Mind, Quantum, and Free Will: Contents

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PAGECONTENTS

1

Why this book?
2The mind-body problem is not a scientific problem but a philosophical one
4A better philosophical basis for posing the question is given
5The solution given here is precisely linked to physics
8Points of clarification
9Outline of book

11

PART I: The mind-body problem

13

Chapter 1 The problem
13The mind-body problem
18Experience
21Characterizing consciousness and experience
22Science as a human endeavour
26Objective physics
27Issues in the vicinity of consciousness
28The Hard Problem
29Physicalism
31Specific physicalist solutions to the mind-body problem
32(A) Mind does not exist
34(B) Illusionism
34(C) Epiphenomenalism
36(D) Identity theories
40(E) Emergence
42(F) Panpsychism
44Moving forward

45

Chapter 2 Philosophy
45What is philosophy?
47Analytic philosophy
48Critique of analytic philosophy
51Metaphysics
52Berkeley’s idealism
53Berkeley’s attack on matter
55Physicalism
56Problems of physicalism
58Criteria for comparing metaphysical systems
61Evaluating Berkeley’s idealism
62Evaluating standard physicalism
63Qualia non-realism
63Qualia realism
68Evaluating panpsychism
71Comparison Table
72Scoring how far each system meets these criteria
73Weighing the criteria
74Comparison
74A defence of metaphysics
77Introducing pan-idealism
80Pan-idealism and watering a plant
80Evaluating pan-idealism

81

PART II: Fundamental physics

83

Chapter 3 Classical physics
83Newtonian mechanics
85Newtonian space and time
86Inertial reference frames
87Thermodynamics
88Electrodynamics
88Special relativity
90Ad-hoc solutions
91Einstein’s concept of Special Relativity
94Key facts
97Minkowski space
100The geometry of spacetime
104Coordinates in Minkowski space
108Slices of simultaneity
110The Twins’ Paradox
113Solving problems
114General relativity
115Principle of equivalence
115Experimental verification
117Cosmological models
118Determinism
118Communalities

122

Chapter 4 Quantum mechanics
122What is quantum mechanics?
123How to begin?
124Tim Maudlin’s procedure
125Representative experiments and their results
125Young’s Slits experiments
129Basic spin experiments
132Interferometer experiments
135The quantum recipe: part I, maths
142The quantum recipe: part II, physics
142The wavefunction, ψ
145General measurements
148Planck’s Constant
149Schrödinger equation
151Classical energy
152About this mathematical notation
153Time evolution of the wavefunction
156The quantum recipe: part III the recipe itself
157Explaining Young’s Slits experiments
158Single slit experiment
158Double slits experiment
159‘Monitored’ double slits experiment
162Explaining basic spin experiments
162Spinors
165Spinors and the Stern-Gerlach apparatus
166First spin experiment
167Second spin experiment
168Fourth spin experiment
168Third spin experiment
170Physical meaning of spinors
171Explaining interferometer experiments
171First interferometer experiment
172Second interferometer experiment
173More about the physical meaning of spinors
174Further reading

175

Chapter 5 Copenhagen and entanglement
177The Copenhagen interpretation
182Niels Bohr and ‘complementarity’
184The mythological Einstein
188The Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen paper
188Objective reality and the aim of physical theory
189The correctness of quantum mechanics
189The completeness of a physical theory
190The completeness of quantum mechanics?
191The EPR locality postulate
192The argument of the EPR paper
194Some tricky maths: measuring momentum
195Element of reality for momentum
195Similar tricky maths: now measuring position
195Element of reality for position
196Concluding the EPR paper
187Comment on the EPR paper
197Bohr’s response to EPR
200Comments on Bohr’s experimental setup
201Conclusion of Bohr’s response to EPR
201Commentary on Bohr’s paper
203Schrödinger’s response to EPR
203The first (1935a) paper
205The follow-up (1936) paper
206The survey paper (1935b)
209Bohm’s response to EPR
212Bohm’s change of heart
212Bell’s inequality
218Experiments by Alain Aspect and others
222Conclusions we may draw about Aspect-type experiments
223Misconceived conclusions
223The misrepresentation of Einstein
226
Chapter 6 Interpretations of quantum mechanics
226The Copenhagen interpretation
227Niels Bohr
227Werner Heisenberg
229Rudolf Peierls
232John von Neumann
234The measurement problem
237The pilot-wave interpretation
238Key features
339Pilot-wave theory in practice
240Key examples
243Advantages
244Critiques
246References
246Many-worlds
249The probability problem
251Advantages and disadvantages
251References
251Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber
252Formalism
253Answers to questions
255Ontology
255GRWf
256GRWm
258The new physical constants τ and σ
260Stability of atoms
261Spin
262Bell’s-inequality experiments
263References for GRW
264Choosing an interpretation

