In a recent talk he gave at the 2011 Singularity Summit (see video above), neuroscientist Christof Koch, the world's leading 意识 researcher from a scientific perspective, has named Giulio 托诺尼的“理论” of 意识 as the best current attempt at a causal explanation for how 意识 emerges from the otherwise unconscious 马特er of the brain. This is significant, for it identifies the best line of argument available today in the current paradigm. Therefore, defeating this argument defeats the best that materialism currently has to offer as far as 意识. In this article, I hope to raise significant doubts about whether 托诺尼的“理论” is a causal explanation for 意识 at all.
可以看到 他的文章, Tononi looks at the amount of information integrated by a given brain process (which he calls a "complex"). This amount is ultimately represented by a variable "phi，" derived from the topology of the elements in the complex. When "phi" crosses a certain 阈, the complex is considered conscious, a correlation refined through empirical calibration. If this sounds somewhat arbitrary, it's because – 至少在我看来 – 正如我希望在下面解释的那样。在上面的视频中，科赫总结了托诺尼的想法，因此在此我将不做进一步阐述。
现在是我的批评： 托诺尼的“理论” explains 意识 no more than a speedometer explains how a car moves. In other words, it 确实n't causally explain 意识 at all; it is merely a 启发式 indicator for the presence of 意识; an 特别指定 rule-of-thumb, if you will. When the needle of your speedometer moves up, you know that your car is moving. But that needle movement gives you no insight into the fact that there is a combustion engine freeing up 能源 stored in the molecular bonds of hydrocarbons, thereby making such 能源 available for turning a crankshaft connected to the axis of the car's wheels, which in turn grip the irregularities of the road 并通过牛顿的第三运动定律使汽车行驶。后者是一种因果关系的解释，但是托诺尼的“理论”没有任何类似的解释。
让我们看一个真正的因果解释例子，以阐明我想说的话： 细胞呼吸的克雷布斯循环. This cycle is a full causal explanation for how 能源 is made available to an organism's cells. We know the inputs of the process: molecules of sugars and fats; we know the chemical reactions (oxidization) that progressively free up the 能源 stored in the molecular bonds of these sugar and fat molecules; we know in what form this 能源 becomes available to the cells (namely, ATP）;我们知道所有这些发生在哪里（在 线粒体); and we know how the cells put the ATP to use. In other words, we have a closed and complete causal chain that permits us to infer the properties of the 观测到的 phenomenon (i.e. the ability of cells to perform work) from the properties of the inputs of the process (i.e. sugar and fat molecules, and cell structures like the 线粒体).
托诺尼的“理论”没有为我们提供任何这种因果关系。它甚至不允许我们从原理上推论其性质。 observed phenomenon (i.e. 意识) from the properties of the inputs of the process (i.e. interconnected neurons). It only offers a 启发式 correlation without a theoretical framework that allows us to understand where 意识 comes from, or why a certain level of information integration leads to such an extraordinary property as being conscious. 几乎所有相关问题仍未得到解答"phi，"就像所有有关汽车行驶方式的问题一样，车速表仍无法回答。
托诺尼的“理论” 确实 have practical applications. If it can, for instance, help us, on an 启发式 basis, tell whether a patient in a vegetative state is actually conscious or not, it has great value to society. But this kind of pragmatic application should not be confused with an ontological explanation for the nature of 意识. That a certain story is useful 确实 not entail that it is true. It's useful to pretend that gravity is a force acting at a distance between two bodies; we've put a man on the moon by pretending just that. But that 确实 not mean that such magical action-at-a-distance 真实ly 存在, as Einstein showed (gravity, after all, is merely the effect of a curvature of space-time).
Materialism has consistently failed to give us a proper causal account for how 意识 emerges from 马特er. Koch's and Tononi's story, if anything, makes this painfully clear. Is it not time to look more broadly?
Important observation: This article should not be construed as an attempt to dismiss the value or importance of the work of either Christof Koch or Giulio Tononi. I deeply respect and applaud their courage in attempting to tackle the problem of 意识 from a strict, scientific perspective. Their courage has lacked in science for decades. However critical I may be of their progress or claims, whatever progress there is is to their credit. Besides the immense, potential practical applications of their work in medicine and psychiatry – 不管本体论的解释如何 – their efforts may be 基本的 even in exhausting the current scientific paradigm; a necessary step before science can progress to a broader view of nature.