Quantum no-go theorems and consciousness

Axiomathes 23 (4):683-695 (2013)
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Abstract

Our conscious minds exist in the Universe, therefore they should be identified with physical states that are subject to physical laws. In classical theories of mind, the mental states are identified with brain states that satisfy the deterministic laws of classical mechanics. This approach, however, leads to insurmountable paradoxes such as epiphenomenal minds and illusionary free will. Alternatively, one may identify mental states with quantum states realized within the brain and try to resolve the above paradoxes using the standard Hilbert space formalism of quantum mechanics. In this essay, we first show that identification of mind states with quantum states within the brain is biologically feasible, and then elaborating on the mathematical proofs of two quantum mechanical no-go theorems, we explain why quantum theory might have profound implications for the scientific understanding of one's mental states, self identity, beliefs and free will.

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Author's Profile

Danko D. Georgiev
Institute For Advanced Study, Varna

References found in this work

The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - London, England: Dover Publications.
Facing up to the problem of consciousness.David Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
The logic of scientific discovery.Karl Raimund Popper - 1934 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Hutchinson Publishing Group.
What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829-839.

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