Archive for the ‘Philosophy and consciousness’ Category

Dehaene’s Consciousness and the Brain

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Consciousness and the Brain, Stanislas Dehaene (2014) Summary and review of the above book INTRODUCTION: On the basis of the brain research of recent years, Dehaene describes both the extent and limitations of unconscious processing. Such processing can extend to sophisticated levels of cortical processing, such as the meaning of words. However, unconscious signals are transient and decay rapidly in the brain, while conscious signals can persist long after the original stimuli. Decision taking Read more […]

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Beliefs about consciousness

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Beliefs about consciousness Imants Baruss Kings University College, London, Ontario Journal of Consciousness Studies, 15, No. 10-11, 2008, pp. 277-92 http://ingentaconnect.com/journals/browse/imp/jcs The paper comprises a study that relates (1.) the degree to which people are rational in their approach to the world, (2.) the degree to which they are curious, and (3.) their score on conventional measures of intelligence, to three main categories of belief system. These are (1.) conventional Read more […]

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Fransisco Varela on consciousnss

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Fransisco Varela In:- Conservations on Consciousness Oxford University Press In terms of consciousness studies, Varela is best known for his enactive or embodied view of the nervous system and cognition. Essentially his argument is that consciousness arises through our embodiment. This needs to be a neural part in the brain but also a ‘pheno’ part in the body. His theory is beguiling but ultimately unconvincing. He says, and I agree with this part, that we need to account for the intimacy Read more […]

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Facing backwards on consciousness

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Facing backwards on the problem of consciousness Daniel Dennett Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3, No. 1, 1996, pp. 4-6 http://ingentaconnect.com/journals/browse/imp/jcs The philosopher, Daniel Dennett, has been possibly the most successful exponent of an explanation of consciousness that relies entirely on classical physics and existing neuroscience. His influence has been such that some commentators on consciousness refuse to stray beyond his ideas or the ideas very closely aligned Read more […]

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Consciousness Explained

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Consciousness Explained Daniel Dennett Penguin   ISBN 0-14-012867-0 This has been possibly the most influential book on consciousness since discussion of the subject revived about 20 years ago. Apart from the fact that Dennett is undoubtedly a better writer than many of his peers, the main reason for his success appears to be that he offers an explanation for consciousness that does not require any adjustment of an essentially 19th century scientific paradigm. Critics of this paradigm Read more […]

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Witness-Consciousness

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Witness-Consciousness Miri Albahari Philosophy Dept., University of Western Australia Journal of Consciousness Studies, 16, No. 1, 2009, pp. 62-84 http://ingentaconnect.com/journals/browse/imp/jcs Near the beginning of her paper, Albahari defines the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness, as the need to discover how subjective qualities fit into the physical world. Subjective or phenomenal qualities, otherwise known as qualia, are defined as those qualities, where there is ‘something Read more […]

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Whitehead on the mind-body problem

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The mind-body problem and Whitehead’s non-reductive monism Anderson Weekes, City University, New York Journal of Consciousness Studies, 19, nos. 9-10, pp.40-66 Weekes takes the view that the basis of the problem with Cartesian thinking is that the two sides, mind and body, have no need of one another, at least in the form that they are often conceived of. The essential step is to understand that mind and body are not really distinct.  Alfred North Whitehead went beyond just saying that Read more […]

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Conscious Mind

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Conscious Mind David Chalmers Oxford University Press (1996)  ISBN  0-19-510553-2 This book is perhaps most remembered for its attack on mainstream thinking on consciousness. However, the bulk of the work is taken up in trying to establish Chalmers own theory of consciousness, which after all turns out to be not that distant from conventional ideas, although characterised by a quirky view of the role of information. In the introduction, Chalmers coins the expression that this book has Read more […]

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Consciousness not yet explained

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Consciousness not yet explained Ray Tallis, Academy of Medical Sciences New Scientist, 9 January 2010 Tallis attacks the latest fad in consciousness studies, to the effect that near-term advances in technology will allow more and more accurate correlations between neural activity and conscious experience, and that when sufficient accuracy of correlation has been achieved, consciousness will have been explained. This idea that finding correlations will amount to an explanation is something Read more […]

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Decision making, determinism and consciousness

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Noise in the brain, decision making, determinism, free will and consciousness Edmund Rolls New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness – Eds – Elaine Perry, Daniel Collerton, Fiona Le Beau & Heather Ashton In the introduction to his chapter Rolls emphasises that decision making in the brain involves a mix of the reasoning system and the reward system, the latter to a large extent meaning the same thing as our emotional response. Rolls has made an extremely valuable contribution Read more […]

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