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The integrated information theory (IIT) is a promising theory of consciousness. However, there are several problems with IIT's axioms and postulates. Moreover, IIT entails that some twodimensional grids of identical logic gates have more consciousness than humans. Many have found this prediction to be implausible, and as will be argued here, this prediction also exacerbates the so-called 'hard problem of consciousness'. Recently, it has been argued that if we treat the phenomenological aspects of consciousness as an illusion (illusionism), we can avoid the hard problem altogether by replacing it with the more tractable illusion problem: the problem of explaining how introspection systematically misrepresents experiences as having phenomenology. IIT is intended to be a theory of the phenomenological aspects of consciousness. However, it is possible to reformulate the axioms and postulates of IIT consistently with illusionism. Here it is argued that the resulting theory -- illusionist integrated information theory -- removes several problems for IIT including the hard problem and the logic gate problem, and also enables meaningful progress for illusionists on solving the illusion problem.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Consciousness Studies, volume 26, issue 5-6, in 2019 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

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