DOI: 10.14704/nq.2018.16.11.1127

Functionalist Counterargument Against Nonemergent Theories of Consciousness (Physicalism and Nonemergent Panprotopsychism)

Alexander Kiselnikov


This paper deals with criticism of nonemergent theories of mind from the perspective of functionalism. The most important part of the criticism is the analysis of the basic tenet of functionalism, presuming that informational processes in the brain are a changing pattern of neurons activation and deactivation. One of the main ideas of the functionalist counterargument is that in the physical world such characteristic as neurons activation or deactivation does not exist, it can only be subjectively “collected” of really existing physical attributes of particles that form a neuron. Which means an objectively changing neuronal pattern of activation and deactivation is only changing physical attributes of a multitude of particles, while neuron activation and deactivation is only being “invented” subjectively. But out of the nonexistence of a changing pattern of neurons activation and deactivation results nonexistence of informational processes what in the end within the confines of functionalism would mean illusive existence of consciousness itself. And only if the attribute of activation and deactivation becomes something emergent then informational processes, along with consciousness become something really existing.


hard problem of consciousness; functionalism; information; constitutional panprotopsychism; emergent panprotopsychism; physicalism; emergent functionalism

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