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Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics
Author: Henry P. Stapp
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3662053691
Pages: 297
Year: 2013-04-17
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"Scientists other than quantum physicists often fail to comprehend the enormity of the conceptual change wrought by quantum theory in our basic conception of the nature of matter," writes Henry Stapp. 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. 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 allows causally effective conscious thought to be combined in a natural way with the physical brain made of neurons and atoms. The book is divided into four sections. The first consists of an extended introduction. 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? How should humans view themselves in a quantum universe? What will be the impact on society of the revised scientific image of the nature of man? The final part contains a mathematical appendix for the specialist and a glossary of important terms and ideas for the interested layman. This new edition has been updated and extended to address recent debates about consciousness.
Mindful Universe
Author: Henry P. Stapp
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3642180760
Pages: 226
Year: 2011-04-06
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The classical mechanistic idea of nature that prevailed in science during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was an essentially mindless conception: the physically described aspects of nature were asserted to be completely determined by prior physically described aspects alone, with our conscious experiences entering only passively. During the twentieth century the classical concepts were found to be inadequate. In the new theory, quantum mechanics, our conscious experiences enter into the dynamics in specified ways not fixed by the physically described aspects alone. Consequences of this radical change in our understanding of the connection between mind and brain are described. This second edition contains two new chapters investigating the role of quantum phenomena in the problem of free will and in the placebo effect.
Quantum Theory and Free Will
Author: Henry P. Stapp
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319583018
Pages: 210
Year: 2017-07-18
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This book explains, in simple but accurate terms, how orthodox quantum mechanics works. The author, a distinguished theoretical physicist, shows how this theory, realistically interpreted, assigns an important role to our conscious free choices. Stapp claims that mainstream biology and neuroscience, despite nearly a century of quantum physics, still stick essentially to failed classical precepts in which mental intentions have no effect upon our bodily actions. He shows how quantum mechanics provides a rational basis for a better understanding of this connection, even allowing an explanation of certain phenomena currently held to be “paranormal”. These ideas have major implications for our understanding of ourselves and our mental processes, and thus also for the meaningfulness of our lives.
Mind, Matter and the Implicate Order
Author: Paavo T. I. Pylkkänen
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3540480587
Pages: 270
Year: 2006-10-25
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This accessible and easy-to-follow book offers a new approach to consciousness. The author’s eclectic style combines new physics-based insights with those of analytical philosophy, phenomenology, cognitive science and neuroscience. He proposes a view in which the mechanistic framework of classical physics and neuroscience is complemented by a more holistic underlying framework in which conscious experience finds its place more naturally.
Quantum Mechanics and Gravity
Author: Mendel Sachs
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3662096404
Pages: 192
Year: 2013-06-29
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This book describes a paradigm change in modern physics from the philosophy and mathematical expression of the quantum theory to those of general relativity. The approach applies to all domains - from elementary particles to cosmology. The change is from the positivistic views in which atomism, nondeterminism and measurement are fundamental, to a holistic view in realism, wherein matter - electrons, galaxies, - are correlated modes of a single continuum, the universe. A field that unifies electromagnetism, gravity and inertia is demonstrated explicitly, with new predictions, in terms of quaternion and spinor field equations in a curved spacetime. Quantum mechanics emerges as a linear, flatspace approximation for the equations of inertia in general relativity.
Brain, Mind, and the Structure of Reality
Author: Paul L. Nunez
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 019534071X
Pages: 306
Year: 2010
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Does the brain create the mind, or is some external entity involved? In addressing this nullhard problemnull of consciousness, we face a central human challenge: what do we really know and how do we know it? Tentative answers in this book follow from a synthesis of profound ideas, borrowed from philosophy, religion, politics, economics, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, and cosmology, the knowledge structures supporting our meager grasps of reality. This search for new links in the web of human knowledge extends in many directions: the nullshadowsnull of our thought processes revealed by brain imagining, brains treated as complex adaptive systems that reveal fractal-like behavior in the brain's nested hierarchy, resonant interactions facilitating functional connections in brain tissue, probability and entropy as measures of human ignorance, fundamental limits on human knowledge, and the central role played by information in both brains and physical systems. In Brain, Mind, and the Structure of Reality, Paul Nunez discusses the possibility of deep connections between relativity, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and consciousness: all entities involved with fundamental information barriers. Dr Nunez elaborates on possible new links in this nested web of human knowledge that may tell us something new about the nature and origins of consciousness. In the end, does the brain create the mind? Or is the Mind already out there? You decide.
How Can Physics Underlie the Mind?
Author: George Ellis
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 366249809X
Pages: 482
Year: 2016-05-31
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Physics underlies all complexity, including our own existence: how is this possible? How can our own lives emerge from interactions of electrons, protons, and neutrons? This book considers the interaction of physical and non-physical causation in complex systems such as living beings, and in particular in the human brain, relating this to the emergence of higher levels of complexity with real causal powers. In particular it explores the idea of top-down causation, which is the key effect allowing the emergence of true complexity and also enables the causal efficacy of non-physical entities, including the value of money, social conventions, and ethical choices.
Understanding Quantum Mechanics
Author: Roland Omnès
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691004358
Pages: 307
Year: 1999
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Here Roland Omn�s offers a clear, up-to-date guide to the conceptual framework of quantum mechanics. In an area that has provoked much philosophical debate, Omn�s has achieved high recognition for his Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (Princeton 1994), a book for specialists. Now the author has transformed his own theory into a short and readable text that enables beginning students and experienced physicists, mathematicians, and philosophers to form a comprehensive picture of the field while learning about the most recent advances. This new book presents a more streamlined version of the Copenhagen interpretation, showing its logical consistency and completeness. The problem of measurement is a major area of inquiry, with the author surveying its history from Planck to Heisenberg before describing the consistent-histories interpretation. He draws upon the most recent research on the decoherence effect (related to the modern resolution of the famous Schr�dinger's cat problem) and an exact formulation of the correspondence between quantum and particle physics (implying a derivation of classical determinism from quantum probabilism). Interpretation is organized with the help of a universal and sound language using so-called consistent histories. As a language and a method, it can now be shown to be free of ambiguity and it makes interpretation much clearer and closer to common sense.
