DOI: 10.14704/nq.2012.10.4.619

Reply to a Critic: “Mind Efforts, Quantum Zeno Effect and Environmental Decoherence”

Henry Stapp


The original Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics was offered as a pragmatic methodology for making predictions about future experiences on the basis of knowledge gleaned from past experiences. It was, therefore, fundamentally about mental realities, and refrained from speaking about a more inclusive reality. Von Neumann created, later, what is called the orthodox formulation of quantum mechanics. It incorporates all of the Copenhagen-based predictions about connections between experiences into a rationally coherent conception of a dynamically integrated psychophysical reality. Von Neumann’s formulation allows the same laws and concepts that are used to make predictions about atomic phenomena to account for the capacity of our mental intentions to influence our bodily actions. Danko Georgiev claims to have found logical flaws in my use of von Neumann’s theory to explain this causal effectiveness of our mental intentions. The bulk of Georgiev’s paper gives a detailed discussion of a system with just two base states, up and down. This is not an adequate model of the pertinent physical system, a human brain. Georgiev’s attempt to relate his two-state work to the case at hand is flawed by statements such as “…in von Neumann’s formulation there are no such things as minds, spirits, ghosts, or souls, …” Von Neumann’s formulation certainly does involve minds. Georgiev’s choice of words seems designed to suggest that I am introducing mental qualities and assumptions that go beyond what are already parts of von Neumann’s theory. I explain here why these allegations, and all his other allegations of errors, are incorrect.

NeuroQuantology | December 2012 | Volume 10 | Issue 4| Page 601-605


Quantum Zeno Effect; mind; brain; Stapp’s interactive dualism; decoherence

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