Consciousness not just present in “here”, somehow it present in “there”; and maybe it frequents in “everywhere”; —this way neuroscientist Giulio Tononi brought back the age-old panpsychism dispute in his latest theory of consciousness. This way he repeats Bertrand Russell’s monist assumption on consciousness: mind and matter are composed of “more primitive” element and it might be the common ancestor of both constituents. Tononi’s theory signals the age-long assumption of consciousness; where it beckons: consciousness is perhaps present in all organic and inorganic corporeal agents without any meddling of external observers. He said in his article:
“Consciousness exists: my experience just is. Indeed, that my experience here and now exists—it is real or actual—is the only fact I am immediately and absolutely sure of, as Descartes realized four centuries ago. Moreover, my experience exists from its own intrinsic perspective, independent of external observers.” [See: Consciousness: here, there and everywhere? by Giulio Tononi and Christof Koch]
This approach indicates he is avid to trace consciousness in this material world. Suppose every transaction between neuron cells generate and exchange information in the human brain surface; now if we count the integration level of this exchanged information we can guess how much consciousness a human or other agent has carried in its bodily system. Tononi applied mathematical sign Phi (Φ) to count the amount of information a corporeal agent constructed by; as well as he ascribed Φ to count the total integrated information an agent generates in its atomic structure.
… Tononi himself and his theory have now suffered the same problem as Thomas Kuhn mentioned in his bestselling book. Majority scientists are reluctant to take his twin approach a valid insight for future advancement. Majority of them now treat him the antagonist of science; because his theory cannot say other agents are unconscious; rather it thinks all other corporeal agents are not unconscious but most probably they are less conscious than humans or humanlike agents.
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Descartes “cogito” (“I think, therefore I am”) linked all corporeal agents with experience. An agent cannot think itself until it arrived in the feeling that “a priori” something must generate its presence in the reality. The feeling of presence takes an agent to “cogito”. It means “cogito” come alongside with feeling and experience. No feeling, no experience; same as no experience no cogitation; e.i. something present in the reality generates agents to behave consciously. Consciousness in that sense a self-driven experiential phenomenon of agents. A human agent can justify its own presence in the reality by using its observation and cogitation power. It drives him to think about the causal exponents of physical reality. Life is actually an experiential sign of existence where consciousness is the causation of that referential framework.
If we believe in science then we can say a huge interconnection of atoms is responsible for the materialization of all animate and inanimate agents in this material world. Scientific notions have told us: a massive composition of particles constructs atoms; just like that, the tiniest subatomic particles construct atom-builder particles; and inseparable string-like “something” maybe constructs all subatomic particles. The chain where “obscure something” generates conscious act it might be the substance of all created agents. Atomical correlates indicate creation generates information (i.e. binary arrays of 0 and 1) by any means.
Giulio Tononi addressed this to trace consciousness in the material world. His theory inquires consciousness in the material structure because experience happened there to make agents conscious. Opposite, he explained consciousness a vase that contains all fundamental information about life. He believed this world is real when it generates fundamental information over again with accuracy. Experience is a complement of that accuracy. Thus, we should trace how information generates in all organic and inorganic agents. Because information helps agents to store such acts that indicate their level of consciousness in the reality.
Anyway, stories do not end there. Each experience help agents generate integrated information. Information is the sign of existence but an integration of that information makes agents conscious. It helped the gent survive in the adverse situation and as well as feel itself a part of this material world. So how comes existence is not a vital question in Giulio Tononi’s theory; instead he asks himself, —how comes information? Even information is less vital in his theory on compare to the integrated information. He incites him to ask, —how comes integrated information which might generate consciousness for corporeal agents?
Above-mentioned questions are the ultimate pointer if we desired to understand Giulio Tononi’s controversial theory of consciousness. There he juxtaposed science and panpsychism in the same manner. Panpsychism claimed mind is everywhere; Tononi twisted it for claiming this: —instead of mind, we can say information is everywhere. He thinks we should address first the amount of integrated information in a physical system before declares this that, —consciousness is present in everywhere.
Source: www.wired.com: EEG recordings shows a striking difference in the brain activity of two brain injury patients (left and middle): Srivas Chennu
… His theory takes phenomenology as prime to deal with the original question why consciousness happened. He throws him in the risky metaphors where he avid to say consciousness is intrinsic for all corporeal agents; an autonomous self-driven trait makes it congenital for organic and inorganic agents; —but why? He answered: because fundamental properties have a self-driven quality to make the agent conscious.
