How can we prove Nietzsche was not wrong?

The philosophy of the phenomenalism of the inner world by F. Nietzsche assumes by and large that there is no thinking, no feeling or willing, that the process which we perceive as thinking is purely atomistic. There is no causal link between the thoughts, only responses to external stimuli. Also cause and effect are reversed: we realise the cause of things by comparing their effect on us with our previous experiences. In such a model of consciousness there is no space for free will. We always interpret sensations through what our neural networks recorded in memory in the past. This is a terrifying vision, which makes a lot of sense.

Thus one of the manifestations of a high form of existence would be, for instance, reading a text without the urge to interpret it. We interpret the signals from the environment at all times and correct our neural networks accordingly. Our beliefs and understanding of things is dynamic. What has been an object for us in the childhood can very quickly morph into a subject, when we think about it at a deeper level. Thus there is no real boundary between the object and subject, they represent the same entity. It sort of reminds me of space-time. We experience time separately from space, only because our speeds are non-relativistic. This is our realm and space and time is commonly regarded as separate objects. A closer look would unveil their inherent connection.

Nietzsche also says that the concept of pleasure and pain are artificial, and nothing would change if we lived without these concepts. People often say that pleasure and pain are flatly asserted as motives for every action. This is not true according to Friedrich. Because of the chronological inversion of cause and effect, we only experience what we call pain or pleasure as a feedback projection onto the outside world of a stimuli, which compared with our memories, yields an impression of a cause, which has a programmed effect of pleasure or pain in an instant of our thought.

My question is: can we now verify Nietzche's model of consciousness? I think we can definitely show if this model is not entirely wrong.

My plan is to build a hybrid model consisting of a neural network and a dynamical system with a memory kernel. We construct an entity represented by this hybrid brain. This entity interacts with a lightly structured environment where we have (for the start) two types of sensations, which are complimentary (antagonistic) with respect to some measure. In a naive way these sensations can be understood as sources of pleasure and pain. We have a physical space in which our entity lives and more or less randomly experience these sensations since its birth. Will such entity develop a concept of 'pleasure' and 'pain' (or an isomorphic pair of complementary concepts)? Then, will such entity develop an impression of free will, knowing that Nietzsche's atomistic, coarse grain, solely memory based feedback-loop model of consciousness applies?

We could model such interactions with environment through a time-evolution kernel and the space of available experiences is represented in a basis. Then we can define many useful concepts such as entropy, mutual information and even an 'impression of free will', which would be a projection of the the change of the current state of the entity to an outside stimuli, or in other words how much new information the entity thinks it gives as feedback to a given stimuli. All this is measurable in a Banach space through appropriate scalar products. The connected neural network governs the memories and responses. Such a model can be relatively easily coded in Python. If the entity develops a bipolar concept of pleasure and pain and an impression of free will, then we only can conclude that Nietzche was not completely wrong, because there exists a realisation of an entity in the physical world which derives consequences posed by Nietzche, from the assumptions posed also by him. This is a truly terrifying vision.


© 2020 by Emil Zak.