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Where Does Quanta Meet Mind?

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Quanta and Mind

Part of the book series: Synthese Library ((SYLI,volume 414))

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Abstract

The connection between quantum physics and the mind has been debated for almost a hundred years. There are several proposals as to how quantum effects might be relevant to understanding consciousness, including von Neumann’s Consciousness Causes Collapse interpretation (CCC), Penrose’s Orchestrated objective reduction (Orch OR), Atmanspacher quantum emergence theory, or Vitiello’s field theory. In this paper, we examine the CCC, in particular Stapp’s theory of interaction of mind and matter, and discuss how this imposes constraints to possible brain structures. We then argue that those constraints may allow us to identify a possible locus of the interaction between mind and matter, if CCC is true.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This result is the core of the Kochen-Specker theorem, but showing it here would go beyond the scope of this paper. Interested readers are referred to the original paper of Kochen and Specker (1967).

  2. 2.

    Though the author of this paper does not consider himself a “Bohmian,” he believes that theories such as Bohm’s are extremely important to get a fuller picture of what nature is trying to tell us. For example, it can be argued that Bohm’s interpretation can lead to different outcomes from other interpretations when applied to extreme conditions, such as when the universe as a whole was dictated by quantum effects (de Barros and Pinto-Neto 1997, 1998; de Barros et al. 1998, 2000).

  3. 3.

    Here we should clarify what we mean by consciousness. von Neumann seemed to be thinking about a generic concept, that of an observer. He did not (at least explicitly) commit to a mind or consciousness that was outside of the physical realm. This connection between a nonphysical mind seem to be espoused initially by Wigner, and later on by Henry Stapp. But even for Stapp’s view, it seems that what is meant by consciousness is not phenomenal consciousness, but access consciousness (see Montemayor (2019) on this volume).

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Correspondence to J. Acacio de Barros .

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de Barros, J.A., Montemayor, C. (2019). Where Does Quanta Meet Mind?. In: de Barros, J.A., Montemayor, C. (eds) Quanta and Mind. Synthese Library, vol 414. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21908-6_5

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