“an organism must have a comparatively gross structure in order to enjoy the benefit of fairly accurate laws” Erwin Schrödinger
A theory of knowledge
Premise 3: The fundamental homeostatic bias of living bodies is the necessity for the constant re-balancing of internal constancy and the agency to maintain that internal stability. This is the physiological basis of emotion. (Damasio)
Premise 9: Language mediates social homeostasis and offloads adaptive regularities of symbolic objects and embodied tool use syntax into the social environment. Culture is the social process of instantiating those adaptive regularities into the physical environment as technology and that reduces entropy within the species.
The primary emotional demand for constancy conditions the prior beliefs of Bayesian inferential process with a bias for regularity. The cognitive bias for detecting novel or irregular process insures that organisms at least factor that emotional bias with relevant evidence of likelihoods from the environment in order to produce updated adaptive beliefs about the environment. But the cognitive bias is secondary to and in service of the fundamental survival requirement of homeostasis.
"The laws of physics and physical chemistry are inaccurate within a probable relative error of the order of 1/ √ n, where n is the number of molecules that co-operate to bring about that law –to produce its validity within such regions of space or time (or both) that matter, for some considerations or for some particular experiment. You see from this again that an organism must have a comparatively gross structure in order to enjoy the benefit of fairly accurate laws, both for its internal life and for its interplay with the external world. For otherwise the number of co-operating particles would be too small, the ‘law’ too inaccurate. The particularly exigent demand is the square root. For though a million is a reasonably large number, an accuracy of just 1 in 1,000 is not overwhelmingly good, if a thing claims the dignity of being a ‘Law of Nature’." What is Life? Erwin Schrödinger 1944
We try to understand our consciousness based on beliefs that are conditioned by the maintenance of homeostasis and our emotional demand for certainty. We assume our minds exist in an environment where the laws of nature are constant and those laws define predictable processes. Religious, artistic and scientific endeavors express our collective and individual demand for certainty by constantly striving to find and elucidate timeless laws and truths. The cognitive bias for novelty is evidence that we have evolved within an environment of increasing entropy where irregular and random processes exist in combination with regular and predictable processes.
Adaptive narratives of trusted predictions become instantiated in implicit memory and embodied in the manufacture and use of tools so parallel processing of predicted conditions is unconscious and embodied within technology. That frees up cognitive resources to adapt to random processes by constructing physical and social predictions in the form of a self narrative within the virtual reality of memory. The virtual self is in a constant predictive and corrective cycle with sensomotor inferential process and that initiates the chain of learning that eventually instantiates regularities in technology and reduces entropy within the species.
The hard problem
Chalmers: “It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing. Why is it that when our cognitive systems engage in visual and auditory information-processing, we have visual or auditory experience: the quality of deep blue, the sensation of middle C? How can we explain why there is something it is like to entertain a mental image, or to experience an emotion? It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises. Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does.” … “The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience. When we think and perceive there is a whir of information processing, but there is also a subjective aspect.”