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Amplifying Phenomenal Information Toward a Fundamental Theory of Consciousness

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Fundamental approaches bypass the problem of getting consciousness from non-conscious components by positing that consciousness is a universal primitive. For example, the double aspect theory of information holds that information has a phenomenal aspect. How then do you get from phenomenal information to human consciousness? This paper proposes that an entity is conscious to the extent it amplifies information, first by trapping and integrating it through closure, and second by maintaining dynamics at the edge of chaos through simultaneous processes of divergence and convergence. The origin of life through autocatalytic closure, and the origin of an interconnected worldview through conceptual closure, induced phase transitions in the degree to which information, and thus consciousness, is locally amplified. Divergence and convergence of cognitive information may involve phenomena observed in light e.g. focusing, interference, and resonance. By making information flow inward-biased, closure shields us from external consciousness; thus the paucity of consciousness may be an illusion.

Keywords: abstract thought; amplification; closure; combination problem; concept; consciousness; context; double aspect theory; edge of chaos; episodic mind; focus; holographic memory; information; interference; light

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies (CLEA), Free University of Brussels (VUB), Krijgskundestraat 33, Brussels, B1160, Belgium. Email:

Publication date: 2002-08-01

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