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Update: this paper lends some credibility to my philosophical position (neutral monism)


Well my motive is a belief in the impossibility of the contrary.

If some things can be made out of other things, it seems pretty reasonable that the behavior of the one things would also be somehow made out of the behavior of the others.

Sure, but let me give an example based on an analogy: when you have a group of soldiers formed into a fighting platoon, they behave very differently than when you have a group of soldiers formed into a search and rescue party. Both groups have very different behavior despite being constituted by the same units.

For this reason it would be unsurprising if you could take the same constituent particles and form a nearly perfectly deterministic machine out of them in a computer processor, while still retaining the possibility that the particles can act differently and non-deterministically in other contexts.

The analogy of the quark to a human being soldier, who can act differently as a part of some higher organization is in one sense a good one, because I think in essence personhood must actually come from the quark level. I'm not an emergentist, so the ability of something like a person to exist in its own right and act "on its own", "of its own accord" - this cannot magically "arise" from otherwise deterministic components. So it must be baked in, all the way down to the lowest level. The lowest level components, quarks or what have you, must have an intrinsic ability to act "on their own" or "of their own accord", and not merely be simple mechanical units following simple, universal mathematical rules. Something about how they are combined or entangled together into macro-level objects must be meaningful to their own lowest-level behavior, if we believe these higher level things exist and act on their own at all and we are not emergentists.

What are you talking about specifically by "the quantum behavior we can't yet explain"?

isn't the classic quantum experiment with light an example of this? the mysterious "dual nature" of light as both particle and wave. when the photons are organized into a wave they behave differently than when they are disorganized individual particles. the whole odd thing about is understanding when and why it's one or the other, but indeed the very same constituents do seem to behave differently depending on whether they are particles or a wave.


I'm not really convinced that it's unlikely. Just because we can construct systems that are strongly deterministic at the macro level doesn't mean that the quantum behavior we can't yet explain isn't based in some way on the higher-level organization of the fundamental particles involved.


I understand your point, but I'd be interested to see this proven (or dis-proven) bottom-up from first principles... observing that something in particular (chlorophyll, photosynthesis, etc) reduces from the top down like this leaves too many holes for it to really disprove the idea (e.g. maybe this isn't a physical function that changes depending on higher-level organization).

I think the way to check this is that someone would have to come up with a specific theory that explains the currently-poorly-understood low-level behavior of fundamental particles based on the idea that the rules of their behavior depend on their higher-level organization.


So there is no conclusive proof either way.

This is what I suspected. But is there anyone studying quantum physics from this perspective? I'd like to see a theory of quantum physics based on this idea, but it's not my field at all. I'm wondering if anyone has looked into it from this perspective before.


Basically the evidence is the opposite of what you hope it will be.

Can you please substantiate this claim?


This is it! Wow. Thank you so much!


It's not a book, it's a short story


doesn't gravity act at a distance? how is that "non-locality"?


it seems very philosophically appealing for many reasons, but I can't judge its merit as a theory of physics.

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