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A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Time and Free Will
Chapter I: The Intensity of Psychic States
Topic 14: Psychophysics
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
Start of Review






Bibliography Author's
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 Conclusion Index

Move to any Topic of Henri Louis Bergson's Time and Free Will,
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Topic 14...............Psychophysics

(Note to readers: Symbol font required to read this page.)


(Most quotes verbatim Henri Louis Bergson, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)


"Fechner took as his starting-point a law discovered by Weber, according to which, given a
Fechner's psychophysics. Weber's Law. certain stimulus which calls forth a certain sensation, the amount by which the stimulus must be
increased for consciousness to become aware of any change bears a fixed relation to the original stimulus. Thus, if we denote by E the stimulus which corresponds to the sensation S, and by E the amount by which the original stimulus must be increased in order that a sensation of difference may be produced, we shall have E/E=const. This [Weber's] formula has been much modified by the disciples of Fechner, and we prefer to take no part in the discussion; it is for experiment to decide between the relation established by Weber and its substitutes. Nor shall we raise any difficulty about granting the probable existence of a law of this nature. It is here really a question not of measuring a sensation but only of determining the exact moment at which an increase of stimulus produces a change in it. Now, if a definite amount of stimulus produces a definite shade of sensation, it is obvious that the minimum amount of stimulus required to produce a change in this shade is also definite; and since it is not constant, it must be a function of the original stimulus. But how are we to pass from a relation between the stimulus and its minimum increase to an equation which connects the "amount of sensation" with the corresponding stimulus? The whole of psychophysics is involved in this transition, which is therefore worthy of our closest consideration.

"We shall distinguish several different artifices
The underlying assumptions and the process by which Fechner's Law is reached. in the process of transition from Weber's experiments, or from any other series of similar observations, to a psychophysical law like Fechner's."

(Our brackets, bold, color, and bold violet italic problematics. Symbol font required.)

Bergson restarts his footnote counts on each page. So to refer a footnote, one must state page number and footnote number.

Our bold and color highlights follow a code:

  • black-bold - important to read if you are just scanning our review
  • orange-bold - text ref'd by index pages
  • green-bold - we see Bergson suggesting axiomatic memes
  • violet-bold - an apparent classical problematic
  • blue-bold - we disagree with this text segment while disregarding context of Bergson's overall text
  • gray-bold - quotable text
  • red-bold - our direct commentary







"It is first of all agreed to consider our consciousness of an increase of stimulus as an increase of the sensation S: this is therefore called S. It is then asserted that all the sensations S, which correspond to the smallest perceptible increase of stimulus, are equal to one another. They are therefore treated as quantities, and while, on the one hand, these quantities are supposed to be always equal, and, on the other, experiment has given a certain relation E = f (E) between the stimulus E and its minimum increase, the constancy of S is expressed by writing S= C*(”E / f (E)), C being a constant quantity. Finally it is agreed to replace the very small differences S and E by the infinitely small differences dS and dE, whence an equation which is, this time, a differential one: dS= C*(dE / f (E)). We shall now simply have to integrate on both sides to obtain the desired relation (1): S= C*Integral, from-zero-to-pi, of C*(dE/f(E)). And the transition will thus be made from a proved law, which only concerned the occurrence of a sensation, to an unprovable law which gives its measure."

Note (1): In the particular case where we admit without restriction Weber's Law E/E=const., integration gives S=C*log(E/Q), Q being a constant. This is Fechner's "logarithmic law."

(Our link, bold and color. Symbol font required.)





Reader, please comsider classical equal sign vis-à-vis Quantonics equal sign. Also, comsider a concept of classical division. Does it n¤t require absolutely state-ic stimulus and response/sensation? How does one make reality hold still so that one may divide two static concepts?



This is called 'science.' Science is stopping nature! Pirsig tells us this is what he dislikes most about classical thing-king. CTMs are always trying to trap nature in CTM-staticity.

Classical versions of quantum 'science' do something similar by trying to trap nature's animacy in Eigenstates whose values are either zero or one. Ughly!



