PhilSci Archive

A Mathematical Perspective on How Qualia Arise from Their Physical Correlates

Leffler, T.R. (2021) A Mathematical Perspective on How Qualia Arise from Their Physical Correlates. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
Paper - 2021-Aug-17.pdf

Download (288kB) | Preview

Abstract

Central to the hard problem of consciousness (Chalmers 1995) is the enigma of how qualia arise from their physical correlates. It is argued that much of the explanatory difficulty regarding this dynamic stems from a fundamental dichotomy between the nature of the physical systems that give rise to qualia (the neural correlates of consciousness) and other physical systems. Specifically, unlike other physical systems, the neural correlates of consciousness have, in certain states, both quantifiable (physical) aspects and unquantifiable aspects (qualia). Although these two types of aspects seem fundamentally irreconcilable, it is argued that systems of such mixed quantifiability can be described (and to that extent explained) by a particular class of equations – those featuring singularities. In that respect, it is hypothesized that qualia correspond to singularities in the mathematical descriptions of certain aspects of the neural correlates of consciousness. This proposal may have been foreshadowed by Srinivasa Ramanujan. If correct, it would thread a particularly difficult needle in that it would manage to preserve and account for the non-quantitative aspects of experience within the quantitative framework of the natural sciences.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Leffler, T.R.trl25@georgetown.edu
Keywords: Consciousness; Hard Problem of Consciousness; Neural Correlates of Consciousness; Mathematical Models of Consciousness
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: T.R. Leffler
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2021 13:49
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2021 13:49
Item ID: 19459
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Physics
Date: 17 August 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19459

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item