Quantum Dualist Interactionism

Max Velmans, Understanding Consciousness

In Chapter 2, Conscious Souls, Brains and Quantum Mechanics there is a nice section Quantum Dualist Interactionism (p. 17 – 21) where Max Velmans describes works that present interpretation of dualism in the framework of quantum mechanics.

Stapp, H. (2007a) ‘Quantum mechanical theories of consciousness’ in The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness, pp. 300-312.

Stapp, H. (2007b) ‘Quantum approaches to consciousness’ in The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness, pp. 881-908.

Stapp, H. (2007c) Mindful Universe: Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer.

Interestingly enough Stapp refers to the work of von Neumann:

Von Neumann, J. (1955/1932) Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics/Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantummechanik.

p. 19. “In various interpretations of quantum mechanics there is in any case ambiguity, and associated controversy, about where in the observation process a choice about what to observe and a subsequent observation is made. For example, according to the ‘Gopenhagen Convention’, the original formation of quantum theory developed by Niels Bohr, there is a clear separation between the process taking place in the observer (Process 1) and the process taking place in the system that is being observed (Process 2).”

p. 21. “To differentiate the conscious part of Process 1 (the ‘conscious ego’) from the physically embodied part, Stapp (2007c) refers to it as ‘Process 0’. Stapp believes that such quantum dualist interactionism neatly sidesteps the classical problems of mind-body (or consciousness-brain) interaction (see Stapp, 2007a, p. 305). According to the von Neumann/Stapp theory, consciousness (Process 0) chooses what question to ask; through the meditation of Process 1 that interacts with Process 2 (the developing possibilities specified by the quantum mechanics of the physical system under interrogation, including the brain) – and Nature supplies an answer, which in turn reflected in conscious experience (making the entire process a form of dualism-interactionism).”

p. 21. “A central claim of the von Neumann/Stapp theory, for example, is that it is the observer’s conscious free will (von Neumann’s ‘abstract ego’ or Stapp’s ‘Process 0’) that chooses how to probe nature.”




5 responses to “Quantum Dualist Interactionism”

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  1. Robert Searle says:

    Yes, Quantum Mechanics does certainly have extraordinary “dimensions” to it. However, if we are serious about creating a new, and revolutionary science on conciousness we need to take into account phenomenonlogy to its fullest possible extent.

    There is in development something of great importance, and it is called Multi-Dimensional Science. It is the MISSING LINK in conciousness research, and parapsychology. At present, MDS is at the pseudo-scientific level of development but if true offers potentially staggering implications for humanity.

    See my link for “enlightenment”. http://www.p2pfoundation.net/Multi-Dimensional_Science

  2. I have looked at your link. You may want to look at the papter of Rupert Sheldrake described at the second part of the next text


  3. Stephen says:

    http://boole.stanford.edu/pub/ratmech.pdf shows a different point of view on the “problem” and a possible solution.

  4. Thanks. I have seen this paper from your messages on the everything list. I would love to work it out but it seems too abstract to me.

    My question would be how mathematics is related to the world in general. Could you please comment on


    What to you think in this respect?

  5. Stephen says: