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Philosophers

Mortimer Adler
Rogers Albritton
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Samuel Alexander
G.E.M.Anscombe
Anselm
Louise Antony
Thomas Aquinas
Aristotle
David Armstrong
Harald Atmanspacher
Augustine
J.L.Austin
A.J.Ayer
Alexander Bain
Mark Balaguer
Jeffrey Barrett
William Belsham
Henri Bergson
Isaiah Berlin
Bernard Berofsky
Robert Bishop
Susanne Bobzien
Emil du Bois-Reymond
Hilary Bok
George Boole
Émile Boutroux
F.H.Bradley
C.D.Broad
C.A.Campbell
Joseph Keim Campbell
Carneades
Ernst Cassirer
David Chalmers
Roderick Chisholm
Chrysippus
Cicero
Randolph Clarke
Samuel Clarke
Anthony Collins
Antonella Corradini
Diodorus Cronus
Jonathan Dancy
Donald Davidson
Mario De Caro
Democritus
Daniel Dennett
Jacques Derrida
René Descartes
Richard Double
Fred Dretske
John Dupré
John Earman
Laura Waddell Ekstrom
Epictetus
Epicurus
Herbert Feigl
John Martin Fischer
Owen Flanagan
Luciano Floridi
Philippa Foot
Alfred Fouilleé
Harry Frankfurt
Richard L. Franklin
Michael Frede
Carl Ginet
Nicholas St. John Green
H.Paul Grice
Ian Hacking
Ishtiyaque Haji
Stuart Hampshire
W.F.R.Hardie
William Hasker
R.M.Hare
Georg W.F. Hegel
Martin Heidegger
R.E.Hobart
Thomas Hobbes
David Hodgson
Shadsworth Hodgson
Ted Honderich
Pamela Huby
David Hume
Ferenc Huoranszki
William James
Lord Kames
Robert Kane
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Tomis Kapitan
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Christine Korsgaard
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Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
Leucippus
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George Henry Lewes
C.I.Lewis
David Lewis
Peter Lipton
John Locke
Michael Lockwood
E. Jonathan Lowe
John R. Lucas
Lucretius
James Martineau
Storrs McCall
Hugh McCann
Colin McGinn
Michael McKenna
Brian McLaughlin
Paul E. Meehl
Uwe Meixner
Alfred Mele
John Stuart Mill
Dickinson Miller
G.E.Moore
C. Lloyd Morgan
Thomas Nagel
Friedrich Nietzsche
John Norton
P.H.Nowell-Smith
Robert Nozick
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Timothy O'Connor
David F. Pears
Charles Sanders Peirce
Derk Pereboom
Steven Pinker
Plato
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Huw Price
H.A.Prichard
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Willard van Orman Quine
Frank Ramsey
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Thomas Reid
Charles Renouvier
Nicholas Rescher
C.W.Rietdijk
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Josiah Royce
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Paul Russell
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Kenneth Sayre
T.M.Scanlon
Moritz Schlick
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J.J.C.Smart
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Michael Smith
L. Susan Stebbing
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R. Jay Wallace
W.G.Ward
Ted Warfield
Roy Weatherford
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf

Scientists

Michael Arbib
Bernard Baars
John S. Bell
Charles Bennett
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Susan Blackmore
Margaret Boden
David Bohm
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Emile Borel
Max Born
Walther Bothe
Hans Briegel
Leon Brillouin
Stephen Brush
Henry Thomas Buckle
Donald Campbell
Anthony Cashmore
Eric Chaisson
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
E. H. Culverwell
Charles Darwin
Terrence Deacon
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Paul Ehrenfest
Albert Einstein
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
Joseph Fourier
Michael Gazzaniga
GianCarlo Ghirardi
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
A.O.Gomes
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Jacques Hadamard
Stuart Hameroff
Patrick Haggard
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Martin Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
William Stanley Jevons
Pascual Jordan
Simon Kochen
Stephen Kosslyn
Ladislav Kovàč
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Benjamin Libet
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Henry Margenau
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Wolfgang Pauli
Massimo Pauri
Roger Penrose
Steven Pinker
Max Planck
Susan Pockett
Henri Poincaré
Daniel Pollen
Ilya Prigogine
Hans Primas
Adolphe Quételet
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Claude Shannon
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
B. F. Skinner
Roger Sperry
Henry Stapp
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Peter Tse
John von Neumann
Daniel Wegner
Steven Weinberg
Paul A. Weiss
Norbert Wiener
Eugene Wigner
E. O. Wilson
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek
 
Antoine Suarez

Antoine Suarez is the founding director of the Center for Quantum Philosophy in Zurich, based on philosophical questions raised in the 1970's and 1980's by John Bell.

Suarez and Valerio Scarani, inspired by discussions with Bell, proposed in 1997 the "before-before" experiment. They proposed to use moving measurement devices to test quantum entanglement and nonlocality (the EPR experiment) to see whether there is some ordering process behind the nonlocal correlations. Suarez hoped to find something wrong with standard quantum mechanics.

