1998 – VII

Epistemological Questions in Quantum Physics and Eastern Contemplative Sciences

The Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck,
in cooperation with the Mind & Life Institute
Innsbruck, Austria
June 15-22, 1998

An account of this meeting was published in Geo (January, 1999).

The purpose of the symposium is to compare the epistemologies of two major intellectual traditions: Western science culminating in modern quantum physics and Eastern contemplative sciences as represented by Tibetan Buddhism.

Questions for analysis include:

  • What are the roles of observer and consciousness?
  • Are there fundamental limits to what can be said about the world?
  • What are the foundations of cognition and experience in the natural sciences?

These questions are discussed in connection with specific experiments presently pursued at the Institut für Experimentalphysik in Innsbruck, including experiments on the nonlocality of quantum mechanics, on wave-particle dualism and on quantum teleportation.

Scientific Coordinator

Anton Zeilinger, Ph.D., Professor of Physics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria

Participants

Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
Arthur Zajonc, Ph.D., Professor of Physics, Amherst College

Interpreters

Geshe Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D., Cambridge University
B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., Visiting Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara