
394When do parts form wholes? Integrated information as the restriction on mereological compositionNeuroscience of Consciousness. forthcoming.Under what conditions are material objects, such as particles, parts of a whole object? This is the composition question and is a longstanding open question in philosophy. Existing attempts to specify a nontrivial restriction on composition tend to be vague and face serious counterexamples. Consequently, two extreme answers have become mainstream: composition (the forming of a whole by its parts) happens under no or all conditions. In this paper, we provide a selfcontained introduction to the …Read more

325Have underground radiation measurements refuted the Orch OR theory?Physics of Life Reviews. forthcoming.In [1] it is claimed that, based on radiation emission measurements described in [2], a certain “variant” of the Orch OR theory has been refuted. I agree with this claim. However, the significance of this result for Orch OR per se is unclear. After all, the refuted “variant” was never advocated by anyone, and it contradicts the views of Hameroff and Penrose (hereafter: HP) who invented Orch OR [3]. My aim is to get clear on this situation. I argue that it is indeed reasonable to speak of “varian…Read more

1261Zeno Goes to Copenhagen: A Dilemma for MeasurementCollapse Interpretations of Quantum MechanicsIn M. C. Kafatos, D. Banerji & D. C. Struppa (eds.), Quantum and Consciousness Revisited, Dk Publisher. 2023.A familiar interpretation of quantum mechanics (one of a number of views sometimes labeled the "Copenhagen interpretation'"), takes its empirical apparatus at face value, holding that the quantum wave function evolves by the Schrödinger equation except on certain occasions of measurement, when it collapses into a new state according to the Born rule. This interpretation is widely rejected, primarily because it faces the measurement problem: "measurement" is too imprecise for use in a fundamental…Read more

447How the Many Worlds Interpretation brings Common Sense to Paradoxical Quantum ExperimentsIn Rik Peels, Jeroen de Ridder & René Van Woudenberg (eds.), Scientific Challenges to Common Sense Philosophy, Routledge. pp. 4060. 2020.The many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (MWI) states that the world we live in is just one among many parallel worlds. It is widely believed that because of this commitment to parallel worlds, the MWI violates common sense. Some go so far as to reject the MWI on this basis. This is despite its myriad of advantages to physics (e.g. consistency with relativity theory, mathematical simplicity, realism, determinism, etc.). Here, we make the case that common sense in fact favors the MWI. …Read more

607Filled/nonfilled pairs: An empirical challenge to the integrated information theory of consciousnessConsciousness and Cognition 97 (C): 103245. 2022.Perceptual fillingin for vision is the insertion of visual properties (e.g., color, contour, luminance, or motion) into one’s visual field, when those properties have no corresponding retinal input. This paper introduces and provides preliminary empirical support for filled/nonfilled pairs, pairs of images that appear identical, yet differ by amount of fillingin. It is argued that such image pairs are important to the experimental testing of theories of consciousness. We review recent experim…Read more

12651Consciousness and the Collapse of the Wave FunctionIn Shan Gao (ed.), Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics, Oxford University Press, Usa. 2022.Does consciousness collapse the quantum wave function? This idea was taken seriously by John von Neumann and Eugene Wigner but is now widely dismissed. We develop the idea by combining a mathematical theory of consciousness (integrated information theory) with an account of quantum collapse dynamics (continuous spontaneous localization). Simple versions of the theory are falsified by the quantum Zeno effect, but more complex versions remain compatible with empirical evidence. In principle, versi…Read more

142Reformulating Bell's theorem: The search for a truly local quantum theoryStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 70 3950. 2020.The apparent nonlocality of quantum theory has been a persistent concern. Einstein et al. and Bell emphasized the apparent nonlocality arising from entanglement correlations. While some interpretations embrace this nonlocality, modern variations of the Everettinspired many worlds interpretation try to circumvent it. In this paper, we review Bell's "nogo" theorem and explain how it rests on three axioms, local causality, no superdeterminism, and one world. Although Bell is often taken to have s…Read more

57Illusionist Integrated Information TheoryJournal of Consciousness Studies 26 (56): 141169. 2019.The integrated information theory is a promising theory of consciousness. However, there are several problems with IIT's axioms and postulates. Moreover, IIT entails that some twodimensional grids of identical logic gates have more consciousness than humans. Many have found this prediction to be implausible, and as will be argued here, this prediction also exacerbates the socalled 'hard problem of consciousness'. Recently, it has been argued that if we treat the phenomenological aspects of cons…Read more

155InterpretationNeutral Integrated Information TheoryJournal of Consciousness Studies 26 (12): 76106. 2019.Integrated information theory is a theory of consciousness that was originally formulated, and is standardly still expressed, in terms of controversial interpretations of its own ontological and epistemological basis. These form the orthodox interpretation of IIT. The orthodox epistemological interpretation is the axiomatic method, whereby IIT is ultimately derived from, justified by, and beholden to a set of phenomenological axioms. The orthodox ontological interpretation is panpsychism, accord…Read more

185In defence of the selflocation uncertainty account of probability in the manyworlds interpretationStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 66 (C): 1423. 2019.We defend the manyworlds interpretation of quantum mechanics against the objection that it cannot explain why measurement outcomes are predicted by the Born probability rule. We understand quantum probabilities in terms of an observer's selflocation probabilities. We formulate a probability postulate for the MWI: the probability of selflocation in a world with a given set of outcomes is the absolute square of that world's amplitude. We provide a proof of this postulate, which assumes the quan…Read more

389Is QBism the Future of Quantum Physics? (review)Quantum Times 2017. 2017.The purpose of this book is to explain Quantum Bayesianism (‘QBism’) to “people without easy access to mathematical formulas and equations” (45). Qbism is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that “doesn’t meddle with the technical aspects of the theory [but instead] reinterprets the fundamental terms of the theory and gives them new meaning” (3). The most important motivation for QBism, enthusiastically stated on the book’s cover, is that QBism provides “a way past quantum theory’s paradoxes…Read more

220Epistemic TwoDimensionalism and Arguments from Epistemic MisclassificationAustralasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2): 375389. 2013.According to Epistemic TwoDimensional Semantics (E2D), expressions have a counterfactual intension and an epistemic intension. Epistemic intensions reflect cognitive significance such that sentences with necessary epistemic intensions are a priori. We defend E2D against an influential line of criticism: arguments from epistemic misclassification. We focus in particular on the arguments of Speaks [2010] and Schroeter [2005]. Such arguments conclude that E2D is mistaken from (i) the claim that E2…Read more

121Mass additivity and a priori entailmentSynthese 192 (5): 13731392. 2015.The principle of mass additivity states that the mass of a composite object is the sum of the masses of its elementary components. Mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics but false in special relativity. Physicists have explained why mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics by reducing it to Newton’s microphysical laws. This reductive explanation does not fit well with deducibility theories of reductive explanation such as the modern Nagelian theory of reduction, and the a priori en…Read more

54Tests for intrinsicness testedPhilosophical Studies 173 (11): 29352950. 2016.Various tests have been proposed as helps to identify intrinsic properties. This paper compares three prominent tests and shows that they fail to pass adequate verdicts on a set of three properties. The paper examines whether improved versions of the tests can reduce or remove these negative outcomes. We reach the sceptical conclusion that whereas some of the tests must be discarded as inadequate because they don’t yield definite results, the remaining tests depend for their application on the d…Read more

802Four Tails Problems for Dynamical Collapse TheoriesStudies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 49 1018. 2015.The primary quantum mechanical equation of motion entails that measurements typically do not have determinate outcomes, but result in superpositions of all possible outcomes. Dynamical collapse theories (e.g. GRW) supplement this equation with a stochastic Gaussian collapse function, intended to collapse the superposition of outcomes into one outcome. But the Gaussian collapses are imperfect in a way that leaves the superpositions intact. This is the tails problem. There are several ways of maki…Read more
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