A Metaphysical Laboratory
“[D]ual aspect theory . . .
has the faintly sickening odor of
something put together in the
The hard problem of consciousness is that there appears to be no inferential route to an explanation of how material elements known only from third person acquaintance are responsible for the existence of consciousness, which can be known only by first person acquaintance. But neither is there an inferential route to ontological fundamentals such as mass, charge, spin, and space-time—they are empirical givens. Theories which posit that consciousness also is a fundamental constituent of the universe avoid the 'hard problem' by default, as it were, rendering it moot—but not without cost.
The cost, for panpsychist theories, dual aspect theories, Russellian monism, etc., is that they succumb to the combination problem*. However, it can be demonstrated that for field theories of consciousness the combination problem is harmless. On the other hand, and also unfortunately, no field theories which have been proposed thus far accord consciousness status as a basic constituent of the universe. The electromagnetic field theory outlined in the following paper rectifies this failing by positing a fundamental ontological status for consciousness.
*See the paper.