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STAPP, SHIMONY, AND WHITEHEAD



Report on C.I. Lewis' "Mind and the World-Order" (1929)

[From "Mind and the World-Order," Clarence Irving Lewis, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1959]
p. 5: The analysis of any immediately presented X must always interpret this X in terms of its constant relations to other things - to Y and Z. Such end-terms of analysis - the Y and Z - will not in general be temporal or spatial constituents of X, but may be anything which bears a constant correlation with it. ... In general terms, if such analysis concludes by stating "X is a certain kind of Y-Z complex, hence X does not exist as a distinct ," the error lies in overlooking a general characteristic of logical analysis - that it does not discover the "substance" or cosmic constituents of the phenomenon whose nature is analyzed but only the constant context of experience in which it will be found.

[Peter Mutnick]
Lewis is fully conscious of being a successor to Kant, and here he defines the Kantian thing-it-itself, or X, in a way that makes its distinction from the noumenon clear. The thing-in-itself, or X, is a mental thing (or thing-in-its-idea) and it is essentially sense data. Only later, by contextualizing the sense data, do we arrive at the endpoint of analysis (indicated by Z), which is the noumenon presumably in nature. Z, however, is only the finger pointing at the moon, so to speak, and not the moon itself, i.e. not the noumenon itself, which remains forever unknown and unknowable. X, on the other hand, is eminently knowable, since it is the immediately given, but it is not knowable as true knowledge, because true knowledge requires the contextualization that can at most be an indication of its ultimate nature. The contextualization is in part constructed by the mind, but only in part, as Lewis later explains.

[From "Mind and the World-Order"]
p. 15: We may congratulate ourselves, I think, that a growing interest in such study, in this reflective or phenomenalistic or critical spirit, is one of the characteristics of the present period in philosophy.* Footnote: *I have in mind, as examples, Whitehead's "Concept of Nature" and "Principles of Natural Knowledge," Russell's "Analysis of Mind," and Broad's "Scientific Thought."

[Peter Mutnick]
From the first quote, it is already apparent, however, how Lewis is adding to Whitehead. Whereas Whitehead pursued only the method of extensive abstraction, by which abstract and ideal elements of nature might be inferred from the elements of experience, i.e. the elements of reality, Lewis is interested in "end-terms of analysis" that "will not in general be temporal or spatial constituents of X," i.e. Lewis is defining the method of logical abstraction in general that goes beyond Whitehead's method of extensive abstraction.

[From "Mind and the World-Order"]
p. 36: The presumption from which we set out is that it is the business of philosophy to analyze and interpret our common experience, and by reflection, to bring to clear and cogent expression those principles which are implicit because they are brought to experience by the mind itself. Philosophy is the study of the *a priori*. It seeks to reveal those categorial criteria which the mind applies to what is given to it, and by correct delineation of those criteria to define the good, the right, the valid, and the real.

[Peter Mutnick]
These implicit principles need not be entirely other-worldly - they can be simply the quantum implicate order as the mind of the observer. Both the explicate order, which is in part constructed, and the implicate order exist in relation to the real, which Lewis takes to be sense data as mind-independent reality.

[From "Mind and the World-Order"]
p. 192-3: In terms of experience and knowledge, the independence of reality - its independence of the knowing mind - means, first, the *givenness* of what is given; our realization that we do not create this content of experience and cannot, by the activity of thinking, alter it. Second, it means the truth of those "If-then" propositions in which the process of possible experience, starting from the given, could be expressed. The "if" here depends upon our own active nature for its meaning, as has been pointed out, but the content of the "then" clause, and the truth of the proposition as a whole, are things with respect to which the knowing mind is not the dictator but dictated to.

[Peter Mutnick]
This of course is a gnosis of the entire quantum approach emphasized by Stapp, whereby we interrogate nature, based on the given state vector and our choice of what experiment to perform, hence receiving from nature an answer to our interrogation. The key point here, however, is that the state vector knowledge should be conceived as sensory experience, i.e. as the given. This ties in immediately to the Whiteheadian approach advocated by me, wherein state vector knowledge is anticipatory prehension, i.e. the raw data of experience coming from the quantum level of reality and unalterable by anything or anyone in the macroscopic (lab scale) world. Lewis' approach allows that although we cannot alter this quantum-level reality, we can and do exist entirely in relation to it in all of our experiential reality, since it is the raw sense data of all of our experience in constructing reality. We indeed intervene, as the abstract ego, reduced by the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism to what Lewis designates as Y, the conditional to the final outcome, or Z. It is no coincidence that von Neumann designated his processes, 1 and 2, as "interventions."

