Article published in:The Physical Nature of Consciousness
Edited by Philip Van Loocke
[Advances in Consciousness Research 29] 2001
► pp. 293–311
The philosophy of consciousness, ‘deep’ teleology and objective selection
We consider systems in which forces and selection (or ‘reduction’) procedures cooperate to determine present states. Forces work on the immediate past of a system and determine a set of possible states. Selection works in the immediate future and selects one of these states as the actual state of the system. Selection can be constrained in terms of a criterion not reducible to the forces operating on the system. It is shown that the performance of different types of procedures increases when this type of teleology is inserted. This is illustrated with an example from the cognitive domain and with examples that belong to the context of generative art. More fundamentally, it is conjectured that, given the complexity of our universe, selection can operate systematically without leading to replicable violation of physical laws. The relation between selection and the philosophy of consciousness is discussed.
Published online: 12 April 2001