The Pauli–Jung Conjecture and Its Relatives

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The Pauli–Jung Conjecture and Its Relatives: A Formally Augmented Outline

Harald Atmanspacher

Quote:The dual-aspect monist conjecture launched by Pauli and Jung in the mid-20th century will be couched in somewhat formal terms to characterize it more concisely than by verbal description alone. After some background material situating the Pauli–Jung conjecture among other conceptual approaches to the mind–matter problem, the main body of this paper outlines its general framework of a basic psycho-physically neutral reality with its derivative mental and physical aspects and the nature of the correlations that connect these aspects. Some related approaches are discussed to identify key similarities to and deviations from the Pauli–Jung framework that may be useful for cross-fertilization.

Quote:However, there is a crucial difference between quantum correlations and mind–matter correlations, which calls for emphasis because of its significant consequences. While acausal quantum correlations between two particles Φ1 and Φ2 are purely statistical and perfectly reproducible across experiments, correlations between the mental and the physical are not. Since these correlations transgress the boundary of the physical toward the mental, they inevitably necessitate a subjective element that challenges reproducibility. Subjective experience is clearly something that physics, or any other science describing and explaining “objective” (physical) facts, cannot cover within its limits. To address this, Jung and Pauli offered the radical and brilliant idea that the currency of these correlations is not (quantitative) statistics, as in quantum physics, but (qualitative) meaning.[24]

They expressed this idea with their proposal of synchronistic events consisting of acausally connected states ΦM and ΦP , whose correlations (ΦM∼ΦP) are not (or sufficiently unlikely) random. In addition, they are not only notable and striking but also exhibited as meaningful coincidences.[25] The meaning that substantiates the correlations is attributed by the experiencing subject in its state ΦM . As an intrinsically relational concept, meaning correlates subjective states ΦM of mental representations with states of what they represent in the physical domain. In a way, the experience of meaning can thus be understood as a (“sixth”) sense modality for “perceiving” psychophysical correlations.[26]

However, the subjective and generally irreproducible attribution of meaning does not entail that it is arbitrary: it is an (often symbolic) expression of the non-subjective, psychophysically neutral, archetypal state ΦPPNA from which it originates. If an archetypal pattern is activated, the correlation between a subject’s mental state ΦMA and its correlated physical state ΦPA is restricted to a range of experiences prescribed by the theme of the activated archetypal state.[27]
'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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