[From "Mind and the World-Order"]
p. 327-8: Nearly all the accepted probabilities rest upon more complex evidence than the usual formulations suggest; what are accepted as premises are themselves not certain but only highly probable. Thus our judgment, if made explicit, would take the form: The probability that A is B is a/b, because if P is Q, then the probability that A is B is m/n, and the probability of "P is Q" is p/q (where m/n x p/q = a/b). But this compound character of probability judgments offers no theoretical difficulty for their validity in general, provided only that the probability of the premises, when pushed back to what is more and more ultimate, somewhere comes to rest in something certain, and provided also that there are *some* valid principles of probability in general - whether those commonly accepted or others.

[Peter Mutnick]
Here we have the deep philosophic confluence of the von Neumann chain with the Cartesian method and a real clue as to how to construct the deeper theory for which we seek.

[From "Mind and the World-Order"]
p. 357: As has been pointed out, those predictions which are the primary constituents of our useful knowledge of nature are of the form: Since X is given, if condition Y should be supplied, then Z would accrue. Where Y is a condition which I myself fulfill, or refrain from fulfilling, my knowledge serves to guide my action to desired ends. ... As has been pointed out, if I could *do* nothing about experience, then since such hypotheticals would be meaningless, reality would be no thicker than an inevitable stream of consciousness - that is I should not confront *reality* but at most only a fatally determined life. Knowledge of *reality* serves for the control of *experience*: without the possibility of control, not only would knowledge be worthless; there would be for us no reality to know. Both the usefulness of knowledge and the meaningfulness of reality require that the uniformity apprehended by knowledge should not be such that the determining antecedent is completely contained in the experience now fixed as being given. It is required for the significance of knowledge and the real that uniformities be specifiable - as probable at least - in terms of *possible* experience. But between possible and actual experience is the whole of that which differentiates reality from mere immediacy. Whatever uniformity of reality may mean, it *cannot* mean a fixed and uniform sequence in which given experience is one complete term.

[Peter Mutnick]
This spells out the method of logical abstraction, in general, going beyond Whitehead's own method of extensive abstraction. This is more clearly quantal in character, departing from Whitehead's seeming preoccupation with extension and the theory of relativity side of modern physics. Whitehead's definition of relativity is inherently quantal in character, but he did not seem to unpack his quantum insights as he did his insights into the theory of relativity, per se.

[From "Mind and the World-Order"]
p. 440: Traditional logical doctrines will uniformly be found to have been worked out for intension, and to be commonly applied as if all propositions statedd relations of intension. Current revisions of tradition will all too frequently be found to have been formulated with an opposite oversight - as if all propositions had their meaning in extension.

[Peter Mutnick]
Here, at the very end of the book, Lewis states clearly his departure from and addition to the work of Whitehead, thus providing the missing link between Whitehead's theory and quantum theory, of the sort yet to be discovered.

[Abner Shimony]
Dear Dr. Mutnick,

Thank you for the quotations from Lewis's book and for your comments. I have never read "Mind and the World Order" and see that it is richer than I had realized.

Where do the ideas of Whitehead and Lewis fit into the debate between Stapp and me? Both Stapp and I agree that nature, as revealed by q.m., exhibits nonlocality. How is that to be demonstrated? Bell and his followers have one path, but of course it relies upon the assumption that a system has a complete state that is possibly richer than the quantum state. With this assumption, Bell's method of proof of the incompatibility of q.m. with relativistic locality is rigorous. Stapp, by contrast, aims at a stronger theorem by dispensing with Bell's additional assumption. The point of my analysis is that his proof of the stronger theorem' is fallacious, because he is not careful in his treatment of counterfactual conditionals. I would not want to assume Whitehead's denial of simple location as a premiss en route to relativistic nonlocality, because that would be assuming what one sets out to prove. Rather, I'd say that once one has exhibited nonlocality via Bell's theorem (with his type of proof) and the results of correlation experiments, one is on the way to a Whiteheadian philosophy which dispenses with simple location. Having gone that far, one may try to attach a proto-mentalistic content to the denial of simple location, but to do that requires a deep synthesis of phenomenology, psychology, and physics -- far more than the modest nonlocality that Bell achieves. In sum, I am sympathetic with your philosophy, but would like a more robust demonstration of it than Whitehead and you (and perhaps Lewis also) provide.

