An alt theory of consciousness could hold clues about placebos & nocebos

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It's not fully understood how placebos work, but an alternative theory of consciousness could hold some clues
https://theconversation.com/its-still-no...ues-165999

EXCERPTS: If you’ve had both of your COVID vaccinations, you may have suffered some side-effects – perhaps headaches, fatigue, fever or a sore arm. These effects are mainly caused by your immune system’s reaction to the vaccine. But most scientists agree that there is another cause: the human mind.

The ability of the mind to generate the symptoms of illness is known as the “nocebo” effect. The nocebo effect is the unpopular twin brother of the placebo effect. Whereas the placebo effect alleviates pain and the symptoms of illness, the nocebo effect does the opposite: it generates pain and symptoms.

A 2018 study found that almost half of participants in placebo trials experience side-effects, even though they are taking inert substances. There was a similar finding in the first major trial of the Pfizer COVID vaccine in 2020. In the placebo group – who were not given the vaccine – between a quarter and a third of people reported fatigue, a similar number reported headaches, and around 10% reported muscle pain.

[...] Unlike its unpopular brother, the placebo effect is so well known that it needs little introduction. But in many ways, the placebo effect has become so familiar that it’s easy to forget how strange it really is. It’s bizarre that pain relief and healing can take place without actual treatment. And that powerful positive physiological effects can occur without any real physiological intervention.

[...] Indeed, the difficulties of explaining consciousness purely in terms of brain processes have grown so acute that some philosophers and scientists have adopted an alternative view: that consciousness is not a direct product of the brain, but a fundamental universal quality – like mass or gravity.

This is something I look at in my recent book, Spiritual Science and it’s a view that has been adopted by some contemporary philosophers – including David Chalmers and Thomas Nagel. Chalmers suggests that consciousness “does not seem to be derivable from physical laws” and believes it could be “considered a fundamental feature, irreducible to anything more basic.” Nagel also suggests that the “mind is not just an afterthought or an accident or add on, but a basic aspect of nature.”

Other scientists and philosophers - such as Christof Koch and Phillip Goff - have adopted similar theories, which suggest that the mind or consciousness is a basic quality of material particles.

These approaches are not yet widely accepted, and would need to gather more evidence to support them. And there are some difficult issues that need to be addressed... (MORE - details)
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#2
Magical Realist Online
Quote:Chalmers suggests that consciousness “does not seem to be derivable from physical laws” and believes it could be “considered a fundamental feature, irreducible to anything more basic.” Nagel also suggests that the “mind is not just an afterthought or an accident or add on, but a basic aspect of nature.”

Consciousness is not only universal and fundamental. It is also essential to any state of being. It is an irreducible part of being and integral to how the world, and ourselves, occurs to us. This is shown by what happens to everything when we become unconscious. The world splits in two--a purely objective and in-itself domain void of an observer, and pure empty nonexistence. Both are only half-real fictions resolved by the presence of consciousness. There is no world without consciousness, and there is no consciousness without us.
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