Phenomenality and accessibility are two aspects of conscious experience. “Phenomenality” refers to the felt, experiential aspect of experience, and “accessibility” to a cognitive aspect of it: its availability in general to thought processes, reasoning, decision making, etc. In this paper, I present a dilemma for theorizing about the connection between them. Either there is a conceptual connection linking phenomenality and accessibility (i.e., it is not possible to conceive of a phenomenal experience that is not cognitively accessible for the subject) or (...) there is none but then the empirical evidence will – for principled reasons – be unable to decide the exact nature of the relationship between the two. (shrink)
If there is a plurality of absolutely separate individual conscious existences, corresponding to individual living organisms, then the directly experienced fact that only a particular one of these consciousnesses, one's own, stands out as immediately present, can not be true absolutely, but only relative to some specific context of conditions and qualifications singling out that particular consciousness. But further consideration demonstrates that it is not possible for any such context to be specified. This implies that all conscious existences must ultimately (...) be united as, or in, some single conscious entity underlying the apparent plurality of individuals. (shrink)
The algebra of transactions as fundamental measurements is constructed on the basis of the analysis of their properties and represents an expansion of the Boolean algebra. The notion of the generalized economic measurements of the economic “quantity” and “quality” of objects of transactions is introduced. It has been shown that the vector space of economic states constructed on the basis of these measurements is relativistic. The laws of kinematics of economic objects in this space have been analyzed and the stages (...) of constructing the dynamics have been formulated. In particular, the “principle of maximum benefit”, which represents an economic analog of the principle of least action in the classical mechanics, and the principle of relativity as the principle of equality of all possible consumer preferences have been formulated. The notion of economic interval between two economic objects invariant to the selection of the vector of consumer preferences has been introduced. Methods of experimental verification of the principle of relativity in the space of economic states have been proposed. (shrink)
This is a draft for a revised edition of Mark Sharlow's book "From Brain to Cosmos." It includes most of the material from the first edition, two shorter pieces pertaining to the book, and a detailed new introduction.
The following extracts with connecting comments suggest a departure point for a definitions of consciousness that preserves its everyday phenomenology while allowing an understanding of what consciousness is to deepen as scientific investigation proceeds. I argue that current definitions are often theory-driven rather than following the contours of ordinary experience. Consequently they are sometimes too broad, sometimes too narrow, and sometimes not definitions of phenomenal consciousness at all. As an alternative, an ecologically valid, reflexive approach to consciousness is suggested that (...) is consistent with science and with common sense. (shrink)
What if subconscious brain processes are actually independent consciousnesses, each resembling an independent advisor whispering advice to the main consciousness, or “I”? This multi-consciousness model would support free will, as our choices are informed by other consciousnesses, not the subconscious. Each independent consciousness allows a movable perspective through its rich representation of the world and constantly seeks harmony and resonance between its internal concepts, other consciousnesses, external reality, and the genetic worm hole to the evolutionary past.
Block is concerned with the question whether there are cases of phenomenology in the absence of cognitive access. I assume that, more precisely, the question is whether there are cases in which a subject S has a phenomenological experience E to which S does not have direct cognitive access?
Consciousness is central to our lived experience. It is unsurprising, then, that the topic has captivated many students, neuroscientists, philosophers, and other theorists working in cognitive science. But consciousness may seem especially difficult to explain. This is in part because the term “consciousness” has been used in many different ways. The goal of this chapter is to explore several kinds of consciousness: what theorists have called “creature,” “phenomenal,” “access,” “state,” “transitive,” “introspective,” and “self” consciousness. The basic distinctions among these kinds (...) of consciousness are described in Section 1. Section 2 raises potential challenges for explaining these varieties of consciousness and describes a few current theories of them. Section 3 closes the chapter by exploring directions for future work in the cognitive science of consciousness. Along the way, some of the possible interrelationships among these kinds of consciousness are discussed. (shrink)
David Chalmers has recently developed a novel strategy of refuting external world skepticism, one he dubs the structuralist solution. In this paper, I make three primary claims: First, structuralism does not vindicate knowledge of other minds, even if it is combined with a functionalist approach to the metaphysics of minds. Second, because structuralism does not vindicate knowledge of other minds, the structuralist solution vindicates far less worldly knowledge than we would hope for from a solution to skepticism. Third, these results (...) suggest that the problem of external world skepticism should perhaps be construed as two different problems, since the problem might turn out to require two substantively different solutions, one for knowledge of the kind that is not dependent on other minds and one for knowledge that is. (shrink)
This chapter revisits three common ideas about how consciousness works when we read fiction. Firstly, I contest the notion that the reading consciousness is a container of sorts, containing a circumscribed amount of textual stimulus. Secondly, I argue against the view that readers abstract their personal concerns away in reading, and that they do so with benefit. Thirdly, I show how the reading consciousness encompasses rather than excludes the physical situation and environment of reading. For each idea revisited, I discuss (...) practical implications for how reading could be taught, assessed, and staged in educational settings. (shrink)
The view that phenomenally conscious robots are on the horizon often rests on a certain philosophical view about consciousness, one we call “nomological behaviorism.” The view entails that, as a matter of nomological necessity, if a robot had exactly the same patterns of dispositions to peripheral behavior as a phenomenally conscious being, then the robot would be phenomenally conscious; indeed it would have all and only the states of phenomenal consciousness that the phenomenally conscious being in question has. We experimentally (...) investigate whether the folk think that certain (hypothetical) robots made of silicon and steel would have the same conscious states as certain familiar biological beings with the same patterns of dispositions to peripheral behavior as the robots. Our findings provide evidence that the folk largely reject the view that silicon-based robots would have the sensations that they, the folk, attribute to the biological beings in question. (shrink)
Passive frame theory attempts to illuminate what consciousness is, in mechanistic and functional terms; it does not address the “implementation” level of analysis (how neurons instantiate conscious states), an enigma for various disciplines. However, in response to the commentaries, we discuss how our framework provides clues regarding this enigma. In the framework, consciousness is passive albeit essential. Without consciousness, there would not be adaptive skeletomotor action.
