Information and Explication: From Wave Function to Conscious Thought

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Information and Explication: From Wave Function to Conscious Thought

Ted Dace

Quote:Quoting James to the effect that consciousness, like a bird, is easier to grasp at rest than in flight (1971, 121), Capek notes that we naturally associate consciousness with its explications, overlooking the continuous order implicit in the parade of distinct thoughts and emotions. The materialist imperative of reducing mind to brain is only the logical endpoint of confusing fundamental reality with its moment-to-moment unfolding. Against this reduction Bergson posited memory as the continued existence of the past in the present as opposed to a representation of the past produced by the brain (1911, 80-82). Bergson's proposal foreshadows the seamless emergence of memory from the temporal complementarity of continuous and discontinuous presence.

Quote:The fact that the atoms comprising the brain are continually undergoing collapse from potential states to actual states in no way prevents the emergence of potentiality at a higher level of scale. All that is required is the cycling of energy through a self-organized system and that the elements of the system are generally poised between distinct possible actions. In this case, as Stapp notes, no matter how many elements the system contains, it operates as a unit in a wave-mechanical state. A conscious decision constitutes the collapse of potentiality to an actual outcome. Whereas the collapse of wave computation is random in the case of quantum systems, the collapse of potential behaviors into a single actual behavior in the organism is subject to nonrandom influence, whether memory in the case of familiar circumstances or intelligence in the case of novel circumstances.

The ongoing presence underlying wave computation serves as nature's template of consciousness. In turn, consciousness clues us in to the fundamental nature of time. The organism, with its nested hierarchy of self-organized chemical systems, adds self-nature to the impersonal wave mechanics of the atom. Just as the quantum system is determined by the wave function, the neurological system is self-determined by consciousness. In contrast to the random outcome that follows from the measurement of a quantum system, the evolved form of coherence is defined by the attainment of determinism in the explication of information. As macroscopic beings equally at home in the explicate order as well as the implicate, we have the power not only to propagate possibilities, as in wave computation, but to project tangible actuality, as in measurement. I think, therefore I act.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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