6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Good and Real: Demystifying Paradoxes from Physics to Ethics (Bradford Books) (Hardcover)
The thesis of this book is that a basic misunderstanding of the nature of human consciousness lies at the root of at least three apparent paradoxes: the arrow of time (if the laws of physics are reversible, why are we clearly moving forward in time), the interpretation of quantum mechanics (how can the universe seemingly depend on whether or not someone is watching it), and free will (if the universe is in principal completely predictable, what does it mean to say we choose anything ?). The author's resolutions involve carefully re-examining the premises of each paradox under the assumption that consciousness is a process that is part of the physical universe and not something somehow separate.
If you are sure that consciousness is a supernatural phenomona, this book will be gibberish to you.
The author goes on to talk about counterfactual reasoning, which was a key to resolving the paradoxes. He posits that understanding descision theory that correctly incorporates counterfactual reasoning (there is a good explanation of evidential and causal decision theory and where they each fail) can explain several features of human ethics.
I started out in agreement with the book's premises, and found the arguments generally convincing and helpful, although I feel that the parts about counterfactual reasoning and ethics as a bit speculative.