A handbook of terms used in chaos and quantum chaos by W.-H Steeb

By W.-H Steeb

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This leaves open only the second possibility, which is that nonalgorithmic methods must sometimes be used. But what is the nature of this nonalgorithmic way of divining the truth of mathematical statements? If the physical universe indeed behaves in accordance with rules of quantum theory, then it acts in some sense algorithmically, provided the quantum element of chance is simulated by a (pseudo) random number generator. Thus there would be, in principle, at least in a closed quantum universe containing only a finite number of particles, and in some discrete step-bystep approximation, a universal algorithm controlling all brain processes, and hence, in our “naturalistic” theory, all conscious processes as well.

The I that knows them cannot itself be an aggregate. Neither for psychological purposes need it be considered to be an unchanging metaphysical entity like the Soul, or a principle like the pure Ego, viewed as “out of time”. It is a Thought, at each moment different from that of the last moment, but appropriative of the latter, together with all that the latter called its own . . 25 It is this “Jamesian mind” that our quantum model explains: it involves no “knower” that stands behind the thoughts themselves.

From the brain, composed not of ordinary matter but of some other, special kind of stuff, is dualism, and it is deservedly in disrepute today . . Ever since Gilbert Ryle’s classic attack on what he called Descartes’s “dogma of the ghost in the machine”, dualists have been on the defensive. The prevailing wisdom, variously expressed and argued for, is materialism: there is one sort of stuff, namely matter—the physical stuff of physics, chemistry, and physiology—and the mind is somehow nothing but a physical phenomenon.

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