Robert Prentner

Robert Prentner
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich | LMU · Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

Dr. Dr.

About

36
Publications
6,744
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180
Citations
Introduction
Robert is an interdisciplinary scientist and philosopher interested in consciousness research and the philosophy of science. He received a doctorate in physical chemistry in 2013 and a doctorate in philosophy in 2017 from ETH Zürich. His Erdős number is 4. Currently, he is a senior research fellow at the Center for the Future Mind at Florida Atlantic University and a postdoctoral fellow at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy at LMU München.

Publications

Publications (36)
Article
We report detailed calculations of the quantum wavepacket dynamics of Cl-O-O-Cl which serves as prototype molecule for the stereomutation dynamics of an axially chiral molecule. We include both the effects from electroweak parity violation and from the interaction with a coherent monochromatic laser field. We use the quasiadiabatic channel Reaction...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we wish to raise the following question: which conceptual obstacles need to be overcome to arrive at a scientific and theoretical understanding of the mind? In the course of this examination, we shall encounter methodological and explanatory challenges and discuss them from the point of view of the philosophy of chemistry and quantum...
Article
Full-text available
This contribution discusses a materialist framework for addressing conscious experience. In the first part of the paper the structure of this framework is laid out. Several explananda of consciousness are identified that materialists should try to relate to an underlying substrate by identity statements, reductions, or functional descriptions. Most...
Article
Tunneln und chemische Reaktionen durch das Schalten des Tunnelns werden für Phenol und ortho-Deuterophenol mithilfe von hochauflösender FTIR-Spektroskopie untersucht. Die Tunnelaufspaltung wird für die Torsionsbewegung von Phenol im Grundzustand und in mehreren schwingungsangeregten Zuständen gemessen. Die Tunnelzeiten betragen – je nach Anregung –...
Preprint
Models of consciousness need to explain both objective correlates of conscious experience as well as its subjective structure. However, such an explanation would not need to entail a reduction exclusively in terms of physical or neural systems. We briefly sketch a few points of contention with recent work on integrated information theory and some c...
Article
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A fundamental but understudied problem in mind-matter research is the understanding of psychophysical correlations, i.e. correlations between the mental and the physical. We discuss five desiderata for viable accounts of such correlations that pertain to their metaphysical commitment, the concepts they appeal to, ways in which correlations can be s...
Article
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Models of consciousness aim to inspire new experimental protocols and aid interpretation of empirical evidence to reveal the structure of conscious experience. Nevertheless, no current model is univocally accepted on either theoretical or empirical grounds. Moreover, a straightforward comparison is difficult for conceptual reasons. In particular, w...
Preprint
Models of consciousness aim to inspire new experimental protocols and aid interpretations of empirical evidence to reveal the structure of conscious experience. Nevertheless, no current model is univocally accepted on either theoretical or empirical grounds. Moreover, a straightforward comparison is difficult for conceptual reasons. In particular,...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we propose a mathematical model of subjective experience in terms of classes of hierarchical geometries of representations ("n-awareness"). We first outline a general framework by recalling concepts from higher category theory, homotopy theory, and the theory of (infinity, 1)-topoi. We then state three conjectures that enrich this fr...
Article
Here I outline an alternative to panpsychism, premised on the interface theory of perception, that too subscribes to a 'post- Galilean' research programme. However, interface theorists disagree along several lines. (1) They note that Galileo's distinction should be replaced by a truly non-dual account, referring to a difference of degree only. (2)...
Preprint
Full-text available
This document gives a specification for the model used in [1]. It presents a simple way of optimizing mutual information between some input and the attractors of a (noisy) network, using a genetic algorithm. The nodes of this network are modeled as simplified versions of the structures described in the "interface theory of perception" [2]. Accordin...
Preprint
Full-text available
The iterated prisoner's dilemma is a game that produces many counter-intuitive and complex behaviors in a social environment, based on very simple basic rules. It illustrates that cooperation can be a good thing even in a competitive world, that individual fitness need not be the most import criteria of success, and that some strategies are very st...
Preprint
In this paper, we develop a mathematical model of awareness based on the idea of plurality. Instead of positing a singular principle, telos, or essence as noumenon, we model it as plurality accessible through multiple forms of awareness ("n-awareness"). In contrast to many other approaches, our model is committed to pluralist thinking. The noumenon...
Article
Full-text available
A theory of consciousness, whatever else it may do, must address the structure of experience. Our perceptual experiences are richly structured. Simply seeing a red apple, swaying between green leaves on a stout tree, involves symmetries, geometries, orders, topologies, and algebras of events. Are these structures also present in the world, fully in...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between philosophy and research on artificial intelligence (AI) has been difficult since its beginning, with mutual misunderstanding and sometimes even hostility. By contrast, we show how an approach informed by both philosophy and AI can be productive. After reviewing some popular frameworks for computation and learning, we apply...
Preprint
Full-text available
There are strong reasons to believe that our conscious inner life is structured, suggested both by introspection as well as scientific psychology. One of the most salient structural characteristics of conscious experiences is known as unity of consciousness. In this contribution, we wish to demonstrate how features of experience that pertain to the...
Article
There are strong reasons to believe that our conscious inner life is structured, suggested both by introspection as well as scientific psychology. One of the most salient structural characteristics of conscious experiences is known as unity of consciousness. In this contribution, we wish to demonstrate how features of experience that pertain to the...
Article
Full-text available
A new philosophy of nature is urgently needed. The received ontological view, physicalism, is unable to account for experiential phenomena and in particular for consciousness in all its varieties. We shall outline the concept of experiencing which should figure as a new conceptual primitive in natural philosophy. Experiencing refers to a process wh...
Article
We introduce the concept of a molecular quantum switch and demonstrate it with the example of meta-D-phenol, based on recent theoretical and high-resolution spectroscopic results for this molecule. We show that in the regime of tunneling switching with localized low-energy states and delocalized high-energy states the molecular quantum switch can b...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we look at the hard problem of consciousness from the perspective of process metaphysics. We thereby identify three problematic premises of the problem that pertain to the constitution of consciousness and its causal relation to the world. We argue for the necessity of re-thinking the corresponding phenomena in terms of internally-...
Article
Full-text available
Context • The evolution of perceptual systems and hence of observers remains largely disconnected from the question of the emergence of classical objects and spacetime. This disconnection between the biosciences and physics impedes progress toward understanding the role of the "observer" in physical theory. Problem • In this article we consider the...
Article
We report results on the dynamics of tunnelling switching based on a high-resolution spectroscopic investigation of meta-D-phenol in GHz and THz ranges. The pure rotational spectra were recorded in the range of 72–117 GHz and assigned to the localized syn-and anti-structures in the ground and the first excited torsional states. Specific torsional s...
Poster
Full-text available
In the following we wish to address the philosophical foundations of a theoretical psychology which addresses cognition, perception and consciousness. More concretely, we shall investigate the role of part-whole relations that are ubiquitous in the above mentioned domains. For this matter we look at the canonical formulation of part-whole theory (m...
Research
Full-text available
Handout zur Vorlesung im FS 2015, ETH Zürich.
Conference Paper
The embodiment of mind promises to bring philosophical and scientific accounts of cognition and experiencing closer together, thereby challenging traditional ideas about the relation between mind and matter. Mereology is the formal study of how parts (individuals) make up wholes (systems) and seems highly relevant in this context. In this contribut...
Article
Full-text available
Dieser Aufsatz soll den Rationalismus des Descartes, der sich in einer Methodik des Zerlegens und Reduzierens äußert, der Prozesslogik Gendlins gegenüberstellen, welche er in Thinking Beyond Patterns beschreibt. Trotz der Unterschiede, die sich dabei zeigen werden, soll für die Fruchtbarkeit eines übergreifenden Ansatzes für Wissenschaft, Logik und...
Poster
In this contribution we wish to present a highly simplified description of conscious experience. It comprises a number of concepts which are instantiated by processes that are structurally analogous to some particular feature of consciousness. Our main hypothesis is that any conceptual notion of consciousness is best understood as sufficiently comp...
Article
The understanding of tunneling in chemical reactions in \emph{Handbook of High Resolution Spectroscopy}, Vol.~1(Eds. M. Quack and F. Merkt), Wiley, Chicester (2011), 659-722.} is of fundamental interest. A particularly intriguing recent development is the theoretical prediction of tunneling switching in ortho-D-phenol (C$_6$H$_4$DOH) as opposed to...

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Project (1)
Project
How do objects arise in conscious thought? Which are the right formal tools to describe this process unambiguously? What is the relation to the hard problem of consciousness? Areas: Consciousness Studies; Mereology; Emergence; Philosophy of Science; Naturalized Phenomenology; Process Philosophy; and AI.