more from Werner Heisenberg

Single Idea 6552

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / j. Explanations by reduction]

Full Idea

It is impossible to explain the manifest qualities of ordinary middle-sized objects except by tracing these back to the behaviour of entities which themselves no longer possess these qualities.

Gist of Idea

You can only explain the qualities of large objects using entities which lack those qualities


Werner Heisenberg (Ancient Thought in Modern Physics [1937], p.119), quoted by William Lycan - Consciousness 8.10

Book Reference

Lycan,William G.: 'Consciousness' [MIT 1995], p.111

A Reaction

Compare the similar wonderful remark by Lucretius (Idea 5713). If we accept this as a general principle for all of nature (including us) - and I do - then it is silly to complain that consciousness isn't found in basic physics.

Related Idea

Idea 5713 You needn't be made of laughing particles to laugh, so why not sensation from senseless seeds? [Lucretius]