On the Solvability of the Mind-Body Problem

Abstract

The mind-body problem is analyzed in a physicalist perspective. By combining the concepts of emergence and algorithmic information theory in a thought experiment employing a basic nonlinear process, it is shown that epistemically strongly emergent properties may develop in a physical system. Turning to the significantly more complex neural network of the brain it is subsequently argued that consciousness is epistemically emergent. Thus reductionist understanding of consciousness appears not possible; the mind-body problem does not have a reductionist solution. The ontologically emergent character of consciousness is then identified from a combinatorial analysis relating to universal limits set by quantum mechanics, implying that consciousness is fundamentally irreducible to low-level phenomena.

Author's Profile

Jan Scheffel
KTH Royal Institute Of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

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2018-05-05

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