The Fall 2014 Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Chris Timpson, Brasenose College, Oxford. His talk is entitled (Quantum Mechanics, Information, and the Spectre of Immaterialism." (Abstract below.)
Friday, Oct 3, 3-5pm, Social Sciences 224 (1145 E South Campus Drive).
The advent of quantum mechanics has caused us to reconsider the question of what information we can, in principle, acquire about the world. The development of quantum information theory has raised questions about whether we need to reconsider what the nature of information in the world even is. On both counts, some have been drawn towards immaterialist ideas, sometimes even going so far as to posit an ‘informational immaterialism’ according to which material things such as particles and fields should be replaced by information as the ontological grounds of the world. I will explore this circle of ideas, and by clarifying the nature of Shannon information, and its relation to quantum information, argue that informational immaterialism gains no support from the direction of quantum theory.