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Mind as Hardware and Matter as Software

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Abstract:

We present an argument against physicalism in two steps: 1) Physics reduces the world to a mathematical structure; 2) The notion of 'structure' only makes sense when carried by something and interpreted by something else. Physicalism does not allow such a carrier and interpreter at a fundamental level, hence it must be wrong. An extended notion of Mind is presented as the fundamental 'hardware' which is necessary by the argument. In particular, qualia correspond to the 'monitor component' of mind. Some ideas are presented on how to extend this mind-matter relation to a more elaborate picture: (1) A system of two complementary reductionisms (one physical, the other mental) may hint toward a deeper reality in which mind and the physical world are closely entangled. (2) A division of mind into a conscious 'monitor' and an unconscious 'processor' is suggested using the analogy of dreams. Finally, the problem of Solipsism and the existence of 'minds other than my own' is discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institut fur Theoretische Physik, Philosophenweg 16, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany., Email: J.Schwindt@thphys.uni-heidelberg.de

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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