DOI: 10.14704/nq.2016.14.4.965

Neurophenomenological Theory of Freedom: Sartre’s Existential Philosophy and Hard Problem of Consciousness

Alexander A. Kiselnikov


In late 20th century D. Chalmers came to the conclusion that consciousness is redundant in relation to the brain functioning and he called it the hard problem of consciousness. In this article a fusion of existentialism and quantum theories of consciousness will be proposed, with the result being a neurophenomenological theory of consciousness Quantum brain and Nothingness. An important base for the paper is the idea of direct connection between the hard problem of consciousness and the problem of free will that allows us to build a “bridge” between existential philosophy and the hard problem of consciousness. The main ideas of neurophenomenological theory of consciousness will contain the following: At present moment brain can be simultaneously in multiple states, because of the significant quantum effects that influencing neuron impulses. From the third person’s perspective the quantum brain looks like physical object, but in reality (i.e. “from the inside”, “brain for brain” or brain as “thing-in-itself”) quantum brain is consciousness. It means that the conscious and quantum neuronal processes are the same “something” that can be observed both from inside and from outside. Because of that consciousness exists simultaneously in multiple states. Further free “i” in the continuously processes of selection of one of the possible state of consciousness and automatically chooses one of the possible state of the quantum brain, causing collapse of its wave function as a result. Furthermore, consciousness is “quantum brain for quantum brain” and “i” that is in the continuous process of collapsing of brain’s wave function. Quantum states of brain are pressuring “i” requiring its own realization. This “pressure” and particular quantum states of the brain are represented as multitude of qualia for “i”. As a result, consciousness is emergent interaction of “i” and quantum states of the brain.


hard problem of consciousness; psychophysical problem; existential philosophy; quantum physics; nothingness; conscious experiences; qualia

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The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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