Consciousness: Computable, Noncomputable or Both?
Pp. 10-18 (9)
Paulo J. Negro
The computability issue provides a pivot for understanding the origin of
consciousness. A noncomputable origin of consciousness implies that analogic
processing of information supported by real numbers and relying on the laws of physics
gives rise to subjectivity. In contrast, a computable origin would mean that processing
of information relies on algorithms such as those governing digital computing. Neither
binary logic nor formal mathematical systems govern the evolution of biological
systems. Kurt Gödel formally demonstrated that axiomatic systems do not prove the
truth and consistency of all theorems, thus providing evidence that formal
mathematical systems cannot fully capture the creative processes that take place in the
human brain. However, computational approaches to brain function yield
extraordinarily successful results. The operations that underlie the realization of
awareness should capture algorithmically compressible regularities. Crucially, silicon
and brain computation share a fundamental characteristic: large complex systems must
rely on a hierarchical organization where each level becomes increasingly more
abstract. Nonetheless, as of yet, no theory has explained how qualia arise from neuro
computation. Altogether, these considerations support dividing the Hard Problem into
symbiotic computational and non-computational aspects.
Abstraction in Computation Science, Algorithms, Axiomatic Method,
Brain Operations, Computational Consciousness, EEG Spatiotemporal Patterns,
Functional States, Godel’s Proof, Noncomputational Consciousness, Non
Computational Subject, Phenomenal and Operational Isomorphism Real
Numbers, Phenomenal Transparency, Physical Instantiation, Primitives, Table
Lookup, Tractability, Turing Machine.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences.