Jessica Wilson


Quantum and Buddhist Indeterminacy


On certain interpretations---the orthodox and arguably also the GRW and Everettian interpretations---quantum mechanics (QM) gives rise to indeterminacy, associated with the thesis that (contra the classical supposition of value determinacy) the 'observables'---properties, states---of a given particle or system cannot all be given precise values at a given time. And on certain schools of Buddhist thought---notably, the Chinese Madhyamaka School, associated with Sengzhao (374--414 CE) and Jizang (549--623 CE)---there is indeterminacy, associated with an interpretation of Nagarjuna's doctrine that all things are `empty' as the doctrine that all things are lacking determinate nature. Here I provide reasons to think that, notwithstanding the very different contexts supporting these forms of indeterminacy, they have much in common as regards the (metaphysical) status, source, and proper treatment of the indeterminacy at issue.


June 20th / 15:15 / Aula Magna