Louis H. Kauffman:
... [As] a capsule description of his work and its significance for mathematics, physics and psychology ... Oshins has been a pioneer in the interpretation of quantum theory and quantum logic both for physics and for psychology. He has, in the course of his career, clarified the wave logic of Yuri Orlov, made very creative suggestions about the possibility that the human brain processes superpositions in a way that is mathematically analogous to the evolution of a state in quantum mechanics, and made very remarkable connections among standard logic, the logic of distinctions of G. Spencer-Brown and the insights and techniques of quantum logic. These topics are highly significant ...
Oshins has suggested that superposition and spinor properties of brain action may be observable through the use of SQUIDs, CAT scans and magnetic resonance devices. These experiments should be performed. ...[H]e and I found a very beautiful representation of the quaternions that is performed by hand and arm movements.
... These ideas are refreshing and open a window to new ways of asking such questions, irrespective of these outcomes.
On the side of logic and the logic of distinctions, Oshins brings an entire dimension that is ignored by orthodox logicians and mathematicians. Both Oshins and I have independently explored the phenomena of self-reference as conceived of by G. Spencer-Brown.
... It was Oshins who first laid-bare the lattice theoretic similarities and differences between these approaches. Intriguingly, Oshins' line of attack leads to a nondistributive and complemented lattice --- precisely the opposite result to our extension of the same original work of Spencer-Brown!
... Oshins has been persistent and insistent on the relevance of the quantum logical point of view .... He has shown that the logically correct formulation of the "formula of second-order change" ("not a but also not not-a ") as presented in MRI brief therapy is as a violation of the distributive law.
Oshins has proposed an ingenious interpretation of this violation in terms of an explicit Principle of Metalogical Ambiguity for competing, complementary contexts. He has used this approach to formally harmonize what was previously considered irreconcilable points of view regarding schizophrenia as a logical phenomenon.
... Oshins was one of the few people who stood up for [Yuri] Orlov's work when Orlov was in prison in the former Soviet Union, and Oshins was instrumental in helping Orlov gain his freedom.
In summary, Eddie Oshins is a highly creative and courageous researcher, one of the most honest scientists I know. I recommend him to you with all my heart.
--- May 10, 2001 Open statement on behalf of Oshins' Quantum Psychology.
Professor Louis H. Kauffman, Editor in Chief, Journal of Knot Theory and Its Ramifications; Editor, Knot Theory and Everything, World Scientific.
H. Pierre Noyes:
"I know of no one who has come closer to opening up a new field for scientific exploration than Mr. Oshins. I have known him for over a decade, and saw sufficient promise in his earlier efforts to sponsor him as a visitor at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center for five years (our maximum term), -- even though this stretches the terms of our contract. ... if you decide to support Mr. Oshins, you will have the rare opportunity of supporting an acknowledged pioneer before there is general recognition of the field. ... Mr. Oshins is the best candidate I can think of for your support, and I recommend him without reservation."
--- January 31, 1985 letter to the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation on behalf of Eddie Oshins.
Professor H. Pierre Noyes sponsored Oshins' research in the Theoretical Physics Division, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, 1977-1982.
Lawrence C. Biedenharn:
"... now to your remark on the 'psycho-turn' hypothesis. This is a most remarkable and interesting concept ... The experimental data you mention ("population vector" and the like) is quite new to me. ... The fact that you have testable hypotheses indicates to me the subject is well worth exploring further. Certainly 'addition' is far simpler to achieve than 'multiplication', but the non-commutativity (for rotations) must be built into the system, regardless of how it is encoded. ... [I] can only ask you to let me know how I can help. Above all, don't give up!"
--- August 28, 1992 letter
Lawrence C. Biedenharn Editor of Journal of Mathematical Physics, 1985-1992.
Yuri F. Orlov:
"First of all about the scientific cooperation/collaboration. I was very impressed that independently and before me you have started to develop the ideas that are close to mine. It is true that you are applying these ideas to the subject with which I am not very familiar. ... a theory of dialogue should be constructed . In a dialogue ... participants speak 'different languages.' Their statements do not commute with each other [have intrinsic incompatibilities], even if they use the same words. Theory should develop methods to analyze ... [these] ... mutual misunderstandings and to over come them. ... You have thought a lot about these things and will probably agree with me: it is not possible that such a deep mathematical apparatus had only very narrow sphere of application. But so far we have been treading water, both of us! Good-bye, Your friend, Yu. Orlov"
--- September 1984 smuggled letter to Eddie Oshins from Yuri Orlov from internal exile in Kobyia, Siberia.
