Tag Archives: consciousness theory

Henry Stapp: Nondual Quantum Duality

Henry Stapp‘s consciousness theory sees a global collapse of superposed brain states as in the process of choosing between alternatives. Henry P Stapp points out that orthodox quantum theory reconciles two diverse aspects of scientific practice: the mathematical aspect represented by the deterministic evolution of mathematical properties in accordance with a deterministic equation Schrödinger’s equation[dubious – discuss]; and the empirical aspect associated with our human actions upon the world about us, and the feedbacks that we experience. Another way that he puts it is that the mathematically determined evolution via Schrödinger’s equation[dubious – discuss] is the ‘rock like’ aspect of matter, while the quantum collapse of the wave function is mind-like. His theory of how mind may interact with matter via quantum processes in the brain differs from that of Penrose and Hameroff. While the latter postulates quantum computing in the microtubules in brain neurons, Stapp postulates more global collapse via his ‘mind like’ wave-function collapse that exploits certain aspects of the quantum Zeno effect within the synapses to explain attention. His views are spelled out most clearly in his book, Mindful Universe: Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer

After receiving his PhD in particle physics at the University of California, Berkeley, under the supervision of Nobel Laureates Emilio Segrè and Owen Chamberlain, Henry Stapp moved to ETH Zurich to do post-doctoral work under Wolfgang Pauli. During this period he composed an article called ‘Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics’, which he never sent for publication, but would become the title of his 1993 book. When Pauli died in 1958, Stapp transferred to Munich, now in the company of Werner Heisenberg. While making important contributions to, inter alia, the analysis of proton-proton scattering and the development of analytic S-matrix theory, Stapp is perhaps most well known for his ongoing work in the foundations of quantum mechanics, with particular focus on explicating the role and nature of consciousness. He is also an expert on Bell’s Theorem, having solved problems related to non-locality presented by John Bell and Albert Einstein.