April 25-30, 2016 - Tucson, ARIZONA   

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort





APRIL 27, 2016

2:00pm to 4:10 pm

PL 4 - Five Roads to Consciousness 2


Jakob Hohwy

Monash University, Melbourne

Philosophy & Cognition Lab/Philosophy Department

"On the Straight and Narrow Road to Consciousness?" Jakob Hohwy

There are now several main theories of consciousness. Integrated information theory, global neuronal workspace theory, orchestrated objective reduction, higher order thought type theories, and a newcomer, predictive processing, all vie for explanatory power. I will describe the considerable divergences and intersections of these five roads to consciousness. Then I will suggest principled ways to constrain the route taken; here, I appeal to considerations, mainly from the philosophy of the science of consciousness, pertaining to explanatory unification, the neural correlates of consciousness, and the dimensions of conscious experience. A sustainable theory of consciousness would benefit from weighting theoretical integration, from operating at both mechanistic and computational levels, and from offering a unified account of levels and contents of consciousness. On this basis, I will suggest which of the five roads look most likely to lead to consciousness. The newcomer, based on notions of prediction error minimization, appears promising on several fronts.

Jakob Hohwy is Professor of Philosophy at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He studied in Aarhus, Denmark, obtained his masters from St. Andrews, Scotland, and did his PhD at the Australian National University. Jakob has established the Cognition & Philosophy Lab at Monash University, which conducts empirical experiments and theoretical explorations in consciousness science. His approach is highly interdisciplinary, and he collaborates with neuroscientists, psychologists, and psychiatrists on topics such as the neural correlates of consciousness, bistable perception, multisensory integration in autism, and bodily self-awareness. Jakob is the author of The Predictive Mind (OUP, 2013), which seeks to unify many aspects of consciousness under the notion of prediction error minimization.