With best wishes,
Abner Shimony

[Peter Mutnick]
You want to assume quantum mechanics and prove nonlocality within quantum mechanics. I find that not to be the crux of the matter, because quantum mechanics is ultimately false, insofar as it is riddled with unresolvable paradoxes, due to the fact that it is fundamentally flawed, as all of its founders in fact concluded. There is so far no empirical evidence of this, but it follows necessarily from logic and the self-contradictory character of the theory. The "theory" seems to work, but it does not make internal sense - it arrives at its "true results" by fudging the laws of logic (even as you have accused Stapp of doing) - it follows that it is merely an "effective" or descriptive "theory," establishing at best certain experimental parameters that a fundamental theory will have to account for.

The core of the logical problem is of course the failure of the "theory" to explain the cause of the reduction. Since the reduction is necessary to get any results at all from the theory, a failure to explain what causes the reduction renders the "theory" essentially meaningless. It is simply a recipe that works for a reason that is not understood at all. It is essentially a form of primitive "magic" based on a myth, namely the myth of objective materialism.

The problem with the present quantum theory is that it is not founded on adequate logical or ontological principles that lead or can lead to a contradiction-free theory. Therefore, I want to cut to the chase and assume Whiteheadian principles, as the very best that are available, right from the start. Then, I want to begin the process of the deduction of the successor to our present quantum theory.

From this standpoint, the project of finding out what Whiteheadian process theory says about nonlocality has a much closer connection with reality than trying to prove nonlocality within our present quantum theory. Whitehead's denial of simple location is not an arbitrary assumption - it follows directly from the logical and ontological principles, which are themselves presumed to be ultimately unassailable. This remains of course to be proven, but in physics the proof is in the pudding - if the theory accounts for experimental results *and* is logically self-consistent, then the principles of the theory are established. So, there is nothing circular about showing the failure of simple location, given the logical and ontological principles of the theory.

The principles of Whiteheadian process theory, without making any attempt at presenting them rigorously, are that: 1) the actual entities of nature are subjects, rather than objects; 2) they are essentially present moments of the flow of phenomenal time that seek to become existentially present and to evade their fleeting impermanence by becoming world-thrown and engaging in a process of becoming that leads to their being and to their objective immortality.

Number 2) may seem rather imaginative and speculative, but in light of the demands of relativity, the only thing standing outside of the block universe of Einstein is the phenomenal flow of time, which Einstein himself could explain only as a subjective illusion of the human mind. If what is most self-evident phenomenologically is NOT just an illusion of the human mind, then it must be something much more, which relativity cannot explain. Since it is the most self-evident phenomenological fact of our own existence, we would be following the program of Husserl if we try to turn it into one of the principles of our new science. If it is absolutely fundamental to our own existence, we would be justified in assuming that it survives the atomistic reduction to the smallest parts of nature and is fundamental to their nature, as well.

Number 1) is what separates the men from the boys, with respect to revolutionary thinking. We are born into matter and there we remain enmeshed until we discover our own Divine potential to arise out of matter, by first conceiving of our freedom and then actualizing our freedom. Thereafter, we may realize that the birth into matter is in fact an example of number 2) and not the original condition of our true being.

In order to implement our principles, we must invent a suitable metaphysical framework, which demonstrates the subject/object divide and in fact reiterates it, such that there is one subject/object that is ultimately subject (by the phenomenological reduction) and one subject/object that is ultimately object (by the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism) . This is necessary to account for the entire spectrum of psychological and physical facts. By carrying out this procedure we arrive at the following seven worlds for our world-system: meta-physical (classical), causal, phenomenal, etheric, mental, emotional, and physical (quantal).

