Is quantum mechanics relevant to understanding consciousness? A Review of Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose
Klein (Stanley A.)
Source: Psyche, 2(3), April 1995
Paper - Abstract

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Introduction (Full Text)

  1. The present essay explores three issues raised by Penrose in Shadows of the Mind (abbreviated Shadows from here on):
    1. Is classical (non-quantum) science incapable of understanding brain operation?;
    2. Are long-range quantum effects able to produce measurable changes in neural activity?;
    3. Why have so many researchers proposed a strong connection between quantum mechanics1 and consciousness2?
  2. In connection with this third topic, I will argue that although Penrose is probably wrong about the physics of quantum mechanics3 being relevant to the (third person) neural correlates of awareness, the metaphysics of quantum mechanics4 may be essential to understanding the (first person) subjective nature of consciousness. In Penrose's approach these two aspects become inseparably intertwined, adding confusion to an already murky area.


Review of "Penrose (Roger) - Shadows of the Mind"; Link (Defunct).

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