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Monday, August 20, 2018

Roger Penrose and consciousness


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Biswarup Ganguly (Gangulybiswarup)

Photo license: CC BY 3.0


Roger Penrose (1931-now) is a British physicist and philosopher best known for his work on general relativity and consciousness. Physicist Clifford Martin Will said,


"In the June, 1960 issue of... the Annals of Physics, there appeared a paper by... Roger Penrose with the esoteric title, 'A Spinor Approach to General Relativity'. Although the paper was highly mathematical, it outlined a very elegant and streamlined technique for solving certain problems in general relativity." (Was Einstein Right? 1993)


Wikipedia says,


"[Penrose] claims that consciousness transcends formal formal logic because things such as the insolubility of the halting problem and Godel's incompleteness theorem prevent an algorithmically based system of logic from reproducing such traits of human intelligence as mathematical insight." (Wikipedia: Roger Penrose, 8.19.21 UTC 23:45)


This post is some quotes from Penrose.




"Years ago, I wrote a book called the emperor's new mind and that book was describing a point of view I had about consciousness and why it was not something that comes about from complicated calculations so we are not exactly computers." (Wikiquote)


"Every one of our conscious brains is woven from subtle physical ingredients that somehow enable us to take advantage of the profound organization of our mathematically underpinned universe - so that we, in turn, are capable of some direct access..." (Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness, 1994)


"How do our feelings of conscious awareness - of happiness, pain, love, aesthetic sensibility, will, understanding, etc, fit into such a computational picture?" (


Platonic forms


"I think it is a serious issue to wonder about the other platonic absolutes of beauty and morality." (


"To me the world of perfect forms is primary (as was Plato's own belief). Its existence being almost a logical necessity - and both the other worlds are its shadows." (Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness, 1994)