The relationship of consciousness to brain, which Schopenhauer grandly referred to as the "world knot," remains an unsolved problem within both philosophy and science. The central focus in what follows is the relevance of science---from psychoanalysis to neurophysiology and quantum physics-to the mind-brain puzzle. Many would argue that we have advanced little since the age of the Greek philosophers, and that the extraordinary accumulation of neuroscientific knowledge in this century has helped not at all. Increas- ingly, philosophers and scientists have (...) tended to go their separate ways in considering the issues, since they tend to differ in the questions that they ask, the data and ideas which are provided for consideration, their methods for answering these questions, and criteria for judging the acceptability of an answer. But it is our conviction that philosophers and scientists can usefully interchange, at least to the extent that they provide co~straints upon each other’s preferred strategies, and it may prove possible for more substantive progress to be made. Philosophers have said some rather naive things by ignoring the extraordinary advances in the neurosciences in the twentieth century. The skull is not filled with green cheese! On the other hand, the arrogance of many scientists toward philosophy and their faith in the scientific method is equally naive. Scientists clearly have much to learn from philosophy as an intellectual discipline. Manifestations of Mind: Some Conceptual and Empirical Issues Walter B. Weimer Pages 5-31 The Mysterious “Split‘: A Clinical Inquiry into Problems of Consciousness and Brain Peter H. Knapp Pages 37-69 Mind, Brain, and the Symbolic Consciousness Irwin Savodnik Pages 73-98 Brain and Free Will John C. Eccles Pages 101-121 An Old Ghost in a New Body C. Wade Savage Pages 125-153 How Dogmatic Can Materialism Be? John C. Eccles Pages 155-160 Mental Phenomena as Causal Determinants in Brain Function R. W. Sperry Pages 163-177 Consciousness as an Emergent Causal Agent in the Context of Control System Theory E. M. Dewan Pages 181-198 Reductionism, Levels of Organization, and the Mind-Body Problem William C. Wimsatt Pages 205-267 Mind, Structure, and Contradiction Gordon G. Globus Pages 271-293 Problems Concerning the Structure of Consciousness Karl H. Pribram Pages 297-313 The Role of Scientific Results in Theories of Mind and Brain: A Conversation among Philosophers and Scientists E. M. Dewan, John C. Eccles, Gordon G. Globus, Keith Gunderson, Peter H. Knapp, Grover Maxwell et al. Pages 317-328 Scientific Results and the Mind-Brain Issue: Some Afterthoughts Grover Maxwell Pages 329-358. (shrink)
If the brain has a level of quantum functioning that permits superposition of possibilities and nonlocal control of states, then new answers to the problem of the consciousness/brain relation become available. My discussion is based on Yasue and co-workers’ account of a quantum field theory of brain functioning, called ‘quantum brain dynamics’. In the framework developed each person can properly state: ‘I am nonlocal control and my meanings are control variables.’ Cognition is identified with a conjugate reality and perception is (...) where quantum cognition, quantum memory and the quantum re-presentation of quantum reality meet and make a conjugate match. A new problem arises with regard to the world, however, since on this interpretation the one world-in-common is relinquished in favour of multiple parallel world-thrownnesses. But since quantum physics remains to this day deeply uncommonsensical, we should not hope to provide quantum solutions in consciousness studies without overturning the deepest convictions of common sense. (shrink)
Heidegger has provided a profound account of human existence in terms of the to-be-da. Even though Heidegger disregarded its brain machine basis (and even though brain scientists disregard Heidegger), the issue of the Dasein's machine basis is raised by the empirically extremely well confirmed “supervenience” of the Dasein on the brain. Since the Turing machine will not do as basis for the Dasein, as Dreyfus has shown, contemporary functionalism cannot resolve the issue. Instead an “existential functionalism,” which looks to some (...) other kind of machine than the computer, is called for. A machine that continuously tunes filters on input and that detects any match between abstract properties of the input flux and filter specifications was considered. A match points to those tuning rules whose abstract conditions have been satisfied by input, and the rules thus selected are enabled to generate their own fulfillment through mechanisms that can presently be only speculated about. Such a machine cannot sustain direct perception but is “methodologically solipsistic.” At the most general level of description, the wet machine that provides a supervenience base for the Dasein is to be considered a “windowless monad.”. (shrink)
Biological foundations of the psychoneural identity hypothesis are explicated and their implications discussed. "Consciousness per se" and phenomenal contents of consciousness per se are seen to be identical with events in the (unobserved) brain in accordance with Leibniz's Law, but only informationally equivalent to neural events as observed. Phenomenal content potentially is recoverable by empirical means from observed neural events, but the converse is not possible. Consciousness per se is identical with events which do not represent anything distal to sensory (...) receptor-transducer systems. Thus, on the psychoneural identity hypothesis, consciousness per se comprises directly physical events-in-themselves rather than being a Euclidean representation of physical events as is the case for phenomenal content. After comparing consciousness per se to "onta," a paradox is suggested: rather than being irreducible to physical reality, consciousness per se is the only experience congruent with the ultimate nature of physical reality as conceived by contemporary physics. (shrink)
Classical mechanics cannot naturally accommodate consciousness, whereas quantum mechanics can, but the Heisenberg/Stapp approach, in which consciousness randomly collapses the neural wave function, leaves the conscious function unrestricted by known physical principles. The Umezawa/Yasue approach, in which consciousness offers superposed possibilities to the match with sensory input, is based in the first physical principles of quantum field theory. Stapp thinks of the brain as a measuring device, like a Geiger counter, and overlooks that the brain upholds second-order quantum fields that (...) are symmetry-conserving with respect to reality. Consciousness is cybernetic rather than having a random function. (shrink)
Quantum degrees of freedom greatly enrich nonlinear systems, which can support nonlocal control and superposition of states. Basing my discussion on Yasue’s quantum brain dynamics, I suggest that the Cartesian subject is a cybernetic process rather than a substance: I am nonlocal control and my meanings are cybernetic variables. Meanings as nonlocal attunements are not mechanically determined, thus is it concluded we have freedom to mean.
