: Received: 10 March 2020 / Approved: 11 March 2020 / Online: 11 March 2020 (03:56:58 CET)
: Received: 27 March 2020 / Approved: 29 March 2020 / Online: 29 March 2020 (11:56:10 CEST)
: Received: 26 August 2020 / Approved: 27 August 2020 / Online: 27 August 2020 (08:27:28 CEST)
Barnden, J.A. The Meta-Dynamic Nature of Consciousness. Entropy2020, 22, 1433.
Barnden, J.A. The Meta-Dynamic Nature of Consciousness. Entropy 2020, 22, 1433.
How, if at all, consciousness can be part of the physical universe remains a baffling problem. This article outlines a new, developing philosophical theory of how it could do so, and offers a preliminary mathematical formulation of a physical grounding for key aspects of the theory. Because the philosophical side has radical elements, so does the physical-theory side. The philosophical side is radical, first, in proposing that the productivity or dynamism in the universe that many believe to be responsible for its systematic regularities is actually itself a physical constituent of the universe, along with more familiar entities. It also proposes that instances of dynamism can themselves take part in physical interactions with other entities, this interaction then being “meta-dynamism” (a type of metacausation). Secondly, the theory is radical, and unique, in arguing that consciousness is necessarily partly constituted of meta-dynamic auto-sensitivity, in other words it must react via meta-dynamism to its own dynamism, and also in conjecturing that some specific form of this sensitivity is sufficient for and indeed constitutive of consciousness. This leads to a proposal for how physical laws could be modified to accommodate meta-dynamism, via the radical step of including elements that explicitly refer to dynamism itself.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.