Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Interactions among Minds/Brains: Individual Consciousness and Inter-subjectivity in Dual-Aspect Framework

Ram L. Pandey Vimal


Previously in (Vimal, 2010a), we argued that: (i) it is necessary to link experience and function aspect of consciousness with the related structure or neural correlate(s) of consciousness (NCC); and (ii) non-conscious experiences are equivalent to relevant proto-experiences at various levels because both are precursors of conscious subjective experiences aspect of consciousness. Here, in terms of dual-aspect dual-mode PE-SE (proto-experience/subjective experience) framework (Vimal, 2008b, 2010d), we argue as follows: (I) Non-experiential consciousness is a part of functional aspect of consciousness and consciousness is more fundamental than experience because experiences and functions are two aspects of consciousness. (II) Therefore, one could argue for the continuum of consciousness, experience, and function. (III) The origin of individual consciousness could be a ‘universal background of awareness’ that is equivalent to virtual reservoir (where potential SEs are stored in superposed form, and a specific SE is selected via matching process) in the PE-SE framework. The interaction between zombies is relational but it would not lead to an individual consciousness in each zombie. The origin of intersubjective consciousness is the interaction between individual consciousnesses, i.e., interaction between ‘I’, ‘you’, and ‘she/he/it’, i.e., interactions between minds/brains and their environments. (IV) A specific SE is selected during matching process and conscious experience constructs the perception or SE of external objects. (V) The dual-aspect dual-mode PE-SE framework is consistent with classical double-aspectism in the sense of inseparability of mental and physical aspect, whereas it is consistent with double-perspectivism in the sense that the mental aspect is known via first person perspective and the physical aspect is known via third person perspective. (VI) Our conventional reality is subject inclusive or mind dependent reality (MDR), whereas the subject exclusive or mind independent reality (MIR) remains always unknown even in so called samadhi state of mind that claims to have direct perception (or consciousness as such), which may or may not be close to MIR. (VII) The hard problems are Types 1-3 explanatory gaps: Type-1 explanatory gap is how can SEs emerge from non-experiential matter (emergentism) or identical with respective neural states (identity hypothesis of Type-B materialism)? Type-2 is how can SEs pre-exist? And Type-3 is how can physicists claim that MDR is MIR? The hard problem of panexperientialism is how can experiences create the matter of mind independent reality? (VIII) The predictive behavior (developmental rhythmic call and response behavior) and then existential crisis contribute towards the emergence of consciousness. On the basis of evolution, (a) individual consciousness in rudimentary form might have occurred about 540 mya during Cambrian explosion, (b) symbolic, language-using, Homo sapiens (tribal-centric consciousness ) emerged at around 150 kya, and (iii) self-centric or object-centric consciousness might have emerged at around 10 kya. (IX) (a) The existential crisis, biological crisis, and predictive behavior can be interpreted as the motivation/cause of the formation of appropriate neural-networks, and (b) self (SE of subject) occurred in brain when self-related neural-network were formed and necessary ingredients of consciousness were satisfied. (c) The co-evolution and co-development (neural Darwinism) of mind and brain and the dual-aspect-dual-mode PE-SE framework are necessary in a complementary manner for physicalism and panexperientialism. Inter-subjectivity can modulate the attributes of already created/occurred individual-self in self-related neural-network.

Full Text:


ISSN: 2153-8212