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William James, Niels Bohr, and Complementarity: III - Schrödinger’s Cat

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Abstract

In the psychological context, William James had introduced the concept of complementarity, applicable to every thought: In the previous papers of this series it was shown that this applied also to transitory thought itself. The “mind” is quantumized. The implications of this have to be pursued, and the present paper provides an introductory look at what this means for psychology. It means rejecting classical causation, determinism, and reductionism, and recognizing the opposite, as well as that the role of the observer is crucial in psychology, as it is in physics. It is important to recognize that this means we can now measure anyone’s psychological experience de novo, without depending upon any psychological principles heretofore used in the classical mode. An example is given of a “single case,” in which, except for the use of Q-technique, everything confronting the subject is in her own everyday commonplace language (“communicability”), which provided the concourse and the conditions of instruction for her Q-sorts. In this introductory paper I also provide the first empirical data for the separation of classical and quantum-theoretical modes of thought, as subject to complementarity.

Technical aspects of this quantumizaton will be developed in subsequent papers. Meanwhile Q-technique is the key to it: It involves a new use of statistics, to represent states of feeling.

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Stephenson, W. William James, Niels Bohr, and Complementarity: III - Schrödinger’s Cat. Psychol Rec 37, 523–544 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03394997

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