DOI: 10.14704/nq.2009.7.3.242

Subjective Experience Aspect of Consciousness. Part II: Integration of Classical and Quantum Concepts for Emergence Hypothesis

Ram Lakhan Pandey Vimal

Abstract


Previously, we proposed a superposition-based hypothesis (H1) in the dual-aspect-dual-mode PE-SE framework to address the Type-1 explanatory gap (how subjective experiences (SEs) aspect of consciousness can emerge from non-experiential matter) as follows: (1) fundamental entities (strings or elementary particles: fermions and bosons) have material and mental aspects and are carriers of SEs/proto-experiences (PEs) in their mental aspect in superimposed form (Vimal, 2008b), and (2) a specific SE is embedded in a neural-net via neural Darwinism and is selected by matching and selection processes (Vimal, 2009b). In Part I of this series (Vimal, 2009f), we unpacked the quantum view of superposition in terms of subquantum dual-aspect primal entities (bhutatmas) and discussed Type-2 explanatory gap: ‘how it is possible that some SEs (such as happiness, sadness, painfulness, and similar SEs) were already present in primal entities, whereas there is no shred of evidence that such SEs were conceived at the onset of universe’. To address both gaps, we extended the working hypothesis H1 as follows: (3) Some of the SEs that entails Type-2 explanatory gap can be derived from the fundamental SEs/PEs and the stimulus-context. (4) In addition, the fundamental SEs/PEs follow the principle of the emergence of SE and anti-SE (or bhutatma and anti-bhutatma) in a dual-aspect vacuum at the onset of universe; and/or the mechanism of cycles of universe (that may have memory) might have preserved irreducible fundamental SEs/PEs superposed in the primal entities. In the current Part II of this series, we propose two alternative hypotheses (superposition-then-integration- emergence based H2, and integration-emergence based H3 where superposition is not required) in addition to other speculative hypotheses: (H2) fundamental entities and inert matter are the carriers of superimposed fundamental PEs (not SEs), which are integrated by interaction processes and neural-Darwinism (co-evolution via the evolutionary process of adaptation and natural selection, co-development, and sensorimotor co-tuning). In H3, a string or an elementary particle has its own PE; a matter is not a carrier of PE(s) in superposed form as it is in H2, rather it is a proto-experiential entity and has two aspects at every level; this is a dual-aspect panpsychism. In H2 and H3, a specific SE emerges in a neural-net from the interaction of its constituent neural-PEs, namely, from the interaction between the feed forward stimulus-dependent neural signals and the fronto-parietal feedback attentional signals, in analogy to water emerges from the interaction of hydrogen and oxygen. In all hypotheses, (a) interaction processes and neural-Darwinism are active, (b) there is a PE attached to every level of evolution (such as atomic-PE, molecular-PE, genetic-PE, bacterium-PE, neural-PE, neural-net-PE, and so on), and (c) SEs emerge/arise when essential ingredients of SEs (such as wakefulness, attention, re-entry, working memory and so on) are satisfied.

Keywords


Quantum and classical physics; dual-aspect model; string and elementary particles; proto-experiences; subjective experiences; explanatory gaps; self-organization; chaos theory; attention; re-entry; access and phenomenal awareness; memory; wakefulness

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