Volume 14, Issue 1, 2016

Matter and Mind are Entangled in Two Streams of Images Guiding Behavior and Informing the Subject Through Awareness
Walter Freeman, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley, USA and Giuseppe Vitiello, Department of Physics, University of Salerno, Italy

Brains acquire knowledge by acting into the environment to confirm or reject hypotheses imagined from memory in the action-perception cycle. Memories are created and updated through phase transitions from a gas-like ground state to a liquid-like condensate that we model as a dissipative quantum field. Each retrieved memory is imposed in the amplitude modulation (AM) of a narrow band carrier frequency of a macroscopic wave packet in the beta-gamma range of brain waves. Brains imagine hypotheses about the world by copying AM patterns and mirroring them in time. We postulate that the AM patterns in forward thermodynamic time implements action (matter), while the time-reversed copy (mirrored time) governs perception (mind, awareness). They are entangled dynamical modes that we distinguish by patterns of phase modulation that accompany the AM patterns in the electrocorticogram.

How to Back up or Refute Quantum Theories of Consciousness
Elias Okón and Miguel Ángel Sebastián, Institute for Philosophical Research, National Autonomous University of México Coyoacán, México

Since the early days of quantum theory, both physicists and philosophers have speculated about the idea of a fundamental link between consciousness and quantum mechanics. In particular, it has been suggested that consciousness might be the key to the solution of the quantum measurement problem - the question of deciding under which circumstances, if at all, the wave function collapses. Inspired by this possibility, the thought has been promoted that the quantum level of description is the one at which we should look if we want to provide a satisfactory theory of consciousness. Is it, however, empirically possible to determine whether or not consciousness is related to the collapse of the wave function? Some have suggested that it is not while others have argued that it is possible to show that they are not related. In this paper we will argue that, even though existing proposals that claim to show that consciousness is not related to collapse do not work (because they are based on a misunderstanding of either the quantum theories in question or the notion of consciousness in play), it is empirically possible to test such claims. Then, based on the fact that any quantum state possesses with certainty a specfific property, we will present a concrete empirical way by which the issue could be settled.

On the Possibility and Reality of Introspection
Michel Bitbol, Archives Husserl, ENS/CNRS, Paris, France and Claire Petitmengin, Institut Mines-Télécom, Paris, France

Conflicting claims have been made about whether introspection can be reliable at all. Lots of objections have been formulated against it in classical and modern literature. We thus list these objections and outline some replies, in addition to some theoretical rebuttals based on contemporary philosophy of science. We further point out that these objections target an abstract image of introspection rather than introspection per se. Accordingly, we describe one of the currently available methods that we ourselves practice: the elicitation (or micro-phenomenological) interview method. Our aim is to show that, irrespective of its alleged theoretical "impossibility", introspection is made real by this kind of method which incorporates replies to most standard objections.

Physicalism, Truth, and the Pinocchio Paradox
Laureana Luna, Department of Philosophy, IES Francisco Marin, Siles, Spain

We develop an argument sketched by Luna (2011) based on the Pinocchio paradox, which was proposed by Eldridge-Smith and Eldridge-Smith (2010). We show that, upon plausible assumptions, the claim that mental states supervene on bodily states leads to the conclusion that some proposition is both paradoxical and not paradoxical. In order to show how the presence of paradoxes can be harnessed for philosophical argumentation, we also present a couple of related arguments.

Last revision: 20 July 2016