Axiomathes 30 (3):289-312 (2020)

Authors
Jan Scheffel
KTH Royal Institute Of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
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 epistemologically 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 epistemologically 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.
Keywords Mind-body problem  Consciousness  Emergence  Reductionism  Non-reductive physicalism  Explanatory gap  Ontological reduction  Ontological limits  Gestalt psychology  Anomalous monism
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DOI 10.1007/s10516-019-09454-x
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References found in this work BETA

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Making Sense of Emergence.Jaegwon Kim - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.
Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem?Colin McGinn - 1989 - Mind 98 (July):349-66.
Emergence: Core Ideas and Issues.Jaegwon Kim - 2006 - Synthese 151 (3):547-559.

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