File Name: mind matter and quantum mechanics .zip
It is widely accepted that consciousness or, more generally, mental activity is in some way correlated to the behavior of the material brain. Since quantum theory is the most fundamental theory of matter that is currently available, it is a legitimate question to ask whether quantum theory can help us to understand consciousness. Several approaches answering this question affirmatively, proposed in recent decades, will be surveyed.
- Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics
- Quantum Approaches to Consciousness
- Quantum Mechanics, the Mind-Body Problem and Negative Theology
- Quantum mechanics in the brain
In he began publishing original research in various peer-reviewed journals.
Search this site. The recent puzzling experimental results of Daryl J. Bem would be explained in a natural rationally coherent way if the supposedly ramdom element of orthodox quantum mechanics were, under favorable experimental conditions. A response to a recent paper in FOP by Robert Griffiths that claims that faster-than-light transfer of information does not occur in his "Consistent Quantum Theory". I show that my recent proof of the need for faster-than-light transfer of information is validated within his restrictive version of quantum theory that claims to exclude faster-than-light transfers of information.
Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics
The dual-aspect monist conjecture launched by Pauli and Jung in the midth century will be couched in somewhat formal terms to characterize it more concisely than by verbal description alone.
After some background material situating the Pauli—Jung conjecture among other conceptual approaches to the mind—matter problem, the main body of this paper outlines its general framework of a basic psychophysically neutral reality with its derivative mental and physical aspects and the nature of the correlations that connect these aspects.
Some related approaches are discussed to identify key similarities to and deviations from the Pauli—Jung framework that may be useful for cross-fertilization. The question of how the mental and the physical are related to one another is likely as old as humans are pondering the human condition. Its advent in modern Western philosophy is usually appointed to the work of Descartes, who coined the notions of res cogitans and res extensa to refer to two fundamental substances.
A key point of difficulty in this framework is a direct interaction between the mental and the physical, which is problematic for a number of reasons. Interpreting the concept of interaction in these sense of a physical causal, local interaction, it is entirely unclear to which properties of the mental these physical interactions could couple.
Also, mental states have no spatial location, and their temporal dynamics exceed the repertoire of physical time, so there is no common space-time basis for a consistent joint discussion.
Considerations like this resonate with the doctrine of the causal closure or completeness of the physical, stating that every physical event has a physical cause by necessity. One of them is known as idealism, where some form of the mental is granted ontological primacy, while the physical is considered as derivative. The other is known as materialism, or physicalism, where some form of the physical is granted ontological primacy, while the mental is considered as derivative.
Both of them avoid the problem of interacting substances, because only one substance is left as fundamental. However, the problem that now arises is how to describe the non-interactive relation between the primary substance and its derivative. In physicalism, the dominant view in current science and of large parts of the philosophy of mind, there are two main projects to address this.
One is reductive physicalism, claiming that the mental can be reduced to the physical, so that ultimately i. Sloppily speaking, the idea is that consciousness is understood as soon as the brain is understood. The alternative is non-reductive physicalism, claiming that such a reduction fails and the mental emerges from the physical in the sense that novel properties, such as mentality or consciousness, arise, which cannot be understood from physical laws alone.
Somewhat simplifying a more involved landscape, it also comes in two variants: subjective and objective idealism. Objective idealism maintains that there is a universal, absolute, cosmic mind of which individual human minds are fragmented and impure offspring. This issue will be picked up again in Section 4.
A third alternative to Cartesian dualism was pioneered by Spinoza and gave rise to a number of so-called dual-aspect approaches over the centuries. Dual-aspect approaches consider the mental and physical domains of reality as aspects, or manifestations, of an underlying undivided reality in which the mental and the physical do not exist as separate domains.
In such a framework, the distinction between mind and matter results from an epistemic split that separates the aspects of the underlying reality. Consequently, the status of the psychophysically neutral domain is considered as ontic relative to the mind—matter distinction. Two basically different classes of dual-aspect thinking can be distinguished by the way in which the psychophysically neutral domain gives rise to the mental and the physical.
For Mach, James, Russell, and the neo-Russellians, often subsumed as neutral monists, the compositional arrangements of psychophysically neutral elements decide about their mental or physical properties. In this picture of wholes constituted by parts, following classical systems theory, the mental and the physical are reducible to the neutral domain.
The other class of dual-aspect thinking is decompositional rather than compositional. Here, the psychophysically neutral domain is holistic, and the mental and the physical neither reducible to one another nor to the neutral emerge by making distinctions.
