On 12/31/2013 7:09 AM, Edgar L. Owen wrote:

I'll present a brief overview of my theory of consciousness from my book on Reality here. If anyone is interested I can elaborate.

To understand consciousness we first must clearly distinguish between consciousness ITSELF and the contents of consciousness that become conscious by appearing within consciousness itself.

The nature of consciousness itself, why things seem conscious, is the subject of Chalmer's 'Hard Problem', whereas the various structures of the contents of consciousness are the so called 'Easy Problems', the subjects of the study of mind.

Chalmer's formulation of the Hard Problem is 'How does consciousness arise from a physical brain?' Let's generalized this a little to 'How does consciousness arise from a physical world?'

The key to the solution is understanding that the world is not 'physical' in the sense assumed. It is not a passive clockwork Newtonian world that just sits there waiting to be brought into consciousness by an observer. In fact the notion of observation is intrinsic to reality itself in a manner that reality actively manifests most of the defining attributes of reality on its own and all the conscious observer adds is participation in that process from a particular locus with a particular computational nformation structure.

I'll explain how this works though the theory is subtle and requires some work, and there is a lot to it I don't cover here.

In ancient times there was an extramission (emission) theory of vision, that objects were seen because the eyes shown light on them. Today we still have the functionally identical emission theory of consciousness, that things become conscious because mind somehow shines consciousness on them.

Both theories are wrong. Things are conscious because reality continually SELF-MANIFESTS itself. It continually computes itself into existence, and existence self-manifests. It is immanent because it is actually real, and actually present, and has actual being. This is what I call Ontological Energy (OE). Things are really really real, they are really actually there, and consciousness just opens its 'eyes' and participates in this reality. Rather than the mind shining consciousness onto things, things manifest their actual reality, their actual real presence in reality, to whatever interacts with them, including human brains.

The only thing an individual observer brings to consciousness is an interaction with reality from a particular location, and an interaction with the information contents of consciousness filtered through its own perceptual cognitive structure.

Thus consciousness itself is simply the immanent actual real presence of reality, whereas the information structures of the contents of conscious are due to information computations of the brain interacting with information from external reality.

This is the best, most convincing theory of consciousness of which I'm aware. But like most of my theories it requires a big paradigm shift in understanding since it's a completely new interpretation of reality.

If you think that's a big paradigm shift you must have lived on a desert island the last thirty years.

As you've explained it above your theory makes a rock just as conscious as a brain. I'm sure you must have a more subtle theory than that, so I'll ask you the same thing I asked Bruno, if I make a robot what do I have to do make it conscious or not conscious?


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