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Tononi’s approach sounds soothing to panpsychists and it appeared uncomfortable to scientists. Majority scientists are yet not convinced to accept consciousness a universal phenomenon for all corporeal agents. Scientists are familiar with Descartes’ “cogito”. It means the truth of existence depends on how as much the physical agent is conscious to define its own “I amness” by utilizes its sensory cogitation. Cartesian principle treats consciousness a “thoughtful revealment” of mind. It thinks consciousness mainly comes along with the human-like agent through cogitation process. Human species is might be the only visible agent who can declare his “I amness” by following this.
Conversely, science denies Descartes’ principle where he considers “mind” an abstruse substance for all corporeal agents, and he does this in excuse that it generates consciousness for human-like agents. The moral of his aphorism means body destroyed but a mind-like substance could never be destroyable. It also affixed, —fundamental never lost despite the annihilation of corporeal agents; thus, mind-like fundamental can never be destroyable. It generates basic consciousness, so recurrence of the material world not possible except for this!
Tononi though himself a neuroscientist, but he takes both principles in his theory. Question inevitable: why did he do this? The answer might be like this: Descartes’ “cogito” help a being to think about his presence as an observer of the corporeal world; there he justified his existence by setting himself in the past-time experience and referential framework. Anyway, it doesn’t help him to solve the puzzle: —how comes “cogito” as an initiator of the human agent; how it comes and insists him to act conscious agent of the reality? This referential framework is unable to get the clear answer about that, -—why “cogito” incites him to declare his “I amness” in the reality? Above all, it unable to solve the puzzle: why cogitation does not come for all other organic and inorganic agents in the same fashion?
Yonder puzzle once came out critical to Descartes. It perhaps led him to consider mind a separate entity. He summed mind an intrinsic reflection of consciousness; because it helps human-like corporeal agent generates cogitation after its appearance in the real world. That means body died but the substance of mind (which is identical with consciousness), it exists for repeating the occurrence (that is the being of corporeal agents) over again.
Tononi’s position it maybe bit exceptional in that context. He treats information a source of consciousness to replace Descartes’ incorporeal mind. Descartes made a separation between body and mind; Tononi follows reverse; he treats the corporeal body and incorporeal mind an identical reflection of information bits. If atomic particle makes the body corporeal then it must make the mind in the same manner; thus, a separation between body and mind is unrealistic. All corporeal agents are hardware and information carrier particles generates through this; but in particular, information never lost after the destruction of hardware or information carrier particles; rather information played its role according to the intrinsic principle they’ve contained within. So it’s not the mind, rather it is information which stays as conscious to repeat the game of existence over again. Descartes once puzzled to think how the mind comes as conscious through cogitation process. Tononi now reeled around the same fence how information exists despite the destruction of corporeal agents.
… This material world is the game of inclusion and exclusion. Indivisible uncreated played a vital rule there to make the corporeal agents conscious, so humanlike agents can feel they are the phenomenon of uncreated. That’s why “divisible created” means inclusion and exclusion of indivisible awareness-driven elements. Awareness is such element what Tononi tried to mean in his theory by facing the abusive charges from his fellows.
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Science yet not sure about the assertion that information could exist after the annihilation of corporeal agents. Some scientists think information comes along with agents; it gets lost when annihilation of agents happened. Some have a different opinion. They think fundamental information cannot get lost for forever. They believed fundamental information never lost because they are essential for maintained the creation over again. Suppose physicist Leonard Susskind think information exists, even it exists when black-hole swallowed the corporeal object forever. Stephen Hawking once said information lost when a Black-hole like gravity-monster trapped the corporeal object. After the end of his long battle with Hawking’s assertion on Black-hole Susskind summed his opposition in an interview where he said:
“Stephen said that when a bit of information falls into a black hole it is permanently lost to the outside, despite the fact that he also proved that black holes evaporate and eventually disappear. That claim touched off a crisis in physics, a clash of basic principles like no other since Einstein was young.
The problem that upset me is that the most basic principle of physics—the principle that underpins everything including classical physics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, energy conservation, that physicists have believed for hundreds of years—is that information is never truly lost. It can be scrambled beyond recognition, but it is never completely erased.” [See: Susskind Quashes Hawking in Quarrel Over Quantum Quandary by Paul Comstock]
Which answer sounds rational to ascertain the fact that consciousness represents fundamental information? How science come to prove fundamental information never lost even after the annihilation of corporeal agents? Which path might it take as best for grounded panpsychist’s claim about the observer-neutral consciousness? How science overcomes the metaphysical conjecture of panpsychism, where it means mind-like fundamental properties belong in everywhere as a sign of consciousness? What are the best ways that help science treat information a fundamental property of consciousness instead of the mind? If consciousness-driven infobits constructs corporeal agents, then which path science can take to prove the bits a ubiquitous phenomenon for life? Farther, what does information mean and how it comes to substantial for corporeal agents? As well as, how infobits (e.g. information carrier subatomic particles or string-like properties that are more fundamental) incarnated all agents to generate some conscious behavior when they appeared in the material world?
