Henry P. Stapp

Abstract

Quantum theory is essentially a rationally coherent theory of the interaction of mind and matter, and it allows our conscious thoughts to play a causally efficacious and necessary role in brain dynamics. It therefore provides a natural basis, created by scientists, for the science of consciousness. As an illustration it is explained how the interaction of brain and consciousness can speed up brain processing, and thereby enhance the survival prospects of conscious organisms, as compared to similar organisms that lack consciousness. As a second illustration it is explained how, within the quantum framework, the consciously experienced ``I'' directs the actions of a human being. It is concluded that contemporary science already has an adequate framework for incorporating causally efficacious experiential events into the physical universe in a manner that: 1) puts the neural correlates of consciousness into the theory in a well defined way, 2) explains in principle how the effects of consciousness, per se, can enhance the survival prospects of organisms that possess it, 3) allows this survival effect to feed into phylogenetic development, and 4) explains how the consciously experienced ``I'' can direct human behaviour

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