If the brain has a level of quantum functioning that permits superposition of possibilities and nonlocal control of states, then new answers to the problem of the consciousness/brain relation become available. My discussion is based on Yasue and co-workers’ account of a quantum field theory of brain functioning, called ‘quantum brain dynamics’. In the framework developed each person can properly state: ‘I am nonlocal control and my meanings are control variables.’ Cognition is identified with a conjugate reality and perception is (...) where quantum cognition, quantum memory and the quantum re-presentation of quantum reality meet and make a conjugate match. A new problem arises with regard to the world, however, since on this interpretation the one world-in-common is relinquished in favour of multiple parallel world-thrownnesses. But since quantum physics remains to this day deeply uncommonsensical, we should not hope to provide quantum solutions in consciousness studies without overturning the deepest convictions of common sense. (shrink)
Biological foundations of the psychoneural identity hypothesis are explicated and their implications discussed. "Consciousness per se" and phenomenal contents of consciousness per se are seen to be identical with events in the (unobserved) brain in accordance with Leibniz's Law, but only informationally equivalent to neural events as observed. Phenomenal content potentially is recoverable by empirical means from observed neural events, but the converse is not possible. Consciousness per se is identical with events which do not represent anything distal to sensory (...) receptor-transducer systems. Thus, on the psychoneural identity hypothesis, consciousness per se comprises directly physical events-in-themselves rather than being a Euclidean representation of physical events as is the case for phenomenal content. After comparing consciousness per se to "onta," a paradox is suggested: rather than being irreducible to physical reality, consciousness per se is the only experience congruent with the ultimate nature of physical reality as conceived by contemporary physics. (shrink)
Heidegger has provided a profound account of human existence in terms of the to-be-da. Even though Heidegger disregarded its brain machine basis (and even though brain scientists disregard Heidegger), the issue of the Dasein's machine basis is raised by the empirically extremely well confirmed “supervenience” of the Dasein on the brain. Since the Turing machine will not do as basis for the Dasein, as Dreyfus has shown, contemporary functionalism cannot resolve the issue. Instead an “existential functionalism,” which looks to some (...) other kind of machine than the computer, is called for. A machine that continuously tunes filters on input and that detects any match between abstract properties of the input flux and filter specifications was considered. A match points to those tuning rules whose abstract conditions have been satisfied by input, and the rules thus selected are enabled to generate their own fulfillment through mechanisms that can presently be only speculated about. Such a machine cannot sustain direct perception but is “methodologically solipsistic.” At the most general level of description, the wet machine that provides a supervenience base for the Dasein is to be considered a “windowless monad.”. (shrink)
Quantum degrees of freedom greatly enrich nonlinear systems, which can support nonlocal control and superposition of states. Basing my discussion on Yasue’s quantum brain dynamics, I suggest that the Cartesian subject is a cybernetic process rather than a substance: I am nonlocal control and my meanings are cybernetic variables. Meanings as nonlocal attunements are not mechanically determined, thus is it concluded we have freedom to mean.
Classical mechanics cannot naturally accommodate consciousness, whereas quantum mechanics can, but the Heisenberg/Stapp approach, in which consciousness randomly collapses the neural wave function, leaves the conscious function unrestricted by known physical principles. The Umezawa/Yasue approach, in which consciousness offers superposed possibilities to the match with sensory input, is based in the first physical principles of quantum field theory. Stapp thinks of the brain as a measuring device, like a Geiger counter, and overlooks that the brain upholds second-order quantum fields that (...) are symmetry-conserving with respect to reality. Consciousness is cybernetic rather than having a random function. (shrink)
A possible relation between Derrida's deconstruction of metaphysics and connectionism is explored by considering diffeacuterance in neural nets terms. First diffeacuterance, as the crossing of Saussurian difference and Freudian deferral, is modeled and then the fuller 'sheaf of diffeacuterance is taken up. The metaphysically conceived brain has two versions: in the traditional computational version the brain processes information like a computer and in the connectionist version the brain computes input vector to output vector transformations non-symbolically. The 'deconstructed brain' neither processes (...) information nor computes functions but is spontaneously economical. (shrink)
The "Chinese Room" controversy between Searle and Churchland and Churchland over whether computers can think is subjected to Derridean "deconstruction." There is a hidden complicity underlying the debate which upholds traditional subject/object metaphysics, while deferring to future empirical science an account of the problematic semantic relation between brain syntax and the perceptible world. I show that an empirical solution along the lines hoped for is not scientifically conceivable at present. An alternative account is explored, based on the productivity of neural (...) nets, in which the semantic relation is found to be dynamical - a spontaneous, stochastic, self-organizing process. (shrink)
Biological foundations of the psychoneural identity hypothesis are explicated and their implications discussed. “Consciousness per se” and phenomenal contents of consciousness per se are seen to be identical with events in the brain in accordance with Leibniz's Law, but only informationally equivalent to neural events as observed. Phenomenal content potentially is recoverable by empirical means from observed neural events, but the converse is not possible. Consciousness per se is identical with events which do not represent anything distal to sensory receptor-transducer (...) systems. Thus, on the psychoneural identity hypothesis, consciousness per se comprises directly physical events-in-themselves rather than being a Euclidean representation of physical events as is the case for phenomenal content. After comparing consciousness per se to “onta,” a paradox is suggested: rather than being irreducible to physical reality, consciousness per se is the only experience congruent with the ultimate nature of physical reality as conceived by contemporary physics. (shrink)
This book results from a group meeting held at the Institute for Scientific Exchange in Torino, Italy. The central aim was for scientists to think together in new ways with those in the humanities inspired by quantum theory and especially quantum brain theory. These fields of inquiry have suffered conceptual estrangement but now are ripe for rapprochement, if academic parochialism is put aside. A prevalent theme of the book is a moving away from individual elements and individual actors acting upon (...) each other, toward a coordinate hermeneutic dynamics that manifests as a coherent totality. Among the topics covered are image in photography and in neuroscience; language; time; brain and mathematics; quantum brain dynamics and quantum communication.". (shrink)
Freud considered dreams to be compositions of past waking experiences but this theory is untenable: (1) the process of compositing disparate memories into the seamless dream life is miraculous, and (2) authentically novel dream worlds are experienced. Dennett makes dreams into purely cognitive affairs, a matter of scripts, denying their perceptual appearing. I suggest that dreams are de novo constructions of actual perceptual worlds, not put together from memory scraps. Implications for waking perception are considered.