This decompositional move was recently characterized as priority monism. The following is an attempt to augment the proposal by Pauli and Jung, the Pauli—Jung conjecture, by using somewhat formal terms. Pauli and Jung developed their thinking mainly in their correspondence and in scattered remarks in publications in the midth century, but they never presented it in a coherent and comprehensive way.
The formalization, which is kept to a minimum, Why to a minimum? However, symbolism is not only for abbreviation. The same holds for mathematical notation, for only those have a talent for mathematics who are capable of appreciating its symbolic power. The basic reality in their conjecture is psychophysically neutral PPN and lacks the distinction between the mental M and the physical P.
The work of Bohm and, in particular, Hiley proposes a possible way to be more specific see Section 4. The notions of product and non-product states indicate concepts that are inspired by analogies to quantum theory.
The Wikipedia entry at en. This article cannot possibly live up to their substance in detail and is restricted to some common denominator. See, e. A stimulating comprehensive study of the relations between physical and mental time due to Primas , Knowledge and Time , sketches ideas to flesh these relations out in a dual-aspect spirit. Section 3 discusses these experiences, which Jung and Pauli Interpretation of Nature called synchronistic events or meaningful coincidences, in more detail.
This scheme, sketched in analogy to quantum entanglement, is a gross simplification though. More realistically, one has to imagine a layered structure in the psychophysically neutral reality. See Section 4. On the physical side, this is well known as the uncontrollable effect of an observation on the observed system. On the mental side, a conscious insight changes the unconscious state from which it arose, also uncontrollably.
One possible way to do so, proposed earlier, uses a non-reductive physicalist methodology, dubbed contextual emergence. This can be represented diagrammatically as:. This restores the symmetric relationship between M and P for the nature of the correlations between them: the micro—macro connection can go both ways, so it is neither reductive nor physicalist after all.
Although physical or, in this case, neural correlates of conscious mental states are never one-to-one, their dynamics can be intertwined to be topologically conjugate with one another. In quantum physics, measuring an entangled non-product state yields separate states that are non-locally correlated in a precise way, depending on the entangled state from which they derive.
The decomposed states of the two separate particles arise from the pair state as soon as a property of the system, like spin, is measured. Together with a spin measurement at particle 1, the opposite spin becomes realized at particle 2, so that there are strict anticorrelations between the measured spins of the two separate particle states. An ingenious inequality set up by Bell in expresses the classical assumption of a local reality where the entangled pair state would in fact be the same as the product state of the two separate particles.
However, there is a crucial difference between quantum correlations and mind—matter correlations, which calls for emphasis because of its significant consequences. Since these correlations transgress the boundary of the physical toward the mental, they inevitably necessitate a subjective element that challenges reproducibility.
To address this, Jung and Pauli offered the radical and brilliant idea that the currency of these correlations is not quantitative statistics, as in quantum physics, but qualitative meaning. Jung and Pauli , Interpretation of Nature. In addition, they are not only notable and striking but also exhibited as meaningful coincidences. Obviously, this is not a rigorous definition. For a detailed discussion of the concept of synchronicity and several problems with its precise characterization, see Main Revelations of Chance , 11— Particularly critical are the notions of simultaneity, causation, and meaning.
More details are discussed in Section 3. As a two-place relation between a mental representation and what it represents, the concept of meaning has been widely discussed as intentionality, or intentional content, in the philosophy of mind.
At variance with mental intentionality, this notion of meaning invites an expansion of the Pauli—Jung conjecture toward biological evolution without mental representations. Since at the psychophysically neutral archetypal level there is no subject—object distinction, it is a challenging question of whether and, if yes, how this implicit, dispositional core of meaning can itself be open to experience. For a more systematic account of the correlations between the mental and physical aspects of an underlying psychophysically neutral reality, Atmanspacher and Fach suggested distinguishing structural and induced correlations.
Typical examples are psychosomatic correlations such as those between mental stress and physical blood pressure or the widely discussed neural correlates of conscious mental states. Typically, they are never explicitly experienced as particularly meaningful, let alone numinous as Jung occasionally demanded for synchronistic events.
In this sense, they define a persistent correlation baseline that does not call for particular attention by the subject. Nevertheless, they are manifestations of archetypal patterns. Since the correlations are robust, it makes sense to assume that the archetype from which they originate is always and ubiquitously constellated across time and irrespective of individual or societal differences. This is the case for those archetypes Jung identified as most fundamental, such as the principles of unity and duality, integration and differentiation.
