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Development of a Thermodynamics of Human Cognition and Human Culture

Diederik AertsJonito Aerts Argu\"ellesLester BeltranSandro Sozzo
Dec 2022
Inspired by foundational studies in classical and quantum physics, and byinformation retrieval studies in quantum information theory, we have recentlyproved that the notions of 'energy' and 'entropy' can be consistentlyintroduced in human language and, more generally, in human culture. Moreexplicitly, if energy is attributed to words according to their frequency ofappearance in a text, then the ensuing energy levels are distributednon-classically, namely, they obey Bose-Einstein, rather thanMaxwell-Boltzmann, statistics, as a consequence of the genuinely 'quantumindistinguishability' of the words that appear in the text. Secondly, the'quantum entanglement' due to the way meaning is carried by a text reduces the(von Neumann) entropy of the words that appear in the text, a behaviour whichcannot be explained within classical (thermodynamic or information) entropy. Weclaim here that this 'quantum-type behaviour is valid in general in humancognition', namely, any text is conceptually more concrete than the wordscomposing it, which entails that the entropy of the overall text decreases.This result can be prolonged to human culture and its collaborative entitieshaving lower entropy than their constituent elements. We use these findings topropose the development of a new 'non-classical thermodynamic theory for humancognition and human culture', which bridges concepts and quantum entities andagrees with some recent findings on the conceptual, not physical, nature ofquantum entities.
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