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8.3a. Consciousness and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (Consciousness and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics on PhilPapers)

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Albert, D. & Loewer, A. (1988). Interpreting the many-worlds interpretation. Synthese 77 (November):195-213.   (Cited by 99 | Google | More links)
Bourget, David (2004). Quantum leaps in philosophy of mind. Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (12):17--42.   (Google)
Abstract: I discuss the quantum mechanical theory of consciousness and freewill offered by Stapp (1993, 1995, 2000, 2004). First I show that decoherence-based arguments do not work against this theory. Then discuss a number of problems with the theory: Stapp's separate accounts of consciousness and freewill are incompatible, the interpretations of QM they are tied to are questionable, the Zeno effect could not enable freewill as he suggests because weakness of will would then be ubiquitous, and the holism of measurement in QM is not a good explanation of the unity of consciousness for essentially the same reason that local interactions may seem incapable to account for it
Butterfield, Jeremy (1998). Quantum curiosities of psychophysics. In J. Cornwell (ed.), Consciousness and Human Identity. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I survey some of the connections between the metaphysics of the relation between mind and matter, and quantum theory’s measurement problem. After discussing the metaphysics, especially the correct formulation of physicalism, I argue that two state-reduction approaches to quantum theory’s measurement problem hold some surprises for philosophers’ discussions of physicalism. Though both approaches are compatible with physicalism, they involve a very different conception of the physical, and of how the physical underpins the mental, from what most philosophers expect. And one approach exemplifies a a problem in the definition of physicalism which the metaphysical literature has discussed only in the abstract. A version of the paper has appeared in Consciousness and Human Identity, ed. John Cornwell, OUP 1998
Butterfield, Jeremy (1995). Quantum theory and the mind. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 69 (69):113-158.   (Google)
Butterfield, Jeremy (1996). Whither the minds? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (2):200-20.   (Cited by 17 | Google | More links)
Byrne, Alex & Hall, N. (1999). Chalmers on consciousness and quantum mechanics. Philosophy of Science 66 (3):370-90.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Donald, Matthew (2002). Neural unpredictability, the interpretation of quantum theory, and the mind-body problem. Quant-Ph/0208033.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: It has been suggested, on the one hand, that quantum states are just states of knowledge; and, on the other, that quantum theory is merely a theory of correlations. These suggestions are confronted with problems about the nature of psycho-physical parallelism and about how we could define probabilities for our individual future observations given our individual present and previous observations. The complexity of the problems is underlined by arguments that unpredictability in ordinary everyday neural functioning, ultimately stemming from small-scale uncertainties in molecular motions, may overwhelm, by many orders of magnitude, many conventionally recognized sources of observed ``quantum'' uncertainty. Some possible ways of avoiding the problems are considered but found wanting. It is proposed that a complete understanding of the relationship between subjective experience and its physical correlates requires the introduction of mathematical definitions and indeed of new physical laws
Goertzel, B. (1992). Quantum theory and consciousness. Journal of Mind and Behavior 13 (1):29-36.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Goswami, Amit (1990). Consciousness in quantum physics and the mind-body problem. Journal of Mind and Behavior 11 (1):75-96.   (Cited by 15 | Google)
Goswami, Amit (1989). The idealistic interpretation of quantum mechanics. Physics Essays 2:385-400.   (Cited by 13 | Google)
Klein, S. (1991). The duality of psycho-physics. In A. Gorea (ed.), Representations of Vision. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Kuttner, Fred & Rosenblum, Bruce (2006). The only objective evidence for consciousness. Journal of Mind and Behavior 27 (1):43-56.   (Google)
Lehner, C. (1997). What it feels like to be in a superposition, and why: Consciousness and the interpretation of Everett's quantum mechanics. Synthese 110 (2):191-216.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Lockwood, Michael (1989). Mind, Brain, and the Quantum. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 115 | Annotation | Google)
Lockwood, Michael (1996). Many-minds interpretations of quantum mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (2):159-88.   (Cited by 37 | Google | More links)
Mallah, Jacques (ms). The many computations interpretation (MCI) of quantum mechanics.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Computationalism provides a framework for understanding how a mathematically describable physical world could give rise to conscious observations without the need for dualism. A criterion is proposed for the implementation of computations by physical systems, which has been a problem for computationalism. Together with an independence criterion for implementations this would allow, in principle, prediction of probabilities for various observations based on counting implementations. Applied to quantum mechanics, this results in a Many Computations Interpretation (MCI), which is an explicit form of the Everett style Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI). Derivation of the Born Rule emerges as the central problem for most realist interpretations of quantum mechanics. If the Born Rule is derived based on computationalism and the wavefunction it would provide strong support for the MWI; but if the Born Rule is shown not to follow from these to an experimentally falsified extent, it would indicate the necessity for either new physics or (more radically) new philosophy of mind.
