A Blueprint for the Hard Problem of Consciousness

A Problem of Records

Author(s): Paulo J. Negro

Pp: 169-179 (11)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681087665119010022

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The problem of records consists of matching neural signals with specific quale. The question does not contemplate why human brains generate subjective experiences, but the archives of the rules that match subjective experiences to objective brain states. Record keeping is a specific non-metaphysical aspect of the Hard Problem that is not algorithmically compressible and therefore non-solvable from a computational perspective. The answer to this question lies in the physics of the universe. Record keeping remains a difficult problem in quantum mechanics. Decoherence can be seen as the loss of information from a system into the environment. It is not clear which property of the environment carries the information from the decohered system. The development of a quantum explanation requires the identification of the property that makes the wave state respond to living things with subjectivity, and not with physical information such as position and momentum. Conscious experiences emerge from spatiotemporal patterns of integrated activity at levels that quantum theory cannot address. Processing of information across hierarchies is consistent with the generation of abstract concepts transcending their conditions of origin. Emergent properties that allow for conscious representation of objects require stable resonance of neuronal activity much beyond the levels of organization addressed by quantum physics. Quantum theories must reconcile recent neuroscience findings that emphasize the role of top-down information in human consciousness. However, strange loops may provide a mechanism for the generation of awareness, but they do not explain the subject who is the experiencer. The relational order I describe in this book is ultimately agency-based. To address the subject and its agency, or their local manifestations, as an “observable” quantum operator is a possible path towards the solution of the Hard Problem.

Keywords: Aboutness Problem, Agency as the Subject, Decoherence, Field Theories in Consciousness, Fermion, Fractality, Genomic Instantiation, Intelligent Design, Limits of Functionalism, Limits of Computational Theories, Microtubules, Metaphysical, Objective Reduction, Physics, Physical, Problem of Records, Quantum Physics, Subject as Quantum Operator, Subject as Emptiness.

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