chapter  6
16 Pages

Quantum physics and conscious thought: Roger Penrose

There can be few physicists who have delved as deeply into the philosophical implications of their subject as has David Bohm. It is therefore with some trepidation that I am paying my respects to him on the occasion of his retirement with an attempt of my own to relate questions of philosophy to those of the foundations of physics. The viewpoint that I am putting forward here attempts to relate questions that have been two of Bohm's major interests over the years; namely, a possible breakdown of quantum mechanics on a macroscopic scale and the physical basis of conscious thought. It must be evident to the reader that in both these topics I am venturing into dangerously speculative territory. Moreover others more expert that I (such as Wigner 1, as well as Bohm 2 himself) have put forward strongly-reasoned views which relate these topics. Yet I do feel that my own viewpoint is both well worth describing and sufficiently different from these others that the reader may find something of value here. But my account must necessarily be somewhat truncated, for reasons of space and of time. It is my intention to expand these thoughts at much greater length elsewhere.