Abstract Details

Subjective Perspectivity, Intentionality, and Qualitative Character. Experience and Report.  John Strozier (Science, Mathematics,Technology, SUNY, Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY )   P1

Consciousness is: looking outward (1. Subjective Perspectivity) at something (2. Intentionality) with subjective feeling (3. Qualitative Character, Qualia). The first two are strongly suggested by the Reflection Principle outlined below. As yet, we have no clue as to Qualitative Character; but will give some speculations. First, the Reflection Principle (Strozier, (2016)): a) Inputs from the senses are encoded as neural spikes that feed forward into the brain that builds various neural representations/memory of the world over time reflecting the different aspects of those inputs. b) These representations are the objects of neural cognitive functions that generate efferent signals to the muscles and organs to do something. c) Neural projection operators generate outgoing (recurrent) neural signals that interact with those neural representations. These outgoing signals move back towards their sensory source creating the illusion of "what it is like" (Nagel (1974)) by scanning, interacting with it, reaching out -- in a subjective, first-person mode; thus, acting as objects of subjective consciousness. d) The outgoing projected neural signals also interact with the incoming sensory neural signals to generate differences for feedback that are input to the representations as negative feedback to correct, and as positive feedback to emphasis. By generating outgoing neural signals from the incoming neural signals, the Reflection Principle point of view is egocentric and outward, which is exactly the subjective point of view of a conscious organism. Thus, subjective perspectivity and intentionality IS the relationship between the conscious being, A, and the objects of its consciousness, B. What remains is Qualitative Character (qualia); the phenomenal feeling or sensations of an experience, but not the explicit content. Feelings would include touch, pain, pleasure, etc. generated as a reaction to stimuli, current and historical. We suggest that subjective feelings are due to chemical/physical unbalances as off-sets in the body from normal set-points. The origin of set-points comes from both biological evolution and learned experiences. How feelings, as off-sets, are expressed phenomenology to conscious organism through neurochemistry in the brain remains a mystery whose possible solution awaits more complete knowledge of both learning and the detailed phylogeny of one-celled animals to present-day conscious organisms. Experience and Report. Everything experienced by a conscious organism A is a subjective experience of either an object, process, or event we call B; which can be external, or internal to the organism itself. If the experience of B by A can be reported, then B can be described objectively in third person by the sum over many experiences analyzed as in Science (Eq.1). We argue that, except for qualitative character, which can only be reported indexically and/or by comparison (the color, blue; pain, dull; etc.)., all conscious experience of B is reportable if attended to (subjective consciousness focused and sweeps over B), and thus can be objectively analyzed. .... Eq. 1: 3rd = G Si (Ri 1st.i) B: where Si denotes the sum over i of (Ri1st.i), the reportable first-person subjective experience of B; and G is the operator that analyzes the reported experiences.