Human and Social Studies 7 (2):89-106 (2018)

Progress in neuroscience has left a central question of psychism unanswered: what is consciousness? Modeling the psyche from a computational perspective has helped to develop cognitive neurosciences, but it has also shown their limits, of which the definition, description and functioning of consciousness remain essential. From Rene Descartes, who tackled the issue of psychism as the brain-mind dualism, to Chambers, who defined qualia as the tough, difficult problem of research in neuroscience, many hypotheses and theories have been issued to encompass the phenomenon of consciousness. Neuroscience specialists, such as Giulio Tononi or David Eagleman, consider consciousness as a phenomenon of emergence of all processes that take place in the brain. This hypothesis has the advantage of being supported by progress made in the study of complex systems in which the issue of emergence can be mathematically formalized and analyzed by physical-mathematical models. The current tendency to associate neural networks within the broad scope of network science also allows for a physical-mathematical formalization of phenomenology in neural networks and the construction of information-symbolic models. The extrapolation of emergence at the level of physical systems, biological systems and psychic systems can bring new models that can also be applied to the concept of consciousness. The meaning and significance that seem to structure the nature of consciousness is found as direction of evolution and teleological finality, of integration in the whole system and in any complex system at all scales. Starting from the wave-corpuscle duality in quantum physics, we can propose a model for structuring reality, based on the emergence of systems that contribute to the integration and coherence of the entire reality. Physical-mathematical models based mainly on topology can provide a mathematical formalization path, and the paradigm of information could allow the development of a pattern of emergence, that is common to all systems, including the psychic system, the difference being given only by the degree of information complexity. Thus, the mind-brain duality, which has been dominating the representation on psychism for a few centuries, could be solved by an informational approach, describing the connection between object and subject, reality and human consciousness, between mind and brain, thus unifying the perspective on natural sciences and humanities.
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DOI 10.2478/hssr-2018-0017
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