Questions are indispensable when scientific ventures have tried to solve the mystery with handy experiment and hypothetical presumption. Science looks identical with other knowledge branches when it deals consciousness like obscure phenomenon through handy pragmatism. The scientific approach tried to refuse philosophical notions that consciousness generates in agents according to its own intrinsic principle; thus, it might impossible to get the answer why it (consciousness) generates in corporeal agents by such manners. This impossibility unwittingly has driven scientists to the panpsychist’s thoughts; in spite of this, they always tried to deny panpsychists in excuse that their claim on intrinsic consciousness has no scientific evidence.
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… Tononi sound weird because science has an inability to accounts the neuron frequency (or whatever) in a proficient way. Michael A. Cerullo thinks IIT is a novel “protoconsciousness” theory, the near neighbor of panpsychism, but it cannot solve the real problem of consciousness. Christof Koch himself raised a question, —“Why should natural selection evolve creatures with high?” Koch thinks IIT indeed has some limitation, i.e. computing Φ in any organic or inorganic system is still a hard task battle for science. This problem might drive Tononi takes a way to consider panpsychism once again.
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Now from this point, we can start our discussion why Giulio Tononi seemed worrying to majority scientists who deal consciousness in science. The reason might be this: he treats consciousness a self-driven experience for animate and inanimate agents. It means the fundamental properties of consciousness are intrinsic in nature, and they can generate their existence by self. Suchlike approach points out his interest to look for consciousness in the corporeal agents throughout the scientific trail-error processing. This man instigates him to trace the primitive elements that are responsible to generate consciousness in the human cerebral cortex. It led him to consider the age-long philosophical ideas of consciousness with care; i.e. —how consciousness exists in the physical world as observer-neutral; also how it generates its own existence in accordance with the congenital process.
Not only this, his theory restored the seminal old debate of dual and non-dual consciousness in the bodily system of agents. Science interprets how consciousness act within the agents, but it cannot promulgate why the bodily agents generate consciousness. Suppose, if we subjected human species as conscious for the sake of some experiments, we know how neuron cells played an active role to make the species conscious. Science can trace this conscious behavior in human body system pretty well; further, the same scientific cognition is impotent to tell why neuron cells fire consciousness in human brain surface. It means science can explain the activity of a corporeal agent but it cannot explain why it carried consciousness in its system. Philip Goff is not said wrong:
“… namely that physical science doesn’t tell us what matter is, only what it does… The job of physics is to provide us with mathematical models that allow us to predict with great accuracy how matter will behave. This is incredibly useful information; it allows us to manipulate the world in extraordinary ways, leading to the technological advancements that have transformed our society beyond recognition. But it is one thing to know the behaviour of an electron and quite another to know its intrinsic nature: how the electron is, in and of itself. Physical science gives us rich information about the behaviour of matter but leaves us completely in the dark about its intrinsic nature. In fact, the only thing we know about the intrinsic nature of matter is that some of it —the stuff in brains —involves experience.” [See: Panpsychism is crazy, but it’s also most probably true by Philip Goff]
This limitation might problematic to trace out the reason and origin of consciousness in a matter-like agent. It once led Gottfried Leibniz treats consciousness a monad. He believed monad composites body and mind in the same manner. His monadology promulgates monad the primordial substance of atoms; monads can composites them intrinsically and this fundamental stage of atoms cannot be split further. Leibniz mentioned:
“Something that has no parts can’t be extended, can’t have a shape, and can’t be split up. So monads are the true atoms of Nature—the elements out of which everything is made.
We don’t have to fear that a monad might fall to pieces; there is no conceivable way it could •go out of existence naturally.
For the same reason, there is no way for a simple substance to •come into existence naturally, for that would involve its being put together, assembled, composed, and a simple substance couldn’t be formed in that way because it has no parts.