The indiscernability of the waking life and well-developed in- stances of the dream life suggests that the world perceived during waking is also 'virtual '.real in effect but not in fact. The naturalistic philosophical framework for virtual reality developed by Metzinger and by Revonsuo is discussed and critiqued. An alternative monadological realism is proposed and comparisons are made with Leibniz and Bohm.
The field of consciousness studies is 'deconstructed' in terms of etymology, definition, and the deep involvement of perceptual consciousness in two persistently controversial areas: the hard problem of qualia and the measurement problem in quantum physics. An alternative to perceptual consciousness is developed within the framework of dissipative quantum thermofield brain dynamics: disclosure. Like consciousness, disclosure is constrained by sensory action, 'self-action' , and memory. The problematics of consciousness/brain, qualia, and measurement in quantum physics are resolved by substituting disclosure for (...) perceptual consciousness and distinguishing the phenomenal brainp from the macroscopic quantum object brainq. This proposal would narrow consciousness studies to the cognitive and reflexive, and opens the possibility of what might be called 'existential studies'. (shrink)
A possible relation between Derrida's deconstruction of metaphysics and connectionism is explored by considering diffeacuterance in neural nets terms. First diffeacuterance, as the crossing of Saussurian difference and Freudian deferral, is modeled and then the fuller 'sheaf of diffeacuterance is taken up. The metaphysically conceived brain has two versions: in the traditional computational version the brain processes information like a computer and in the connectionist version the brain computes input vector to output vector transformations non-symbolically. The 'deconstructed brain' neither processes (...) information nor computes functions but is spontaneously economical. (shrink)
Biological foundations of the psychoneural identity hypothesis are explicated and their implications discussed. “Consciousness per se” and phenomenal contents of consciousness per se are seen to be identical with events in the brain in accordance with Leibniz's Law, but only informationally equivalent to neural events as observed. Phenomenal content potentially is recoverable by empirical means from observed neural events, but the converse is not possible. Consciousness per se is identical with events which do not represent anything distal to sensory receptor-transducer (...) systems. Thus, on the psychoneural identity hypothesis, consciousness per se comprises directly physical events-in-themselves rather than being a Euclidean representation of physical events as is the case for phenomenal content. After comparing consciousness per se to “onta,” a paradox is suggested: rather than being irreducible to physical reality, consciousness per se is the only experience congruent with the ultimate nature of physical reality as conceived by contemporary physics. (shrink)
Hallucination lies at an intriguing border between psychiatry and philosophy. Although Behrendt & Young (B&Y) tie their proposal to Kantian transcendental idealism, other philosophical positions are equally consistent. Cognition is underconstrained by reality not only in hallucination but also in autism and dreaming. Sensory underconstraint is insufficient to encompass schizophrenia. There is also a breakdown in integrative capacity on the cognitive side. From a wider clinical perspective than schizophrenia, there can be underconstraint or overconstraint in sensory and cognitive functionalities.
The "Chinese Room" controversy between Searle and Churchland and Churchland over whether computers can think is subjected to Derridean "deconstruction." There is a hidden complicity underlying the debate which upholds traditional subject/object metaphysics, while deferring to future empirical science an account of the problematic semantic relation between brain syntax and the perceptible world. I show that an empirical solution along the lines hoped for is not scientifically conceivable at present. An alternative account is explored, based on the productivity of neural (...) nets, in which the semantic relation is found to be dynamical - a spontaneous, stochastic, self-organizing process. (shrink)
This book results from a group meeting held at the Institute for Scientific Exchange in Torino, Italy. The central aim was for scientists to think together in new ways with those in the humanities inspired by quantum theory and especially quantum brain theory. These fields of inquiry have suffered conceptual estrangement but now are ripe for rapprochement, if academic parochialism is put aside. A prevalent theme of the book is a moving away from individual elements and individual actors acting upon (...) each other, toward a coordinate hermeneutic dynamics that manifests as a coherent totality. Among the topics covered are image in photography and in neuroscience; language; time; brain and mathematics; quantum brain dynamics and quantum communication.". (shrink)
The well-known symbol of the Tao is freshly interpreted in terms of dissipative quantum thermofield brain dynamics. The primary duality of the Tao is between two dynamical modes of operation. The secondary duality within each mode of the Tao symbolizes creation and annihilation operations. The relation between the dual modes is 'intrinsic' in that these modes do not exist independently of their relationship. What is ontologically primary is the dual modes belonging-together in the 'between-two'. Three sources of constraint on the (...) between-two are considered: sensory input, intention and 're-traces' of recognitions. 'Awareness', 'subjectivity', 'intentionality' and 'world' are located in the dissipative thermofield framework. On this interpretation the Tao symbol's composure is monadological. (shrink)