Empirical Evidence for the Non-material Nature of Consciousness

Empirical Evidence for the Non-material Nature of Consciousness

By: Juleon M Schins (author)Hardback

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This is a study on the dual (material and non-material) nature of consciousness. It is an answer to the tremendous problems materialism faces when trying to define consciousness, a recent phenomenon called the 'incompleteness' of sciences, and the philosophical urge to unify common-sense causality and quantum causality. The study founds a theory of knowledge on the mathematical insights of Kurt Godel and Roger Penrose. The study also treats four examples of incompleteness (mathematics, physics, biology, and ethology) and shows that only the postulate of a non-material human mind can account for these empirical data. Judging the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics inconsistent, it uses a quantum-adapted version of Aristotle's hylemorphism for defining causality as a strictly transcendent relation. Its application to mind-brain interaction explains the dual nature of human consciousness. All physical and mathematical details exceeding the horizon of experts are relegated to the appendices. The resulting essay is accessible to a large academic audience interesting the philosophical problems raised by scientific advance.

About Author

Juleon Schins defended his PhD thesis in 1992 at the University of Amsterdam; he is presently assistant professor at Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands), where he studies the behavior of electrons in polymers. He is a prolific writer on philosophical issues, and co-founder of the Dutch Interdisciplinair Studie Forum, a debating platform focusing on philosophical aspects of scientific advance.


Preface; Introduction; Part I: Incompleteness; 1. Mathematics: Hilbert, Godel, Turing; Penrose's 'Blatant Reductio ad Absurdum'; Determinism, Procedures, and Algorithms; Matter and Mind; 2. Physics: Pure Chance and Correlation; The Non-Local Nature of Causality; The Non-Temporal Nature of Causality; 3. Biology: The Clockwork of Descartes; Hamilton's Variation on the Darwinian Theme; Software and Genome - an Analogy; The Empirical Data; Locating Humans in Evolutionary History; 4. Ethology: Nothing Wrong with Machines; Hume's Inconsistency; The Empirical Data; Moral Characteristics of the Human Mind; Part II: The Model; 5. Causality: Incompleteness in a Nutshell; Physical Causality; Quantum-Hylemorphic Causality; Idealism and Dualism; Aristotle; 6. The Mind: Matter and Mind; Reading and Writing in the Brain; 7. Consciousness: Gradualism on Trial; The Quantum-Hylemorphic Model of Consciousness; Suffering; Free Will Epilogue Appendices: Kurt Godel on the Incompleteness Theorem; Roger Penrose on Non-Algorithmic Procedures; The Hylemorphic Foundation of Quantum Mechanics; Comments on Niels Bohr; Polarisation of Light; Faster-than-Light Communication and Retro-Causation; Axelrod and Hamilton on The Triumph of Tit for Tat; Frans de Waal on Tender Altruism in Harsh Circumstances; Patricia Churchland on Self-Representational Upgrades; Daniel Wegner on Conscious Will; Daniel Dennett on Descartes; Ian Glynn on Consciousness; Edward Wilson on Free Will; Richard Dawkins on Free Will; Roger Penrose on Free Will Bibliography, Indices

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780773465572
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 292
  • ID: 9780773465572
  • ISBN10: 077346557X

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