So we can say that the only way for monads to begin or end—to come into existence or go out of existence—is •instantaneously, being created or annihilated all at once. Composite things, in contrast with that, can begin or end •gradually, through the assembling or scattering of their parts.” [See: The Principles of Philosophy known as Monadology by G. W. Leibniz]
Leibniz’s hint connects consciousness with memory preservation; means his monads can memorize what they’ve done to make this material world conscious. An intrinsic conscious act never could be possible unless the consciousness carrier monad has some inborn mechanism that helps it to preserve memory so that it can repeat the same task over again. Tononi’s theory considers this monadic principle in light of information theory; in his theory, consciousness-carrier monads preserved information in an integrated way. It led his readers to think, —how the physical world has performed and repeated some fundamental acts over again. Consciousness in the actual sense a process; all organic and inorganic entities maintain their physical and mental state through this; and they maintain it until the annihilation has come along to destroy them. A river flows down to the sea; plants connect each other in the deep jungle; even a metallic lodestone moves an iron in such manner if anybody has claimed like Greek philosopher Thales who believe lodestone is conscious, we may think twice before told him wrong.
… Leibniz’s hint connects consciousness with memory preservation; means his monads can memorize what they’ve done to make this material world conscious. An intrinsic conscious act never could be possible unless the consciousness carrier monad has some inborn mechanism that helps it to preserve memory so that it can repeat the same task over again.
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Possibly it’s a hard job refutes the claim absurd in excuse of science. Science is the resonance of theoretical assumptions. It mostly has come along with mathematical model and profited us to understand how a lodestone moves an iron with pretty certainty. Even though science cannot reject the claim that a lodestone (which is capable to move the iron) is somehow rudimentary conscious for the act it does. The agent-builder monads or subatomic particles constructs a lodestone with such capacity from where it make-bound to repeat some action over again. The reasons are somehow non-negotiable for scientific methods. We can negotiate the reason using metaphysical ideas but there is no certainty that these assumptions are true. Since lodestone is intrinsic to its act of moving iron from one state to another. Because the reason Bertrand Russell once came along with “neutral monist” by considering the fact that we cannot claim everything is unconscious or mindless except for the human-like beings. He said:
“My own feeling is that there is not a sharp line, but a difference of degree [between mind and matter]; an oyster is less mental than a man, but not wholly un-mental.” [See: An Outline of Philosophy: Bertrand Russell]
How the material world remembers its past occurrence and transferred this to the present? How does an occurrence continue in the present with an inclusion of the past events? Besides, how the humanlike agent remembers its evolutionary past by sitting in the present? It indicates memory somehow restored in variant degrees or dimensions when the new appearance of physical agents happened. Not only humanlike agents are the subject who can transfer past occurrence through memory preservation, transfer or restoration process; rather the inanimate agents maybe restore and transfer past occurrence when a new appearance of agents happened in the physical world. It led Bertrand Russell assumed:
“This [memory] also can be illustrated in a lesser degree by the behavior of inorganic matter. A watercourse which at most times is dry gradually wears a channel down a gully at the times when it flows, and subsequent rains follow [a similar] course… You may say, if you like, that the river bed ‘remembers’ previous occasions when it experienced cooling streams. … You would say [this] was a flight of fancy because you are of the opinion that rivers and river beds do not ‘think’. But if thinking consists of certain modifications of behavior owing to former occurrences, then we shall have to say that the river bed thinks, though its thinking is somewhat rudimentary.” [See: Portraits from Memory: Bertrand Russell]
When a river flows with watercourse in an integrated manner or when it happened over again we cannot deny the occurrence to think it unconscious. If everything has made of atoms then how can we accept some atoms are responsible for animate consciousness and rest is negligible for doing this? Maybe they varied in degrees where a human generates more integrated and diversified information than the river, and that’s why we can treat humans more conscious than a river, but we should measure the integration level of every object before declare it unconscious. This jolt led us to another problem to think about consciousness problem in Indian non-dual perception of consciousness.
… The consciousness of corporeal agent depends on the amount of integrated information it generates in its own system. If it sounds rational then we’ve to accept: an inorganic agent also generates integrated information. That’s why we cannot treat a photodiode type digital device unconscious; we cannot because a photodiode generates integrated information just like the human cerebral cortex.
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Giulio Tononi designed his theory by picking some flavors from the history of panpsychism. His mixed approach led him to say, —all corporeal agents act consciously if they have a capacity to preserve, transfer or restore memory with integrated ways. Maybe it heard nonsensical but it takes him afar to examine consciousness on a wide scale. Consciousness is a phenomenology of information-carrier monads or particles. The atomic molecules might have some capacity where they generate intrinsic information in the bodily system of animate and inanimate agents. The consciousness of corporeal agent depends on the amount of integrated information it generates in its own system. If it sounds rational then we’ve to accept: an inorganic agent also generates integrated information. That’s why we cannot treat a photodiode type digital device unconscious; we cannot because a photodiode generates integrated information just like the human cerebral cortex.
