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What is it like to be a quantum observer? And what does it imply about the nature of consciousness?

Gao, Shan (2018) What is it like to be a quantum observer? And what does it imply about the nature of consciousness? [Preprint]

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Abstract

In collapse theories of quantum mechanics, there exist quantum observers who are observers being in a superposition of different result branches. In this paper, I analyze the mental state of a quantum observer. First, I argue that the mental state of a quantum observer is not the usual state of recording one of the results in the superposition, but it is definite. Second, I argue that the mental state of a quantum observer is determined by both the amplitudes and relative phases of the result branches of the superposition, and the mental content is composed of every result. Third, I argue that there are new mental properties which are lack for classical observers and determined by the amplitude and relative phase. In particular, the mental property determined by the amplitude may be a certain property of vividness of the mental content; the bigger the amplitude of a result branch, the more vivid the result is in the whole mental content. Finally, I argue that the new experience of a quantum observer, which violates quantum mechanics, implies that consciousness is not physically reducible or emergent but fundamental in collapse theories.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
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Gao, Shan
Keywords: collapse theories; quantum observers; vividness; consciousness; physicalism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Prof. Shan Gao
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2018 13:48
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2018 13:48
Item ID: 14836
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 2 July 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14836

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