction event, but our information is that there is no such reduction event, per se, or if there is it is somehow related to the same types of Prehensions that constitute the choice by the experimenter of which question to pose. We see the third type of Actual Event, in addition to the scattering or experiential event and the intentional event that constitutes the choice by the experimenter, as the preparation event that effects the priming of the system for the posing of a question. The choice by nature is a final actualization to be sure, but not an Actual Event, per se.

3. Now, the rule is, in Stapp's new theory, that if: PV, then: a new Actual Event of the scattering type occurs, while if: (1-P)V, then: no Actual Event of the scattering type occurs, and we must probably reprime for a new question. One could say that the State Vector just goes on evolving unitarily, but the formalism is really more profound than that, insofar as it allows for an underlying real development in terms of the forward propagating Potential of the prior Actual Event. This only becomes a State Vector in Hilbert space when we prime for a new question. So, the formalism can transcend Hilbert space, as Bohm desired to do and as Dirac felt was necessary to do (since the time-development operator knocks the vectors out of the Hilbert space anyhow).

4. While I think this view of Stapp and Haag is describing a real process, I think it is incorrect to say that the Actual Event is the Concrescence. Rather, it seems to be grounded in the Eject, as a synthetic expression of the Superject and the Subject. This is indeed an extemporaneous aspect of the philosophy of Whitehead, which is really encompassed by the name of the gent. Alfred North is the Actual Event and Whitehead is the Potential propagating in the forward light cone. In other words, the synthetic unity of Superject and Subject that comprises an advanced organism is an Eject that is the basis for a uniquely human view of the world. Stapp's view is such a uniquely human view, because he views the Actual Events as occurring in the quantum Brain of a human Observer, where Consciousness can play the necessary role of reducing the State Vector. I have always felt that Stapp introduces the Brain of the Observer as an Eject. Within the Brain, Cerebrum and Cerebellum correspond to Superject and Subject.

5. Stapp regards the Actual Event in the quantum Brain as a scattering event with a very large number of particles. In general, the Actual Event is an ordinary scattering event, with just a few particles. The arena for this low level scattering event is a quantum World, which is hence the more general form of Eject. Eject is related to Epoch. The transition to many-worlds or many-brains and to quantum computing occurs when we consider that every well-posed question splits the physical universe, symbolized by 1, into P and (1-P). In PV the Actual Event associated with P occurs, while in (1-P)V it does not occur. In the case of a high level scattering event in the quantum Brain, the Actual Event will constitute the experience signified by P.

6. So, the scattering event is, in the high level case, an experiential event. It is what Whitehead called the percipient event, as distinct from events that are associated with either prehensions or efficient causation. The percipient event in isolation from the others is perception in the mode of presentational immediacy, while the percipient event fully explicated by the causal processes that lead to it is perception in the mode of causal efficacy. The conventional quantum theory, lacking a causal theory of measurement, is the former, while the comprehensive theory we are proposing is the latter.

7. If the view of Stapp and Haag is an extemporaneous aspect of the philosophy of Whitehead, what is the primary aspect? It is the one I have been proposing for some time now, and that I got inadvertently by listening to Stapp and interpreting his ideas in my own way. The State Vector and Substance constitute an anticipatory Prehension that is both subjective and predictive of something that has not yet happened in the forward light cone of the mental pole of an Actual Entity. When Heisenberg says, in *Physics and Philosophy*, "But if we ask what really happens...", he is suddenly shifting our attention to the causal perspective of the backward light cone of the mental pole of an Actual Entity, where the Potential or Superject of a settled Concrescence is through its "decision" causing an Actual Event in the mental pole of the present Actual Entity.

8. Then of course there is the question of Organism, which I have recently raised. Each Actual Entity, because it is an Organism which experiences all others through itself, has as its primary Prehensions the anticipatory Prehensions of its own future Concrescence. Then it also has anticipatory and causal Prehensions of others in its forward and backward light cones. Fundamentally, there is no difference between the Prehensions of self and the Prehensions of others, but because of the conceptual causal Prehensions of God, which constitute a special form of THOUGHT (the synthesis of Buber's I-IT and I-THOU), the Prehensions of others are incorporated into the Prehensions of self, which then acquire a unique status. Along with this unique perspective, come also the Prehensions of the Actual World as a synthesis, not of the State Vectors in a Hilbert space, but of the Potentials in a more general causal framework, which Bohm was trying to develop.

9. The role of this primary aspect of the philosophy of Whitehead is that it is a Theory of Prehensions which purports to describe scientifically the intentional events that constitute the selection of the question, P, that is posed to nature. One type of Prehension, namely the Prehension of the Actual World, corresponds exactly to the Projection, P. Albert Einstein felt, based on the causality restrictions of relativity, that humans did not have free will. Whitehead, unlike Stapp, affirms those restrictions but restores freedom and self-determination by asserting the indeterminacy of the quantum of extension of an Actual Entity. If, as Stapp and Jorge Luis Nobo believe, the location of an Actual Entity were entirely determined for it, then according to Einstein and Whitehead there would be no free will. But according to Whitehead, at least, the exact location of the Actual Entity is left open for its own self-determination as an essential function of its internal process.

10. This Theory of Prehensions will be a new type of quantum theory that explains locally some of the non-local features of the conventional quantum theory of scattering events. The rest of the non-local features of conventional quantum theory will be described by yet another type of local quantum theory, which we may call the Theory of Efficient and Final Causation. This is *physis* proper, according to the Greeks. It involves four types of causation, each conceived as the actualization of a type of potential.

