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16.15. IIT – Integrated Information Theory

The leading theory at the moment regarding consciousness is Integrated Information Theory, which is fronted by a group of scientists with PhDs in physics, brain research, mathematics, philosophy etc.

In short, the theory states that where there is a lot of information gathered and integrated – there will also be a great degree of consciousness, indicated by the Greek letter Phi.

A mathematical framework has been developed to calculate Phi in different contexts. The goal is that one should be able to observe a thing, a living being – anything – and determine to what extent it is conscious.

The benefit is obvious. It should thus be possible to measure, for example, a patient's brain activity in a coma and determine whether they still have conscious experiences.

The exciting thing in our context is that in an idealistic worldview everything* is information. The IIT theory and the theory of idealistic emergence are entirely consistent.

In both, information is central. We only come to this insight from two different directions.

IIT starts with the material and measures, using complicated mathematics, the concentration and amount of information.

Idealistic emergence is instead about the degree of fragmentation, how far the emergent development has come – and how the laws of complexity have led to different densities of this information.

It's the same; amount and density of information. IIT measures the material and is an example of how we make laws of nature from observations of nature.

They develop something abstract from something concrete.

It is an unnecessary detour. The concrete already has its origin in the abstract.

It should be possible to reverse the equations without me having any idea how to do something like that.