A Framework for Studying Consciousness

CONSCIOUSNESS: Ideas and Research for the Twenty-First Century 9 (1):29 (2022)
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Abstract

Scholars have wrestled with "consciousness", a major scholar calling it the "hard problem". Some thirty-plus years after the Towards a Science of Consciousness, we do not seem to be any closer to an answer to "What is consciousness?". Seemingly irresolvable metaphysical problems are addressed by bootstrapping, provisional assumptions, not unlike those used by logicians and mathematicians. I bootstrap with the same ontology and epistemology applicable to everything we apprehend. Here, I argue for a version of the unity of opposites, a form of neutral monism. Something exists because of what it is not; nothing can exist by itself, singularities (analogous to monads), expressing the model. Applying this most fundamental law to the consciousness problem, the physical (movement) comes into being simultaneously as the mental (stasis), each displayed by a field that is variegated (ranging from creative to entropic processes). Such is in keeping with how the singularity emerged as our universe, the same form that may account for sub-Planck-scale phenomena. Overall, like the most fundamental law, deep structures are imminent in our universe, both as objects and processes.

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Jeremy Horne
University of Florida

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