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Tian Ren He Yi (天人合一): an ontology for the quantum world

The project aims at finding out whether there is a way among the historical ideas of Chinese philosophy through which we can understand the relationship between a quantum system and its observer that appears puzzling, or even paradoxical, in the simple physicalist ontology which contemporary physicists (and scientists in general) take for granted. If successful, the effort may revitalize a fundamental conception between nature and human in traditional Chinese philosophy – Tian Ren He Yi (the unity of heaven and men) – by showing how it contributes to a better understanding of, if not solving, profound metaphysical problem in quantum theory – the measurement problem. More specifically, the project aims at finding out whether we can use the doctrine of Tian Ren He Yi (天人合一) to rehabilitate one of the most neglected but brilliant interpretations of quantum theory, the Wigner Interpretation, which makes consciousness the realm in which definite values of physical observables obtain.

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