Mulhauser, Gregory R. (1995). Materialism and the "problem" of quantum measurement. Minds and Machines 5 (2):207-17.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   For nearly six decades, the conscious observer has played a central and essential rôle in quantum measurement theory. I outline some difficulties which the traditional account of measurement presents for material theories of mind before introducing a new development which promises to exorcise the ghost of consciousness from physics and relieve the cognitive scientist of the burden of explaining why certain material structures reduce wavefunctions by virtue of being conscious while others do not. The interactive decoherence of complex quantum systems reveals that the oddities and complexities of linear superposition and state vector reduction are irrelevant to computational aspects of the philosophy of mind and that many conclusions in related fields are ill founded
Mulhauser, Gregory R. (1995). On the end of a quantum-mechanical romance. Psyche 2 (19).   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Page, Diana N. (1995). Attaching theories of consciousness to Bohmian quantum mechanics. .   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Page, Don (2003). Mindless sensationalism: A quantum framework for consciousness. In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 13 | Google | More links)
Page, Diana N. (1996). Sensible quantum mechanics: Are probabilities only in the mind? International Journal of Modern Physics D 5:583-96.   (Cited by 29 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Quantum mechanics may be formulated as Sensible Quantum Mechanics (SQM) so that it contains nothing probabilistic except conscious perceptions. Sets of these perceptions can be deterministically realized with measures given by expectation values of positive-operator-valued awareness operators. Ratios of the measures for these sets of perceptions can be interpreted as frequency- type probabilities for many actually existing sets. These probabilities gener- ally cannot be given by the ordinary quantum “probabilities” for a single set of alternatives. Probabilism, or ascribing probabilities to unconscious aspects of the world, may be seen to be an aesthemamorphic myth
Penrose, Roger (1987). Quantum physics and conscious thought. In Basil J. Hiley & D. Peat (eds.), Quantum Implications: Essays in Honour of David Bohm. Methuen.   (Cited by 11 | Google)
Pessoa, Osvaldo (online). What is an essentially quantum mechanical effect?   (Google)
Harness, David A. (ms). Simulated Reality Hologram Matrix State Space.   (Google)
Abstract: Gravitational and electromagnetic unification via Maxwell-Einstein gravitoelectromagnetic total stress energy (mass) density tensor eigenvector hologram interference field stationary state domain of universal wave function. S-matrix in-states/out-states eigenvalue range, features (moment of inertia x angular velocity) $SO(1,3)_{ij}$ self-adjoint operator integrations, generating Dirac-Noether conserved angular momentum observables in material coordinates. Fundamental quantum-continuum equation returns gravitoelectromagnetic spectrum photon $SO(1,3)_{yy}$ spin axis eigenvalues in units of Maxwell stress tensor pascals. New origin of electron-positron wave-particle mass-charge via energization of $SO(1,3)_{zz}$ principle spin axis angular momentum invariant, throughout inertial dynamics of electromagnetic and gravitational fields being inversely compressive/dispersive of cosmological constant vacuum energy density tensor pressure, according to principle quantum number n. In thought experiment test vs. general theory via pp-waves microlensing problem, wherein light-to-light gravitational attraction is four times matter-to-matter attraction, hypothesis predicts null microlensing result in area general theory known to break down on microscopic scale.
