Generalized entanglement – a nonreductive option for a phenomenologically dualist and ontologically monist view of consciousness
The conundrum with current models of consciousness is that they either deny consciousness its own causal role, defying everyday experience and phenomenology, or they concede consciousness its own causal activity, without explaining a potential interaction. While the first, physicalist, option is very much in line with most current reasoning within neuroscience it faces serious theoretical problems and has to exclude a range of phenomena in order to be convincing. The second, dualist model, is phenomenologically more satisfying, but cannot explain how such an interaction might work. This problem has beset philosophy since Descartes. We propose here a model that is ontologically monist, in line with the general intuition of the natural sciences, and at the same time phenomenologically dualist, true to our subjective experience. This is possible if we follow the track laid out by Generalized or Weak Quantum Theory. Such a model predicts generalized entanglement. This can be seen as a coordinating notion aligning two systems through a generalized non-local correlation. Using this model one can easily conceive of the mind-body relationship as a form of generalized entanglement correlating two systems with each other. In an extension, the same mechanism can be used to redefine spirituality as a coordination of single individuals with one Whole.
Walach, H. , Römer, H. (2011)., Generalized entanglement – a nonreductive option for a phenomenologically dualist and ontologically monist view of consciousness, in H. Walach, S. Schmidt & W. B. Jonas (eds.), Neuroscience, consciousness and spirituality, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 81-95.
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