Alwyn Scott:
STAIRWAY TO THE MIND (Copernicus, 1995)

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Scott provides an interdisciplinary overview of consciousness-related topics and advances his own thesis, which is neither materialistic nor dualistic.
Scott recalls that Einstein was unhappy with Quantum Theory and thought of it as incomplete. He also argues that it may be an approximation to a not yet discovered nonlinear theory, which would remove Heisenberg's uncertainty principle (which is implied by the linearity of Schrodinger's equation).
Cells contain a structure called cytoskeleton, which is made of a protein called "tibulin", which forms cylinders called "microtubules".
Scott applies Eigen's model of "hypercycles" to consciousness: consciousness originates from a procedure which is analogous to the one that originates life. Simple cells originate complex cells which originate hypercomplex cells.
Scott examines in detail the neurophysiology of the neuron and concludes that the nerve impulse is an entity of its own, and can be viewed as the "atomic spark of thought". The dynamics of nerve impulse is governed by nonlinear equations.
Under closer scrutiny, it appears that, far from being a simple and neutral unit of transmission, a neuron has a mind of its own.
Scott relies also on the mathematical discipline of neural networks.
Scott reviews the philosophy of William James, George Santayana, behaviorism, Alan Turing, Popper & Eccles, Roger Penrose, Daniel Dennett, John Searle, Erich Harth, Henry Stapp.
A hierarchical view of mental organization (a "stairway" of steps, each one emerging from the previous one) is used to propose a new theory of consciousness. Underlying the account is a fundamental reliance on nonlinear dynamics to explain the nature of biological organisms and the brain. In this model materialism and dualism can coexist.

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