A Problem of Records
Pp. 169-179 (11)
Paulo J. Negro
The problem of records consists of matching neural signals with specific
quale. The question does not contemplate why human brains generate subjective
experiences, but the archives of the rules that match subjective experiences to objective
brain states. Record keeping is a specific non-metaphysical aspect of the Hard Problem
that is not algorithmically compressible and therefore non-solvable from a
computational perspective. The answer to this question lies in the physics of the
universe. Record keeping remains a difficult problem in quantum mechanics.
Decoherence can be seen as the loss of information from a system into the
environment. It is not clear which property of the environment carries the information
from the decohered system. The development of a quantum explanation requires the
identification of the property that makes the wave state respond to living things with
subjectivity, and not with physical information such as position and momentum.
Conscious experiences emerge from spatiotemporal patterns of integrated activity at
levels that quantum theory cannot address. Processing of information across hierarchies
is consistent with the generation of abstract concepts transcending their conditions of
origin. Emergent properties that allow for conscious representation of objects require
stable resonance of neuronal activity much beyond the levels of organization addressed
by quantum physics. Quantum theories must reconcile recent neuroscience findings
that emphasize the role of top-down information in human consciousness. However,
strange loops may provide a mechanism for the generation of awareness, but they do
not explain the subject who is the experiencer. The relational order I describe in this
book is ultimately agency-based. To address the subject and its agency, or their local
manifestations, as an “observable” quantum operator is a possible path towards the
solution of the Hard Problem.
Aboutness Problem, Agency as the Subject, Decoherence, Field
Theories in Consciousness, Fermion, Fractality, Genomic Instantiation, Intelligent
Design, Limits of Functionalism, Limits of Computational Theories,
Microtubules, Metaphysical, Objective Reduction, Physics, Physical, Problem of
Records, Quantum Physics, Subject as Quantum Operator, Subject as Emptiness.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences.