University of Warwick, Conference, ‘Continental Philosophy and the Sciences’, Dec. 8-10, 2003



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University of Warwick, Conference, ‘Continental Philosophy and the Sciences’, Dec. 8-10, 2003.

Heelan Revised Version 9/11/2018



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Husserlian Phenomenology, Measurement, and Quantum Theory

by

Patrick A. Heelan

William A. Gaston Professor of Philosophy

Georgetown University

Washington, DC 20057-1133

heelanp@georgetown.edu; www.georgetown.edu/heelan

Husserlian Phenomenology, Measurement, and Quantum Theory


Patrick A. Heelan

Department of Philosophy

Georgetown University, Washington DC 20057-1133
ABSTRACT
This paper uses a hermeneutic development of Husserlean phenomenology to study the common noetic-noematic intentionality structure of perception and measurement. The study concludes that perception and measurement, whether classical or quantum, are structured by the same core set of psychological and transcendental functions operating within consciousness. Among these functions are meaning-transformations (hermeneutic conversion), group-theoretic activity (in search of meaningful symmetries), intentional orientation (towards ‘objectivation’), ‘entanglement’ (inseparability of meaning and sensory flux), ‘disentanglement’ (separation of meaning and flux), and symmetry-breaking in confrontation with the ‘facticity’ of the real world. The general formal structure of these intentional processes exemplifies in a striking way the structure of the quantum theory. This raises the question of the quantum structure of human cognition.

Husserlian Phenomenology,1 Measurement, and Quantum Theory


My aim is to show that there is a core set of functions that aptly could be called ‘transcendental,’ active within the process of meaning-constitution of perception and measurement that are aptly called by terms that up to now are familiar to us mostly from quantum physics – terms such as, ‘entanglement’ and ‘disentanglement,’ ‘uncertainty principles,’ complementarity,’ ‘invariants’ and ‘symmetries,’ ‘symmetry-making’ ‘and ‘symmetry-breaking,’ deriving from a certain kind of mathematical model connected with, for example, vectors and operators in Hilbert Space.
I begin with a citation from Eugene Wigner written in 1957 and one from Niels Bohr written in 1949. Both highlight the importance of understanding the structure and role of data in measurement. They were reacting against the then prevalent Neokantian view that good science meant a good theory, and that a good theory was one that excluded any reference to or theory about the operations of human consciousness. A good theory is observationally successful because, it was said, it represents an ‘exclusively objective’ truth – no psychology, no history, no culture, nothing but the ‘objective truth.’ The quantum theory, however, presented a challenge to this view.
“... the basic concept in the epistemological structure of physics is the concept of observation…” (Wigner, 1967, 37)2
“… there is no other alternative than to admit that, in the field of experience, we are dealing with individual phenomena and that our possibilities of handling the measuring instruments allow us to make a choice between the different complementary types of phenomena we want to study …” (Bohr, 1961, 51)3
As Bohr, Wigner, and others came to believe, the new science called on us to review the role of observation in measurement and the extent to which human decisions, psychology, history, and culture entered in essential ways into the practices and theories of science, and – in, perhaps, disguised ways -- shaped even the content of scientific knowledge. They saw science not in the conventional way as part of a reconstructed, esoteric, and preeminently objective language about the world to which W. Sellars gave the name ‘Scientific Image,’ but as sharing a lot more with what the same author called the ‘Manifest’ or perceptual ‘Image’ (Sellars 1963, 1-40). This latter use of common descriptive language is sometimes referred to with disdain as ‘folk knowing.’ In showing that measurement has the same functional structure as perception, and that this functional structure is like that of quantum theory, I argue that quantum theory is more like the ‘Manifest Image’ than the ‘Scientific Image.’ And I would say that Sellars’ ‘Scientific Image,’ reflecting, as it does, the conventional but normative nevertheless notion of classical science, fails to capture something that is essential to science, namely, that it is fundamentally a ‘Manifest Image’ in disguise. 4
Conventionally, the term ‘science’ implies the use of mathematical models to ‘explain’ empirical data. I wish to address how theory and data are essentially involved with one another in the performance of measurement. I first propose a phenomenology of perception that can then be extended to become a theory of the phenomenology of measurement. This phenomenology which comes from Husserl5 and Heidegger, with some help from Cassirer (Cassirer 1944), integrates the subjective or first-person element with the third-person or objective element in perception and in measurement.
Phenomenological Reduction’ and Other Terms

About the terminology I am using: all the relevant terms below refer, unless explicitly stated otherwise, to what makes its presence known to phenomenological reflection on human consciousness. Phenomenological reflection is what Husserl called ‘phenomenological reduction,’ or the viewpoint of ‘epoché.’ This is an intuitive awareness within consciousness of the immediate evidence present to consciousness in which die Sachen selbst (the contents and functions of perception) are given to us apodictically (repeatedly and unchangingly). This is not reflection on the hidden subject as such – the object of the reflection is not the Cartesian Ego -- but it is the subject’s activity in thinking the thought that is before it as object. This reductive orientation of consciousness is not the natural orientation of human consciousness which is always to look outward toward the perceived object in the World, but in epoché, we become aware just of what is intended by the conscious act; this Husserl calls the “noema.” The noema6 is the product of the co-constituting activity of the subject and the hyletic sensory flux through which the particular object is revealed to consciousness in inner time. Whether or not the noema is fulfilled in the real World is immaterial to the epoché. However, by turning our attention back to the World, we can confirm the real worldly existence of the individual object. The noema in this case is thus the noema fulfilled in experience as the worldly object. If, however, on turning back to the World, we find we are mistaken, we end up with just a mere thought object, an unfulfilled possibility, which is a new noema that replaces the original unfulfilled noema. The Husserlean phenomenological reduction which I have just described targets the noetic-noematic intentionality structure of consciousness, where ‘noetic’ means the mode of inquiry originating from the subject, and ‘noematic’ indicates that the inquiry is about how a knowable object is ‘constituted’ by the resources available to the ‘intentionality structures’ at its disposal. What these are will be the theme of this paper.


By ‘objects’ I mean phenomena; these are particular, local, observed, and recorded events described in appropriate descriptive terms. By ‘scientific objects’ I mean data; these are scientific phenomena described in scientific terms. By ‘theory’ I mean a mathematical model that, when combined with measurement serves as a scientific explanation of a range of data.7 By ‘transcendental’ I mean being a condition of possibility of knowing as such. By the ‘horizon’ of a particular object, I mean, the existentially contingent non-systematic worldly circumstances which permit the intended object to manifest its presence in actual experience; the horizon pertains to its ‘place’ or ‘niche’ or ‘context’ in the world, and which (as it were) ‘frames’ its particular local sensible manifestation in the world.8
In this study I will be using some terms that come from quantum physics. These are: ‘entanglement/disentanglement,’ ‘uncertainty principles,’ ‘complementarity,’ ‘symmetry-making,’ and ‘symmetry-breaking.’ By these terms I mean the predecessor meanings from which by development can come the meanings they have in quantum physics. In this spirit, by ‘uncertainty principles,’ I mean, that P & Q are uncertain relative to one another if and only if, when P & Q are applied successively, the temporal order of their application is significant since PQ ≠ QP. By ‘complementarity,’ I mean, that two descriptive predicates P & Q are complementary if and only if P & Q are separately valid predicates of a given observed or measured object but such that they cannot be used of the same object at the same time, place, and context. By ‘entanglement,’ I mean, that two systems S & O are entangled if and only if S & O are united (here, in the domain of consciousness) in such a way as to constitute one holistic system with its own proper predicables that could be different from the predicables applicable to the separately disentangled S and O. By ‘symmetry-making,’ I mean, constituting an invariance that is universal and necessary under group-theoretic transformations. By ‘symmetry breaking,’ I mean, replacing the universality and necessity of pre-predicative (theoretical) symmetries with the contingency and particularity that characterizes empirical judgments which depend on appropriate but non-systematic conditions in the real world.
Husserl’s Theory of Perception
For Husserl, intentionality is the basic function of consciousness.9 Phenomenological reduction is a first-person reflection on the subject’s activity displayed in the noetic-noematic intentionality structure of perception.10 Its goal is to describe the way subjective consciousness constructs (or ‘constitutes’) a knowable object from the hyletic (material rather than formal) sensory flux that is synthesized into an object known. Husserl’s synthesis is implicitly hermeneutical; it consists in a meaning transformation of the hyletic sensory flux into a flux of profiles (Abschattungen,11 adumbrations, appearances, perspectives) of an intended particular object, organized in perceptual space-time (and in other ways) as an extended localized body which, while being one, nevertheless appears in multiple continuously connected appearances in the inner space and time of consciousness.
A perceived object always appears as the unity that links multiple appearances of the same object in perception. This synthesis presumes a prior analysis of this fact. For Husserl, the analysis yields a multiplicity of continuously connected profiles that manifest a particular local object with a non-sensory essence (eidos) or meaning that unifies the sensory components by re-interpreting them as manifesting a single particular local object .

Figures 1 & 2 (see below)


The functional components of Husserl’s analysis and synthesis then are

1. a continuous hyletic sensory flux;12

2. a selection of components from this flux usually made unconsciously by the observing subject that can be synthesized in the subject’s inner time as manifesting a unity of non-sensory essence (or eidos);

3. the essence (or eidos) is identified as the symmetry of a continuous group of transformations among certain components of the flux due to a system of mutual and reciprocal activity performed independently by the perceiving subject and by the sensory field;

4. the essence (eidos) of the components of flux so identified is re-interpreted as the invariant meaning of a system of changing profiles that are connected by, and defined by a group of mutual interactivities between subject and object that maintains apodictically the identity of the system of essence and profiles.13

To this list we should add another component only implicit in Husserl, namely,



5. symmetry-breaking in confrontation with the contingency or ‘facticity’ of the surrounding World.
Implications for Conceptual Formation
Let me highlight some of the central functions of this account: there is motion and activity experienced in inner space and time, a streaming flow of sensations; the character of the sensory flow is affected both by the activity of the subject and by the independent but reciprocal activity in the sensory field. The subject initiates a search to discern whether it is possible to discover an invariant meaning latent in the sensory flow by an insightful and systematic choice from among the elements of the sensory flow. In this search the activity of the subject probes the sensory field ‘dialogically,’ while simultaneously the independent activity of the sensory field probes the subject in ‘response,’ both seeking to establish a certain stable reciprocity that can be interpreted by the subject as the presence of a stable meaningful invariant embodied in the unity in multiplicity of that flow. The structure of mutual interactivity can be described as a active ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ of the ‘ingredients’ of (what we can call) ‘information,’ – not information in the strictly scientific sense if mere signals, but information in its common sense meaning. This is composed of two elements, a signal (or sign, information1) and its meaning (or interpretation, information2) (see Heelan 1983, 137). The sensory flux is the location of the signals; the essence (or unity in structured multiplicity) comprises the meaning.
But according to what principles is the selection assembled and how is the meaning related to the assembly? Hume and the empiricists in general link elements of the sensory flow by laws of association; there is no transcendent leap to a non-sensory order. Neokantians, such as Cassirer, make a transcendent leap to a non-sensory order that leaves the sensory flow behind as mere symbols separated from the content of the concept it reveals. Husserl in contrast chooses to retain the sensory as essential to the content of the transcendent concept. From sensory qualia, the hyletic flow is converted into flowing profiles of something with a fixed meaning transcendent to the sensory order. This hermeneutically converted hyletic flow has been selected usually by the noetic unconscious to fulfill the a priori norm of belonging to a group-theoretic set of transformations under reciprocal systems of noetic and noematic activity/passivity, that is, of ‘giving’ and ‘taking.’ This is the intermediate ‘entangled’ phase in which the unity of the noema is constituted out of the multiplicity of the profiles. This unity is the symmetrizing function of the system -- we call it the ‘essence (or eidos)’ or ‘generic universal’; the multiplicity is the set of profiles that are the mapped upon themselves by the transformations of the group and symmetrized by the eidos – we call this the noema, it intends the concrete particular. Whether or not such a noema can be instantiated (or fulfilled) as a concrete particular in the surrounding World depends on contingent features (‘facticity’) of the local environment. Confrontation with the real World always brings a risk of non-fulfillment, that is, of symmetry-breaking.
Certain conclusions follow regarding the nature and genesis of perceptual concepts, Husserl’s ‘generic universals’:

1. they are not pure ideas in relation to sensory experience (contra Cassirer);

2. they interpret and organize the flowing sensory field in inner time consciousness (contra Hume);

3. the search for and identification of a stable hermeneutically meaningful invariant is due to the existence and persistence of reciprocal group theoretic sets of space-time motions or other physical activities initiated either by the subject or independently by the sensory field, and of which the concept is the symmetry (contra Logical Empiricism);

4. the linguistic name of the concept functions as a descriptive predicate that answers to a question such as: what is this? Where ‘this’ indicates deictically the sensory hyle that is being questioned.

5. instantiation of the concept is contingent on the local environment.


Certain conclusions also follow regarding the non-uniqueness (or complementarity) of the search for essences (eide) in any sensory field, their fallibility (or symmetry-breaking), their historicity (or non-transcendentality), and their core transcendentality.
Non-uniqueness or complementarity: The hyletic sensory field is the source from which human subjects get their concepts and in which they recognize instances of their concepts. This field is not limited to a search for just a unique meaning of the sensory hyle, the sensory hyle can be addressed in multiple ways that reflect different contextual interests of the inquiring subject. Let us say that ‘this’ is a potted plant. It can also be addressed as a source of food or organic chemicals, or in relation to its ecology, or as a symbolic object, or as just a pretty object to admire, and so on. Each mode of address initiates different real or imaginary sensory flows that illustrate different sets of profiles in relation to the different horizons connoted respectively by the terms. In the real order, some of these horizons are not mutually compatible; but in the order of thought and imagination, all can be thought or imagined in any temporal order. Here in the mutual incompatibility of possible horizons we are reminded of the quantum theory and the kind of uncertainty principle one finds there with respect to mutually incompatible choices in the real World.
Fallibility or symmetry-breaking: The process of determining whether or not there exists in a given sensory hyletic flow a stable unity in a system of profiles generated under a group-theoretic transformation law is a complex operation that can fail for a number of reasons, such as, lack of attention, cultural bias, lack of openness, dogmatism of outlook, lack of mental resources, haste, etc., and other obstacles well known to each of us and particularly, to experienced experimental researchers. But I draw your attention to a more radical failure: it may not be possible to find an instantiation of the eidos in the local environment, for the environment does not support a horizon of this kind. Every eidos has its own peculiar ‘niche’ in the surrounding World. One does not find palm trees in Antarctica or icebergs in the Mediterranean. Nor does one find more refined scientific objects outside of the prepared environments of the laboratory. While much can be known about conditions that would prevent the instantiation of an eidos in a given situation, nevertheless local conditions are always contingent and any eidos at any time and place is put at risk of non-fulfillment. The ‘facticity’ of the World can lead to symmetry-breaking.
Historicity or non-transcendentality: The historical developmental process, whether of young children or of developing human cultures, is carried forward to future generations by language, social institutions, and cultural artifacts. These signal the generational pre-existence of social meanings that can be learned, criticized, revised, and either held in memory or forgotten, as people age and new generations replace older ones. Perceptual eide or essences are not transcendent to the hyletic sensory flux; they are types of organizations rooted in the sensory hyletic flux but not expressed in sensory terms.
Core transcendentality: Within this historicity, there is, however, a kernel of the transcendental, this is the pure core capacity to perform the type of analysis and synthesis described in the presence of worldly sensory fluxes.
Some illustrations:

1. Picturing14 (AE) – Compare (a) a static sensory flux of, say, a lifesize photo of Albert Einstein (AE), (b) the dynamic sensory flux of AE fully present in bodily fashion, and (c) a partial sensory flux of AE glimpsed as moving in a crowd. The horizon of (a) is constituted by memory and imagination and is clearly an static image of AE. The horizon of (b) is of AE’s full bodied presence constituted actively/passively by the total sensory flux, and the horizon of (c) is of AE glimpsed as moving in a crowd. In this last case, though one receives just a partial sampling of the total sensory flux, one also sees the full bodied presence of AE. In order for full bodied presence to be perceived, some flux is necessary in order that the law of the whole can be discovered and recognized. In actuality, sensory flux is exceedingly redundant and in practice we need no more than a small sampling (case c) to achieve clear and accurate perception. This reminds us of the use of Gabor functions to minimize redundancy in fields of communication.


2. Müller-Lyer Illusion15 (ML) – a static sensory display in a scientific horizon is converted unconsciously by the imagination into the perception of a 3D object in a non-Euclidean perceptual horizon.
3. Neckar Cube16 (NC)– a static sensory display is converted unconsciously by imagination and memory either into a view from the top or a view from the bottom of the cube; the switch between the views takes place at a fixed automatic rate of change (roughly, 3 mins.).
4. Van Gogh’s Bedroom17 (VG). I show that the contextuality of meaning affects the imaginative reconstructions of the Bedroom by changing the geometry of visual space; that is, the geometry with respect to which it is modeled, whether this is Euclidean geometry or a family of hyperbolic Riemannian spaces.
There are two levels of uncertainty in consciousness; (i) entanglement/disentanglement at the pre-predicative level, and (ii) symmetry-making/symmetry-breaking at the level of judgment and in confrontation with the real World.

(i) entanglement/disentanglement: There is uncertainty with respect to what is to be attended to in the hyletic sensory flux in inner time where conscious/unconscious choices are made among possible object of inquiry. These lead to different syntheses of the sensory flux and different symmetry-making leading to different concepts. These choices are made deliberately or indeliberately in accord with the considered or habitual interests of the perceiver.– [AE; ML ; NC; VG];


(ii) symmetry-making/symmetry-breaking. There is also uncertainty with respect to the support or lack of support for the perceptual horizon in the local situation of the background World that is being questioned by the inquiry. [AE; VG].
Each of these syntheses may, consciously or unconsciously, be controlled by conventional scientific standards or by the ‘folk’ standards of natural perception. The normative role of scientific standards will be my next point.
Measurement18

The normative account of perception just given also covers and justifies the practice of measurement with instruments. To measure, I will show, is an extension of the normative human power to perceive.


By a measuring process I mean a process involving instruments M that make an object O present and measurable to a local observer S and that permits S to read from instruments a specific measure number for the quantity measured. Consider two observer roles: a first-person role S1 and a third-person role S3. Each observational role is directed toward the sensory flux emanating from the instrumental response M. The first-person role is that of an experimental scientist in a laboratory situation. The third-person role is, for instance, that of an engineer, salesperson, etc. where skill in measuring is not called for. The first- and third-person roles could be taken by the same person on different occasions, but cannot be exercised simultaneously.


(S1 + M) observes (OM  O) … [where OM is a profile of O]

S3 observes (Mi  M) …………[where Mi is a profile of M]

Figure 3: First- and third-person observational roles, S1 and S3 respectively in measurement.


The first-person observer S1 is skilled in experimental measurement and interprets the flux as presenting O directly under the static profile OM. His report is a first-person report about the datum so intuitively observed. The third-person observer S3, however, does not observe O but instead observes S1’s causal physical engagement with the instrument M. Given the proper instrumental context, S3 might also observe the neurological interaction between the two entities, S1 and M, but he does not have access to S1’s interpretive act. What S1 and S3 see in these different roles are different and mutually complementary objects.

Each role has a part in scientific inquiry. Although scientists do not usually engage in phenomenological reflection on the intentional structure of these roles, such discussion has accompanied the quantum theory from its beginning. The nature and source of uncertainty principles and complementarity were fiercely debated among the founders of the quantum theory and are still much in discussion. One of the themes of this paper is to understand the difference between these roles. Figures 1-5 aim to clarify this difference by a phenomenological analysis.




(S1 + M) observes O under profile OM

Figure 4: S1’s analysis of entangled intentional consciousness. M is not an object for S1 but is absorbed into the functioning subject S1, and its function is to provide the intuitive profile OM with which O is framed for its appearance in the laboratory.




S3 observes M as Mi [+ neurological data about S1]

Figure 5: S3’s analysis of entangled intentional consciousness. O is not an object for S3. S3’s objects are M given under a profile Mi [and neurological data about S1’s interaction with M].

Figures 3, 4, and 5 provide a schema for understanding the contrast between first- and third-person reductions. Figure 3 schematizes the observational connections of S1 and S3 to M and O respectively. Figure 4 shows that when S1 observes O, the instrumental response M is noetically a functional part of the operating subject S1, while noematically it specifies and is specified by the static profile OM under which O is framed for its appearance in the laboratory. Figure 5 shows that when S3 observes the flux from M, it observes M under the profile Mi. Though both S1 and S3 address the sensible fluxes from M, the relevant fluxes are different and the perceptual outcomes are different. For S3 the addressed flux is interpreted as Mi, a profile of M. For S1 the addressed flux is interpreted as OM a profile of O. Mi is the profile of an instrument in causal physical interaction with S1. OM is the framed profile of an object O that is the outcome of a group-theoretical meaning-transformational conversion of a different flux. Mi and OM are nothing but the presence respectively of the objects M and O and there is no overlap between them. The reason is much the same as that given in the illustrations used above about perception: the relevant sensory fluxes overlap in just a single spatial item, but in this case both M and O are accompanied by real temporal fluxes beyond the single sensory item they share and so each is recognized by perception as real. In the case of O, the actual sensory flux arises from the multiple ways in which a classical scientific quantity can be measured that allows the reality of the measured quantity to be intended beyond either the instrumental face or the abstract number given by the measurement.

From this phenomenological stance an object is perceived only if the entire range of its connected spatial appearances is potentially present and sampled in the sensory flux, and not just virtually present through memory and imagination as in a portrait of Einstein; that is, if the entire range could be actualized dynamically through the system of measurement in which mutually objectifying information is exchanged (‘giving’ and ‘receiving’) between the instrumented observer and the world. In this state of mutual exchange, neither the sense of the subject as potential knower nor the sense of the object as potentially known can exist respectively apart from the potential back and forth flow of meaningful information between the instrumented subject and its object in their common laboratory horizon. These conditions establish S1 and O as functioning together as one in a dynamic hermeneutical entanglement, for the construction of meaning. This shared pre-predicative noetic-noematic intentionality structure is antecedent to the turning of attention from the processes of consciousness to the noema of O.19 Turning towards O in the appropriate laboratory horizon one can come to see O as fulfilled in the noema. If, however, the laboratory horizon does not support the manifest presence of O there can be no fulfillment. Such is the risk taken by every experimental researcher, for empirical data are not guaranteed by computation alone. Empirical data are profiles of a scientific object and as such are constituted essentially as scientific objects by measurement processes that satisfy the conditions of hermeneutic conversion and group transformation processes applied appropriately to the sensory flux of the instrumental response.20 When these conditions are not fulfilled the symmetry that defines the measurable object is broken, not because the measurable is wrongly defined, but because the necessary symmetry in the active sensory flux is not found there.

