A Blueprint for the Hard Problem of Consciousness

A Brief Criticism of Theories

Author(s): Paulo J. Negro

Pp: 19-24 (6)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681087665119010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Two of the most popular theories that address the Hard Problem suggest that the minimal unit of consciousness could emerge from subcellular structures. Both theories neglect the importance of the subject and its agency. Both disregard the basic phenomenological definition of consciousness: there must be someone for someone to be conscious. According to the Integrated Information Theory (IIT), consciousness emanates from integrated information. The axioms at the basis of the IIT speak to the phenomenology of consciousness: consciousness exists, it is structured, it is informative, it is irreducible and it is unique or exclusive. However, the phenomenology of consciousness can only spring from the subject-object dialectic. Thus, the subject must exist a priori, as a premise, not as a conclusion. Integrated information does not provide a general cause of consciousness, but something implicit to it. The main IIT hypothesis is hopelessly flawed. A second popular theory, the Orchestrated Objective Reduction of quantum states postulates that a proto-element of consciousness accompanies any quantum reduction process. It anthropomorphizes quantum information.

Keywords: Anthropomorphic Bias, Agency and Consciousness, Consciousness in a Photodiode, Double-Slit Experiments, Effective Information, Integrated Information Introduction, IIT, IIT Axioms, IIT Fallacy, Minimal Unit of Consciousness, Missing Subject, Orch OR, Orchestrated Objective Reduction Introduction, Panpsychism, Phi-Consciousness, Proto-Consciousness, Quantum Consciousness, Quantum Gravity, Single-Celled Organisms, Subject-Object Dialectic.

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