11. The four types of causation are: material, efficient, formal, and final. The terms for potential and actual in each case are: dunamis and antikeimenon, aesthesis and energeia, hupokeimenon and kinesis, and genesis and entelecheia. Consciousness first appears as the *antikeimenon*, or object, that the soul, or *de anima*, fashions out of chaotic matter (*dunamis*). This actualization then becomes a new potential, called *aesthesis*, which means sensation, perception, and consciousness, in an etiolated sense referring to sensation and perception.

12. The *antikeimenon* corresponds to an Actual Event of the scattering type, and the *aesthesis* is then its forward propagating Potential. It is only *aesthesis* and *energeia* that constitute a Potential and Actual Event proper, and the Actual Event in this case refers to the transformation of the forward propagating Potential in the future into a State Vector in the new present. The meaning of *energeia* is "actualizing", in the sense of "putting to use" or "utilizing". The *hupokeimenon* and *kinesis*, or psycho-kinesis, then represents the free choice on the part of the experimenter of what question to pose, while *genesis* and *entelecheia* represent the answering by nature of the question posed. That answer actually comes as the after-effect of the final cause, which would correspond to the "decision" of Whitehead, although he makes the mistake of identifying the satisfaction and the decision with the efficient cause.

13. He is confusing the forms of the ontological system of worlds with those of the etiological system of worlds. The efficient cause has instead to do with the pragmatic aspect of quantum theory, whereby processes in nature are primed for questions from the level of the Observer. The actualization of the final cause, or *entelecheia*, has the character of the causal universe that appears as a causally closed physical realm upon which consciousness supervenes, ala Kim and Chalmers.

14. The answer splits the causal world of the *entelecheia* into P and an altered causal world corresponding to (1-P). If (1-P) is selected, then a new material cause ensues, since (1-P) has the form of *dunamis*, or chaotic matter. By subtracting out any P the balance of the *apeiron* is upset and the genuine infinity of the one, or EN (Epsilon Nu), is transformed into the false infinity of chaotic matter. If P is selected then an energy arises within the soul that corresponds to an Actual Event of the scattering type. A secondary process then represents its forward propagating Potential, and a third process represents the priming of that system for a question. That third process has to do with consciousness, so we have the conclusion that the Actual Event and its forward propagating Potential are themselves forms of consciousness, pertaining to the material and efficient causes, while the priming of the whole system is an act of consciousness within the after-effect of the final cause.

15. But the more extraordinary result here is that both P and (1-P) are necessary for the next cycle of material, efficient, formal, and final causation to occur. The world in which (1-P) occurs is necessary to constitute the material basis for the next cycle, while the world in which P occurs is necessary to provide the basis in form for the *next* Actual Event of the scattering type. The next Actual Event of the scattering type will be modeled after and determined by the present Actual Event of the preparation type.

16. In this way, we have accounted for all the features of a comprehensive quantum theory, with no undefined loopholes. However, a bit more should be said about the character of this new quantum theory. First of all, within the ontological system of worlds, P and (1-P) are not symmetrical in all respects. P is a meta-physical classical world, while (1-P) is the physical world minus the meta-physical classical world. There is an even greater asymmetry between P and (1-P), which has to do with the fact that P exists in the highest world of the ontological system of worlds, namely the seventh or meta-physical world. (1-P), on the other hand, resonates with the phenomenological system of worlds.

17. We have said that, in Stapp's view, nature chooses PV or (1-P)V, but also that, in Stapp's view, consciousness is responsible for the reduction. These seemingly disparate notions are reconciled through the concept of the modes of material nature, known as tamas, rajas, and sattva. These correspond exactly to von Neumann's I, II, and III, once these are reduced to the physical world by the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism. III, once emptied of materiality, is the abstract "ego", or *ego sum*.

18. This same *ego sum* exists in the highest world of the phenomenological system of worlds. It represents the sum total of the experiential universe, the 1 in (1-P). P here is associated with the concrete psychological "ego" that has finite experiences, signified by P, although in the phenomenological system of worlds, that finite element is absorbed into the infinite element, thus effecting the phenomenological reduction of Descartes and Husserl by generating the genuine infinity of Hegel.

19. In the ontological system of worlds, the same kind of relationship exists between the abstract "ego" or *ego sum* and the concrete psychological "ego" (unreduced by the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism), except that in this case the latter is not absorbed into the former. The *ego sum* represents the total experiential universe and the concrete psychological "ego" represents the finite experience, P. The *ego sum* is materially a 0, experientially a 1, and phenomenologically a genuine infinity.

20. The God Consciousness and Cosmic Consciousness in the phenomenological system of worlds pertain to the experience of the transcendental "ego" or *ego sum*, while the Stream of Consciousness in the ontological system of worlds pertains to the experience of the concrete psychological "ego". Quantum measurement theory, wherein a meta-physical Observer confronts a physical Observed, is ontological in character, while the Cosmic Consciousness, by contrast, is aware only of the whole quantum world as an horizon upon which individual objects might appear.

21. So, our conclusion is that there is no reduction event, per se, nor is there a divergent splitting of non-interacting worlds corresponding to PV and (1-P)V. On the contrary, the worlds signified by PV and (1-P)V are metaphysically related and equally necessary for the continuation of the underlying causal process of nature, known as *physis*. The essential interventions have to do with: 1) the priming of the system, comprised of the Actual Event and its forward propagating Potential, for the posing of a question; and 2) the choice of which question to pose. The causal explanation of these interventions will require two new applications of the quantum formalism, other than the conventional theory, which we may designate as: 1) The Theory of Efficient and Final Causation; and 2) The Theory of Prehensions. The conventional quantum theory, interpreted along the lines of Stapp and Haag, we will designate as: 3) The Theory of Percipient Events.



Peter Joseph Mutnick 1949 - 2000


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