267

PART III: Pan-idealism – a solution

269

Chapter 7 Physics and concrete reality
269Science and the universe
270Empirical reality versus concrete reality
272The substantive reality of concrete reality
272ESR leads towards irrealism
273Thin realism
274Tegmark’s ultra-thin realism
275Thick realism
276Concrete reality as noumenon
276Matter as the permanent possibility of being perceived
277Causal flux
278Intrinsic nature
278History
279Recent history
282Concrete reality characterised
284Is this characterisation of concrete reality reasonable?
286Is this characterisation necessary?
287Moving on

288

Chapter 8 Pan-idealism
289Pan-idealism characterised
289Assumptions about the physics of our universe (Pa-Pd)
290Assumptions about the omnipresence of mind (Pe-Ph)
291The assumption of pan-idealism (Pi)
292Taking pan-idealism seriously
293Variants of pan-idealism
293The contents of the universe (Pb)
294True individuals versus aggregates (Pb & Pc)
294Experients can exist in hierarchies (Ph)
295Are experients long-lived or transient?
295Pan-idealism’s unique mind-body problem
296Length in pan-idealism
298Identity
298The Moon and space
299Time in pan-idealism
302Other physical properties in pan-idealism
303Reducing physical causation to mental causation
304Causation in pan-idealist universes
305Objective physics
306The advantages of pan-idealism
311Some difficulties of pan-idealism
312Strawson’s pure panpsychism
312Strawson’s theory
314ESFD monism
315Rejecting ESFD monism
317Coming next

318

Chapter 9 Free will
318Compatibilism
320Robert Kane on libertarian free will
323Weighing up alternatives
324Wanton freedom
325Critique of Kane
325Kane’s theory does not, of itself, solve the mind­-body problem
326Are Alternative Possibilities consistent with physicalism?
327How do Self-Forming Actions get started?
328Pan-idealism and libertarian free will
331Arguments against libertarian free will
336Schrödinger on free will

340

Chapter 10 Our pan-idealist universe
341Recap of pan-idealism
342Recap of GRW
341Measurement in GRW
343Measuring devices
345Aside: Measurement in non-GRW interpretations
346Measurement in GRW
349Non-measuring devices
351The concept of macroscopic in GRW
351Identical particles, entanglement, and experients
351Fermions
352Identical fermions and entanglement
356Trivial entanglement is benign
356Bosons in brief
358Experients
358Introducing the pan-idealist GRW universe
363Agents
364The dynamics of the pan-idealist GRW universe
367Cosmic Time
367Process
368Cosmic time and general relativity
369The combination problem
371The credibility of such agents
372Philosophy contrasted with physics
374Assessment of pan-idealist GRW
374Advantages
376Neutral facts
376Limitations
378Pan-idealism and Penrose’s OR theory

381

Chapter 11 Concluding reflections
381Pan-idealism as a traditional metaphysical system
382Why my confidence?
383Traditional metaphysics
383Is traditional metaphysics dogmatic?
386Critiques of traditional metaphysical systems
387Metaphors
387“Inside” versus “outside”
388“First person” versus “Third person”
389A toy pan-idealist universe
391Intersubjective consilience in our universe
392Chalmers’ critique of maximal intersubjective consilience
393Is physicalism inevitable?
395Computers and consciousness
396Pan-idealism and human consciousness
396Pan-idealism and digital computers
398Pan-idealism and quantum computers
405Farewell

406

Bibliography

419

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