Reviews of topical problems

Concept of consciousness in the context of quantum mechanics

Lebedev Physical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky prosp. 53, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation

Conceptual problems of the quantum theory of measurement are considered, which are embodied in well-known paradoxes and in Bell’s inequalities. Arguments are advanced in favor of the viewpoint that these problems may hardly be solved without direct inclusion of the observer’s consciousness in the theoretical description of a quantum measurement. Discussed in this connection is the so-called many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics proposed by Everett, as is the extension of Everett’s concept, which consists in the assumption that separating the quantum state components corresponding to alternative measurements is not only associated with the observer’s consciousness but is completely identified with it. This approach is shown to open up qualitatively new avenues for the unification of physics and psychology and, more broadly, of the sciences and the humanities. This may lead to an extension of the theory of consciousness and shed light on significant and previously misunderstood phenomena in the sphere of consciousness.

Text can be downloaded in Russian. English translation is available on IOP Science.
PACS: 01.70.+w, 03.65.−w, 03.65.Ta, 03.67.−a (all)
DOI: 10.1070/PU2005v048n04ABEH002075
Citation: Menskii M B "Concept of consciousness in the context of quantum mechanics" Phys. Usp. 48 389–409 (2005)
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Оригинал: Менский М Б «Концепция сознания в контексте квантовой механики» УФН 175 413–435 (2005); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0175.200504c.0413

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