Reflection in the Waves
The Interdividual Observer in a Quantum Mechanical World
Breakthroughs in Mimetic Theory
Published by: Michigan State University Press
Imprint: Michigan State University Press
The incredible success of quantum theory as a mathematical model makes it especially frustrating that we cannot agree on a plausible philosophical or metaphysical description of it. Some philosophers of science have noticed certain parallels between quantum theory and the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, and these parallels are deepened and strengthened if the “observer” of modern physics is associated with the “intellect” of scholastic ontology. In this case we are talking about a human observer. But this type of observer has a unique quality that is not considered at all by either physics or scholastic philosophy—the human observer is mimetic and therefore “interdividual.” By taking this fundamental anthropological fact into account, it turns out that the critical gaps still separating Aquinas from modern physicists can be effectively closed, reconciling the realism of Aquinas with the empirical evidence of quantum mechanics. This book explores this new bridge between the physical and the human—a bridge essentially designed by scholastic theory, clarified by mimetic theory, and built by quantum theory—and the path it opens to that metaphysical understanding for which philosophers of modern science have been striving. It is an understanding, not merely of the physical but of physics in the fuller sense of what is real and what is true. Here the reader will find a physics that describes the natural world and our place as mimetic observers within it.
“This beautifully well-written book—Pablo Bandera has a gift for making the intricacies of quantum physics accessible to the average reader—constitutes a fundamental contribution. Not only does it illustrate how mimetic theory can be relevant to fields, at first sight, as foreign to it as fundamental physics, but in the process it also provides an original, renewed understanding of the quantum universe.”
—PAUL DUMOUCHEL, author of The Ambivalence of Scarcity and Other Essays and The Barren Sacrifice