Consciousness as Integrated Information

Consciousness as Integrated Information

Not for everyone, but if you’re into thinking about consciousness and wonder whether it might not just be a universal phenomenon, this paper is for you. šŸ˜‰

For those uncomfortable with subscribing to a panpsychist theory, a possible way round the problem is to assign an attribute ā€œpotential consciousnessā€ to matter at the most fundamental level. Then, the quantity of potential consciousness is simply the quantity of integrated intrinsic information. But only when there is a large amount of intrinsic integrated information with a sufficiently rich structure to be worthy of being compared to a typical healthy adult human waking conscious moment, should we say that the integrated information has ā€œactual consciousnessā€ associated with it. A line could thus be drawn somewhere between the potential consciousness of an isolated electron in a vacuum and the actual consciousness generated by my brain as I write this article. The problem with such a distinction however is that potential consciousness would still be assigned phenomenal content, so it is perhaps more elegant to just use a single term ā€œconsciousnessā€ for the whole spectrum of integrated information.

Thanks to Darius Gabriel Black for introducing me to IIT.

#consciousness #panpsychism

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