Quantum Physics, Consciousness, and Free Will

David Hodgson

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195178548
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Quantum Physics, Consciousness, and Free Will

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This article examines the relevance of quantum mechanics (QM) to the free will debate. First, it outlines how QM involves three features potentially of relevance to free will, namely indeterminism, nonlocality, and what may be called observer-participation. Second, it looks at interpretations of QM that might be seen as restoring determinism to physics, namely the many-worlds interpretation and the Bohm interpretation. Third, it considers some objections that have been raised to the notion that QM is relevant to free will. Fourth, it reviews the approaches of Roger Penrose, Henry Sapp, and John Eccles. It concludes with some of the author's own thoughts.

Keywords: quantum mechanics; indeterminism; nonlocality; observer-participation; many-worlds interpretation; Bohm interpretation; Roger Penrose; Henry Sapp; John Eccles

Article.  11737 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science ; Philosophy of Mind

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