Cosmopsychism and Consciousness Research: A Fresh View on the Causal Mechanisms Underlying Phenomenal States

Frontiers in Psychology 11 (Article 371):1-7 (2020)
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Despite the progress made in studying the observable exteriors of conscious processes, which are reflected in the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC), there are still no satisfactory answers to two closely related core questions. These are the question of the origin of the subjective, phenomenal aspects of consciousness, and the question of the causal mechanisms underlying the generation of specific phenomenal states. In this article, we address these questions using a novel variant of cosmopsychism, a holistic form of panpsychism relying on the central idea that the universe is imbued with a ubiquitous field of consciousness (UFC). This field is understood as a foundational dual-aspect component of the cosmos, the extrinsic appearance of which is physical in nature and the intrinsic manifestation of which is phenomenological in nature. We argue that this approach brings a new perspective into play, according to which the organizational characteristics of the NCC are indicative of the brain’s interaction with and modulation of the UFC. Key insights from modern physics suggest that the modulation mechanism is identical with the fundamental mechanism underlying quantum systems, resulting in the conclusion that a coherently oscillating neural cell assembly acquires phenomenal properties by tapping into the universal pool of phenomenal nuances predetermined by the UFC, or more specifically, by entering into a temporary liaison with the UFC and extracting a subset of phenomenal tones from the phenomenal color palette inherent in the basic structure of the UFC. This hypothesis is supported by a substantial body of empirical evidence.



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Itay Shani
Sun Yat Sen University, Zhuhai Campus

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A framework for consciousness.Francis Crick & Christof Koch - 2003 - Nature Neuroscience 6:119-26.

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