"Without entering upon any thorough discussion of this ingenious operation, let us show in a few words how Fechner has grasped the real difficulty of the problem, how he has tried to overcome it, and where, as it seems to us, the flaw in his reasoning lies.

"Fechner realized that measurement could not be introduced into
Can two sensations be equal without being identical? psychology without first defining what is meant by the equality and addition of two simple states, e.g. two sensations. But, unless they are identical, we do not at first
see how two sensations can be equal. Undoubtedly in the physical world equality is not synonymous with identity. But the reason is that every phenomenon, every object, is there presented under two aspects, the one qualitative and the other extensive: nothing prevents us from putting the first one aside, and then there remains nothing but terms which can be directly or indirectly [classically] superposed on one another and consequently seen to be identical. Now, this qualitative element, which we begin by eliminating from external objects in order to measure them, is the very thing which psychophysics retains and claims to measure. And it is no use trying to measure this quality Q by some physical quantity Q' which lies beneath it: for it would be necessary to have previously shown that Q is a function of Q', and this would not be possible unless the quality Q had first been measured with some fraction of itself."

(Our links, brackets, bold, color and bold violet italic problematics.)







CTMs treat those two aspects as exclusive. They use SOM's knife to sever quality from extensity and throw former away, thus simplifying their classical view of reality! Quantonics teaches its students that those two aspects may n¤t be severed, indeed, they are n¤nseverable. Why? Their middles are quantum-included! They are:




"Thus nothing prevents us from measuring the sensation of heat by the degree of temperature; but this is only a convention, and the whole point of psychophysics lies in rejecting this convention and seeking how the sensation of heat varies when you change the temperature. In a word, it seems, on the one hand. that two different sensations cannot be said to be equal unless some identical residuum remains after the elimination of their qualitative difference; but, on the other hand, this qualitative difference being all that we perceive, it does not appear what could remain once it was eliminated.

"The novel feature in Fechner's treatment is that he did not consider
Fechner's method of minimum differences. this difficulty insurmountable. Taking advantage of the fact that sensation varies by sudden jumps while the stimulus increases continuously, he did not hesitate
to call these differences of sensation by the same name: they are all, he says, minimum differences, since each corresponds to the smallest perceptible increase in the external stimulus. Therefore you can set aside the specific shade or quality of these successive differences; a common residuum will remain in virtue of which they will be seen to be in a manner identical: they all have the common character of being minima. Such will be the definition of equality which we were seeking. Now, the definition of addition will follow naturally." [Compare Bergson's use of minima to classical mathematics' Peano induction modulus of 'one.' Then compare it to our Planck Quanton. Note how we deny any assumption of equality or identity among Planck quanta. First, they are unstoppable, second, they are all stochastic n¤nlocalable flux, third, they included-middle c¤mplement one another via quantum vacuum flux.]

(Our brackets, bold, color, links, and violet bold italic problematics.)








When one first sees classical 'science' in this n¤vel Bergsonian light, one realizes, genuinely, how silly classical 'science' is. Classical science "sets aside" reality's most valuable and beautiful and miraculous aspects — for its own convenience! Worse, in essence, it lies! That discipline which claims to seek 'the' truth, chooses instead to lie. And today, in 2002, it continues to repeat this outrage, over and over and over... And academe 'teaches' its students how to maintain this relentless lie. And we pay them for status quo as mind-cloned role-players of Static Quality.

This is why we see, following David Bohm's "n¤nMechanics of Quanta" lead, Quantonics and its pursuit of a n¤vel quantum ~n¤nscience as such an important endeavor. Doug - 26Feb2002.



"For if we treat as a quantity the difference perceived by consciousness between two sensations which succeed one another in the course of a continuous increase of stimulus, if we call the first sensation S, and the second S+S, we shall have to consider every sensation S as a sum, obtained by the addition of the minimum differences through which we pass before reaching it. The only remaining step will then be to utilize this twofold definition in order to establish, first of all, a relation between the differences S and E, and then, through the substitution of the differentials, between the two variables. True, the mathematicians may here lodge a protest against the substitution of differential for difference; the psychologists may ask, too, whether the quantity S, instead of being constant, does not vary as the sensation S itself; (1) finally, taking the psychophysical law for granted, we may all debate about its real meaning. But, by the mere fact that S is regarded as a quantity and S as a sum, the fundamental postulate of the whole process is accepted.

