Towards resolving the hard problem: a synergistic network account of consciousness

Orner, Roderick and Galpin, Janet (2021) Towards resolving the hard problem: a synergistic network account of consciousness. Journal of Mind and Behaviour, 42 (1). pp. 17-32. ISSN 0271-0137

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Towards Resolving the Hard Problem of Consciousness
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Abstract

To resolve the hard problem of consciousness, we propose a systems-level theory of syner- gistic processes to account for sentience, consciousness, and mind. Subjectivity arises from interactive network processes within and between nature’s entangled, relational, and iter- ative elements. Searches for the physical cause or locus of consciousness and subjectivity are misguided given that consciousness emerges from processes with no single source. To account for the evolution and phenomenology of mind, our synergistic network account of consciousness (SNAC) dispenses with mind–body dualism, it weakens boundaries between the material and the non-material, between the internal and the external, and emphasises synergistic processes and functionalities over outcome. The theory challenges psychology to abandon its cause–effect categorisations and implied mind–body dualism in favour of functional systems-level analyses to better account for relational processes and functions which unfold synergistically within and sustain nature’s complex networks of entangled elements.

Keywords:consciousness, systems-level analysis, synergistic emergence, emergence
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
A Medicine and Dentistry > A300 Clinical Medicine
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V550 Philosophy of Science
C Biological Sciences > C150 Environmental Biology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B340 Alternative Medicine
A Medicine and Dentistry > A100 Pre-clinical Medicine
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V510 Metaphysics
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B140 Neuroscience
C Biological Sciences > C490 Genetics not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B300 Complementary Medicine
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B345 Hypnotherapy
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B940 Counselling
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V511 Epistemology
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C820 Developmental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C860 Neuropsychology
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B760 Mental Health Nursing
Divisions:College of Science > Lincoln Medical School
ID Code:46000
Deposited On:07 Oct 2021 13:44

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