Heinz Heinzmann

Mind and Matter: Preliminary Notes

Introduction: a fundamental Defect

Can we understand the world?

"Absolutely not!" replies the current physics and provides seemingly irrefutable evidence: e.g. the double-slit experiment, which ostensibly resists any thinkable description, or Bell's inequality, which is supposed to rule out any local interpretation of the world, or the relativistic space-time conditions, which are considered as contradicting our a priori given ideas of space and time.

If the usual interpretations of these scenarios were indeed the only possible ones, then any attempt to find out what reality is and what it consists of would immediately fail, moreover it would even be downright foolish, because it would then be proven that our concepts are completely inappropriate for understanding reality.

Fortunately, it has turned out that this unpleasant view is wrong. In the First Part has been shown that not only the just mentioned but also many other paradigmatic physical scenarios can be interpreted conceptually in an insightful way, and that the single interpretations unite to an alternative picture of reality from which all absurdities have disappeared.

But even if now could be presupposed that we understand nature and that the known natural laws are true, the concept of nature achieved in this way would still be incomplete and profoundly unsatisfactory, because it would not contain the part of reality that we call mind or spirit, and moreover because – despite claims on the part of some philosophers and brain researchers – it is even completely impossible to unite mental and material reality in one picture within the currently prevailing scientific view of nature.

In the past, this incompatibility was of a purely philosophical kind. For Kant, it was possible to understand the contradiction between the certainty that we are part of nature and therefore completely determined by natural laws, and the conviction that we have a free will, as a consequence of the inconceivability of the thing in itself.

proceed with pdf Main Page Philosophy