Consciousness and Complexity: Neurobiological Naturalism and Integrated Information Theory

Consciousness and Cognition 100 (C):103281 (2022)
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In this paper, we take a meta-theoretical stance and aim to compare and assess two conceptual frameworks that endeavor to explain phenomenal experience. In particular, we compare Feinberg & Mallatt’s Neurobiological Naturalism (NN) and Tononi’s and colleagues' Integrated Information Theory (IIT), given that the former pointed out some similarities between the two theories (Feinberg & Mallatt 2016c-d). To probe their similarity, we first give a general introduction to both frameworks. Next, we expound a ground plan for carrying out our analysis. We move on to articulate a philosophical profile of NN and IIT, addressing their ontological commitments and epistemological foundations. Finally, we compare the two point-by-point, also discussing how they stand on the issue of artificial consciousness.

Author Profiles

Francesco Ellia
University of Bologna
Robert Chis-Ciure
University of Wisconsin, Madison


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