Download Understanding Consciousness (2nd Edition) by Max Velmans PDF

By Max Velmans

Building at the broadly praised first variation, this e-book presents a different survey and evaluate of realization stories, in addition to an unique research of cognizance that mixes medical findings, philosophy and customary sense.

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The transition from possible to actual states does not occur until an observation is made. Once made, the act of observation ‘collapses’ the possible states into one, actual, measured state (to which the Schrödinger wave equation no longer applies). g. a Geiger counter) as well as the body, brain and conscious experience of the observer, then what aspect of the measurement process causes the collapse is open to debate. 5 However, in a later extension of quantum theory, Von Neumann demonstrated that there is nothing in the formalism to exclude any of the physical systems involved from the quantum mechanical description of the observed system, including the measuring instruments, body, and even brain of the conscious observer.

Stapp believes that such quantum dualist interactionism neatly sidesteps the classical problems of mind–body (or consciousness–brain) interaction (see Stapp, 2007a, p. 305). According to the Von Neumann/Stapp theory, consciousness (Process 0) chooses what question to ask; through the mediation of Process 1 this interacts with Process 2 (the developing possibilities specified by the quantum mechanics of the physical system under interrogation, including the brain) – and Nature supplies an answer, which is in turn reflected in conscious experience (making the entire process a form of dualist-interactionism).

By means of psychological research, irrespective of one’s convictions about the survival of the soul. 3 Thought does not exemplify the whole of conscious experience Historically, dualism has associated consciousness, mind or soul with the ability to reason. For Descartes, the best exemplar of conscious experience is thought. Thoughts do have conscious manifestations, for example verbal thoughts may be experienced in the form of phonemic imagery or ‘inner speech’. However, the phenomenal properties of such thoughts do not 24 Mind–body theories and their problems exemplify the whole of conscious experience.

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