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The problem of finding a satisfactory formulation of quantum mechanics has led a number of physicists to speculate concerning the proper relationship between mental and physical states. In 1961, summarizing a view that he took to be held by most of his colleagues, the physicist Eugene Wigner argued that it is “not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a consistent way without reference to consciousness." More specifically, Wigner believed that a consistent formulation of quantum mechanics requires one to endorse a strong variety of mind-body dualism. Jeffrey Alan Barrett considered Wigner’s argument, how it might be extended, and what it tells us about quantum mechanics.

Quantum Mechanics and Wigner’s Mind-Body Dualism Universität Konstanz

    • Society & Culture

The problem of finding a satisfactory formulation of quantum mechanics has led a number of physicists to speculate concerning the proper relationship between mental and physical states. In 1961, summarizing a view that he took to be held by most of his colleagues, the physicist Eugene Wigner argued that it is “not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a consistent way without reference to consciousness." More specifically, Wigner believed that a consistent formulation of quantum mechanics requires one to endorse a strong variety of mind-body dualism. Jeffrey Alan Barrett considered Wigner’s argument, how it might be extended, and what it tells us about quantum mechanics.

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