The "before-before" experiment used the idea of hyperplanes of simultaneity from the special theory of relativity. Back in the 1960's, C. W. Rietdijk and Hilary Putnam argued that physical determinism could be proved to be true by considering experiments and observers moving at high speed with respect to one another. Roger Penrose developed a similar argument in his book The Emperor's New Mind called the Andromeda Paradox.

Suarez and Scarani showed that for some relative speeds between two observers A and B, observer A could "see" the measurement of observer B to be in his future, and vice versa.

Because the two experiments have a "spacelike" separation (neither is inside the causal light cone of the other), each observer thinks he does his own measurement before the other.

In 2001, Suarez collaborated with Nicolas Gisin on these tests. Suarez and Gisin described the situation as some influence coming "from outside space-time" to cause the 100% correlations found in their tests of Bell's Theorem.

They tested the limits on this effect by moving mirrors in one of the paths in a path-length (Mach-Zehnder) interferometer. They showed that, like the other Bell inequalities, the "before-before" suggestion of Suarez and Scarani could not eliminate nonlocality and entanglement. Their tests confirmed quantum mechanics and refuted the Suarez temporal explanation.

In his recent essay "Does Free Will Require New Physics," Suarez explores the possibility that the brain contains a generator of the random bits seen in his nonlocality experiments, and that the will might in some way control the order of those bits to make "pieces of information". This resembles the idea of downward causation.

Like many physicists proposing specific free will mechanisms, Suarez imagines a physical process in the brain related to the work in physics that he is most familiar with. In his case it is a path-length interferometer.

Suarez knows that making a decision is closely related to the problem of measurement in quantum mechanics. In our information physics view, John von Neumann's "cut" or "schnitt" between the atomic level and the macroscopic measuring apparatus occurs when stable information enter the universe. Stability means the balancing entropy has been carried away (the Ludwig-Landauer principle). Suarez knows that the conscious observer has little to do with it. He says
the decision about which detector clicks (in an interference experiment, like that represented in the Figure) does not happen when "one photon encounters a detector" but only subsequently, after a virtual cascade involving billions of electrons has been triggered. Only then an irreversible registration of a result happens and a human observer can become aware of it.

An event is "measured", i.e. irreversibly registered, only if it is possible for a human observer to become aware of it.

Irreversibility is the hallmark of stable information creation and increase in thermodynamic entropy. Suarez notes that quantum mechanics may need "new physics" because it cannot explain precisely when a measurement happens. He says
Conscious free will implies irreversibility and therefore requires new physics capable of well defining this concept. But quantum mechanics itself requires such a new physics. Quantum theory does not define at all which conditions determine when measurement happens and a result becomes irreversibly registered. This state of affairs clearly shows a point where the theory can and must be completed.
We hope that the information physics view of the problem of measurement can help complete that theory.

Suarez cites the Free Will Theorem of John Conway and Simon Kochen as making free will an axiom, without which science itself could not proceed. Suarez does not believe that his current movements can be "explained by a chain of temporal cause going back to the Big Bang."

With the support of Carlos Cavallé and his Social Trends Institute, Suarez organized an experts meeting on the question "Is Science Compatible With Our Desire For Freedom?" in October 2010. Several philosophers and scientists interested in the the problem of free will attended, including Robert Kane, Alfred Mele, Bob Doyle, and Martin Heisenberg.

For Teachers
For Scholars
The experimental setup for quantum entanglement tests is theoretically simple but experimentally difficult. Two spin 1/2 electrons are prepared in a state, say with opposing spins so the total spin angular momentum of the electrons is zero. They are said to be in a singlet state. Most recent studies, like Gisin's, used entangled polarized photon pairs.)

Two experimenters (call them A and B) measure the electron spins at some later time.

The conservation of angular momentum requires that should one of these electrons be measured with spin up, the other must be spin down. This is what is described as "nonlocal" correlation of the spin measurement results.

A simpler way of looking at the problem is to consider the conservation of angular momentum, a law of nature that can not be violated. What would the lack of "correlation" between electron spins look like? It would include some spin-up measurements by experimenter A at the same time as spin-up measurements by experimenter B.

But this is a clear violation of the conservation law for angular momentum.

This conservation law in no way depends on supra-luminal communications between particles. Consider two electrons at opposite ends of the Andromeda galaxy, say 100,000 light years apart. As they revolve around the center of the galaxy, they conserve their orbital angular momenta perfectly.

We might say that conservation laws are "outside space-time."

Note that the original EPR thought experiment involved electrons going in opposite directions from a central source. In that case the governing conservation law was for ordinary translational momentum. And note that modern experiments like those of Suarez and Gisin use circularly polarized photons. But it is still a matter of conservation of angular momentum.


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