Shanks, N. (1995). Minds, brains, and quantum mechanics. Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):243-60.   (Google)
Squires, Euan J. (1991). One mind or many? A note on the Everett interpretation of quantum theory. Synthese 89 (November):283-6.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   The Everett interpretation of quantum theory requires either the existence of an infinite number of conscious minds associated with each brain or the existence of one universal consciousness. Reasons are given, and the two ideas are compared
Squires, Euan J. (1993). Quantum theory and the relation between the conscious mind and the physical world. Synthese 97 (1):109-23.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   The measurement problem of quantum theory is discussed, and the difficulty of trying to solve it within the confines of a local, Lorentz-invariant physics is emphasised. This leads to the obvious suggestion to seek a solution beyond physics, in particular, by introducing the concept of consciousness. The resulting dualistic model, in the natural form suggested by quantum theory, is shown to differ in several respects from the classical model of Descartes, and to suggest solutions to some of the long-standing problems concerning the relation of consciousness to the physical world
Squires, Euan J. (1994). Quantum theory and the need for consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (2):201-4.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Squires, Euan J. (1998). Why are quantum theorists interested in consciousness? In Stuart R. Hameroff, Alfred W. Kaszniak & A. C. Scott (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness II. MIT Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Stapp, Henry P. (1993). Mind, Matter, and Quantum Mechanics. Springer-Verlag.   (Cited by 200 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this book, which contains several of his key papers as well as new material, he focuses on the problem of consciousness and explains how quantum mechanics...
Stapp, Henry P. (2005). Quantum interactive dualism - an alternative to materialism. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (11):43-58.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract: _René Descartes proposed an interactive dualism that posits an interaction between the_ _mind of a human being and some of the matter located in his or her brain. Isaac Newton_ _subsequently formulated a physical theory based exclusively on the material/physical_ _part of Descartes’ ontology. Newton’s theory enforced the principle of the causal closure_ _of the physical, and the classical physics that grew out of it enforces this same principle._ _This classical theory purports to give, in principle, a complete deterministic account of the_ _physically described properties of nature, expressed exclusively in terms of these_ _physically described properties themselves. Orthodox contemporary physical theory_ _violates this principle in two separate ways. First, it injects random elements into the_ _dynamics. Second, it allows, and also requires, abrupt probing actions that disrupt the_ _mechanistically described evolution of the physically described systems. These probing_ _actions are called Process 1 interventions by von Neumann. They are psycho-physical_ _events. Neither the content nor the timing of these events is determined either by any_ _known law, or by the afore-mentioned random elements. Orthodox quantum mechanics_ _considers these events to be instigated by choices made by conscious agents. In von_ _Neumann’s formulation of quantum theory each such intervention acts upon the state of_ _the brain of some conscious agent. Thus orthodox von Neumann contemporary physics_ _posits an interactive dualism similar to that of Descartes. But in this quantum version the_ _effects of the conscious choices upon our brains are controlled, in part, by the known_ _basic rules of quantum physics. This theoretically specified mind-brain connection allows_ _many basic psychological and neuropsychological findings associated with the apparent_ _physical effectiveness of our conscious volitional efforts to be explained in a causal and_ _practically useful way..
Stapp, Henry P. (2006). Quantum interactive dualism, II: The Libet and Einstein-podolsky-Rosen causal anomalies. Erkenntnis 65 (1):117-142.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: b>: Replacing faulty nineteenth century physics by its orthodox quantum successor converts the earlier materialist conception of nature to a structure that does not enforce the principle of the causal closure of the physical. The quantum laws possess causal gaps, and these gaps are filled in actual scientific practice by inputs from our streams of consciousness. The form of the quantum laws permits and suggests the existence of an underlying reality that is built not on substances, but on psychophysical events, and on objective tendencies for these events to occur. These events constitute intrinsic mind-brain connections. They are fundamental links between brain processes described in physical terms and events in our streams of consciousness. This quantum ontology confers upon our conscious intentions the causal efficacy assigned to them in actual scientific practice, and creates a substance- free interactive dualism. This putative quantum ontology has previously been shown to have impressive explanatory power in both psychology and neuroscience. Here it is used to reconcile the existence of physically efficacious conscious free will with causal anomalies of both the Libet and Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky types
