Piotr Witas
Medical University of Łódź, Poland
I argue that our direct experience and some physical facts do not go well with an understanding of perception as a mechanism producing a representation of a ''truly'' outer world. Instead, it is much more coherent to treat what is traditionally considered an image in this context as a closed structure equipped in its own ontology, replacing the ''truly'' outer one from the point of view of an agent possessing it. In such a framework, the notion of existence is taken to be defined by consciousness in a way similar to qualia, making it subjective on the one hand, and reducing it to a tool on the other. This implies, in turn, that we need a form of mind-brain dualism; the best we can do in such circumstances about explaining consciousness as an epistemic device - a role intuitively imposing itself in a variety of situations - is to embed it in an abstract ontology merely serving the purpose of a ''true'' reality with the help of the mind-brain link. Obviously, the approach favors subjectivity as a foundation in the ontological sense. Objectivity is considered here only as a suitably understood product from an ''observer's'' point of view, although a functional and useful one. The paper is addressed to readers with interest in both the mind-body problem and ontological foundations of present-day physics, specifically quantum theory. The main conclusion can be absorbed without the quantum part, although it is a bit less convincing then.
Keywords mind-body problem  consciousness  subjectivity  perception  quantum measurement problem  interpretation of quantum mechanics  reductionism
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