Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Conference on Wolfgang Pauli's Philosophical Ideas and Contemporary Science

Telegram sent on June 14, 1954 from physicists Fred Reines and Clyde Cowan to Wolfgang Pauli announcing the detection, for the first time, of neutrinos.

Wolfgang Pauli's contributions to physics are too numerous and well known to be recounted here (the exclusion principle, the spin-statistics theorem, and the prediction of the neutrino, to name just a few). His philosophical thoughts on the other hand are less known. There is an interesting conference going on this week in Monte Verita, Ascona (Switzerland) devoted to Pauli's philosophical ideas and contemporary science. Some of the themes of this conference, specially Pauli's interactions with the psychiatrist Carl Jung, is described in the following excerpt from the announcement:

``The psychophysical problem, of essential significance for Pauli, has generated rapidly increasing interest together with the renaissance of consciousness research in the 1990s. The widely distributed Journal of Consciousness Studies, founded in 1994, gives a good impression of this trend. The idea of a psychophysically neutral monism with mind and matter as dual aspects, which Pauli favored, represents a seriously discussed alternative to reductionist or materialist accounts in current discussions in the philosophy of mind and psychology. For instance, Jung’s concepts of archetypes and synchronicity, taken quite seriously by Pauli, can be embedded fairly straightforwardly in dual-aspect approaches.''

Alain speaks in this meeting and I hope we get a first hand report later!

1 comment:

Kea said...

This is fascinating. I look forward to further reports. Today, Pauli would be told he was a crackpot.