The claim looked ridiculous, but Tononi is desperate to declare his perception: —consciousness not depends on information; rather it somehow depends on the level and quality of integrated information. He applied a mathematical symbol Phi (Φ) to calculate the integration level of information in a physical system. The total number of Φ represents the total integrated information a bodily agent generates in its system. Information is the base indicator to count the amount of transaction has happened in the system of any corporeal agent. Despite this, it is more important accumulates the amount of integrated information an agent generates in its subatomic blocks; because if we want to count consciousness level of any agent we must count the total integrated information before judged it conscious or not.
Tononi with prominent neuroscientist Christof Koch now modeled IIT (Integrated Information Theory) as a vanguard to solve the age-long mind-body duplicity of philosophy and other human sciences. Philosopher David Chalmers once mentioned consciousness a “hard problem” for human science; the fact is it remains “hard” for scientists and philosophers even today with the same whimsical duplicity.
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… Consciousness in the actual sense a process; all organic and inorganic entities maintain their physical and mental state through this; and they maintain it until the annihilation has come along to destroy them. A river flows down to the sea; plants connect each other in the deep jungle; even a metallic lodestone moves an iron in such manner if anybody has claimed like Greek philosopher Thales who believe lodestone is conscious, we may think twice before told him wrong.
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Is everything in the universe conscious? Is it possible to map out the root where consciousness exists as intrinsic experience for all animate and inanimate agents in the universe? Can we gauge the conscious level of humans and all other organic and inorganic agents by measuring the information frequency that they have carried in their bodily system? Is it rational to discuss consciousness in light of information theory? Do we consider consciousness the fundamental element for all living and nonliving agents? Or else is it possible to think, consciousness follows its own evolutionary biology and adaptation when it appears in the physical agents?
Above questions led Tononi (and Koch also) back to reconsider the age-old philosophical notions of consciousness with openness. It led them to think panpsychism is not just a bullshit wordgame of ancient or modern philosophy; the age-long idea might have some merit despite its scientific lacking. We might need to talk something about the structure of Tononi’s theoretical venture. IIT grounded it on some basic principles:
I. The existence of consciousness-carter monads or subatomic particles is intrinsic in nature. Alongside, humanlike agents’ cogitation and the feeling of presence in the material world that’s why true.
II. Consciousness is structured. Every individual conscious act is composed of experience. It means consciousness generator elements talk through experience. Every experience generates information; and, all organic and inorganic agents has made of this. Agents are the combination of composite information. Information might have its own intrinsic nature that helps it to drive the agent make a distinction between the experiences. This principle moves an animal or the human agent classified its experience (e.g. color, test, emotion, thoughts etc.); not only this, it helps them to survive and adaptation in the changing state. Each individual experience when combined they appeared as agent; mean phenomenological being; suppose humans or all other objects.
III. Maybe it a human being or digital device, all are the phenomenological combinations of experience; all of them have carried information bits. Infobits attached them to the world and as well as it defined their level of integration. More integrated information means more consciousness. We can measure it counting the “phi” (Φ) ratio in the bodily system of animate or inanimate physical agents. For instance, the higher Φ (or neuron frequency) indicates a presence of high-integrated information in the human cerebrum (a small region of the human brain) or posterior-cortex. Maybe we will see the same Φ ratio available in Artificial Intelligence-based future digital creations.
Opposite, lower Φ in a bodily system (suppose a processor of the modern computer) indicates the lower level integration of information. Today’s computers processed lot information, but they are not robust to use this information in such integrated way that could make them conscious. Same as, a system with Zero Φ means it has no consciousness at all. Suppose sandpile is not conscious. The information-carrier particles of sandpile are not enough integrated that can generate consciousness for them.
… When Tononi tried to find the presence of consciousness through information counting process in the brain at that moment he thinks: it represents information. Conversely, when he asked himself “how consciousness exists or why it intrinsic”, —he then takes panpsychic phenomenology to respond the question. This dual stance has appeared controversial to the science-lovers who believed: the observer so far exist, as far the theory is valid; in other words, as far the observer go, so far the matter exists.