"I am very familiar with the work of Eddie Oshins in what I believe to be a new and promising field of quantum psychology. ... The importance of this field includes its potential for creating new and fundamental insights into neurological functioning and for the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychological disease. His ideas contain experimental proposals which could provide a firm empirical basis for this field. However, because of the newness of this work, Eddie has had great difficulty in developing a support base. ... I am bringing his work to your attention because Eddie was one of the first people to recognize my own related research. He actively represented it and played a major role in getting it published in the United States. ... I strongly urge that your foundation find a way to fund him and his work."
--- January 28, 1987 Appeal by Yuri Orlov for support for Oshins' Quantum Psychology Project®
Yuri Orlov is a Senior Scientist at the Floyd R. Newman Laboratory of Nuclear Studies at the Cornell University Department of Physics, and, currently, Honorary Chair International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights.
Ernest R. Hilgard:
"Oshins' work is serious and insightful. ... Both ['the intrapsychic approach' and 'double-bind theory'] ... have their limitations and Oshins proposed a third one his quantum psychology that serves as a synthesis to deal with the problems that the other approaches tried to solve but corrects some of their difficulties ... through the quantum method of dealing with ambiguity as a type of equivocation in which the distributive law of set theory and thus of classical logic is violated Oshins proposes replacing it with a quantum principle of metalogical ambiguity ... [in] a dinner conversation I had with Niels Bohr ... he assured me that complementarity was a principle not only for physics but was generally applicable and in another generation would be taught to school children ... Oshins has alerted us to some possibilities. ... He makes a case for the formal power of his model as in the development of operational thinking in children as noted by Piaget and going beyond it.
... A further point is his emphasis on the role of negation ... that unconscious processes (primary processes) lack negation. Negation Oshins says is necessary for conscious processes, for mature judgment and to form boundaries between the self and others ... Oshins goes on to use Finkelstein's theorem1 ... to code a negative in the information content If the capacity to form negatives proves to determine the capacity to have consciousness, an existing technology might be able to demonstrate this. ... This is a bold suggestion and something on which we cannot pass judgment until it is tested. ... I can find much in it that intrigues me as my summarization suggests. ...
1This is best understood as a 'conjecture' not a theorem.
--- 'Reflections on the Future of Scientific Psychology,' Paper presented to panel on The Future of Scientific Psychology. 1989 AAAS Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. (Discusses Oshins' 1989 AAAS paper)
'I have known him [Oshins] for many years, see him frequently, and am familiar with his published scientific articles. ... in the mid-1970s he became convinced that he had a formal way to reconcile arguments in the psychological literature concerning the nature of schizophrenia. His model, which in the early 1980s he coined 'quantum psychology,' attempted to harmonize the Von Domarus principle of 'identification by predicates' with the Bateson, et al. 'double-bind theory.'
The endeavor by Oshins contrasts notably with other attempts to relate quantum physics with psychology. These have usually been either purely philosophical or often loose, incorrect, and even fraudulent associations. In contrast, Oshins believes that he may have found physical consequences to his psychological work. His approach is critical formal and empirical. Although this work still awaits experimental confirmation, I find his insights informed and deep, and his reasoning compelling.
--- November 24, 1993 open statement.
Professor Hilgard, member NAS, is Emeritus Professor of Psychology (Cognitive Psychology and History of Psychology), Stanford University. He was a former President, American Psychological Association.
Roger N. Shepard:
"Having read a number of Eddie Oshins' papers and memoranda over the past few years, I am quite persuaded that it was Eddie who first brought Zadeh's 'fuzzy sets,' Spencer Brown's 'laws of form,' and Von Neumann & Birkhoffs' quantum logic' together with the 'double-bind mechanism' of Bateson, Jackson, Haley, and Weakland, and the principles of Von Domarus and of Arieti, in order to provide a unified formal scheme for the characterization of schizophrenic thought. ... Further it is Oshins, not Orlov, who is insisting the 'the experience of doubt is of a quantum mechanical nature' (cf., Orlov, Annals of the NY Acad. Sci., 1981, 373, p. 88)'"
--- January 15, 1983, letter.
"One of the most extreme manifestations of the difficulty
of taking simultaneous account of two or more distinct features of an analyzable object or situation may be that characterized by Von Domarus principle according to which the schizophrenic is said to accept identity of subject on the basis merely of identity of a single predicate, feature, or part. Thus, from the premises "The Virgin Mary was a virgin" and "I am a virgin," in a perversion of the syllogism (Mode of Barbara), the schizophrenic may conclude "I am the Virgin Mary." (Arieti, 1948, 1967; Oshins & McGoveran, 1980; Von Domarus, 1944.)"
