Sunday, March 23, 2014


Werner Heisenberg's 1955-56 St. Andrew's Gifford Lectures have been published (2007) as a Harper Perennial Modern Thought Edition (ISBN 978-0-06-120919-2) entitled Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science.

While Heisenberg makes no mention of possible male-female difference, this blogger perceives a number of aspects of quantum mechanics as being analogous to female psychological function - especially female logic that males often perceive as being illogical.

After several pages of detailed analysis (including the use of complex numbers) of the language and concepts used to describe quantum processes as contrasted with classical logic, Heisenberg describes:

page 155 - "The vagueness of this language in use among the physicists has therefore led to attempts to define a different precise language which follows definite logical patterns in complete conformity with the mathematical scheme of quantum theory.  The result of these attempts by Birkhoff and Neumann and more recently by Weizsacker can be stated by saying that the mathematical scheme of quantum theory can be interpreted as an extension or modification  of classical logic.  It is especially one fundamental principle of classical logic which seems to require a modification.  In classical logic it is assumed that, if a statement has any meaning at all, either the statement or the negation of the statement  must be correct.  Of 'here is a table' or 'here is not a table', either the first or the second statement must be correct.  'Tertium non datur,' a third possibility does not exist.  It may be that we do not know whether the statement or its negation is correct;  but in 'reality' one of the two is correct."

page 158 - "In classical logic the relation between ... different levels of language is a one-to-one correspondence. .  The two statements, 'The atom is in the left half [of the box] ' and 'It is true that the atom is in the left half [of the box]' , belong logically to different levels.   In classical logic these statements are completely equivalent, i.e., they are either both true or both false.  It is not possible that the one is true and the other false.  But in the logical pattern of complementarity this relation is more complicated.  The correctness or incorrectness of the first statement still  implies the correctness or incorrectness of the second stement.  But the incorrectness of the second statement does not imply the incorrectness of the first statement.  If the second statement is incorrect, it may be undecided whether the the atom is in the left half;  the atom need not necessarily be in the right  half.  There is still complete equivalence between the two levels of language with respect to the correctness of a statement, but not with respect to the incorrectness.  From this connection, one can understand the persistence of the classical laws in quantum theory;  wherever a definite result can be derived in a given experiment by the application of the classical laws the result will also follow from quantum theory, and it will hold experimentally."

p. 159 -   "All these difficult definitions and distinctions can be avoided if one confines the language to the description of facts, i.e., experimental results.  However, if one wishes to speak about the atomic particles themselves one must either use the mathematical scheme as the only supplement to natural language or one must combine it with a language that makes use of a modified logic or of no well-defined logic at all.  In the experiments about atomic events we have to do with things and facts, with phenomena that are just as real as any phenomena in daily life.  But the atoms or the elementary particles themselves are not as real;  they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts."

Perhaps male 'classical' logic analogous to classical mechanics is the foundation of male cognition;  whereas female cognition may be substantially based on the kind of 'quantum' logic associated with quantum mechanics (e.g., the disqualification of the principle of 'tertium non datur').

Is the essence of romance, perchance, an interaction between two kinds of logic?

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