Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Human Affairs

Postdisciplinary Humanities & Social Sciences Quarterly

Editor-in-Chief: Višnovský, Emil

Ed. by Bianchi, Gabriel / Hrubec, Marek / Tartaglia, James

CiteScore 2016: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.172
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.415

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 24, Issue 2


Does an observer belong in physics?

Jan Novotný
Published Online: 2014-03-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13374-014-0217-x


In this paper we comment on the opinions of great philosophers from various epochs on the relationship between computers and the human mind. We ponder over whether we might be able to gain an understanding of the human mind and a perception of the world from the scientific point of view. We focus on the relationship between these two issues.

Keywords: computers; understanding; human mind; observer; natural processes

  • [1] Bell, J. S. (1988). Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • [2] Descartes, R. (1998). Discourse on the method (3rd ed.). Indianapolis: Hackett. Google Scholar

  • [3] Democritus (1948). In K. Freeman & H. Diels. Ancilla to the pre-Socratic philosophers. (http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/app/ January, 2014) Google Scholar

  • [4] Einstein, A., Podolsky, B., & Rosen, N. (1935). Can quantum-mechanical description of physical reality be considered complete? Physical Review, 47(10), 777–780. http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRev.47.777Google Scholar

  • [5] Galileo, G. (1960). The Assayer. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Google Scholar

  • [6] Landau, L.D., & Lifshitz, E.M. (1977). Quantum mechanics: Non-relativistictheory.Vol.3. Oxford: Pergamon Press. Google Scholar

  • [7] Lucretius (2011). On the nature of things, In H.A.J. Munro, Online version at the Internet Archive. Google Scholar

  • [8] Neumann, V. J. (1996). Mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. Google Scholar

  • [9] Pascal, B. (1958). Pascal’s Pensées. New York, NY: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc. Google Scholar

  • [10] Penrose, R. (1989). The emperor’s new mind: Concerning computers, minds, and the laws of physics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

  • [11] Penrose, R. (1994). Shadows of the mind: A search for the missing science of consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

  • [12] Penrose, R. (1997). The large, the small, and the human mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • [13] Turing, A. (1950). Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind LIX (236), 433–460. Google Scholar

  • [14] White, M. (2007). Galileo Antichrist. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2014-03-29

Published in Print: 2014-04-01

Citation Information: Human Affairs, Volume 24, Issue 2, Pages 170–177, ISSN (Online) 1337-401X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13374-014-0217-x.

Export Citation

© 2014 Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in