The Ghost in the Shell

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The Ghost in the Shell

Grace Endries

Quote:Quantum mechanics makes the ancient theory of panpsychism infinitely more attractive. This is because of the necessitated ontological paradigm shift owing to the discoveries of quantum mechanics. Physicist Robert Jahn argues that “three mysteries … call out for clarification: the quantum, the universe, and the mind. All three lie at that point where, in the phrase of Fred Hoyle, ‘mind and matter meld.’ All three threaten that clear separation between observer and observed which for so long seemed the essence of science.” [5] There are areas in physics that will likely not yield to increasingly powerful methods of probing; it is becoming clear that they must be interpreted rather than deconstructed. Quarks, broken down, can best be interpreted as events. Quantum waves are potential. It becomes increasingly clear where mind and matter must rejoin once again. Quantum physics makes this obvious, and its synthesis with a panpsychist view of nature provides the framework for how to do so.


Quantum physics yields itself to just as many interpretations as the phenomenon of consciousness. However, I argue that it provides a framework from which we can model the new investigations into consciousness, following its guidance and working within its necessary ontological reorientation. From quantum mechanics, we learn about the fundamental nature of reality and the ways in which consciousness interacts with it. From this it follows that consciousness is a fundamental element of reality, and our methodologies for engaging it must accommodate this.

Quote:Materialism: I find it necessary to differentiate between physicalism and materialism. Materialism is the doctrine that matter is fundamental, and knowledge is exclusively advanced through studying matter’s movements and modifications. This is different from physicalism as referred to in this work when we understand the reason why many panpsychist philosophers refer to themselves as materialists. Panpsychism is a theory that posits consciousness as a fundamental feature of reality, and it can be measured through physical systems but not explained by them in essence. Materialism, similarly, is an ontological theory. However, for the purposes of this essay, it is different to physicalism in that it expands its definition of the fundamental nature of matter to encompass the features of consciousness that evade reduction. This view is not anti-scientific when assessing consciousness. Rather, in its investigations of consciousness it advances based on the understanding of fundamental reality using the difficulties encountered in cognitive science as evidence for the new view of the world. When these difficulties are interpreted with quantum theories, such as Bohm’s implicate order and active information, we develop a more precise understanding of the true nature of reality.
'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


(This post was last modified: 2023-08-20, 05:07 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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