Vol. 44, Numbers 3 and 4, Summer and Autumn 2023

Consciousness from the Perspective of the QBIT Theory
Majid Beshkar, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

In this paper it is argued that qualia are physical. A conscious percept (or a quale) is a physical system that consists of many elements (called qubits) that are so highly (and intricately) ordered that they collectively form a unified whole which is more than and different from the sum of its parts. On the other hand, subliminal and preconscious percepts are physical systems whose elements are separate, disorganized, and incoherent. Furthermore, it is argued that the same fundamental physical mechanism that underlies the transition from fluidity to superfluidity (and the transition from conductivity to superconductivity), is also responsible for the transition from perception to something that could be called super-perception (or consciousness).

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Majid Beshkar, D.D.S., North Kargar Street, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran 1439955991. Email: majid.beshkar@gmail.com

Is a Conscious Robot a Scientific Hypothesis or Just a Faith?
Sam S. Rakover, Haifa University

I try to show that the hypothesis that a very sophisticated robot may develop consciousness and understanding is not a scientific hypothesis. First I argue that a robot that perfectly imitates human behavior will not necessarily be endowed with consciousness. I then argue, based on a thought experiment that I call the “robotic-mom,” that the hypothesis about a conscious robot is just a matter of faith.

I would like to express my gratitude to the journal editor, Raymond Russ, for his insightful and useful comments that improved greatly the paper. Correspondence should be addressed to Sam S. Rakover, Ph. D. Department of Psychology, Haifa University, Haifa, Israel 31905. Email: rakover@psy.haifa.ac.il

The Strange Nature of Quantum Entanglement: Can Observers of Entangled Photons Become Entangled With Each Other?
Steven M. Rosen, College of Staten Island, City University of New York

This paper seeks to extend my recent work on quantum perception (Rosen, 2021) to the phenomenon of quantum entanglement. In the first section, I summarize the earlier work, noting how the conventional approach to observing photons is rooted in an objectivist philosophy that serves as an obstacle to probing the underlying quantum reality. In the summary provided, I bring out the intimate relationship between observer and observed in the quantum world, and the need for a new, proprioceptive mode of observation linked to phenomenological philosophy. The second part of the paper builds on the earlier effort by applying the proprioceptive observation of photons to the phenomenon of entanglement. The basic proposition is that proprioceptive observers of entangled photons may become entangled with each other. I propose an experiment that tests this hypothesis. In concluding, I explore the possibility that a quantum internet of proprioceptively engaged participants could create an ontologically entangled society.

Correspondence concerning the article should be addressed to Steven M. Rosen, Ph.D., 104-2890 Point Grey Road, Vancouver, B.C., V6K 1A9, Canada. Email: stevenrosen@shaw.ca

Bealer to Kripke, On Mental Properties
Vitor Manuel Dinis Pereira, Universidade de Lisboa and University of Religions and Denominations

Bealer’s argument against Kripke is presented. We then show how Kripke could counteract it. Our idea that the identity materialist may have the possibility of explaining why type psychophysical identities only appear to be contingent (but are necessary), because we confuse the exemplified properties (one property) with the concepts that subsume them (two distinct concepts), is supported by McGinn’s and Nagel’s materialistic intuitions. It remains to be seen whether a critique of Kripke like that of Bealer runs counter to the exemplified properties and the concepts that subsume them. We argue that Bealer’s criticism of Kripke does not contradict it. McGinn’s and Nagel’s intuitions support our idea. What we want to show is that, even if, from the anti-materialist side of the debate about the mind–body identity thesis, Bealer and Kripke agree on the general anti-materialist strategy but not on the strategies of phenomenological explanation (which for Bealer, Kripke neglects) and descriptivist explanation (which for Bealer is wrong), the disagreement between Bealer and Kripke still leaves open the materialist explanation of one property and two concepts. If there is an explanation for the illusion of contingency, it is quite possible that these type psychophysical identities are indeed necessary.

Acknowledgements. In memoriam, Armando Amado, Pedro Monteiro. Thanks to some neighbours and my neighbourhood administration, they know why. My mother, Maria Dulce.  My aunt, Maria Ivone. Joaquim Teixeira, Susana Lourenço, Gonçalo Miguel, Adriana Gomes, and Neuza Gonçalves. The anonymous reviewer. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Vitor Pereira, Universidade de Lisboa, Alameda da Universidade, 1600–214 Lisboa, Portugal. Email: vpereira1@campus.ul.pt

Critical Notice

The Socially Constructed Self Still Does not Make Sense
Stuart T. Doyle, University of Kansas

Book Title: Selfless: The Social Creation of “You.”
Book Author: Brian Lowery. New York: Harper Collins, 2023, 272 pages, $29.99 hardcover.

Brian Lowery, a social psychologist and Professor at Stanford Business School, has written a new book in which he argues that the self, the “I” with which we each identify, is constituted of interactions with other people and groups of people. He claims that there is no individual essence left over without our relationships to friends, family, nations, communities, races, genders, cultures, and so on. Many writers have already made similar arguments for socially constituted selves. The view goes back at least to the teachings of Confucius and of Aristotle. Lowery does not form any new deductive arguments, as a philosopher might attempt. Instead he sprinkles brief versions of standard arguments within a tapestry of purportedly relevant empirical findings. Citing studies (some of which fail to replicate) is where Lowery brings his social psychology background to bear on the issue. His is a somewhat inductive approach. Though some of the psychology experiments mentioned in the book are interesting, they do not directly imply a socially constituted self. And the bits of deductive argumentation do not quite work either. The same arguments do not even work in their more complete forms, which have been elaborated by others. In this critical notice, I will show the flaws in Lowery’s arguments, as well as in their more robust versions from Charles Taylor and Kenneth Gergen.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Stuart T. Doyle, Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, 1415 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, Kansas 66045. Email: stuartdoyle1@gmail.com

Book Review

Understanding Human Conduct: The Innate and Acquired Meaning of Life
Book Author: Sam S. Rakover.

Reviewed by Mordechai (Moti) Rimor, College of Management, Rishon Le’Zion, Israel.

The author, Sam Rakover, comes from a background of research in psychology, in which he has a broad reputation in empirical experiments on animals (fear and avoidance learning) and humans (face perception and recognition). He has also a broad and deep background in the philosophy of science and mind, and he uses a psychological and methodological framework to analyze the difficult and complex issue of the meaning of life.

Correspondence concerning this review should be addressed to Moti Rimor, Ph.D., College of Management (emeritus), Academic Studies Division, Department of Behavioral Sciences, 2 Elie Wiesel Str., Rishon Le’Zion, Israel. Email: moti12rimor@gmail.com