Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness: No Evidence for Idealism
PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
Keywords:quantum mechanics, consciousness, matter, collapse, idealism, physical realism, cosmopsychism
The article deals with the issue of whether quantum mechanics provides evidence for the view that ordinary matter is the product of the processes that essentially involve conscious- ness (in collapses, or reductions, of quantum-mechanical waves). It is pointed out that if this were the case, this would have tremendous consequences that anyone who takes science seri- ously can hardly welcome — it would make nonsense of the whole natural pre-animal his- tory, and would also make it extremely difficult to make sense of animal evolution and hu- man history. It is argued, however, that there is no good scientific evidence for the idealistic (consciousness-involving) construal of quantum-mechanical processes; moreover, unequiv- ocal experimental refutations were produced but not made widely known. In the second part, the recent attempt to draw quantum mechanics in support of idealism by Bernardo Kastrup is discussed and found wanting, because in so far as his defense of idealism is suc- cessful, the resulting kind of idealism (cosmopsychism) stands to the results of quantum mechanical experiments in the same relations as common physical realism.
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