March 7, 2019 // By Matthew Owen

Recently, Garrett Mindt edited a special issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies on the Integrated Information Theory of consciousness (known as IIT). It was wonderful to work with Garrett, who put together a very impressive overall issue, and I was honored to contribute an article entitled ‘Exploring Common Ground between Integrated Information Theory and Aristotelian Metaphysics.’ If you are interested in IIT, Aristotelian metaphysics, consciousness, and/or machine consciousness, check it out. Below is the abstract.

Abstract: A leading contemporary theory of consciousness in theoretical neuroscience apparently shares significant common ground with a philosophical system of thought from Antiquity. Although chronologically disparate, the integrated information theory of consciousness and Aristotelian metaphysics seem to be akin with regards to fundamental ontology, epistemic priority, and causal powers. In this article, I explore these areas of common ground. Additionally, I consider an apparent dissimilarity regarding panpsychism and suggest that an Aristotelian understanding of powers provides a natural way for IIT to reasonably regulate its ascription of consciousness.

Featured image: Public domain via Scholarpedia entry ‘Integrated information theory,’ by Giulio Tononi.