In late 20th century D. Chalmers came to the conclusion that consciousness is redundant in relation to the brain functioning and he called it the hard problem of consciousness. In this article a fusion of existentialism and quantum theories of consciousness will be proposed, with the result being a neurophenomenological theory of consciousness Quantum brain and Nothingness. An important base for the paper is the idea of direct connection between the hard problem of consciousness and the problem of free will that allows us to build a “bridge” between existential philosophy and the hard problem of consciousness. The main ideas of neurophenomenological theory of consciousness will contain the following: At present moment brain can be simultaneously in multiple states, because of the significant quantum effects that influencing neuron impulses. From the third person’s perspective the quantum brain looks like physical object, but in reality (i.e. “from the inside”, “brain for brain” or brain as “thing-in-itself”) quantum brain is consciousness. It means that the conscious and quantum neuronal processes are the same “something” that can be observed both from inside and from outside. Because of that consciousness exists simultaneously in multiple states. Further free “i” in the continuously processes of selection of one of the possible state of consciousness and automatically chooses one of the possible state of the quantum brain, causing collapse of its wave function as a result. Furthermore, consciousness is “quantum brain for quantum brain” and “i” that is in the continuous process of collapsing of brain’s wave function. Quantum states of brain are pressuring “i” requiring its own realization. This “pressure” and particular quantum states of the brain are represented as multitude of qualia for “i”. As a result, consciousness is emergent interaction of “i” and quantum states of the brain.
I discuss the ontological nature and heuristic value of psychedelic experience. I argue that psychedelic phenomena may manifest the activity of certain mental formations and brain mechanisms that otherwise remain hidden. Thus, psychedelic phenomena can be heuristic tools and intriguing objects of the scientific study. I consider two types of psychedelic phenomena in particular. The first is the moral cleansing that may accompany a psychedelic trip. The second is the appearance of visual and auditory hallucinations. I establish a unified explanatory ground for the phenomena that are commonly viewed as distinct in their genesis. I explain both types of phenomena as products of the amplified imaginative ability of the brain under a substance’s influence. I suggest that the activation of imagination causes an increased empathy and thus accentuates moral feelings. I propose the hypothesis that hallucinations are mental objects of a quantum nature. I argue that no ontologically separate reality stands behind psychedelic visions.
Already within the framework of the principle of phenomenological intentionality, one is dealing with the existence of a certain inevitable intertwining of the perspective and the object upon which this perspective is directed, or, in other words, the intertwining of the object of consciousness and that of which one is conscious is guaranteed, as is their initial unity. If we try to apply to consciousness any ‘type’ of relationship or subject–object schemes, then we immediately come up against paradoxes. It is impossible to determine consciousness by means of subject–object, not only because it is not an object, nor a subject, but also because consciousness inevitably turns out to be “prior” to all other similar distinctions. Therefore consciousness is not an object that can be enumerated or related to some other object. It cannot be separated from us; we cannot step aside from it or distance ourselves from it, for consciousness is non-spatial.
This paper examines ontological strategies of Western existential philosophy (its “atheistic” current) and the Buddhist school (darśana) of mādhyamaka. We can discover similar phenomenological strategies together with extreme differences in anthropology and the value purposes (personalism and deconstruction of classic European subject in the existential philosophy and radical impersonalism of Buddhism). We suppose that Heidegger, Sartre and Buddhism have comparable theories of consciousness. The mādhyamaka’s “śūnyata” (emptiness) is comparable with Heideggers’s and Sartre’s “Nothingness” (though they are not absolutely similar) and we can discover primacy of negativity in both cases. We also try to substantiate that the position of mādhyamaka was a radical nihilism and not scepticism contrary to the opinion of a number of modern buddologists. And what is also important for us is the problem of the “unhappy consciousness” (be it the Buddhist “duḥkha” or “Sorge”of Heidegger, or Sartre’s “Nausea”) and different attitudes of thinkers towards it.
This paper deals with one of the most complicated issues in philosophy – the problem of intentionality of consciousness. The author seeks to answer the question of whether the intentionality of consciousness can be considered a universal anthropological characteristic. Two philosophical positions regarding intentionality are compared on the basis of Jean-Paul Sartre’s major works and the sacred texts of Hinduism and Buddhism. The author first identifies certain traits of Western metaphysics, which regards consciousness as something to be revealed and to be described as intentional, and second, takes up the approach Ancient Indian metaphysics’ that regards the “depriving” consciousness of its intentionality as having a soteriological purpose.
This paper considers the evolution of understanding and the status of objectless presentations in the works of the three main authors of this tradition: “The Theory of Science” by B. Bolzano, “On Content and Object of Presentations” by K. Twardowski and “Intentional Objects” by E. Husserl. A critical analysis of these positions on objectless presentations is interesting, because here in one point, in one discussion, we have several very important philosophical theories that have had an impact on the philosophical debates in the twentieth century, particularly on the discussion Alexius Meinong and Bertrand Russell at the beginning of XX century. We want to show, how this Meinong’s conception hasmade significant contribution into the problem of nonexistent objects that still remains one of the most debated incontemporary philosophy. Here author aims to show how theory of objects as such came into being and how its main ideas were discussed and criticized in subsequent philosophical thought. This dispute pushes us to think that we deal here with fundamental ideological differences between these conceptions. Therefore, it allowed to consider another important philosophical and methodological problem - the problem of incommunicability between logical and psychological conceptions.
The research investigates the concept of a “subjectless consciousness” and deconstruction of a classical subject in Western philosophy of the XX-th XXI-th century (especially in structuralism and post-structuralism). It also investigates the “non-dual” consciousness (jñāna), “understanding wisdom” (prajñāpārmitā) and an extra-subjective “consciousness treasury” (ālayavijñāna) in Māhāyana Buddhism (darśanas of mādhyamaka-śūnyavāda and yogacāra-vijñānavada). It also explores a clarification to what degree the Western concepts of “subjectless consciousness“, «extra-subject consciousness”, “structural apriori”, “rhizome” etc. may be correlated with the concepts of Māhāyana Buddhist philosophy.
Consciousness is not an object that can be enumerated or related to some other object. It cannot be separated from us; we cannot step aside from it or distance ourselves from it, for consciousness is non-spatial.