The phenomenon that we are sure exists, to experience it directly, is awakened consciousness. The impression as its contents are finely correlated to the activity of the brain. Let’s start by understanding how this incredibly complex web of neurons can generate mental representations, with Stratium, hierarchical theory of mind.

Let us then tackle the “hard problem” of consciousness as a phenomenon, which some philosophers certify as impossible to solve. Is it really the hardest? After all, we are each embarked on one of these phenomena. On the other hand, authentic physical reality is inaccessible to us, say the same philosophers. We only represent it. So which is the harder problem, mind or matter? A great file on How to Really Solve the Mind-Body Problem.

Finally the missing link: How is a neural schema a meaning? What happens at the interface of the phenomenon and its constitution? On what concrete principle can emergence be based? A solution in the probabilities, whose distribution is at each moment a fusion endowed with independent existence.

Stratium (the hierarchical theory of mind)

Innovative theory that favors the hierarchical organization of neural networks rather than their anatomical location. If we want to examine the functional properties of the mind, we must place ourselves in its complex and non-spatial dimension. This reading is the preliminary to the examination of the theories on consciousness, which for the most part are not based on any model of the functioning of the mind, only the correlates between neural excitations and behaviors / feelings of the person.

If you are a researcher or an enlightened enthusiast of questions surrounding consciousness, read this alternative article on Stratium, published on, the 2nd part of which is a “test bed” of the different theories on consciousness. Each is detailed with its strengths and weaknesses, then compared to Stratium.

Controversy between Hobbes and Descartes on consciousness

Are body and mind one thing or separate things? The monism of Hobbes is opposed to the dualism of Descartes. For Hobbes subjectivity is the reaction of the brain to the pressure transmitted by the nerves, while for Descartes this experience is of an entirely different order from the physical mechanisms and it takes a soul to explain it. The controversy continues today between eliminativists (monists) and phenomenologists (dualists). Who is right? At the time it was Descartes, undeniably, with his refusal to reduce a phenomenon to mechanisms that did not explain it directly. But does that mean that the soul must be projected outside the world? Stratium shows that it is possible to reconcile the excessive claims of Hobbes with the rejection of Descartes.

Compare theories of consciousness?

Two pitfalls plague the test bed of theories of consciousness: 1) the dispersion of the postulates used; 2) it is the theoretician who theorizes oneself. Circular thinking, with entries all around the circle. Inside… says everything and its opposite. Each consciousness can invent the theory of itself.

Neurocognitive Mechanisms, by Gualtiero Piccinini

Many have sought to cross the dualistic divide. Piccinini does this with a comprehensive neurocomputational theory. But his philosophical treatment is erroneous. Using “aspects” of a single level of reality reintroduces things that look independent of that single level. We fall back on an unexplained dualism.

Explain consciousness as a phenomenon

If it is impossible to reduce the points of view of constitution and emergent phenomenon to each other, it is in their opposition that we must seek the origin of consciousness. In particular, for mental phenomena so different from neural electro-stimuli, it is in the removal of these points of view that the explanation is to be found. Remoteness in the complex dimension. Neural networks form a large number of levels of information. The phenomenon of consciousness deepens and enriches itself as the levels of complexity rise. This obliges us, however, to seek the birth of the phenomenon in the very concept of level of information, to suppose that there exists an elementary opposition between what constitutes and what experiences its constitution. The origin of consciousness is to be sought in the intimacy of the complex fabric of reality. We will find it later in the article How is a neural schema a meaning?

How to really solve the mind-body problem

This 9-part file takes Nicolas Humphrey’s essay ‘How to solve the body-mind problem’ as a reference.

1) I take up the remarkable presentation of the problem by Nicholas Humphrey and his personal solution.

2) Reviews of Humphrey’s work are very helpful. I examine them in detail.

3) The notion of level of explanation is important. This level differs according to the authors. The effort to reduce physicalist and spiritualist gazes to each other leads to an impasse. On the contrary, it is therefore necessary to preserve their specificities and make them coincide.