Splitting one unity into two duality is a basic principle in all Western epistemology though less so in Eastern philosophies, hence culture may indeed make a difference , and it seems plausible to see such basic archetypes as responsible for structural, stable, and reproducible baseline correlations. Note that the baseline may be subject to long-term changes in the same way archetypes may not be strictly invariant. Depending on cultural background, novel archetypes may form and old ones may become inefficacious.
For instance, large-scale traumatic events such as world wars, genocides, climate changes, and ever accelerating globalized predator capitalism with its disastrous consequences created and create archetypal patterns that were arguably less pronounced or totally absent before the 20th century. Reason 1 for induced correlations is that they arise from archetypal patterns less fundamental than structural correlations. They are activated only under special circumstances rather than pervading entire cultural contexts.
As an example, consider some subject in the imagined situation of grave personal loss in their immediate emotional environment.
In Jungian terms, this situation may activate an archetypal pattern of grief. Likewise, any other archetypal pattern would manifest other kinds of synchronistic events related to its content and, thus, limit the range of possible subjective experiences.
This is not the end of the story though. In Jungian psychoanalysis, a dynamic like this can be therapeutically useful to overcome a difficult situation here connected to grief and even constructively exploit it to turn to an attitude more conducive for the process of self-realization, which Jung called individuation.
Ultimately, it is the transformative impact of a meaningful coincidence that decides how significant it has been for the experiencing subject. Main , Revelations of Chance , collected and discussed impressive narrative material along these lines.
As indicated above, induced correlations can appear as coincidence phenomena and dissociation phenomena, above and below ordinary baseline correlations. Coincidence phenomena exhibit excess correlations above ordinary baseline correlations. Conversely, dissociation phenomena exhibit deficit correlations where ordinary baseline correlations are disconnected, e. Based on the Pauli—Jung conjecture, Atmanspacher and Fach proposed a taxonomy in which coincidence and dissociation phenomena form two of four fundamental types of exceptional experiences based on induced correlations.
The opposite is the case. The reason why exceptional experiences are denoted as exceptional is that their intraindividual frequency is small compared to ordinary, non-deviant mental experiences. As of today, about 3, cases of spontaneously occurring exceptional experiences have been systematically collected and evaluated at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology Freiburg. One of the general population samples was compiled in cooperation with the Psychiatric University Clinic Zurich.
Fach et al. Moreover, applying the framework of the Pauli—Jung conjecture to the psychodynamics of situations in which subjects report exceptional experiences yields new and fascinating insights. Fach showed this for the interplay of bonding and autonomy for adolescents exhibiting exceptional experiences in their family contexts.
Quantum Approaches to Consciousness
Science addresses questions that can be answered, potentially, through empirical investigation. What causes schizophrenia, and how should it be treated? Can nuclear power help us overcome climate change? What are the causes of war, and how can we end it? Examples and these are of course debatable, some philosophers and scientists insist that science can answer all questions worth asking : Why is there something rather than nothing? Does free will exist? How does matter make a mind?
It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. Stapp is a leading quantum physicist who has given particularly careful thought to the implications of the theory that lies at the heart of modern physics. The book is divided into four sections. Key foundational and somewhat more technical papers are included in the second part, together with a clear exposition of the "orthodox" interpretation of quantum mechanics. The third part addresses, in a non-technical fashion, the implications of the theory for some of the most profound questions that mankind has contemplated: How does the world come to be just what it is and not something else?
Quantum Mechanics, the Mind-Body Problem and Negative Theology
The dual-aspect monist conjecture launched by Pauli and Jung in the midth century will be couched in somewhat formal terms to characterize it more concisely than by verbal description alone. After some background material situating the Pauli—Jung conjecture among other conceptual approaches to the mind—matter problem, the main body of this paper outlines its general framework of a basic psychophysically neutral reality with its derivative mental and physical aspects and the nature of the correlations that connect these aspects. Some related approaches are discussed to identify key similarities to and deviations from the Pauli—Jung framework that may be useful for cross-fertilization. The question of how the mental and the physical are related to one another is likely as old as humans are pondering the human condition.
Quantum mechanics in the brain
Skip to content. All Homes Search Contact. Quantum particle, quantum mechanics Quantum particle, quantum mechanics. Stapp, one of the most innovative physicists today studying the possible connections between quantum mechanics and consciousness. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Pages
Nobody understands what consciousness is or how it works. Nobody understands quantum mechanics either. Could that be more than coincidence?
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and General. BOOK REVIEW. Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics (2nd edition). To cite this article: G Mahler J. Phys.
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