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Open Philosophy

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Process Metaphysics of Consciousness

Robert Prentner
Published Online: 2018-03-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opphil-2018-0002


In this article, we look at the hard problem of consciousness from the perspective of process metaphysics. We thereby identify three problematic premises of the problem that pertain to the constitution of consciousness and its causal relation to the world. We argue for the necessity of re-thinking the corresponding phenomena in terms of internally-structured processes. The hard problem would then cease to be an insurmountable obstacle to a science of consciousness. Furthermore, this line of reasoning is shown to be continuous with philosophical projects from the early 20th century that preceded the contemporary philosophy of mind. Specifically, we investigate the relationship of parts and wholes, and translate metaphysical problems of consciousness into mereological language. Despite this being a philosophical project, we frequently note and discuss links to the empirical sciences, in particular those of quantum mechanics, systems theory and the embodied cognition framework.

Keywords: Process Thought; Consciousness; Mereology; Mereological Structure; Hard Problem; Embodiment; Constitution; Causation; Cognition; Systems Theory


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About the article

Received: 2017-10-07

Accepted: 2018-02-14

Published Online: 2018-03-21

Citation Information: Open Philosophy, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 3–13, ISSN (Online) 2543-8875, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opphil-2018-0002.

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© 2018, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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