Circumnavigating the causal pairing problem with hylomorphism and the integrated information theory of consciousness
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The causal pairing problem allegedly renders nonphysical minds causally impotent. This article demonstrates how a dualist view I call neo-Thomistic hylomorphism can circumnavigate the causal pairing problem. After explicating the problem and hylomorphism, I provide an account of causal pairing that appeals to a foundational tenet of hylomorphism. Subsequently, I suggest that a prominent view of consciousness in theoretical neuroscience—the integrated information theory—can learn from hylomorphism and likewise account for causal pairing.
KeywordsMental causation Causal pairing problem Hylomorphism Integrated information theory
I want to thank the Tiny Blue Dot Foundation for generously funding my research as the Elizabeth R. Koch Research Fellow for Tiny Blue Dot Consciousness Studies. I also want to thank my fellowship advisor, Christof Koch, as well as Anna Marmodoro, Henry Taylor, Nikk Effingham, Jussi Suikkanen, Aryn Owen, and anonymous reviewers for this journal for helpful feedback on ancestors of this article. I am also indebted to Mihretu Guta for many insightful conversations.
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