Consciousness as Integrated Information A Provisional Philosophical Critique

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Abstract:

Giulio Tononi (2008) has offered his integrated information theory of consciousness (IITC) as a 'provisional manifesto'. I critically examine how the approach fares. I point out some (relatively) internal concerns with the theory and then more broadly philosophical ones; finally I assess the prospects for IITC as a fundamental theory of consciousness. I argue that the IITC's scientific promise does carry over to a significant extent to broader philosophical theorizing about qualia and consciousness, though not as directly as Tononi suggests, since the account is much more focused on the qualitative character of experience rather than on consciousness itself. I propose understanding it as 'integrated information theory of qualia' (IITQ), rather than of consciousness.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Marquette University, Email: anthony.peressini@marquette.edu

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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