4) Which postulates to keep? We need a reality unified by its relations but which leaves its relational levels owners of their frames. This involves the recognition of a complex dimensional variety. In the vertical axis of this dimension, the systems have a constitutive face and an indissoluble phenomenal face, appearing at what is respectively less complex and more complex. We find in this “two-sided coin” the elementary opposition between what constitutes and what experiences, seen previously.

5) The necessity of vertical complexion or emergentism is discussed in relation to its denigration by illusionism, which I call “flatism”. I show that platism is an impasse excluding the theorizing mind. False monism. Complex emergences are concealed, in mathematical models, within the sign ‘=’, which often means ‘correlated to’ rather than ‘identical to’.

6) The elevation of complexity within the mind is approached by the example of artificial intelligence and its simulated networks, as well as the example of the hydrocephalic brain, which forms a normal consciousness with 10% of the usual neurons.

7) Stratium is a theory based on the complex dimension of the brain, combining the Global Workspace and Integrated Information. The height of vertical complexion makes the thickness of consciousness. In continuity with the complexity of the neural support, consciousness is anchored in matter before the neuron. The phenomenon of consciousness is inscribed in reality in itself. Each individualized entity experiences it in its own way, accessible only to a vertical complexion of the same order. Our consciousness recognizes itself only in itself.

8) Consciousness theories have all received strong criticism. I have taken up the questions and summaries of many authors. How does Stratium respond? Taking the complex dimension into account facilitates the answers. Applications to neuroscientific and psychiatric puzzles are offered.

9) Conclusion summarizing the progress made, with a bonus: Why the errors encountered? A theory of mind, by definition circular, has the additional task of explaining why the mind “self-generates” its errors—errors about its own representation.

How is a neural schema meaning?

An activated synaptic configuration, as meaning, is a given distribution of probabilities among all its possible meaningful states. It thus emancipates itself from its constitution and represents a qualitative leap. New mental experience. The mind is constructed from these tiers of meanings, a vertical complexity that makes up its intelligence. To begin this definition, I compare the information of Wiener and Shannon, I draw a model from it and transpose it into the physiology of neural networks. Meaning is not reduced to electrochemical exchanges. Its qualia appears and satisfies the philosophical prerequisites.

Apps and add-ons

Awakening, Consciousness, Synchronization

It is possible to be awake without being aware. Consciousness is a working space of higher functions maintained by stimuli from the nuclei of awakening. Its coordination is disturbed by shocks, epileptic seizures and drugs, which interrupt consciousness or produce alternate states of it.

Another decapitated consciousness!

“The new theory of the unconscious, it is he who commands!” claims a journalist after reading Andrew Budson, behaviorist neurologist, that is to say granting the unconscious the determinism of behavior. Nevertheless Budson does not question the existence of consciousness, is rather interested in its origin and puts forward an interesting hypothesis: it would be the evolution of a short-term memory space synthesizing together the different mental functions. Admittedly, all this is flat. We must see the behavior as a reflex loop going up more or less high in the unconscious/conscious mental hierarchy. In Homo sapiens this loop finally opens onto an enormous space of symbolization and retro-control, which has made their success as a species.

Does the Chinese Chamber still have an interest today?

John Searle’s (1980) thought experiment aimed to show the lack of real understanding or consciousness of the result in a program that translates a language from a dictionary. Experiment without real utility because it only indicates that the reduction of thought to its elementary processes removes all its complexity, which also happens for humans when they devote themselves to simple and repetitive tasks: they collapse the quality of their conscious experience.

Information and awareness

I show how Surimposium, a theory that gives rise to consciousness in the thickness of complexity, encompasses existing positions on information and consciousness, philosophical, physicalists, as well as new panconscious theories including Tononi’s integrated information.

Could the rocks be conscious?

The Guardian’s “April Fool’s Day” question that readers enthusiastically responded to, especially proponents of panpsychism like Philip Goff. Here is the Earth much more populated than it seems! And the rights of conscious entities trampled by our feet… Of course the debate becomes serious again when we leave the binarism ‘human consciousness’ vs ‘non-consciousness’. By giving consciousness a thickness depending on the material/virtual complexity of the entity, the rocks can claim theirs… and also be a more solid foundation for ours, which is always mysterious.


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