"Now it is just this postulate which seems to us
of the assumption that the sensation is a sum. and the minimum differences quantities
open to question, even if it can be understood. Assume that I experience a sensation S, and that, increasing the stimulus continuously, I perceive this increase after a certain time. I am now notified of the increase of the cause: but why should I call this
notification an arithmetical difference?"

Note (1): Latterly it has been assumed that S is proportional to S.

(Our bold, color, bold violet italic problematics, and bold violet problematics. Requires symbol font.)








In quantum reality, we have to give up notions of sums and differences and replace them with animate notions of "valuing interrelationships." By valuing, we intend an animate, present participle, process analogue of static value. We also must give up any notion of isolating a particular sensation objectively as classicists assume we may.

A qubit offers a perfect example of what we mean here. A qubit is a quanton, and thus is a quantum valuing interrelationship. Its omnivalency uncloaks quantum reality's unlimited interrelationships with any qubit, or for that matter, any quanton. Any qubit has potentially all reality as its omnivalent complement. We may make an analogous statement for any quanton.

Any quanton emerqs via its inclusive c¤mplementary interrelationships. Human sensation, from a quantum perspective, might involve a vast number of quantons, each with their own vast, omnivalent c¤mplementary interrelationships.



"No doubt the notification consists in the fact that the original state S has changed: it has become S'; but the transition from S to S' could only be called an arithmetical difference if I were conscious, so to speak, of an interval between S and S', and if my sensation were felt to rise from S to S' by the addition of something. By giving this transition a name, by calling it S, you make it first a [classical, static-latched] reality and then a quantity. Now, not only are you unable to explain in what sense this transition is a quantity, but reflection will show you that it is not even a reality; the only realities are the states S and S' through which I pass. No doubt, if S and S' were numbers, I could assert the reality of the difference S'—S even though S and S' alone were given; the reason is that the number S—S, which is a certain sum of units, will then represent just the successive moments of the addition by which we pass from S to S'. But if S and S' are simple states, in what will the interval which separates them consist? And what, then, can the transition from the first state to the second be, if not a mere act of your thought, which, arbitrarily and for the sake of the argument, assimilates a succession of two states to a differentiation of two magnitudes?

"Either you keep to what consciousness presents
We can speak of "arithmetical difference" only in a conventional sense. to you or you have recourse to a conventional mode of representation. In the first case you will find a difference between S and S' like that between the shades of the
rainbow, and not at all an interval of magnitude."

(Our bold and color, and violet bold italic problematics.)








Yet, this is what classical 'science' declares 'reality' is!



"In the second case you may introduce the symbol S if you like, but it is only in a conventional sense that you will speak here of an arithmetical difference, and in a conventional sense, also, that you will assimilate a sensation to a sum. The most acute of Fechner's critics, Jules Tannery, has made the latter point perfectly clear. 'It will be said, for example, that a sensation of 50 degrees is expressed by the number of differential sensations which would succeed one another from the point where sensation is absent up to the sensation of 50 degrees. . . . I do not see that this is anything but a definition, which is as legitimate as it is arbitrary.' (1)

"We do not believe, in spite of all that has been said, that the method of mean gradations has set psychophysics on a new path. The novel feature in
Delbœuf's results seem more plausible, but in the end, all psychophysics revolves in a vicious circle. Delbœuf's investigation was that he chose a particular case, in which consciousness seemed to decide in Fechner's favour, and in which common sense itself
played the part of the psychophysicist. He inquired whether certain sensations did not appear to us immediately as equal although different, and whether it would not be possible to draw up, by their help, a table of sensations which were double, triple or quadruple those which preceded them."

Note (1): Revue scientifique, March 13 and April 24, 1875.

