Philosophy Study 2 (9):631-649 (2012)

We argue that genuine biological autonomy, or described at human level as free will, requires taking into account quantum vacuum processes in the context of biological teleology. One faces at least three basic problems of genuine biological autonomy: (1) if biological autonomy is not physical, where does it come from? (2) Is there a room for biological causes? And (3) how to obtain a workable model of biological teleology? It is shown here that the solution of all these three problems is related to the quantum vacuum. We present a short review of how this basic aspect of the fundamentals of quantum theory, although it had not been addressed for nearly 100 years, actually it was suggested by Bohr, Heisenberg, and others. Realizing that the quantum mechanical measurement problem associated with the “collapse” of the wave function is related, in the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics, to a process between self-consciousness and the external physical environment, we are extending the issue for an explanation of the different processes occurring between living organisms and their internal environment. Definitions of genuine biological autonomy, biological aim, and biological spontaneity are presented. We propose to improve the popular two-stage model of decisions with a biological model suitable to obtain a deeper look at the nature of the mind-body problem. In the newly emerging picture biological autonomy emerges as a new, fundamental and inevitable element of the scientific worldview.
Keywords spontaneity  quantum indeterminacy  consciousness  biological aim  vacuum processes  teleology
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