A Blueprint for the Hard Problem of Consciousness

Consciousness: Computable, Noncomputable or Both?

Author(s): Paulo J. Negro

Pp: 10-18 (9)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681087665119010006

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The computability issue provides a pivot for understanding the origin of consciousness. A noncomputable origin of consciousness implies that analogic processing of information supported by real numbers and relying on the laws of physics gives rise to subjectivity. In contrast, a computable origin would mean that processing of information relies on algorithms such as those governing digital computing. Neither binary logic nor formal mathematical systems govern the evolution of biological systems. Kurt Gödel formally demonstrated that axiomatic systems do not prove the truth and consistency of all theorems, thus providing evidence that formal mathematical systems cannot fully capture the creative processes that take place in the human brain. However, computational approaches to brain function yield extraordinarily successful results. The operations that underlie the realization of awareness should capture algorithmically compressible regularities. Crucially, silicon and brain computation share a fundamental characteristic: large complex systems must rely on a hierarchical organization where each level becomes increasingly more abstract. Nonetheless, as of yet, no theory has explained how qualia arise from neuro computation. Altogether, these considerations support dividing the Hard Problem into symbiotic computational and non-computational aspects.

Keywords: Abstraction in Computation Science, Algorithms, Axiomatic Method, Brain Operations, Computational Consciousness, EEG Spatiotemporal Patterns, Functional States, Godel’s Proof, Noncomputational Consciousness, Non Computational Subject, Phenomenal and Operational Isomorphism Real Numbers, Phenomenal Transparency, Physical Instantiation, Primitives, Table Lookup, Tractability, Turing Machine.

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