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IV. The consciousness level of any system (either humans or other agents) depends on the maximality of Φ. A higher integration of Φ in the bodily system builds a strong network what we’ve seen in human cerebrum cortex. Human cerebellum cortex (a major region of the human brain) contained more neurons (means information) but they are not highly integrated like the cerebrum. The moral of whole notion might be this, —consciousness needs integrated information to generate conscious acts or repeat this act over again for the agents. It might present in everywhere but the presence depends on the ratio of integrated Φ (means subatomic particles in a bodily system that are integrated; and, they generate such acts) inside all organic and inorganic corporeal agents.
V. Consciousness is exclusion. The phenomenological composition of agents is not eternal. They break down after a certain period; we can say metaphorically this is the death of agents. The information then (means information-carrier subatomic particles) twisted and scrambled as individual entities (supposed like strings); anyway, this individuality excluded them to the bodily system where they generate conscious acts through integration. Question inevitable: what be the next? If we consider Tononi’s IIT by haring some panpsychism then we can guess: this individuality is the real disposition of consciousness-carrier bits. This is the intrinsic state where each individual entity acts according to its self-driven nature. They can again composite through assimilation to build agents or might swim in the unknown ocean like a lonely paddler.
This state in western thought considers as consciousness. When Leibniz mentioned monad an indivisible phenomenon of creation, he indicates consciousness. Everything begins with monad where monad itself might be the representative of endless beginning. When Kant mentioned “a prior”, he confronts the same inseparable phenomenon. To the parallel, when Hegel set “nothingness” as a principle for “everythingness”, he as well reeling around the same state with puzzlement. And, when Heidegger talking in rhetorical voice, —sundry “being” are shuddered in the Da-sein state (the nothing-looking pure state for original elements of creation) to bring forth the Dasein (apparent world) where human agents have appeared as “beings”, he confronts the same state as like others. Heidegger knows “being”-like fundamental element cannot be divisible, but they can build the world of “being” over again through connectivity and assimilation.
Anyway, Indians are more specific in that context. They treat this position as awareness and separate it from consciousness. Consciousness is the experience of awareness-driven actions; a conscious act happened when creation generates the material world or its agents throughout the composition of awareness. That means consciousness is “created” but awareness possessed uncreated state. As Nisargadatta Maharaj classified it in his dialects:
“Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginning-less, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something…” [See: “I am That.” a Compilation of Nisargadatta Maharaj’s words on reality Translated by Maurice Frydman]
Awareness is always fundamental and uncreated. If awareness is a created stuff then it cannot be considered for possessed the place of “indivisible uncreated”. Same as, if “indivisible uncreated” is absent then “divisible created” never could be possible. Creation of this material world needs the “indivisible uncreated”; because it constructs the “divisible created” through inclusion and exclusion. This material world is the game of inclusion and exclusion. Indivisible uncreated played a vital rule there to make the corporeal agents conscious, so humanlike agents can feel they are the phenomenon of uncreated. That’s why “divisible created” means inclusion and exclusion of indivisible awareness-driven elements. Awareness is such element what Tononi tried to mean in his theory by facing the abusive charges from his fellows.
Tononi, in fact, crossed the border when he depicts the state where excluded information remained like the indivisible individual entity; and which generates conscious experience over again. Majority computer scientist opposed him due to the reason. They think his theory mismatched with the pragmatic sense. Information generates according to the involvement of physical agents. Science cannot talk further about such abstract state which yet unobservable or which yet not proved by experiment. Computer scientist Scott Aaronson clearly denies IIT in a long commentary debate session with Tononi and Koch. [See: Why I Am Not an Integrated Information Theorist (or, The Unconscious Expander)]
Aaronson generates high-integrated information in the digital disc and found it unconscious as well. So Tononi’s claim on high integrated agents are conscious is not true in all cases. He criticizes Tononi for his assumption that human cerebellum cortex has low integrated Φ. Tononi claims cerebellum contained large information-carrying neuron cells, but they are not integrated like the cerebrum. Aaronson denies it because we’ve no authentic proof that cerebellum is unconscious in contrast to the cerebrum.
… The modern scientific approach is rigid; suppose any part of thought if anomalous or mismatched with observation and experiment, the science community instant leave the whole paradigm by saying it useless for science. They never think they can reconsider the anomalous part and as well as other portions of the proposal by taking the new outlook to it.
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Major objection against Integrated Information Theory:
I. Empirical support of IIT still not enough to prove that a digital device, e.g. a photodiode is conscious, even it more conscious than humanlike agents.
