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C or Consciousness
I or Information
M or Matter

©  Wim van den Dungen
Antwerp, 2017.

§ 1

Consciousness (C) is the set of meaningful cognitive acts ("cogitationes"), involving sensation, volition, affection & thought, constituting a "prise de conscience" of an order of things sentient, material and informational.

One can not stop C to examine it, for it is constantly changing & fluid (cf. Brentano). There is no standpoint-philosophy allowing us to observe C from a vantage point outside C. It is therefore with C that C is studied. As C is not a thing, it can not be objectified but needs to be lived in order to be grasped correctly. This is a "vital experience" (Husserl's "Erlebnis"). To describe C, it is not enough to say that it is oriented towards an object or that it is lived in thought. Intentional experiences or "act of C" are more than an activity of C. To grasp it a reflective living of one's own C is needed. This leads to a phenomenology of Self-C, as proposed by Husserl. It is a Western variant of the Eastern systems of yoga, especially classical yoga (cf.Patañjali). To philosophize is not to examine the things of which one is conscious, but rather to analyse the very "pure" C one has of them. The phenomenologist confines himself in his analysis to that which is immanent in C.

§ 2

A priori C is a primordial dator, for no object can be known without some prior (subjective) cogitation. No form (of a system) and no physical process can be identified without affirming the presence of the "I think" of C. The transcendental I is a necessary condition of thought. C is not entirely subjective. The repudiation of C (its reduction to I or M) is logically impossible of achievement. 

Each act of C has (1) a subjective noetic structure ("noêsis") or the intentional act looked at as a subjective operation and (2 ) an objective noematic structure ("noêma") or the same act looked at as "containing" an objective sense. The function of the act as noetic is to "give" a sense. So C is essentially a source of meaning. Husserl contents that the study of the noetic modalities of the act of C reveals the object more and more for to each noetic modality corresponds a noematic modality. This leads to a genuine, phenomenological insight in the essence of that which is (i.e. back to the things themselves)

§ 3

When C is detached (through the method of "bracketing" or disconnexion) from the natural standpoint (the spatio-temporal facts related to existence or "Sosein") a suspension takes place (although our spatio-temporal coordinations remain unaltered) transporting our C into the realm of freedom. In this state C is conscious of itself (the interior facts related to "Dasein") revealing to intellectual reason a being of its own which in its absolute uniqueness remains unaffected by the phenomenological disconnection (cf. Husserl).

§ 4

This new region of being renders "pure" C accessible to intellectual reason. Although from the natural standpoint we are always conscious of something (i.e. M and I) we can consider conscious experiences in the fullness of their concrete contexts. It becomes evident that through reflection (C being conscious if itself) on the cogitations the singularity in and for itself, i.e. the unity of C can be described.

§ 5

In the nominal state (cfr. "katnut" in qabalah) it is possible to understand C as a functional product of interactions between M and I enabling a given system to define its own position & momentum in spacetime. As both can not be determined without some material uncertainty and informational incompleteness each auto-definition contains a paradox. So the nominal definition of C is of the complex form C (x).i = M (x) + I (x).i (and "i" being the square root of -1).

§ 6

In the meta-nominal state (cfr. "gatlut" in qabalah), the freedom of C can be more fully experienced, for the natural standpoint is nominal. In the meta-nominal state, the essence of C can be intuited in a non-verbal way. The first step towards this meta-nominal comprehension is known as "intellectual perception", through which the transcendental I is conscious of Itself through the sole activity of the intellect (acting on reason), without any intervention of the senses and the mind. In the meta-nominal states C is experienced through reflection as a fixed and enduring perception in which the thoughts come and go (cf. Kant, who refused to accept this).

§ 7

Although C is largely subjective (in here), it can not (by virtue of the primordial dator) be understood as entirely noetic. Although M and I are largely objective (out there), they can not (by virtue of the intentionality of which they are part) be grasped as completely noematic. For the objective side (hardware + software) is always intended for the use by subjects sharing more than one culture of meaning (userware). When object & subject are artificially divided, creating a "black box", C becomes "a ghost in the machine". One should always keep in mind that this artificial division is an act of C.

§ 8 

The architecture, organization or structure of a system S is a form (key of order) which realizes its informational profile, status & position through conscious continuity, self-similarity & identity. It is able to make these conscious efforts last through autoregulation, autostructuration & "autopoiesis".

See also : Synopsis


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initiated : 2002 - last update : 24 I 2011 - version n°3