--- (book in preparation, circa 1983). Internal representation: studies of perception, imagery, & cognition, Chapter 6, "Representation of unitary versus analyzable stimuli, and of elementary properties versus natural kinds," pp. 6-12 - 6-13.
Shepard continues (pp. 6-20 - 6-25) by describing the "Implications of the Unitary-Analyzable Distinction for the Metric of Perceptual Space" by providing "Nine empirical criteria for determining analyzability," such that "the distinction between unitary and analyzable stimuli ... for human cognitive processes appears to be beyond doubt" (Shepard 6-20 - 6-25).
Professor Shepard, member of NAS, is the Ray Lyman Wilbur Emeritus Professor of Social Sciences (Cognitive Psychology) at Stanford and the William James Fellow of the American Psychological Society. He is recipient of 1995 National Medal of Science, and 1976 APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychology.
Rue L. Cromwell:
"... Eddie Oshins ... is a highly creative thinker and with bright ideas. His application of quantum logic to the understanding of thought disorder in schizophrenia is an ingenious one. He is quite aware of much of the research on thought disorder and double bind communication, such as that by Bateson, Lidz, and others. In many respects the endeavor by Oshins goes well beyond anything which is current in clinical psychiatry. Usually the attempt is to tag surface clinical observations to treatment, prognosis, and past social etiology. By contrast, Oshins has his primary focus upon understanding the structure by which information is organized in a system, human or not, disturbed or not. In this respect his work shows promise of having a unique impact. ... I ... view his ideas as stimulating and provocative rather than bizarre and unfeasible. ... I have no doubt that some would be threatened and rejecting of his ideas, not to mention his background and qualifications for doing such work. But that is true when anyone offers a dramatically new approach to a problem. ...'
--- July 13, 1981 letter.
'Propositional thinking occurs when a person considers new information as a way to reformulate existing conceptual structure. ... uncertainty (and subsequent inquiry) becomes a continuing, dynamic process for the predominantly propositional thinker. Especially for us clinicians, who have to make practical decisions, this dynamic process and its uncertainty are irksome compared with a comfortable static structure in our knowledge. Only the scientist in us takes delight. In recent decades, physics and astronomy have illustrated how scientists have availed themselves of propositional thinking (and then new data) rather than subordinating or preempting new information. It is therefore not surprising that quantum theoreticians from physics (Oshins & McGoveran, 1980; Orlov, 1982) have introduced models of doubt states in human thinking and consciousness.'
--- (1983). 'Preemptive Thinking and Schizophrenia Research.' In W. D. Spaulding (ed.) Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 1982-3. University of Nebraska Press
Professor Cromwell, the M. Erik Wright Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology, University of Kansas.
John H. Weakland:
'Congratulation on your award as Alternative Natural Philosopher of the year at the recent regional meeting of the Alternative Natural Philosophy Association at Stanford for your original and creative research linking quantum physics to psychology. ... Your efforts remind me somewhat of the early days at the Mental Research Institute. Trying to fund truly pioneering work is very difficult frustrating, and can be quite hard on one. As you know our own persistence in advancing our international approach eventually paid off and led to the evolution of family therapy in the 1950s, in addition to other foundational work in therapy some of which, such as our brief therapy approach, eventually attracted your own attention and talents. ... I believe that the Mental Research Institute ... might be an ideal place for you to continue certain of your ongoing activities appropriate to our mandate. ... Keep up the good work and hang tough.'
--- May 24, 1991 letter.
Mr. Weakland (Clinical Anthropology) was a co-originator of the "double bind theory of schizophrenia," and Co-Director, Brief Therapy Center, Mental Research Institute.
Jerome S. Bruner:
"This was perfectly fascinating ... very interesting. I can see why you're excited about the application of these in domains that really do ... let me put it this way: It is plain that they don't fit the classical case. ... There are suggestions that it may fit the quantal case. And now comes the question of how you can instantiate these ... unambiguously enough to make some sort of a more reasoned case for the positive instance. ... Now you have to ... demonstrate the differences ... Great good luck on this. I mean because if you're even partly right about the applicability of this very, very powerful formalism on the mind for the description of certain kinds of experience, you have made something very important of your efforts."
--- May 21, 1987, tape transcription while he was 1987 Hilgard Visiting Professor at Stanford.
Professor Bruner, member NAS, is the George Herbert Mead University Professor (Cognitive and Developmental Psychology) at the New School for Social Research. He has been a recipient of the APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychology.