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Non-Boolean Descriptions for Mind-Matter Problems

By Hans Primas

Abstract

A framework for the mind-matter problem in a holistic universe which has no parts is outlined. The conceptual structure of modern quantum theory suggests to use complementary Boolean descriptions as elements for a more comprehensive non-Boolean description of a world without an apriorigiven mind-matter distinction. Such a description in terms of a locally Boolean but globally non-Boolean structure makes allowance for the fact that Boolean descriptions play a privileged role in science. If we accept the insight that there are no ultimate building blocks, the existence of holistic correlations between contextually chosen parts is a natural consequence. The main problem of a genuinely non-Boolean description is to find an appropriate partition of the universe of discourse. If we adopt the idea that all fundamental laws of physics are invariant under time translations, then we can consider a partition of the world into a tenseless and a tensed domain. In the sense of a regulative principle, the material domain is defined as the tenseless domain with its homogeneous time. The tensed domain contains the mental domain with a tensed time characterized by a privileged position, the Now. Since this partition refers to two complementary descriptions which are not given apriori,wehavetoexpectcorrelations between these two domains. In physics it corresponds to Newton’s separation of universal laws of nature and contingent initial conditions. Both descriptions have a non-Boolean structure and can be encompassed into a single non-Boolean description. Tensed and tenseless time can be synchronized by holistic correlations. 1

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.135.2081
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