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Peter Lloyd - Automata-theoretic approach to modelling consciousness within mental monism

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Duration: 0:16:37 | Added: 13 Oct 2019
One in a series of talks from the 2019 Models of Consciousness conference.

Peter Lloyd
School of Computing, University of Kent

There has been a recent resurgence of interest in mental monism as a theory of consciousness (Goldschmidt & Pearce 2017, Chalmers 2017, 2018), and Lloyd (2006, 2019) has defended a form of Berkeleyanism that aligns with Pearce (2014) and Schrödinger’s (1958) “physical construct”.

Unlike theories that take the conscious mind to supervene on the brain, mental monism faces the burden of constructing ab initio the structure and dynamics of the conscious mind without any physical substrate to fall back on. Little work has been done on modelling the constituents of the mind at this fundamental level, under the tenets of mental monism. Energy, which is the driver of the physical world, has no counterpart in the mental world, which operates informatically instead. An automata-theoretic approach to modelling the conscious mind within mental monism is therefore a natural choice to explore. The model is constrained by (a) the mind’s interaction with other minds including the background consciousness, an interaction that must be mapped onto quantum mechanical measurement in the physical construct; and (b) the basic features of a mind such as individuation, privacy, mental space, psychological embodiment, attention, memory. What do these constraints imply for any substrate-free automata-theoretic model of consciousness?

Filmed at the Models of Consciousness conference, University of Oxford, September 2019.

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