Mind, Matter, and Quantum Mechanics


An excellent suggestion to apply the collapse of the wave function to the creation of conscious awareness. Integrates William James’ idea of the “stream of consciousness” with recent developments in neuroscience & neurophysiology in order to apply quantum mechanics to the mind-body problem. Stapp improves on Penrose’s (and other physicists’) attempts to apply quantum theory to consciousness, in that he provides a concrete suggestion for how the mind and brain are related, preserving both the importance of brain-mind associations (determinism) and the efficacy of awareness (free will). In the process, Stapp provides a very helpful overview of both cognitive science and quantum mechanics, summarizing neural communication, brain organization, Bell’s theorem (which addresses the problem of “entanglement”), and various approaches to quantum theory along the theoretical continuum from merely-a-collection-of-equations-that-predict-physical-measurements to accurate-depictions-of-the-importance-of-conscious-observation-in-the-creation-of-reality.