The Mind Matters - Consciousness and Choice in a Quantum World
Hodgson (David)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Cover Blurb

  1. Do our conscious minds exert a non-physical influence on the workings of our brains? Or are we just soft machines? Most scientists today opt for a mechanistic view of the human brain, but in this book — a fascinating blend of philosophy and physics — David Hodgson makes out a powerful case for the efficacy of the mind. Philosophical discussions of computers, consciousness, reasoning, evolution, and folk psychology lead on to a penetrating examination of quantum physics and its relevance to the mind. Hodgson draws on quantum indeterminacy and non-locality to outline a theory of the relationship between mind and brain, which accommodates human freedom within a scientific framework. He concludes by considering the implications of this theory for the human self, time, the soul, God, and the purpose of life.
  2. David Hodgson's magisterial work ... is balanced, extraordinarily thorough and scrupulously fair-minded; and it is written in clear straightforward accessible prose.
    Michael Lockwood, Times Literary Supplement
  3. Hodgson's book is the best I have seen for giving a clear and balanced account of the history of the mind-body problem, the alternative current theories of mind, and the basic ideas of quantum mechanics. It is also an excellent review of competing attempts to interweave mind and quantum.
    → Paul Davies, Australian and New Zealand Physicist
  4. In this large-scale and ambitious work Hodgson attacks a modern orthodoxy. Both its proponents and its opponents will find it compelling reading.
    → J. R. Lucas, Merton College, Oxford
  5. A well-argued and extremely important book
    New Scientist
  6. Hodgson's book ... is well written, his philosophy sound, and the description of quantum physics one of the best ever offered for the non-specialist
    Independent on Sunday
  7. David Hodgson is a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. His previous publication with Oxford University Press is Consequences of Utilitarianism (1967).

Preface
  1. As a child, I was told that our eyes are like cameras, and I wondered how the 'pictures' which these camera-eyes made inside our heads were themselves ‘seen': was there another camera in the brain to take pictures of the pictures, and if so, what then? Later, I was troubled by the conflict between the feeling of freedom to choose and act, and the apparent universality of physical causation1. Later again, it struck me that much reasoning, including legal reasoning, was of its nature inconclusive; in particular where opposing considerations were not commensurable, and could be resolved only by some poorly defined 'weighing' or ‘judgment'.
  2. Over the years, I continued to be intrigued by these questions, although the idea of writing a book about them did not begin to form until about twelve years ago. I read "Hofstadter (Douglas) - Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid - A Metaphorical Fugue on Minds and Machines in the Spirit of Lewis Carroll", and was impressed; but I felt it was fundamentally incorrect, and I wanted to pursue the matter. I went to books in its bibliography, and on to other books about the mind, computers, quantum physics, and so on. I accumulated a mound of notes on these books, my reactions to them, and my developing ideas. Eventually, I began to get these into some order, at first for my own satisfaction, and ultimately in the belief that I had something worthwhile to say to others.
  3. Until the last couple of years, this was a solitary endeavour, much of it done on twice-daily forty-minute train journeys to and from my chambers in the city of Sydney. At this stage, my main intellectual debts were to such people as Hofstadter, Dennett, Boden, Putnam, Popper, Nozick, Nagel, Swinburne, Derek Parfit, d'Espagnat, and Davies, through their writings. Also the work and example of Sir John Eccles, promoting the cause of dualism in hostile times, emboldened me in my thinking; although my conclusions turned out to be rather different from his.
  4. Subsequently, I received more direct assistance. Draft chapters for Parts I and II were read by Professor Jonathan Stone, physiologist and commentator on artificial intelligence; for Part III by Professor Don Melrose, theoretical physicist; and for Parts I, II, and IV by Professor John Finnis, philosopher of law and much else. All made penetrating comments and useful suggestions.

