To what extent can the theory of quantum mechanics help in understanding the mind-body problem?

Miklus, Klaudia A (2013) To what extent can the theory of quantum mechanics help in understanding the mind-body problem? Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Abstract

It is widely accepted that consciousness at the start of the 20th century was considered mainly in the context of neurology and the mind-body problem belonged to the domain of neuroscience, psychology and philosophy, later broadened by behavioural science and cognitive science. However, these disciplines cannot completely explain the correlation between mental activity and matter. Chapter one starts by defining the difficulty of determining consciousness. A discussion of how philosophers (such as Descartes, Locke, Dennett and Nagel) attempted to describe this phenomenon leads to the conclusion that firstly, consciousness is indefinable and secondly, it continues to be a challenge for both – philosophy and science – to explain how subjective consciousness fits into the objective world. The following two parts of the chapter focus on the major philosophical theories of the mind-body problem. In chapter two there is a focus on the mutual relation between philosophy and science, physics in particular. However, this project deals more with the implications of science for the philosophy of mind and mind-body problem than the science itself. The second enquiry of this chapter is to point out the difference in philosophical and scientific understanding of the word ‘substance’ (crucial to the mind-body problem). Chapter three considers quantum theory, since the relation between mind and body started to be tackled from the completely new point of view, after the philosophers began to assimilate the implications of quantum physics. Firstly, there is a short introduction to quantum theory and the most significant points for philosophy and quantum mechanics issues are provided (such as quantum superposition, the measurement problem or the backward causation). Analysis of three prevailing theories is provided. This project addresses the contribution of quantum mechanics to the studies of consciousness and matter and examines whether it helps in solving the mind-body problem.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Jackson, Royrjackson@glos.ac.ukhttp://www.glos.ac.uk/faculties-and-schools/humanities/staff-profiles/pages/s2108104-roy-jackson.aspx
Large, Williamwlarge@glos.ac.ukhttp://www.glos.ac.uk/faculties-and-schools/humanities/staff-profiles/pages/s2109431-william-large.aspx
Uncontrolled Keywords: Philosophy, mind-body problem, quantum mechanics, quantum theory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Liberal and Performance Arts > Religious, Philosophical and Historical Studies
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2015 13:10
Last Modified: 18 May 2017 15:47
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2390

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