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68 "The mistake which Fechner made, as we have just seen, was that he believed in an interval between two successive sensations S and S', when there is simply a passing from one to the other and not a difference in the arithmetical sense of the word. But if the two terms between which the passing takes place could be given simultaneously, there would then be a contrast besides the transition; and although the contrast is not yet an arithmetical difference, it resembles it in a certain respect; for the two terms which are compared stand here side by side as in a case of subtraction of two numbers. Suppose now that these sensations belong to the same genus and that in our past experience we have constantly been present at their march past, so to speak, while the physical stimulus increased continuously: it is extremely probable that we shall thrust the cause into the effect, and that the idea of contrast will thus melt into that of arithmetical difference. As we shall have noticed, moreover, that the sensation changed abruptly while the stimulus rose continuously, we shall no doubt estimate the distance between two given sensations by a rough guess at the number of these sudden jumps, or at least of the intermediate sensations which usually serve us as landmarks. To sum up, the contrast will appear to us as a difference, the stimulus as a quantity, the sudden jump as an element of equality [even as Peano did, classically, as an induction modulus]: combining these three factors, we shall reach the idea of equal quantitative differences. Now, these conditions are nowhere so well realized as when surfaces of the same colour, more or less illuminated, are simultaneously presented to us."

(Our brackets, bold, color, violet bold italic problematics, and violet bold problematics.)





See our August, 2001 QQA on cause-effect.



"Not only is there here a contrast between similar sensations, but these sensations correspond to a cause whose influence has always been felt by us to be closely connected with its distance; and, as this distance can vary continuously, we cannot have escaped noticing in our past experience a vast number of shades of sensation which succeeded one another along with the continuous increase in the cause. We are therefore able to say that the contrast between one shade of grey and another, for example, seems to us almost equal to the contrast between the latter and a third one; and if we define two equal sensations by saying that they are sensations which a more or less confused process of reasoning interprets as such, we shall in fact reach a law like that proposed by Delbœuf. But it must not be forgotten that consciousness has here passed through the same intermediate steps as the psychophysicist, and that its judgment is worth here just what psychophysics is worth; it is a symbolical interpretation of quality as quantity, a more or less rough estimate of the number of sensations which can come in between two given sensations. The difference is thus not as great as is believed between the method of least noticeable differences and that of mean gradations, between the psychophysics of Fechner and that of Delbœuf. The first led to a conventional measurement of sensation; the second appeals to common sense in the particular cases where common sense adopts a similar convention."

(Our bold, color, violet bold italic problematics, and violet bold problematics.)

As students of Quantonics, all we need do is realize that sensations are quantons and as such they have animate and thus quantum uncertain:

  • amplitude,
  • frequency,
  • phase,
  • intensity,
  • and unlimited other quantum uncertain numbers, and

that they are all quantum c¤mplementary one another to greater or lesser degrees. Then we can know how ludicrous and naïve classical perspectives of reality are. See our precedential page 45 comments.



"In a word, all psychophysics is condemned by its origin to revolve in a vicious circle, for the theoretical postulate on which it rests condemns it to experimental verification, and it cannot be experimentally verified unless its postulate is first granted. The fact is that there is no point of contact between the unextended and the extended, between quality and quantity. We can interpret the one by the other, set up the one as the equivalent of the other; but sooner or later, at the beginning or at the end, we shall have to recognize the conventional character of this assimilation.

"In truth, psychophysics merely formulates with precision and
Psychophysics merely pushes to its extreme consequences the fundamental but natural mistake of regarding sensations as magnitudes. pushes to its extreme consequences a conception familiar to common sense. As speech dominates over thought, as external objects, which are common to us all, are more important to us than the subjective states through which each of us passes, we have everything to gain by objectifying these states, by introducing into
them, to the largest possible extent, the representation of their external cause. And the more our knowledge increases, the more we perceive the extensive behind the intensive, quantity behind quality, the more also we tend to thrust the former into the latter, and to treat our sensations as magnitudes."

(Our link, bold, color, and violet bold italic problematics.)

Bergson is correct from a 'classical' view. If one views quantity and quality as a dichon, there is no join.

