Volume 12, Issue 1, 2014

On the Nature of Psychophysical Correlations
Pierre Uzan, History and Philosophy of Science, University Paris-Diderot, Paris, France

This article proposes a strategy of decision based on Bell-type experimental tests for the long-standing question about the nature of psychophysical correlations. We will first briefly discuss the main traditional answers to this question and some more recent suggestions developed within the framework of a generalised quantum theory. The proposed strategy of decision is developed within the framework of the full formalism of (generalized) quantum theory with continuous variables observables. It appeals to a signalling condition in order to test the possible existence of a direct, causal "interaction" between bodily and mental processes, to a Bell-type condition for testing the (non-)local nature of the psychophysical correlations and to a general method for implementing the essential notion of complementary observables in the psychosomatic domain.

Do Traditional Chinese Theories of Yi Jing ("Ying-Yang") and Chinese Medicine Go Beyond Western Concepts of Mind and Matter?
Meijuan Lu, Unionville, USA and Jerome Busemeyer, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA

This article introduces the fundamental concepts from ancient Chinese philosophy and Chinese Traditional medicine of "Yin and Yang" and "Qi" and examines their relation to the modern western scientific concepts such as entropy and energy and information. First we review the ancient Chinese concepts of "Yin and Yang" and "Qi" and briefly describe their usage in Chinese Traditional medicine. Then we ask the key question of whether or not these concepts go beyond modern western science conceptualizations of mind and matter. This key question is answered by using Neil Bohr's principle of complementarity when applied outside physics to human concepts. We conclude that these two conceptualizations are incompatible, in the sense that we must choose to view the universe from one perspective or the other, but both perspectives are useful for providing a unique view and a fuller description of our universe.

Can Quantum Analogies Help Us to Understand the Process of Thought?
Paavo Pylkkänen, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland and Department of Philosophy, University of Skövde, Sweden

A number of researchers today make an appeal to quantum physics when trying to develop a satisfactory account of the mind, an appeal still felt to be controversial by many. Often these "quantum approaches" try to explain some well-known features of conscious experience (or mental processes more generally), thus using quantum physics to enrich the explanatory framework or explanans used in consciousness studies and cognitive science. This paper considers the less studied question of whether quantum physical intuitions could help us to draw attention to new or neglected aspects of the mind in introspection, and in this way change our view about what needs explanation in the first place. Although prima facie implausible, it is suggested that this could happen, for example, if there were analogies between quantum processes and mental processes (e.g. the process of thinking). The naïve idea is that such analogies would help us to see mental processes and conscious experience in a new way. It has indeed been proposed long ago that such analogies exist, and this paper first focuses at some length on Bohm’s (1951) formulation of them. It then briefly considers these analogies in relation to Smolensky’s (1988) analogies between cognitive science and physics, and Pylkkö’s (1998) aconceptual view of the mind. Finally, Bohm’s early analogies will be briefly considered in relation to the later analogies between quantum processes and the mind he went on to propose in his later work.

A Framework for Critical Materialists
Robert Prentner, Chair of Philosophy, Zürich, Switzerland

This contribution discusses a framework for addressing consciousness in terms of a materialist theory. In the first part of the paper the structure of the framework is laid out. Several explananda of consciousness are identified that are usually connected to an underlying material substrate by identity statements, reductions, and functional accounts. It will be argued that such considerations only play a subsidiary role. More important for giving satisfactory explanations are accounts of why these relations hold (i.e. necessity or nomological statements) or that they can be embedded in a part-whole ontology (mereology). How might this be done? In the second part of the paper the issues of model building and analogies are addressed in more detail. Drawing from the philosophy of science, it can be inferred that analogies play a crucial role for the development of a scientific theory.
A position in the philosophy of mind in which analogies seem particularly important is panpsychism. The relation of analogies and arguments for panpsychism are studied systematically and with respect to a historical example. It shall be argued that there is a certain class of analogies which is important – not only for panpsychism but for building a science of consciousness as such.
The two-step argument presented in favor of such analogies reads the following: i) certain analogies are an important ingredient of any model applied in science, and ii) some analogies must therefore not be neglected a priori, and those are structural ones. The article concludes with a formulation of research questions for the future. Particular emphasis is placed on the necessity to formalize the explananda, as well as mereological and analogical statements to someday arrive at a coherent notion of mind-matter interaction.

Last revision: 2 July 2014