Topic: Theories of Consciousness

Camp: Agreement / Approachable Via Science / Ideal Monism

Camp Statement
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Ideal Monism
Maurice McCarthy. 12 Oct 2011
Ideal Monism is a world view which posits that the principal world substance is information.
All theory is information. The state of the physical universe at any instant is information. Genetics is information. All life is informed. Psychological states are information. Moral code is information. Information alone provides a common ground between the world of what is and the world of what ought to be. Thus it is not that information is physical but that the physical is meaningless without information. A multiverse is almost entirely an informational entity.
The above positive statement is deduced from the theory of science beginning from no presupposition. Whereas it is often argued that philosophy, "Answers no real questions", such a statement can only be categoric if we can point to one real question which philosophy does answer. We believe that question to be "What is science?" We believe it can give the answer to the nature of knowledge itself.
Briefly, to ask "What is science?" is to already call something "science" and to wish to understand it better. We cannot begin with any definition or presupposition. We cannot assume an a priori unless it is first established. Thus we must begin by unknowing all we know. We must remove all our knowledge by an act of thought, for there is no other way. This leaves us with outlining the limits or constraints into which science or any knowledge must fall. These are
1. that there is something to know, the content of experience 2. that there is an activity to do the knowing 3. that the 'gap' between these is closed
There is already a philosophic consensus that constraint 1 is experience in general. Experience provides the prompt to induce 2 to act. The gap can only be closed if there is a qualitative identity between some part of the content and the activity itself. There is only one human activity which fulfills this condition. We experience our own thought content and produce it ourselves. Therefore unless ideas and concepts, i.e. information, actually exist out there in experience then all knowledge and science is impossible. So it was written "In the beginning was the Word ... " for the Logos is the actually existent world information system.
The quality of thinking, ideas, concepts and all information is that it is absent - a better characterisation than 'abstract'. Thinking has no qualitative phenomenality of its own. Thinking and its products exist only in a negative sense, i.e. they do not stand out in experience but constitute the medium of all experience.
Experience when analysed reduces to qualia. Qualia are therefore elemental and this comprises their ineffability. To get 'behind' qualia and say how they are formed consequently means to remove them from the experiential field. Only in this way can their elemental character be overcome. So it is a matter of elevating and enhancing consciousness by its own effort to be able to do this.
At present science creates relations between phenomena. Then it moves to regions of thought which only take a point of departure from phenomenal experience. The last step would be to move to entirely sense-percept-free or qualia-free thinking. Such thinking would move entirely in the world of cosmic information.

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Topic Name : Theories of Consciousness
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Camp Name : Ideal Monism
Parent Camp : Approachable Via Science
Keywords : information, concepts, thinking
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