In order to implement our principles, we must furthermore assign to the various worlds each of the things that are dreamt of in our philosophy. If it turns out that there are more things in heaven and earth, that does not dissuade us, because we believe in dreams and the revelation that comes through dreams. Moreover, we have expanded our consciousness through the appropriate psychedelic means, and we therefore have confidence that our dreams are of the revelatory type, rather than the delusive type. We do not leave the stark revelation of the spiritual things to the madmen of our race, who have departed of necessity from the ways of reason.

Following all of these methods, I have arrived at the following picture of process. The following is essentially a myth, aimed at replacing the myth of objective materialism. I have confidence, however, that this myth, unlike the myth of objective materialism, is founded on fact and can be made as mathematically rigorous as one desires.

In the fifth or phenomenal world nexus of past and future time, which is inherent in any phenomenal object, the present stands as a singularity point that emerges and finds its proper existence in the seventh or meta-physical world, as a present moment and a present subject. It seeks to become present in the existential sense, but the first thing it senses is the fleeting impermanence of its "sangsaric" existence. It therefore becomes world-thrown, across the oroboric abyss separating the seventh or meta-physical world from the first or physical world. The result is that it gets established in the object pole of the physical world as the physical pole of a dipolar (physical and mental) actual entity.

The program label "SAT" designates the physical pole of the actual entity, the program label "CHITTA" designates the mental pole of the actual entity, and the program label "ANANDA" designates the energy associated primarily with the mental pole of the actual entity.

The physical pole of the actual entity, which is in the objective pole of the physical world, has intercourse with all dipolar subjects, reduced to the subjective pole of the physical world by the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism. This is the physical mode of prehension. The mental mode of prehension has to do with actual events in the mental pole of the actual entity that are actualizations of the potentials constituted by the superjects of all completed concrescences. All completed concrescences reside in the second or emotional world. The connection between the completed concrescence in the second or emotional world and the mental pole of the present prehending actual entity in the third or mental world is facilitated by an eternal object, as a structural element in the process of becoming of the present prehending actual entity.

Once the present prehending actual entity has completed its subjective process of prehending all past actual entities in the causal mode and all future actual entities in the anticipatory mode, the present dipolar subject is reduced to the subjective pole of the physical world by the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism. There it has intercourse with all eternal objects it has employed in its mental prehensions. All these eternal objects are integrated into a single object, which will be the actual world of the completed concrescence, during what should be called the superjective process of the present actual entity. The integration is accomplished by the various components of the superject, as they are reduced to the physical by the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism.

Once the superjective process is completed, the subject, objects, and superject all "pass away" from the first or physical world into the second or emotional world. The actual entity proper is the dipolar subject, while the superject is an accessory component of the entire concrescence. The entire completed concrescence resides permanently in the second or emotional world, from whence it can be felt as a prehension in the mental pole of any future actual entity.

The seventh or meta-physical world is the so-called classical world, insofar as it represents our old conception of the physical world, which we now know does not in fact pertain to the physical world, per se. Within the classical world are the objective Cartesian attributes of extension and thought. The extensive continuum is an extension of the seventh or meta-physical world as it projects into the fifth or phenomenal world. The extensive continuum is therefore in the sixth or causal world.

So, when we say that a completed concrescence finds its permanent place in the extensive spacetime continuum, we are talking about a relational concept between the concrescence in the second or emotional world and the extensive spacetime continuum in the sixth or causal world. Whitehead seemed to suggest that the extensive continuum, which is a pure potential, is actualized within the actual entity itself, as part of its internal structure, but I doubt the veracity of that conception. In my opinion, one must not go too far with Leibnitz's "monadology." I believe instead that it is the essential function of an enduring object, and beyond that of a Kantian psyche, to facilitate the connection between a completed concrescence and the extensive spacetime continuum. Thus it is only a measuring device or enduring object which establishes the connection and it is only a Kantian psyche which fixes the location with precision.