Contents
    Part I. Preliminaries
  1. General Approach and Assumptions – 11
    → 1.1 Philosophy and Science – 11
    → 1.2 Truth and Language – 19
    → 1.3 Truth and Necessity – 24
    → 1.4 Mechanism – 32
  2. Mental Events – 38
    → 2.1 The Central Case – 38
    → 2.2 Other Cases – 44
    → 2.3 Mind and Consciousness – 47
    → 2.4 Perception – 48
    → 2.5 Differences between Mental Events and Physical Events – 53
    → 2.6 Possible Relationships between Mental Events and Physical Events – 58
  3. The Consensus – 63
    → 4.1 In Philosophy – 63
    → 4.2 In Computer Science – 75
    → 4.3 In Brain Sciences – 85
    → 4.4 The Impact of Quantum Physics – 90
    Part II. Against Mechanism – 97
  4. More and Different Information – 99
    → 4.1 Consciousness-Dependent Information – 99
    → 4.2 Information and Codes – 105
    → 4.3 The Integration of Information – 110
    → 4.4 Dretske and Digital Information – 111
  5. Plausible Reasoning – 114
    → 5.1 Formal and Plausible Reasoning – 115
    → 5.2 Induction – 116
    → 5.3 Characteristics of Plausible Reasoning – 126
    → 5.4 Legal Reasoning – 137
    → 5.5 The Mechanization of Plausible Reasoning – 141
    → 5.6 Formal Reasoning Based on Plausible Reasoning – 148
    → 5.7 Godel's Theorem – 152
  6. Consciousness Selected by Evolution – 157
    → 6.1 General Statement of the Argument – 157
    → 6.2 The No-Advantage and By-Product Approaches – 160
    → 6.3 Advantages of Consciousness – 162
    → 6.4 The Global Property Approach – 168
    → 6.5 Further Questions – 171
  7. Folk Psychology – 173
    → 7.1 The Way it Seems – 174
    → 7.2 Entrenchment in Language and Attitudes – 180
    → 7.3 Folk Psychology as a Consequence of Consciousness – 182
    → 7.4 Consequences of Folk Psychology – 184
  8. Transcending the Code – 188
    → 8.1 Intentionality – 188
    → 8.2 Mind and Reality – 192
    → 8.3 Where to from Here? – 196
    Part III. Quantum Mechanics – 197
  9. Historical Outline – 199
    → 9.1 Classical Physics – 200
    → 9.2 Relativity – 209
    → 9.3 The Origins of Quantum Mechanics – 213
    → 9.4 The Formulation of Quantum Mechanics – 218
    → 9.5 Later Developments – 225
  10. Some Mechanics and Mathematics – 230
    → 10.1 Some Aspects of Pre-Quantum Mechanics – 230
    → 10.2 Some Mathematics of Waves – 238
    → 10.3 Probability – 252
  11. The Quantum Mechanical State – 258
    → 11.1 Representation of the State of One Particle – 259
    → 11.2 The Wave Function of a Single Particle – 264
    → 11.3 State Vectors – 271
    → 11.4 Operators, Eigenstates, Eigenvalues – 278
    → 11.5 Spin and Polarization – 291
  12. The Development of the Quantum State – 297
    → 12.1 The Schrodinger Equation – 297
    → 12.2 The Heisenberg Picture – 301
    → 12.3 Ehrenfest's Equations – 305
    → 12.4 An Example – 307
  13. Combined Systems – 311
    → 13.1 State Functions for Multiple Particles – 311
    → 13.2 Different Aspects of a Single Particle – 317
    → 13.3 The Time Development of Combined Systems – 318
  14. The Measurement Problem – 321
    → 14.1 The Copenhagen Interpretation – 321
    → 14.2 Von Neumann and Schrodinger's Cat – 324
    → 14.3 Measurement by Consciousness – 329
    → 14.4 Hidden Variables – 332
    → 14.5 The Ensemble or Statistical Interpretation – 333
    → 14.6 The Many Worlds or Relative State Interpretation – 335
    → 14.7 Quantum Logic – 342
    → 14.8 Measurement by Types of Interaction – 345
  15. Quantum Theory and Reality – 354
    → 15.1 The Nature and Behaviour of Quantum Particles – 354
    → 15.2 EPR Correlations and the Bell Inequality – 361
    → 15.3 Quantum Descriptions of Macro Objects – 371
    → 15.4 Conclusions – 374
    Part IV. Mind and the World – 379
  16. Outline of a Theory of Mind – 381
    → 16.1 Brain, Mind, and Quantum Reality – 381
    → 16.2 Conscious Choice – 388 –
    → 16.3 Unity of Mind – 396
    → 16.4 Some Questions – 400
  17. The Self – 403
    → 17.1 Persons and Selves – 403
    → 17.2 From Descartes to the Consensus – 408
    → 17.3 Parfit2's Reductionist View – 413
    → 17.4 A Deep Further Fact – 418
    → 17.5 Postscript on Replication3 – 429
  18. Time – 431
    → 18.1 Time and Tense – 431
    → 18.2 Against the Tenseless View – 435
    → 18.3 A Changing Reality – 440
    → 18.4 Timeless Existence – 442
  19. Sketches for a World-View – 444
    → 19.1 A Dualism of Causation4 – 444
    → 19.2 Morality – 448
    → 19.3 The Soul – 453
    → 19.4 God – 457
    → 19.5 The Purpose of Life – 461
    References – 465
    Name Index – 475
    Subject Index – 478



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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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