0. Overview

[This is a work in progress. This page is not meant to explain anything. It’s only meant to put all the moving parts in one place.]

1. Axioms

A theory begins with axioms: assumptions which are taken for granted and are used to draw conclusions. The axioms of this theory are:

A. Stuff exists

B. Patterns are real

C. Things change

2. Ontology

The ontology of a theory describes the fundamental units or parts of that theory. Essentially, the ontology requires a rigorous definition of the terms used in the axioms, plus any additional terms necessary to understand the theory. The additional terms necessary for the current theory include: Process, Causation, Information, and Goals

3. Function

“Function” has two separate but relevant definitions in this theory: first as the mathematical concept of function, and second as the concept of having a purpose. Both are applicable to and necessary for the current theory.

4. Representation

The Psychule Theory of Consciousness says the fundamental feature of consciousness, the smallest unit of consciousness, the sine qua non, the “Psychule”, is representation. Representation is defined here as a combination of (at least) two processes. The first process creates a sign vehicle whose purpose is to carry mutual information. The second process takes that vehicle as input and generates at least one response which is valuable w/r to the purpose. In Peircian semiotics, a representation is the equivalent of a symbolic sign. The diagram at the top of the page is a diagram of a psychule.

5. Agency

Some systems will find multiple pathways to achieve a goal, and will therefore create multiple subsystems with different sub goals. Eg., one subsystem to find food and another to avoid predators. Sometimes the goals conflict, as when there is a leopard in the fig tree. An agent is a system which has a subsystem which solves conflicts between sub goals based on internal representations. A conscious agent is one that creates representation mechanisms to achieve its goals.

6. Pattern recognition (unitrackers)

A unitracker is a computational mechanism which looks for one target pattern given some number of inputs. The output of a unitracker is a sign vehicle (an affordance of representation) which carries mutual information with respect to the unitracker mechanism, and so too, to the target pattern of the unitracker.

7. Multi-pattern Medium

A multi-pattern medium is a mechanism that can take inputs from one or more sources and generate a pattern of output which is unique to each combination of sources. The paradigm sources for purposes of this theory would be unitrackers. A semantic pointer (ala Chris Eliasmith) is an example.

8. Qualia

9. Consciousness