An enduring object does not seem to be just a reiteration of the same eternal objects in a society of actual entities, but something entirely new and unique. It is in fact made out of the immediate actualizations of the potential constituted by the extensive spacetime continuum. These are etheric representations of eternal objects. The material representations of eternal objects, which are employed in the prehensions of completed concrescences by the mental poles of present prehending actual entities, span the emotional, mental, and physical worlds. There is a similitude between the etheric objects and the material objects, but the former are actualizations or effects of the formal cause of Aristotle, while the latter contain within them both the potential and actual event or cause and effect of the efficient cause of Aristotle. It follows that the material object has introjected the cause that is external to an etheric object. From this one might conclude that the superject had come to embody the extensive spacetime continuum, but it is only necessary to admit that it plays a similar role as potential, though in a different (but related) sense.

The idea of an enduring object carries with it the software necessary to establish the connection between the completed concrescence and the extensive spacetime continuum in the other sense - not only is the extensive continuum actualized in the completed concrescence through the fourth or etheric world, but the completed concrescence is correlated to a unique location within the extensive spacetime continuum through the oroboric connection between the first and seventh worlds.

Moreover, a continuation of the idea of an enduring object leads naturally to the Kantian psyche, with its faculties of Sensibility and Understanding. It is the Kantian psyche that fixes more precisely the location and other characteristics of the completed concrescence in relation to the extensive spacetime continuum. The enduring object and the Kantian psyche correlate to Heisenberg's actual event at the measuring device and subsequent reduction through change in the knowledge of the observer, but here we have some actual knowledge about the structure of this selection process and its actual role in fixing the completed concrescence in relation to the extensive spacetime continuum.

The actual event, which actualizes a potential, is not truly part of the material object, but the eternal object in the material context only lends structure to the prehension of the completed concrescence by the present prehending actual entity. In Whiteheadian process theory, at least three successive actual entities are required for a measurement. The first has an anticipatory prehension of the second, and the third has a causal prehension of the second. A "backward in time" influence must then proceed from the third to the first in order to effect the state vector reduction. All three must come to completion for different reasons, each of which exemplifies a different aspect of Whiteheadian process theory, namely in order to: 1) have a mind capable of registering the result; 2) transform from the subject matter of an anticipatory prehension to the subject matter of a causal prehension; and 3) retain a permanent memory of the causal prehension.

The complex of the enduring object and the Kantian psyche must serve the function of fixing the second of the three actual entities involved in a measurement. The enduring object must correspond to the third of the three, and the Kantian psyche must correspond to the first of the three. The backward causation from the third of the three to the first of the three must be effected by the complex of the enduring object and the Kantian psyche. The backward causation must occur in two senses.

The causal prehension in the third actual entity must cause and coincide with a revision of the anticipatory prehension in the first actual entity, and this revision is the state vector reduction. But beyond that, the third actual entity must go through its process of becoming and become settled in order to be capable of retaining a permanent memory of its causal prehension, which is required for the definition of a measurement. Similarly, the result of the measurement must register in the mind of the observing actual entity for any genuine measurement to occur, and before this can happen the observing actual entity must go through its process of becoming and become settled in order to have a stable mind (its subject portion) capable of registering the occurence. All of this requires that the settled superject of the third concrescence must be a potential for the settled subject or dipolar actual entity of the first concrescence. This is not a prehension, but something like reproduction, ala "Back to the Future."

Prehension, in the Whiteheadian theory, is a universal force that must correspond, in Bohmian theory, to the new quantum force constituted by the "quantum potential." Each subjective actual entity feels the force or presence of the other, and that is the meaning of a prehension. It is well-known that Bohm and Hiley puzzled over the meaning of the quantum potential, especially its unusual form, and could arrive at no resolution of the enigma. They therefore abandoned their own theory as anything but a toy model, essentially because it lacked meaning, even as did the conventional quantum theory, which they were attempting to criticize.

Whiteheadian theory must, as a first test of its explanatory power, demonstrate the meaning of the quantum potential. As the second and decisive test of its explanatory power, it must solve once and for all the quantum measurement problem of the conventional approach. As indicated, it will do this by showing that proto-measurements at the atomic level are the norm in nature, not the exception, once one conceives of the actual entities of nature as subjects, and not objects. At the atomic level, the measurement problem can be solved, by following the general methodology of science in reducing the behavior of matter to the behavior of its smallest parts.



Peter Joseph Mutnick 1949 - 2000


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