II. IIT told consciousness generates (suppose in the human brain surface) through the causal events; they incite brain-neurons to generates high integrated information. Many experts think Tononi’s information counting method is not realistic and price-worthy. As Michael A. Cerullo pointing a critical drawback of IIT in his article:
“Any theory such as IIT which rejects computational functionalism is vulnerable to one of the strongest arguments in philosophy of mind: fading/dancing qualia. Briefly, the fading qualia argument imagines that neurons are slowly replaced one by one with nanobots that perform the same function. If computational functionalism is correct, then there will be no change in the person’s conscious experience as their brain is slowly replaced by machines because the system is always functionally identical.
Now assume computational functionalism is incorrect; as the experiment continues, the subject’s consciousness will either slowly fade away or will suddenly cease after replacement of a single critical neuron. The sudden disappearance of all subjective experience with one neuron seems highly implausible. On the other hand, if consciousness slowly fades the subject will be aware of this, yet, because the new brain/machine is functionally identical to the original, they will be unable to act on or report this strange subjective experience.” [See: The Problem with Phi: A Critique of Integrated Information Theory by Michael A. Cerullo]
However, Tononi sound weird because science has an inability to accounts the neuron frequency (or whatever) in a proficient way. Michael A. Cerullo thinks IIT is a novel “protoconsciousness” theory, the near neighbor of panpsychism, but it cannot solve the real problem of consciousness. Christof Koch himself raised a question, —“Why should natural selection evolve creatures with high?” Koch thinks IIT indeed has some limitation, i.e. computing Φ in any organic or inorganic system is still a hard task battle for science. This problem might drive Tononi takes a way to consider panpsychism once again.
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Panpsychism reflects philosophical ideas on consciousness. Only philosophy can meditate consciousness a universal phenomenon for all corporeal or incorporeal agents. And, only it can think about the causation that generates consciousness by crossing the so-called anatomical border of this material world. Science can tell how the atomic combination of things are acted in the reality; it can mark the thing as conscious or not by observing it behavior; even though it is critical for science to tell why consciousness present or absent in the things; even it tough for science to guess how consciousness comes to the things and how it repeats over again.
Because the reason Immanuel Kant once denied the proposal that “thing” is completely knowable by observation or empirical experimentation. He was dubious to this. Physical objects are such phenomenon where at best we can say how it acts in the reality by careful observation, but we cannot claim with clarity that a “thing” is certainly this or that. As well, it tough to guess why there is something rather than nothing. This technical problem leads philosophers to make metaphorical statements by crossing the observable border of this material world; and, it led them to think consciousness in a variety of dimensions. Opposite, science prohibits itself to deal consciousness by overcomes matters; also it inhibits scientist takes panpsychist’s proposal a probable fact when they deal consciousness.
Tononi’s approach to consciousness perhaps bit exceptional in that context. His approach prefers scientific methods but in which way he deals consciousness it led him to cross the science border. We have to remember: Tononi’s consciousness generator elements are intrinsic and observer-neutral; —this claim yet not gets admittance in the science community. His theory takes phenomenology as prime to deal with the original question why consciousness happened. He throws him in the risky metaphors where he avid to say consciousness is intrinsic for all corporeal agents; an autonomous self-driven trait makes it congenital for organic and inorganic agents; —but why? He answered: because fundamental properties have a self-driven quality to make the agent conscious. As Hedda Hassel Mørch mentioned in his article:
“Interestingly, Tononi did not come up with IIT purely by looking for patterns in third-person scientific data —from brain scans and so on. Rather, the theory was born from a philosophical argument based on phenomenology, which is first-person study of one’s own consciousness. Tononi presents this as an essential part of IIT’s justification.” [See: The Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness by Hedda Hassel Mørch]
This daring approach makes his theory controversial for the science community. When he tried to find the presence of consciousness through information counting process in the brain at that moment he thinks: it represents information. Conversely, when he asked himself “how consciousness exists or why it intrinsic”, —he then takes panpsychic phenomenology to respond the question. This dual stance has appeared controversial to the science-lovers who believed: the observer so far exist, as far the theory is valid; in other words, as far the observer go, so far the matter exists. That means information exist when matters exist; hence rest is metaphors and immaterial for science queries. This rigidity is necessary for the process which science follows today. Anyway, the self-imposed censorship to protect science from the awkward attack of metaphysics, it misguided scientists consider the most absurd proposal of consciousness with an open-minded approach to the knowledge.
… Consciousness is exclusion. The phenomenological composition of agents is not eternal. They break down after a certain period; we can say metaphorically this is the death of agents… it’s the real disposition of consciousness-carrier bits. This is the intrinsic state where each individual entity acts according to its self-driven nature. They can again composite through assimilation to build agents or might swim in the unknown ocean like a lonely paddler.