However, if one views them in quantum reality as a quanton, they become quantum c¤mplements of one another. Given that enormously difficult epiphany (were it easy, others would have seen it much earlier) we can say that, "Quality is in quantity and quantity is in Quality!" We show this as quanton(quality,quantity) vis-à-vis dichon(quality, quantity). In quantum logic they have a join which we call a "quantum c¤mplementary included-middle."





71 "Physics, whose particular function it is to calculate the external cause of our internal states, takes the least possible interest in these states themselves: constantly and deliberately it confuses them with their cause. It thus encourages and even exaggerates the mistake which common sense makes on the point. The moment was inevitably bound to come at which science, familiarized with this confusion between quality and quantity, between sensation and stimulus, should seek to measure the one as it measures the other: such was the object of psychophysics. In this bold attempt Fechner was encouraged by his adversaries themselves, by the philosophers who speak of intensive magnitudes while declaring that psychic states cannot be submitted to measurement. For if we grant that one sensation can be stronger than another, and that this inequality is inherent in the sensations themselves, independently of all association of ideas, of all more or less conscious consideration of number and space, it is natural to ask by how much the first sensation exceeds the second, and to set up a quantitative relation between their intensities. Nor is it any use to reply, as the opponents of psychophysics sometimes do, that all measurement implies [classical] superposition, and that there is no occasion to seek for a numerical relation between intensities, which are not superposable objects." [Bergson means here, by "superposition," simple algebraic addition. Classicists imply a very similar semantic.]

(Our brackets, bold and color, and violet bold italic problematics.)

Pure quality which is Bergson's pure instinct, his pure élan vital, may n¤t be measured n¤r confined directly. When portions of it are latched into actuality, its n¤nactual pureness remains: commingling, compenetrating as a quantum n¤nactual c¤mplement of its tentatively latched actual quantum c¤mplementary apparition. Our quanton semiotics show this heterogeneous, animate, included-middle both-all/while/and-many of both unlatched n¤nactualities' and latched actualities' quantum c¤mplements.


Note, reader, that quantum superposition is a quantum nonlocal phenomenon. Probability distribution of an electron in its atomic energy shell is quantum superposition. Coherent energy in a tsunami is quantum superposition. Just as said electron is "every where," so to is tsunami's wave energy "every where." Electron's loci are "superposed" everywhere. Electron's momenta are "superposed" everywhere. Now make a big leap and view your thoughts on your quantum stage as "superposed" everywhere!!! That is how SONs work!


72 "For it will then be necessary to explain why one sensation is said to be more intense than another, and how the conceptions of greater and smaller can be applied to things which, it has just been acknowledged, do not admit among themselves of the relations [classical causes-effects] of container [classically external] to contained [classically internal]. If, in order to cut short any question of this kind, we distinguish two kinds of quantity, the one intensive, which admits only of a "more or less," the other extensive, which lends itself to measurement, we are not far from siding with Fechner and the psychophysicists. For, as soon as a thing is acknowledged to be capable of increase and decrease, it seems natural to ask by how much it decreases or by how much it increases. And, because a measurement of this kind does not appear to be possible directly, it does not follow that science cannot successfully accomplish it by some indirect process, either by an integration of infinitely small elements, as Fechner proposes, or by any other roundabout way. Either, then, sensation is pure quality, or, if it is a magnitude, we ought to try to measure it."

(Our brackets, bold and color, and violet bold italic problematics.)




Reader, by now you may intuit how classical measurement is what we call "quantum naïve." Why? Any classical mindset using CTMs considers measurement uniparametric. CTMs noodle that classical properties may be conceptually measured discretely, unilaterally, and in ideal objective isolation. That is a naïve view.

Quantum 'numbers' or quantum qualitative artifacts of actuality (real quantons) coinside and coobsfect one another at up to Planck rates. Classicists use eigenfunctions and eigenvectors to 'project' subsets of these quantum artifacts, as a single measurement, at any chosen state-ic (stopped) time. This process exemplifies simply why we call classical measurement "naïve." Classical measurement has n¤ means of enveloping all quantum artifacts in a single measurement, n¤r has it any means of doing it in a heterogeneous, multitemporal quantum-animate fashion. By multitemporal we imply "many times."
Doug - 9Mar2001.


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