Gertie wrote: ↑July 18th, 2021, 4:16 pm
Right. So how can this be squared with Physicalism. And specifically conscious experience as an emergent property of physical brain processes.
The link mentions various ideas to do with uncertainty, complexity, the limits of our precision, and chaos. I think basically saying the Standard Model as it stands is too crude, and will miss certain 'outlier' outcomes, which we currently attribute to 'emergence'.
Have I got that right?
That's hard for me to judge, or know how mainstream physicists think about this. But regardless, it's not obvious to me how randomness/uncertainty or the other ideas would lead to complex brains in motion somehow manifesting the property of conscious experiencing. Do you know if anyone has tried to make that specific case? If it's a physicalist foundation for experience as emergent property dualism then I'd imagine it's been tried? Is this the hypothesis what Orch Or is working on for example?
I'm not a physicist, but I don't think the standard model of physics is "too crude". However, it's not a theory of everything physical
—e.g. it doesn't include and explain gravity—, let alone a theory of everything
, in the sense that all chemical, biological, psychological, and sociological conceptions, descriptions, and explanations can be reductively replaced with or translated into microphysical ones based on the standard model.
However, even if the sciences "above" physics turn out to be theoretically, semantically, and epistemically irreducible to or irreplaceable by (micro)physics—(micro)physical terms, theories, knowledge—, ontological reductionism about their respective subject matters isn't thereby refuted, because it doesn't follow that the irreducibility of the higher-level sciences to the base-level science is due to cases of ontological emergence. There may be other reasons—such as representational or computational supercomplexity that can make it impossible for scientists to describe and explain e.g. neural networks and human societies on the microphysical level in terms of single elementary particles and their interactions.
When quantum physics enters the stage, things get very complicated and obscure (not mathematically, but metaphysically). For example, is quantum randomness an ontological phenomenon or just an epistemological one? (According to Bohmian mechanics, a deterministic interpretation of quantum mechanics, it's not
(Speaking of randomness, consciousness appeared in the high-level biological context of animal evolution through natural selection, where we find randomness on the genetic level. But whether or not an individual organism with its randomly or nonrandomly determined traits survives in its natural habitat and succeeds in producing offspring is not a matter of randomness.)
Quantum approaches to consciousness
such as Orch OR are highly contentious; but, to be honest, I don't know much about them.
"It is widely accepted that consciousness or, more generally, mental activity is in some way correlated to the behavior of the material brain. Since quantum theory is the most fundamental theory of matter that is currently available, it is a legitimate question to ask whether quantum theory can help us to understand consciousness. Several approaches answering this question affirmatively, proposed in recent decades, will be surveyed. There are three basic types of corresponding approaches: (1) consciousness is a manifestation of quantum processes in the brain, (2) quantum concepts are used to understand consciousness without referring to brain activity, and (3) matter and consciousness are regarded as dual aspects of one underlying reality."
"Even though the Standard Model is currently the best description there is of the subatomic world, it does not explain the complete picture. The theory incorporates only three out of the four fundamental forces, omitting gravity. There are also important questions that it does not answer, such as “What is dark matter?”, or “What happened to the antimatter after the big bang?”, “Why are there three generations of quarks and leptons with such a different mass scale?” and more. Last but not least is a particle called the Higgs boson, an essential component of the Standard Model.
On 4 July 2012, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced they had each observed a new particle in the mass region around 126 GeV. This particle is consistent with the Higgs boson but it will take further work to determine whether or not it is the Higgs boson predicted by the Standard Model. The Higgs boson, as proposed within the Standard Model, is the simplest manifestation of the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism. Other types of Higgs bosons are predicted by other theories that go beyond the Standard Model.
On 8 October 2013 the Nobel prize in physics was awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter Higgs “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider”.
So although the Standard Model accurately describes the phenomena within its domain, it is still incomplete. Perhaps it is only a part of a bigger picture that includes new physics hidden deep in the subatomic world or in the dark recesses of the universe. New information from experiments at the LHC will help us to find more of these missing pieces."