David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Arguments pertaining to the mind-brain connection and to the physical effectiveness of our conscious choices have been presented in two recent books, one by John Searle, the other by Jaegwon Kim. These arguments are examined, and it is explained how the encountered difficulties arise from a defective understanding and application of a pertinent part of contemporary science, namely quantum mechanics. The principled quantum uncertainties entering at the microscopic levels of brain processing cannot be confined to the micro level, but percolate up to the macroscopic regime. To cope with the conflict between the resulting macroscopic indefiniteness and the definiteness of our conscious experiences, orthodox quantum mechanics introduces the idea of agent-generated probing actions, each of which specifies a definite set of alternative possible empirically/experientially distinguishable outcomes. Quantum theory then introduces the mathematical concept of randomness to describe the probabilities of the various alternative possible outcomes of the chosen probing action. But the agent-generated choice of which probing action to perform is not governed by any known law or rule, statistical or otherwise. This causal gap provides a logical opening, and indeed a logical need, for the entry into the dynamical structure of nature of a process that goes beyond the currently understood quantum mechanical statistical generalization of the deterministic laws of classical physics. The well-known quantum Zeno effect can then be exploited to provide a natural process that establishes a causal psychophysical link within the complex structure consisting of a stream of conscious experiences and certain macroscopic classical features of a quantum mechanically described brain. This naturally created causal link effectively allows consciously felt intentions to affect brain activity in a way that tends to produce the intended feedback. This quantum mechanism provides an eminently satisfactory alternative to the classical physics conclusion that the physical present is 1 completely determined by the physical past, and hence provides a physicsbased way out of the dilemma that Searle and Kim tried to resolve by philosophical analysis..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Henry P. Stapp (2006). Quantum Interactive Dualism, II: The Libet and Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Causal Anomalies. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 65 (1):117-142.
Henry P. Stapp (2006). Quantum Interactive Dualism: An Alternative to Materialism. Zygon 41 (3):599-615.
I. I. I. Durand (1960). On the Theory of Measurement in Quantum Mechanical Systems. Philosophy of Science 27 (2):115-133.
Nicholas Maxwell (1975). Does the Minimal Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics Resolve the Measurement Problem? Methodology and Science 8:84-101.
Valia Allori & Nino Zanghi (2008). On the Classical Limit of Quantum Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 10.1007/S10701-008-9259-4 39 (1):20-32.
Henry P. Stapp, A Model of the Quantum-Classical and Mind-Brain Connections, and of the Role of The Quantum Zeno Effect in the Physical Implementation of Conscious Intent.
Angelo Bassi (ed.) (2006). Quantum Mechanics: Are There Quantum Jumps? Trieste, Italy, 5 Spetember -2005 and on the Present Status of Quantum Mechanics Lošinj, Croatia 7-9 September 2005. [REVIEW] American Institute of Physics.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads78 ( #17,668 of 1,103,046 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #120,820 of 1,103,046 )
How can I increase my downloads?