For a scientific theory to be valid each term must possess an eidos. In order for the back and forth flow of meaningful information to provide sufficient evidence for the formation of an eidos and a noema for a particular term, there must be an available sample of a flux of profiles and an appropriate laboratory horizon (‘niche’) for the term to manifest its presence and its measure. In a classical theory, it is assumed that there are common horizons (‘niches’) that accommodate all the terms simultaneously. In quantum theory, however, there are no common horizons, only complementary horizons for different partial sets of terms.

In sampling the profiles of a term in the laboratory, how large a sample of profiles would be necessary to give apodicticity to the outcome? The sample must include more than one spatial profile to provide an inner time flux. Can we guess how large a sample would be required? I propose enough so that the group theoretic law among the profiles can be experienced as fulfilled. Perhaps we might look towards a sample tailored like a Gabor function reduction of the transformation group.21 When these conditions are fulfilled, standardized instruments can be constructed, sold, and bought off the shelf and general laboratory protocols can be formulated around which a scientific tradition can be built within which observation with standardized instruments becomes, as it were, a ‘second nature’ for observers.

The respective horizons of the first- and third-person roles are incommensurable more or less in the Kuhnian sense within human pre-perceptual consciousness. Their incommensurability is analogous to complementary observables in quantum physics as explained by Bohr. They are also constrained by the uncertainty arising from multiple possible intentions, each intention hermeneutically uncertain because of entanglement, and factually uncertain by the possibility of symmetry-breaking.22

There is, however, one exception to the formal parallelism between the structure of consciousness and that of the quantum theory: human decision-making can freely and deliberately choose among the operant intentions while in physical nature quantum outcomes are stochastic. The uncertainty is removed when the subject chooses to direct attention to one of the possible complementary outcomes of the flux to the exclusion of the others. This choice may destroy or at least impair the immediate possibility of addressing within intentional consciousness a complementary flux associated with a complementary object. On seeing Van Gogh’s Bedroom at Arles, one may turn one’s attention to the painting or to the room depicted in the painting. The hermeneutic entanglement between subject and object is the situation from which the eidos emerges in its essence as the non-sensory operator (symmetry, invariant) within consciousness that can generate from the relevant sensory flux the profiles that bring a stable object – painting or room -- to conscious presence.

The symmetry-breaking potentiality of the real World results from the fact that an environmental ‘niche’ is needed to instantiate an eidos, and such a ‘niche’ is contingent. Palm trees do not grow in Antarctica nor do you find ice bergs in the Mediterranean. It puts the ideal necessity and universality of the eidetic symmetry at risk. The practical purpose of a laboratory is to create such a protected place or ‘niche’ for the sake of making measurements.23

The time-reversibility of the theory as such is replaced by the irreversible temporality of causal factual relationships within the lived world.

Operations that are commutative in theoretical consciousness (like absorption and emission of heat and light) may become non-commutative in practical consciousness.

Certain conclusions follow concerning the human observer in the world. Human observers skilled in using instruments acquire a kind of ‘second nature’ that is built on the ‘first nature’ of perception, of which the a priori transcendental core is group-theoretic relative to the meaning-transformative conversion of the sensible hyletic flux into profiles of possible entities.24 This emerges out of an entanglement between subject and object in which an ‘exchange of information’ takes place. In affirming a datum, say O, ‘framed’ by sensible intuition and named by its ‘measure-numbers,’ an observer also implicitly affirms that subject and object are distinct and independent.



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