Towards a Neutral-Structuralist Theory of Consciousness and Selfhood

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 35 (3):243-259 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Recently, an information-theoretic structural realist theory of the self and consciousness has been put forward (Beni, M. D. 2019. Structuring the Self, Series New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Palgrave Macmillan). The theory is presented as a form of panpsychism. I argue against this interpretation and show that Beni’s structuralist theory runs into the hard problem of consciousness, in a similar way as the Integrated Information theory of consciousness. Since both of these theories are structuralist and based on the notion of information, I propose to use a solution that has been employed for Integrated Information Theory, namely introducing the distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic structure and dynamics (intrinsic information and intrinsic structure). Making these metaphysical enhancements to Beni’s structuralist theory of consciousness will give the theory a better chance of overcoming the hard problem. In terms of the metaphysics of consciousness, it takes us beyond physicalism. I then suggest that the information-theoretic structuralist theory of consciousness should, instead of panpsychism and physicalism, be combined with neutral monist ontology which is a better fit. These reworkings could lead to an improved naturalistic account of consciousness – the neutral-structuralist theory of consciousness and the self.

Similar books and articles

A Structuralist Defence of the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness.M. D. Beni - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (9-10):75-98.
Import Theory: The Social Making of Consciousness.W. Prinz - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (3-4):112-130.
Interpretation-Neutral Integrated Information Theory.Kelvin J. McQueen - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (1-2):76-106.
Beyond the Minimal Self.Di Huang - 2021 - Philosophy Today 65 (3):691-708.
Does Integrated Information Lack Subjectivity.Janko Nešić - 2018 - Theoria: Beograd 61 (2):131-145.
The Problem with the 'Information' in Integrated Information Theory.Garrett Mindt - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (7-8):130-154.
Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, Selfhood: a Reply to some Critics.Dan Zahavi - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (3):703-718.
Selfhood and Authenticity.Corey Anton - 2001 - State University of New York Press.
Review of Dan Zahavi's Subjectivity and Selfhood. [REVIEW]Greg Janzen - 2007 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 13.
A Mechanistic Theory of Consciousness.Michael S. A. Graziano & Taylor W. Webb - 2014 - International Journal of Machine Consciousness 6 (2):163-176.
Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness.Fallon Francis - 2016 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Analytics

Added to PP
2022-07-09

Downloads
266 (#67,535)

6 months
108 (#29,768)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Janko Nešić
University of Belgrade

Citations of this work

The Curious Incident of Indistinguishable Selves A Reply to Nešić.Majid D. Beni - 2022 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 35 (3):261-268.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Facing up to the problem of consciousness.David Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Materialism and qualia: The explanatory gap.Joseph Levine - 1983 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (October):354-61.

View all 37 references / Add more references