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The challenging part of Tononi’s theory is there. He tried to juxtapose science with philosophy. It sounds sad but today’s science is reluctant to permit this. Modern scientific expeditions are so rigid to its methodical approach, from where the reunification of science with all other knowledge disciplines seems impossible. Physicist Thomas Kuhn in his revolutionary book “The structure of scientific revolution” marked it a problem for science. He thinks it prohibits scientists back to the normal science again.
A question once bothered Kuhn, —how Aristotle’s “motion mechanics” have such resistance that could be seized thinkers for two millennia? He was shocked to think how Aristotle’s blunder influenced logician with great extents. His question led him to rethink Aristotle’s paradigm with care. Above all, he remembers the new paradigm because it marked the great thinker erroneous. Modern physics have already left Aristotle’s “motion mechanics” with an excuse that his ideas sound anomalous on compare of later advancement.
This inquisitive comparison has appeared with a flashing moment in Kuhn’s life. He came to the decision that it must be a misreading of Aristotle when we read his paradigm along with the modern scientific notions of our times. Today’s zeitgeist not allowed us to consider the ancient thoughts on motion mechanics by ignoring Newton and later progress in that field. However, the reverse could be equally true if we consider Aristotle’s zeitgeist; that is, at that time he manifested it in a different contextual; and it was perhaps not like today. Kuhn said in his article:
“… I asked myself. Perhaps his words had not always meant to him and his contemporaries quite what they meant to me and mine.” [See: Thomas Kuhn: “What Are Scientific Revolutions?”]
It insisted Thomas Kuhn read Aristotle’s text in different insight. He feels there must be a scope rehearsed his “motion mechanics” by taking a different approach. It not necessary judges his thoughts in Galileo or Newton’s context. Galileo tried to understand the motion of an object according to the variation of pace when it falls down to the ground. Newton theorized his laws of motion regarding the changing position of objects. They were profound in their scientific observation and ideation. No doubt, Aristotle is wrong when we consider his motion theorem according to the changing position of objects and its impact on their movements. The central point of Galileo and Newton it was maybe a mere sub-category in Aristotle’s world. Motion might as a whole serve the general purpose in his logic. Kuhn then writes:
“When the term “motion” occurs in Aristotelian physics, it refers to change in general, not just to the change of position of a physical body. Change of position, the exclusive subject of mechanics for Galileo and Newton, is one of a number of subcategories of motion for Aristotle.” [See: Thomas Kuhn:“What Are Scientific Revolutions?”]
A new reading of Aristotle has inclined Thomas Kuhn to reconsider the systematic approach of modern science. It drives him to think about the narrow-line from where science detached itself to think and reconsider the proposals of other knowledge disciplines with positive posture. The modern scientific approach is rigid; suppose any part of thought if anomalous or mismatched with observation and experiment, the science community instant leave the whole paradigm by saying it useless for science. They never think they can reconsider the anomalous part and as well as other portions of the proposal by taking the new outlook to it.
Yonder problem led Kuhn writes his groundbreaking book “The structure of Scientific Revolutions”. This book was controversial and disturbing for them who are yet afraid and have accustomed to consider Thomas Kuhn’s approach on “paradigm shift of knowledge” a threat for modern scientific methods. Kuhn’s critic indicates if we want science will help us to move forward it is necessary to leave radicalism first. Only this way science can reconsider all other (even abandoned) thoughts with openness.
… This way he repeats Bertrand Russell’s monist assumption on consciousness: mind and matter are composed of “more primitive” element and it might be the common ancestor of both constituents. Tononi’s theory signals the age-long assumption of consciousness; where it beckons: consciousness is perhaps present in all organic and inorganic corporeal agents without any meddling of external observers.
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Tononi himself and his theory have now suffered the same problem as Thomas Kuhn mentioned in his bestselling book. Majority scientists are reluctant to take his twin approach a valid insight for future advancement. They are not ready to accept this: if consciousness generator particles present in human brain surface then why not in other agents. Majority of them now treat him the antagonist of science; because his theory cannot say other agents are unconscious; rather it thinks all other corporeal agents are not unconscious but most probably they are less conscious than humans or humanlike agents.
Anyway, his fellow comrade Koch thinks, “Tononi’s integrated information theory of consciousness could be completely wrong. However, it challenges us to think deeply about the mind-body problem in a novel, rigorous, and mathematically and empirically minded manner. And that is a great boon to this endeavor.”
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