Mind-Matter Unification Project Lecture

To mark the first ten years of the Mind-Matter Unification Project at the Cavendish Laboratory, Professor Brian Josephson will give a lecture entitled

"Relating physical processes and mental processes: challenges and prospects"

The lecture will describe a relational approach to the problem of understanding the mind, and its applications within both conventional and unconventional areas. It will be held in the Pippard Lecture Theatre of the Cavendish Laboratory, Madingley Road, at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday May 27th., 1998.


A fundamental understanding of mental phenomena may lead to new dimensions of science where, for example, meaning plays an important role and there is an intimate connection between quantum phenomena and mental phenomena. To this end as well as in view of the intrinsic interest of the problem, one of the aims of the Mind-Matter Unification Project has been to try to establish a unifying set of concepts in terms of which mental phenomena can be considered at all levels.

One approach to the problem is to say that a number of different stories can be told about the mind or brain from different points of view (e.g. those of evolution, development, modelling in tems of neural networks, 'agents' that send messages to each other ...); all of which stories must be reconciled with each other somehow. Phenomena such as learning to walk and the use of language will be discussed in the light of this concept.

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