Quantum mechanics requires that the observer be part of the measurement; thus quantum measurements must include consciousness:
Angus Menuge: Well, likewise, what if physics will conclude finally that we can’t reduce consciousness to any ordinary physical phenomena? We just recognize it as its own kind of thing. And in fact, we need it in order to have a complete physics. After all, if you want the theory of everything that Stephen Hawking wants, in the end, as Thomas Nagel said, the theory of everything has to include the scientist as well as the world the scientist observes.
If I am going to have an account that fully explains what’s going on when a scientist measures a system in quantum physics and deals with entanglement and all these other things, what if it turns out that that account must appeal to consciousness? Does consciousness then become part of physics?
If it does, then — in a way — the debate between physicalists and dualists dissipates because the physical has just absorbed consciousness.
But the dualists would have won in the sense that consciousness doesn’t reduce to any of these other things. That is what they’ve been claiming for a few centuries…News, “ Can a materialist consciousness theory survive quantum mechanics?” at Mind Matters News
Takehome: If quantum measurements must include consciousness, the dualists are correct, says philosopher Angus Menuge: Consciousness exists in its own right.
Here are the earlier discussions in this podcast:
Part 1: Angus Menuge explains why “red” is such a problem in philosophy. “Red” is an example of qualia, concepts we can experience that have no physical existence otherwise. Materialism would be easy if it weren’t for concepts like “red” which are quite real but abstracted from physical reality.
Part 2: Panpsychism is, in Angus Menuge’s view, a desperate move. But he thinks it is worth keeping an eye on as an understandable reaction to materialism. Menuge argues that one problem for panpsychism is that consciousness is unitary; it does not seem composed of innumerable tiny proto-conscious elements.
Part 3: Can quantum mechanics help decipher consciousness? Free will? Nobel laureate Roger Penrose, among others, looked to the quantum world for models. Angus Menuge thinks that physicists John von Neumann’s and Henry Stapp’s models of quantum mechanics provide some directions.