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Saunt Atamant is the name Zh'vaern gave to Edmund Husserl when retelling the story of his copper ashtray at the Plurality of Worlds Messal. Atamant is described as and introspectionist who spent the last 30 years of his life staring into a copper bowl.
Zh'vaern presents Husserl's argument against scientism as an argument against the Procian understanding of consciousness as something describable by theoric discourse. Consciousness, Atamant/Husserl says, cannot be understood as another object within the theory of the polycosmos because it is only through the power of consciousness to confer thisness on objects that theoric statements are possible. Thus, we need to posit consiousnes as a separate entity above and beyond the physical equipment (brains and bodies) through which consciousness is enacted in the physical world.
This argument for the independance of consciousness from its physical manifestation in a particular cosmos is relevant to understanding the final chapters of the novel in which Fraa Jad appears to travel between cosmi with Fraa Erasmas. We can infer that Fraa Jad has the power to move his non-physical consciousness between all the versions of his brain in the various cosmi. The possibility of doing so is somehow related to the fact that all the versions of Fraa Jad's brain are physically linked together by quantum mechanical cross-talk. Zh'vaern says that Atamant realized in the end that his theory of consciousness was rooted to the multiple worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. However, this must have been one of the respects in which Jules Vern fictionalized the account of Husserl in order to try to draw the avout out into revealing whether the legends of the rhetors and the incanters were based in fact. For the real Husserl never drew a connection between his phenomenologial theory of consciousness and quantum mechanics.