Stapp, Henry P. (2006). Quantum interactive dualism: An alternative to materialism. Zygon 41 (3):599-615.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: René Descartes proposed an interactive dualism that posits an interaction between the mind of a human being and some of the matter located in his or her brain. Isaac Newton subsequently formulated a physical theory based exclusively on the material/physical part of Descartes’ ontology. Newton’s theory enforced the principle of the causal closure of the physical, and the classical physics that grew out of it enforces this same principle. This classical theory purports to give, in principle, a complete deterministic account of the physically described properties of nature, expressed exclusively in terms of these physically described properties themselves. Orthodox contemporary physical theory violates this principle in two separate ways. First, it injects random elements into the dynamics. Second, it allows, and also requires, abrupt probing actions that disrupt the mechanistically described evolution of the physically described systems. These probing actions are called Process 1 interventions by von Neumann. They are psycho-physical events. Neither the content nor the timing of these events is determined either by any known law, or by the afore-mentioned random elements. Orthodox quantum mechanics considers these events to be instigated by choices made by conscious agents. In von Neumann’s formulation of quantum theory each such intervention acts upon the state of the brain of some conscious agent. Thus orthodox von Neumann contemporary physics posits an interactive dualism similar to that of Descartes. But in this quantum version the effects of the conscious choices upon our brains are controlled, in part, by the known basic rules of quantum physics. This theoretically specified mind-brain connection allows many basic psychological and neuropsychological findings associated with the apparent physical effectiveness of our conscious volitional efforts to be explained in a causal and practically useful way..
Stapp, Henry P. (2007). Quantum mechanical theories of consciousness. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), A Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Quantum mechanical theories of consciousness are contrasted to classical ones. A key difference is that the quantum laws are fundamentally psychophysical and provide an explanation of the causal effect of conscious effort on neural processes, while the laws of classical physics, being purely physical, cannot. The quantum approach provides causal explanations, deduced from the laws of physics, of correlations found in psychology and in neuropsychology
Stapp, Henry P. (1991). Quantum propensities and the brain-mind connection. Foundations of Physics 21:1451-77.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Stapp, Henry P. (online). The causal role of consciousness in the quantum brain.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Science is basically about correlations between conscious human experiences: that is what makes it both useful and testable in the realm of our expanding human knowledge. Explicit recognition of this understanding lies at the core of the formulation of quantum theory that was originally developed during the twenties by its founders
Stapp, Henry P. (1998). The evolution of consciousness. In Stuart R. Hameroff, Alfred W. Kaszniak & A. C. Scott (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness II. MIT Press.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: It is argued that the principles of classical physics are inimical to the development of a satisfactory science of consciousness The problem is that insofar as the classical principles are valid consciousness can have no e ect on the behavior and hence on the survival prospects of the organisms in which it inheres Thus within the classical framework it is not possible to explain in natural terms the development of consciousness to the high level form found in human beings In quantum theory on the other hand consciousness can be dynamically e cacious quantum the ory does allows consciousness to in uence behavior and thence to evolve in accordance with the principles of natural selection However this evo lutionary requirement places important constraints upon the details of the formulation of the quantum dynamical principles..
Stapp, Henry P. (online). "The observer" in physics and neuroscience.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Neuroscience is an important component of the scientific attack on the problem of consciousness. However, most neuroscientists, viewing our discussions, see only conflict and discord, and no reason why quantum theory has any great relevance the dynamics of the conscious brain. It is therefore worthwhile, in this first plenary talk of the 2003 Tucson conference on “Quantum Approaches to the Understanding of Consciousness,” to focus on the central issue, which is the crucial role of “The Observer,” and specifically, “The Mind of The Observer” in contemporary physical theory. I shall therefore review here this radical departure of present-day basic physics from the principles of classical physics, and then spell out some of its ramifications for neuroscience
Stapp, Henry P. (1995). Why classical mechanics cannot accommodate consciousness but quantum mechanics can. Psyche 2 (5).   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Wasserman, G. D. (1983). Quantum mechanics and consciousness. Nature and System 5 (March-June):3-16.   (Google)
Wigner, Eugene P. (1961). Remarks on the mind-body problem. In I. J. Good (ed.), The Scientist Speculates. Heineman.   (Cited by 28 | Google)
Woo, C. H. (1981). Consciousness and quantum interference: An experimental approach. Foundations of Physics 11:933-44.   (Cited by 4 | Google)