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How Can Physics Underlie the Mind?: Top-Down Causation in the Human Context
Springer | Complexity | May 25, 2016 | ISBN-10: 3662498073 | 471 pages | pdf | 8.14 mb
Authors: Ellis, George
Addresses one of science and philosophys biggest puzzles: how complex structures that emerge from atoms and molecules can become causative agent
Argues that the human mind and resultant social agency has a special status among complex systems
Is fully consistent with present day physics, but also takes into account key features of biology and how the brain functions
Will appeal to general and academic readers alike
Physics underlies all complexity, including our own existence: how is this possible? How can our own lives emerge from interactions of electrons, protons, and neutrons? This book considers the interaction of physical and non-physical causation in complex systems such as living beings, and in particular in the human brain, relating this to the emergence of higher levels of complexity with real causal powers. In particular it explores the idea of top-down causation, which is the key effect allowing the emergence of true complexity and also enables the causal efficacy of non-physical entities, including the value of money, social conventions, and ethical choices.