Questioning the Foundations of Physics
Author: Anthony Aguirre, Brendan Foster, Zeeya Merali
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319130455
Pages: 274
Year: 2015-01-24
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The essays in this book look at way in which the fundaments of physics might need to be changed in order to make progress towards a unified theory. They are based on the prize-winning essays submitted to the FQXi essay competition “Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?”, which drew over 270 entries. As Nobel Laureate physicist Philip W. Anderson realized, the key to understanding nature’s reality is not anything “magical”, but the right attitude, “the focus on asking the right questions, the willingness to try (and to discard) unconventional answers, the sensitive ear for phoniness, self-deception, bombast, and conventional but unproven assumptions.” The authors of the eighteen prize-winning essays have, where necessary, adapted their essays for the present volume so as to (a) incorporate the community feedback generated in the online discussion of the essays, (b) add new material that has come to light since their completion and (c) to ensure accessibility to a broad audience of readers with a basic grounding in physics. The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.
Why More Is Different
Author: Brigitte Falkenburg, Margaret Morrison
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3662439115
Pages: 280
Year: 2015-02-26
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The physics of condensed matter, in contrast to quantum physics or cosmology, is not traditionally associated with deep philosophical questions. However, as science - largely thanks to more powerful computers - becomes capable of analysing and modelling ever more complex many-body systems, basic questions of philosophical relevance arise. Questions about the emergence of structure, the nature of cooperative behaviour, the implications of the second law, the quantum-classical transition and many other issues. This book is a collection of essays by leading physicists and philosophers. Each investigates one or more of these issues, making use of examples from modern condensed matter research. Physicists and philosophers alike will find surprising and stimulating ideas in these pages.
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough
Author: Jaegwon Kim
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400840848
Pages: 200
Year: 2007-12-03
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Contemporary discussions in philosophy of mind have largely been shaped by physicalism, the doctrine that all phenomena are ultimately physical. Here, Jaegwon Kim presents the most comprehensive and systematic presentation yet of his influential ideas on the mind-body problem. He seeks to determine, after half a century of debate: What kind of (or "how much") physicalism can we lay claim to? He begins by laying out mental causation and consciousness as the two principal challenges to contemporary physicalism. How can minds exercise their causal powers in a physical world? Is a physicalist account of consciousness possible? The book's starting point is the "supervenience" argument (sometimes called the "exclusion" argument), which Kim reformulates in an extended defense. This argument shows that the contemporary physicalist faces a stark choice between reductionism (the idea that mental phenomena are physically reducible) and epiphenomenalism (the view that mental phenomena are causally impotent). Along the way, Kim presents a novel argument showing that Cartesian substance dualism offers no help with mental causation. Mind-body reduction, therefore, is required to save mental causation. But are minds physically reducible? Kim argues that all but one type of mental phenomena are reducible, including intentional mental phenomena, such as beliefs and desires. The apparent exceptions are the intrinsic, felt qualities of conscious experiences ("qualia"). Kim argues, however, that certain relational properties of qualia, in particular their similarities and differences, are behaviorally manifest and hence in principle reducible, and that it is these relational properties of qualia that are central to their cognitive roles. The causal efficacy of qualia, therefore, is not entirely lost. According to Kim, then, while physicalism is not the whole truth, it is the truth near enough.
The Emerging Physics of Consciousness
Author: Jack A. Tuszynski
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3540367233
Pages: 487
Year: 2006-09-05
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Seeks answers to these questions using the underlying assumption that consciousness can be understood using the intellectual potential of modern physics and other sciences. There are a number of theories of consciousness, some based on classical physics while others require the use of quantum concepts. The latter ones have drawn criticism from the parts of the scientific establishment while simultaneously claiming that classical approaches are doomed to failure. The contributing authors presents a spectrum of opinions from both sides of this on-going scientific debate, allowing readers to decide for themselves which of the approaches are most likely to succeed.
Encounters with Einstein
Author: Werner Heisenberg
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691024332
Pages: 141
Year: 1983
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Essays discuss the philosophy of science, quantum mechanics, cosmic radiation, elementary particles, and closed theories
Extreme Events in Nature and Society
Author: Sergio Albeverio, Volker Jentsch, Holger Kantz
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 354028611X
Pages: 352
Year: 2006-02-18
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Significant, and usually unwelcome, surprises, such as floods, financial crisis, epileptic seizures, or material rupture, are the topics of Extreme Events in Nature and Society. The book, authored by foremost experts in these fields, reveals unifying and distinguishing features of extreme events, including problems of understanding and modelling their origin, spatial and temporal extension, and potential impact. The chapters converge towards the difficult problem of anticipation: forecasting the event and proposing measures to moderate or prevent it. Extreme Events in Nature and Society will interest not only specialists, but also the general reader eager to learn how the multifaceted field of extreme events can be viewed as a coherent whole.
Quantum Mechanics at the Crossroads
Author: James Evans, Alan S. Thorndike
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3540326650
Pages: 250
Year: 2006-11-02
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This volume brings together leading quantum physicists to expound on the meaning and future directions of quantum mechanics. It offers new insights from different vantage points to tackle essential questions in quantum mechanics and its interpretation. All the authors have written for a broad readership, and the resulting volume will appeal to everyone wishing to keep abreast of new developments in quantum mechanics, as well as its history and philosophy.

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