DOI: 10.14704/nq.2008.6.3.179

The Physical Foundation of the Mind

Jing Chen


The mind of animals, just like the bodies of animals, is shaped by natural selection to best adapted to physical laws. Specifically, the mind is evolved to search for natural resources at low cost. Since entropy provides a universal measure of resources, it is inevitable that information, which we collect for our survival, is represented by the entropy function mathematically. When observing the problems of the mind from the lens of physical laws, many complex and confusing problems become simple and clear. As an example, we present a mathematical theory on the value of judgment in this paper. It is generalized from the entropy theory of information when subjective assessment of the probability distribution of a random event differs from the objective probability distribution. The formula of the value of judgment defined in this theory bridges the chasm between the concept of information and cognitive bias. We prove that the first order approximation of the expected rate of return of the portfolio constructed from a certain judgment is equal to the value of the judgment defined in this theory. This theory on the value of judgment, together with other recently developed theories, shows that research on the mind, just like research on the matter, can be carried out in an analytical, quantitative and systematic way from the foundation of physical laws.


mind, physical laws, judgment, information, entropy, bias, investment return

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