Mind-Matter Interactions: Overcoming Descartes’ Dualism | Markus Maier

Dr. Markus Maier is a professor of psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich, Germany, and he is head of the research unit “Emotion and Motivation”. His research focuses on the relationship between mind and matter, precognition and free will.

Summary: Theories about the relationship between mind and matter have a long-lasting tradition in the philosophy of mind and have also been widely discussed within the field of parapsychology since its beginning as an academic discipline. Dualistic approaches that treat mind and matter as different substances or the materialist view of mind being an epiphenomenon of brain activities have difficulties to explain the emergence of consciousness (hard problem of consciousness) and volitional activities that are caused by an autonomous, i.e. physically undetermined mind (hard problem of free will). Dual-aspect monism, such as the Pauli-Jung Model (PJM) provides a possible solution to both problems by proposing an interface, the Unus Mundus, that mediates between conscious mind and physical matter. This interface is considered to constitute a third from of reality, that supplements Descartes dualism of subjective (res cogitans) and objective (res extensa) reality. This reality is neither subjective nor objective by lies in the middle between them and will therefore be called “subjective reality”. Any effect that is mediated by the subjective reality such as intentional impulses caused by an individual’s mind (e.g. acts of free will) can be considered as meaningful and goal-oriented reality creations. Empirical demonstrations of the existence of such a subjective reality have to deal with the impossibility of objectifying subjective, i.e. not fully objectively existing, aspects of nature. This third form of reality needs therefore to be addressed in a reduced objective, but still scientifically valid manner. A special variant of a micro-PK study will be presented to describe a potential way of finding evidence for the existence of the proposed subjective reality.


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Published on July 23, 2023