On the end of a quantum-mechanical romance
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Psyche 2 (19) (1995)
Comparatively recent advances in quantum measurement theory suggest that the decades-old flirtation between quantum mechanics and the philosophy of mind is about to end. Various approaches to what I have elsewhere dubbed 'interactive decoherence' promise to remove the conscious observer from the phenomenon of state vector reduction. The mechanisms whereby decoherence occurs suggest, on the one hand, that consciousness per se has no role in explaining the outcomes of quantum events and, on the other, that perhaps apart from questions about the very lowest level properties of minds' instantiating hardware or wetware, the unique features of quantum mechanics are utterly irrelevant to the philosophy of mind. Here we explore a better account of interactive decoherence than I have offered elsewhere, make explicit the argument for irrelevance, and address some unanswered questions and an interesting objection against the formulation of decoherence on which our discussion is based
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David Bourget (2004). Quantum Leaps in Philosophy of Mind. Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (12):17--42.
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