Pawel Pachniewski

Research

The research below is conducted ongoingly and has been conducted by me independently since about 2011, unless stated otherwise. I had in mind an approach where I planned to first publish a paper, then one or more blog posts about it and in some cases a piece of fiction. At the time of writing, I have been unable to find the time and energy to publish formal papers as the first step, so I’ve opted to release several of my ideas via blog posts first. Generally the work listed here is meant to eventually be published through multiple channels and contexts for outreach purposes. My research statement is here.

 

The hard problem of metaphysics

From a complete description of the universe we seem to be able to exhaustively derive a totality of all facts about the universe, save for one key phenomenon: consciousness. I argue that if consciousness is only knowable through the unique metaphysical relation we bear to it, then it necessarily follows that other significant phenomena may exist in our universe we don’t know about without the necessary metaphysical relation(s). I explore ways of framing this idea and investigating it conceptually. I discuss finding hints in our universe to discover other potentially obscured phenomena.  I then discuss basic objections and offer replies. Finally, I discuss possible implications and avenues of exploring this idea that are beyond the scope of the initial introduction of this argument.

[Blog post], [Paper], [Fiction]

 

Phantom Cognit

I introduce the notion of the phantom cognit, a missing link in any cognitive apparatus that leaves traces or broken connections in the remainder of the cognitive units. I present empirical examples of this problem in biological brains and that the phantom cognit can be considered a generalization of the phantom limb. I then sketch out how phantom cognits will be a growing issue for increasingly extended minds with neuro-implants, cognitive augmentations and exocortices. I conclude suggesting several directions for further research.

[Blog post], [Paper], [Fiction]

 

Mind-Complete

In computational complexity theory NP-Complete and NP-hard are formally known as famous hard problems. By analogy, Fanya Montalvo coined the term AI-Complete, a designation of the hardest problems in AI, whose solution would presuppose solving AGI. In the same vein, I propose the term Mind-Complete for the set of the most difficult problems in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. I briefly look at the usefulness of AI-Complete and in extension the usefulness of Mind-Complete as a new term for the hardest of problems pertaining to mind.

[Blog post], [Paper], [Fiction]