Empirical Evidence for the Non-Material Nature of Consciousness

Author: Schins, Juleon M.
Year:2004
Pages:284
ISBN:0-7734-6557-X
978-07734-6557-2
Price:199.95
A challenging work that founds a theory of knowledge on the mathematical insights of Kurt Gödel and Roger Penrose. This is a study on the dual (material and non-material) nature of consciousness. It is an answer to the tremendous problems materialism faces when trying to define consciousness, a recent phenomenon called the ‘incompleteness’ of sciences, and the philosophical urge to unify common-sense causality and quantum causality. The study also treats four examples of incompleteness (mathematics, physics, biology, and ethology) and shows that only the postulate of a non-material human mind can account for these empirical data.

Reviews

“In this fascinating and absorbing book Juleon Schins argues persuasively against the materialist view, now so widespread, that man is merely an animal or machine. He draws upon his deep knowledge of an astonishingly broad range of fields – philosophy (ancient, mediaeval, and modern), physics, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, computer theory, mathematical logic, and the latest research on animal behavior – to lay the foundations of a new synthesis. He writes in an accessible way about the deepest issues. A remarkable achievement.”
– Dr. Stephen M. Barr,
University of Delaware


“…a lucid and convincing challenge to the fashionable materialistic outlook of natural science. It deserves to be read widely, by all who are interested in questions about the relationship between science, philosophy, and morality….In order to explain the interaction between the mind and the brains the author develops a philosophical model in which the Aristotelian motion of formal causality is put into a new and interesting use. By revitalizing the old concept of hylemorphism, he succeeds in steering the middle course between a materialistic monism and a Cartesian dualism….I wish to recommend very strongly this profound, interesting and lucidly argued book.”
-Prof. Dr. R. A. te Velde, Radboud
Chair in the Relationships between Philosophy and Christianity,
University of Amsterdam


Table of Contents

Preface;
Introduction
Part I: Incompleteness

1. Mathematics: Hilbert, Gödel, Turing; Penrose’s ‘Blatant Reductio ad Absurdum’; Determinism, Procedures, and Algorithms; Matter and Mind
2. Physics: Pure Chance and Correlation; The Non-Local Nature of Causality; The Non-Temporal Nature of Causality
3. Biology: The Clockwork of Descartes; Hamilton’s Variation on the Darwinian Theme; Software and Genome – an Analogy; The Empirical Data; Locating Humans in Evolutionary History
4. Ethology: Nothing Wrong with Machines; Hume’s Inconsistency; The Empirical Data; Moral Characteristics of the Human Mind
Part II: The Model
5. Causality: Incompleteness in a Nutshell; Physical Causality; Quantum-Hylemorphic Causality; Idealism and Dualism; Aristotle
6. The Mind: Matter and Mind; Reading and Writing in the Brain
7. Consciousness: Gradualism on Trial; The Quantum-Hylemorphic Model of Consciousness; Suffering; Free Will
Epilogue
Appendices: Kurt Gödel on the Incompleteness Theorem;
Roger Penrose on Non-Algorithmic Procedures;
The Hylemorphic Foundation of Quantum Mechanics;
Comments on Niels Bohr;
Polarisation of Light;
Faster-than-Light Communication and Retro-Causation;
Axelrod and Hamilton on The Triumph of Tit for Tat;
Frans de Waal on Tender Altruism in Harsh Circumstances;
Patricia Churchland on Self-Representational Upgrades;
Daniel Wegner on Conscious Will;
Daniel Dennett on Descartes;
Ian Glynn on Consciousness;
Edward Wilson on Free Will;
Richard Dawkins on Free Will;
Roger Penrose on Free Will
Bibliography,
Indices