Integrated information theory (IIT) 4.0: Formulating the properties of phenomenal existence in physical terms

Arxiv (2022)
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Abstract

This paper presents Integrated Information Theory (IIT) 4.0. IIT aims to account for the properties of experience in physical (operational) terms. It identifies the essential properties of experience (axioms), infers the necessary and sufficient properties that its substrate must satisfy (postulates), and expresses them in mathematical terms. In principle, the postulates can be applied to any system of units in a state to determine whether it is conscious, to what degree, and in what way. IIT offers a parsimonious explanation of empirical evidence, makes testable predictions, and permits inferences and extrapolations. IIT 4.0 incorporates several developments of the past ten years, including a more accurate translation of axioms into postulates and mathematical expressions, the introduction of a unique measure of intrinsic information that is consistent with the postulates, and an explicit assessment of causal relations. By fully unfolding a system's irreducible cause-effect power, the distinctions and relations specified by a substrate can account for the quality of experience.

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Author Profiles

Matteo Grasso
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Jeremiah Hendren
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Jonathan Lang
University of Wisconsin, Madison
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