Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 10:20:52 +0000
From: Saul-Paul Sirag
Subject: [q-mind] Mental Force -- Henry Stapp
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From: Henry Stapp
Subject: Mental Force
This abstract for talk to be given on October 14 at the Institute For
Noetic Science, Sausalito CA., gives a compact overview of the approach
that I have been describing recently on this forum.
Mental Force: How Quantum Mind/Brain Can Do What Classical Mind/Brain
Cannot.
According to the precepts of classical physical theory the physical
world is made out of particles and local fields that combine to produce
a causal structure that is local/deterministic: the course of events in
the physical world is completely fixed by mathematical rules that
determine what will happen in each tiny spacetime region in terms of
mathematical quantities localized in its immediate neighborhood at
slightly earlier times. The causal properties of large-scale structures
are completely reducible in this sense to a micro-causal structure. Any
causal effect of our conscious experiences upon the physical world
would, by the same token, be reducible to this micro-causal physical
structure. According to the basic precepts of quantum theory the
mathematical formulas of this theory are about increments in knowledge,
described in terms that allow us to communicate to our colleagues what
we have done and what we have learned. The basic realities thereby
become certain describable kinds of conscious experiences, and the
mathematical structure identified and used by physicists becomes a
representation of certain kinds of causal connections between these
experiences. But an examination of the structure of those causal
connections reveals a looseness that---without any violation of the
basic deterministic or statistical rules of the theory---allows the
attentional aspect of our experience, as an aspect of experience per se,
to effectively force experience to follow a path that deviates from what
would, without this intervention, ensue. The talk will describe how
this opening for a non-reductive causal efficacy of conscious experience
comes about, and its implications for scientific research on the
mind-brain connection and in psychiatry.