Abstract Details

Developing a Robust Neutral Monism: A Conjunction of Neutral Monism and Information-theoretic Structural Realism  Garrett Mindt (University of Wisconsin - Madison, Department of Psychiatry, Tiny Blue Dot Foundation, Madison, Wisconsin )   C18

Developing a coherent metaphysics of consciousness has proved one of the trickier tasks over the years, that is, developing a metaphysics that (1) accommodates the philosophical conundrums that arise when thinking about phenomenal experience and (2) a metaphysics that takes seriously our natural investigation of the world. In this talk I want to motivate a novel metaphysics of consciousness, a metaphysical picture which I think accommodates these two seemingly intractable aspects of our desire of an explanation of consciousness. The metaphysics I propose is called Information-Theoretic Neutral Structuralism (ITNS). I argue that ITNS is the metaphysics that most naturally falls out of the conjunction of three theses: phenomenal realism, informational realism, and structural realism. In this talk I will motivate why one should adopt these three theses and why the most natural metaphysical picture that results is ITNS. I will also discuss the theoretical virtues associated with ITNS and its ability to explain consciousness and the metaphysical foundations of our natural world. I offer ITNS as the view that best encapsulates the conjunction of a neutral monism and information-theoretic structural realism. There is of course much work to be done after this point, but I hope to at least motivate that the general direction of this research is fruitful for finding consciousness' place in nature.