Volume 17, Issue2, 2019

Physical Requirements for Models of Consciousness
Rodolfo Gambini, Department of Physics, Universidad de la Repúublica, Montevideo, Uruguay and Jorge Pullin, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA

Consciousness presents a series of characteristics that have been observed throughout the years: unity, continuity, richness and robustness are some of them. It manifests itself in regions of the brain capable of processing a huge quantity of integrated information at a level of neural activity close to criticality. We argue that the physical correlates of consciousness cannot be exclusively based on classical physics. The unity of consciousness cannot be explained classically as classical properties are always Humean like a mosaic. One needs an entangled quantum system that can at least satisfy part of the functions of a quantum computer to generate an inner experience with the unity of consciousness. At the same time this system should be able to interact with a classical system that gives simultaneous access to preprocessed information at the neural level and to produce events that generate neural frings.

Quantum Mechanics, Metaphysics, and Bohm's Implicate Order
George R. Williams, Federal Communications Commission, Washington DC, USA

The persistent interpretation problem for quantum mechanics may indicate an unwillingness to consider unpalatable assumptions that could open the way toward progress. With this in mind, I focus on the work of David Bohm, whose earlier work has been more influential than that of his later years. As I will discuss, I believe two assumptions play a strong role in explaining the disparity: (1) that theories in physics must be grounded in mathematical structure and (2) that consciousness must supervene on material processes. I will argue that the first assumption appears to lead us toward Everett's many-worlds interpretation, which suggests a red flag. I will also argue that the second assumption is suspect due to the persistent explanatory gap for consciousness. Later, I explore that Bohm's later work holds some promise in providing a better fit with our world, both phenomenologically and empirically. Also, I will address the potential problem of realism.

Lucid Dreaming and World Creation: Ontological Implications
Gordon Globus, Department of Psychiatry, University of California at Irvine, USA

The familiar world around us becomes reframed in the context of lucid dreaming, where the dreamer can actually create an authentic world. The brain's capabilities for world creation during lucid dreaming open the possibility that there is actually no world out there during waking too: Perhaps our brains each create parallel world thrownnesses de novoin waking life and there is no external world in common! A mechanism for this bizarre alternative is explored via a version of quantum brain theory, which offers a radically new formulation of ontological duality. Here the primary duals are imaginary complex conjugates, with only a match in their "between" being real, i.e. worldly. This proposal is seen to mesh well with the quantum Bayesian solution to the notorious measurement problem in quantum physics. Lucid dreaming turns out to be via regia not to a Freudian unconscious but to the nature of world "reality" and leads to a radical revision of ontology.

Johntology:Participatory Realism and its Problems
Dean Rickles, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney, Australia and Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, Wallenberg Research Centre at Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

A new term has entered into the lexicon of quantum mechanical interpretation: "participatory realism" (a term coined by Chris Fuchs to describe his own QBism, borrowing from John Wheeler's later participatory universe ideas). This paper briefly explores this idea and the extent to which sense can be made of its claims of realism. I find that attempts to render it into a realist stance hark back to Max Born's broadly structuralist idea that there are objective invariants within the apparently ine.able quantum world.
Nothing is more astonishing about quantum mechanics
than its allowing one to consider seriously
on quite other grounds the same view
that the universe would be nothing without observership
as surely as a motor would be dead without electricity.
Wheeler (1977, p. 21)

Last revision: 8 Jan 2020