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Kolmogorov complexity as a smoking gun of the hard problem of consciousness

Salom, Igor (2020) Kolmogorov complexity as a smoking gun of the hard problem of consciousness. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The longstanding problem to understand if, why, and how objective functioning of the brain gives rise to a subjective perspective has been, in the last few decades, commonly known as the hard problem of consciousness. However, due to the strictly subjective and qualitative character of subjective experience, it is difficult to get a firm grip on the problem itself, which led some philosophers even to deny the very existence of the problem. In this paper, we point to a relation between the quantity of information (i.e. Kolmogorov complexity) and the phenomenon of subjective experience. In a thought experiment that we construct, the amount of information existing subjectively will be significantly higher than the amount of information existing objectively. We argue that such a quantifiable discrepancy clearly identifies one mathematically well-defined aspect of the hard problem which, in turn, makes it at least much harder to deny its existence. If we take a stronger stance, this aspect of the problem further undermines hopes that a satisfactory strictly physicalist explanation of the subjective experience could be ever given.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Salom, Igorisalom@ipb.ac.rs0000-0002-1119-730X
Keywords: Hard problem of consciousness, Kolmogorov complexity, information, philosophical zombies, self-location, many-worlds interpretation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr. Igor Salom
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2020 20:58
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2020 20:58
Item ID: 18144
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 23 September 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18144

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