• The Natural Philosophy of Experiencing
    Philosophies 3 (4): 35-0. 2018.
    A new philosophy of nature is urgently needed. The received ontological view, physicalism, is unable to account for experiential phenomena and in particular for consciousness in all its varieties. We shall outline the concept of experiencing which should figure as a new conceptual primitive in natural philosophy. Experiencing refers to a process which comprises the interaction of an agent with its world through action based on phenomenal experience. This process can be viewed under two different…Read more
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    Process Metaphysics of Consciousness
    Open Philosophy 1 (1): 3-13. 2018.
    In this article, we look at the hard problem of consciousness from the perspective of process metaphysics. We thereby identify three problematic premises of the problem that pertain to the constitution of consciousness and its causal relation to the world. We argue for the necessity of re-thinking the corresponding phenomena in terms of internally-structured processes. The hard problem would then cease to be an insurmountable obstacle to a science of consciousness. Furthermore, this line of reas…Read more
  •  3
    Consciousness: A Molecular Perspective
    Philosophies 2 (4): 26-0. 2017.
    This perspective examines the role of chemistry and molecular biology for a science of consciousness. Opposed to the consensus view, we argue that the molecular organization of biological systems is key to arrive at a thorough understanding of the dynamics correlated to the phenomenology of consciousness in complex organisms. This is indicated by the fact that the molecular sciences either provide one or more mechanisms directly related to phenomenology or otherwise describe the dynamics of the …Read more
  •  13
    Chemistry, context and the objects of thought
    Foundations of Chemistry 19 (1): 29-41. 2017.
    In this paper we wish to raise the following question: which conceptual obstacles need to be overcome to arrive at a scientific and theoretical understanding of the mind? In the course of this examination, we shall encounter methodological and explanatory challenges and discuss them from the point of view of the philosophy of chemistry and quantum mechanics. This will eventually lead us to a discussion of emergence and metaphysics, thereby focusing on the status of objects. The question remains …Read more
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    Author's Response: Boundaries, Encodings and Paradox: What Models Can Tell Us About Experience
    with Chris Fields, Donald D. Hoffman, and Chetan Prakash
    Constructivist Foundations 12 (3): 284-291. 2017.
    Formal models lead beyond ordinary experience to abstractions such as black holes and quantum entanglement. Applying such models to experience itself makes it seem unfamiliar and even paradoxical. We suggest, however, that doing so also leads to insights. It shows, in particular, that the “view from nowhere” employed by the theorist is both essential and deeply paradoxical, and it suggests that experience has an unrecorded, non-reportable component in addition to its remembered, reportable compo…Read more
  •  11
    Eigenforms, Interfaces and Holographic Encoding: Toward an Evolutionary Account of Objects and Spactime
    with Chris Fields, Donald D. Hoffman, and Chetan Prakash
    Constructivist Foundations 12 (3): 265-274. 2017.
    Context: The evolution of perceptual systems and hence of observers remains largely disconnected from the question of the emergence of classical objects and spacetime. This disconnection between the biosciences and physics impedes progress toward understanding the role of the “observer” in physical theory. Problem: In this article we consider the problem of how to understand objects and spacetime in observer-relative evolutionary terms. Method: We rely on a comparative analysis using multiple fo…Read more
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    A Framework for Critical Materialists
    Mind and Matter 12 (1): 93-118. 2014.
    This contribution discusses a materialist framework for addressing conscious experience. In the first part of the paper the structure of this framework is laid out. Several explananda of consciousness are identified that materialists should try to relate to an under- lying substrate by identity statements, reductions, or functional descriptions. Most important for giving a satisfactory explanation of consciousness are accounts of why these relations hold (e.g., by nomological necessity) or how t…Read more