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Durham e-Theses
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Quantum theory and the mind brain relation

Rout, A.E. (1989) Quantum theory and the mind brain relation. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In reductionist biology, mental states are brain states and the brain obeys the laws of a physical world existing independently of and prior to minds. This account is invalidated if the physical laws themselves involve essential reference to mental states.. The quantum theory has usually been presented in a form making such reference. .To remove the need for this, the first step is to accept that quantum theory applies only to fields and to entities embedded in fields. Ehrenfest's theorem then shows how systems obeying Newtonian mechanics, including objects of everyday life, appear as persistent patterns showing none of the indeterminacy associated with features of the underlying field. The theorems of Gleason, Kocken and Specker demand that the quantum theory should leave a degree of indeterminacy in the pattern of the fields it describes. Any interaction of a quantum system with its environment therefore requires a definite selection of a unique pattern of behaviour within the range of indeterminacy. Such interaction is continuous, and there is no role for a mental state in this selection. It would be consistent with the formalism of quantum theory if a localised interaction in a system caused an instantaneous removal of indeterminacy over an arbitrarily large volume, in apparent conflict with the special theory of relativity. This conflict is not removed by any appeal to the effects of mental states.. However, a consistent interpretation of quantum systems as fields throws doubt on the claim that the event correlations in the experiments of Aspect and his colllaborators are evidence of causal propagation at speeds greater than that of light.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1989
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:40

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