In May 1643 Elisabeth of Bohemia addressed a question to Descartes which inaugurated a six-year Correspondence, until his death. He dedicates his mature metaphysical work to the Princess (Principles of First Philosophy, 1644) and writes Passions of the Soul (1649) as one of the results of the dialogue with the philosopher of Bohemia. The silencing of the last hundred years of historiography on Elisabeth of Bohemia's legacy in this epistolary exchange caused distortions and, in some cases, underpinned the bias as (...) a rule and as the history. One of the consequences of this distortion is the interpretation according to which her first question would consist of a critique of substantial dualism. In this study I suggest an interpretation of the nature of the first question, in order to clarify the philosopher's thinking and her role in dialogue, in a comprehensive way, without subscribing to the literary paradigm of the Cartesian soliloquy, and its bias. (shrink)
An important distinction lies between consciousness attributed to creatures, or subjects, (creature consciousness) and consciousness attributed to mental states (state consciousness). Most contemporary theories of consciousness aim at explaining what makes a mental state conscious, paying scant attention to the problem of creature consciousness. This attitude relies on a deeper, and generally overlooked, assumption that once an explanation of state consciousness is provided, one has also explained all the relevant features of creature consciousness. I call this the priority of state (...) consciousness thesis (PSC). In this paper, I want to explore how the renewed centrality bestowed to phenomenology in contemporary discussions on consciousness challenges PSC and, consequently, the standard way of framing the problem of consciousness. More precisely, I examine PSC in light of a view about the structure of phenomenal character that is paradigmatic of the approach above. This is subjectivism about phenomenal character (SUBJ), according to which a mental state is conscious when it acquires the property of for-me-ness. I argue that PSC and SUBJ are incompatible because the latter implies that creature consciousness is explanatorily prior to state consciousness. Consequently, if SUBJ is true, then PSC is false, and what constitutes the problem of consciousness is primarily a problem of explaining (a kind of) creature consciousness. I conclude by defending my claim from a pair of possible objections and drawing some implications for the discussion of for-me-ness and the debate on the explanation of consciousness. (shrink)
What occurs in the mind of an expert who is performing at their very best? In this paper, I survey the history of debate concerning this question. I suggest that expertise is neither solely a mastery of the automatic nor solely a mastery of intelligence in skilled action control. Experts are also capable of performing automatic actions intelligently. Following this, I argue that unconscious-thought theory (UTT) is a powerful tool in coming to understand the role of executive, intelligent action control (...) in the fluidly automatic performance of expertise. Relying on a body of empirical evidence concerning the cognitive structures and perceptual strategies employed by experts, I show that the realm of skilled action is an ideal environment within which the powers of unconscious cognitive processing can have positive effects on action. I conclude that experts rely upon unconscious thinking in the production of intelligently automatic skilled actions. (shrink)
Is a human more conscious than an octopus? In the science of consciousness, it’s oftentimes assumed that some creatures (or mental states) are more conscious than others. But in recent years, a number of philosophers have argued that the notion of degrees of consciousness is conceptually confused. This paper (1) argues that the most prominent objections to degrees of consciousness are unsustainable, (2) examines the semantics of ‘more conscious than’ expressions, (3) develops an analysis of what it is for a (...) degreed property to count as degrees of consciousness, and (4) applies the analysis to various theories of consciousness. I argue that whether consciousness comes in degrees ultimately depends on which theory of consciousness turns out to be correct. But I also argue that most theories of consciousness entail that consciousness comes in degrees. (shrink)
It is common to characterise phenomenal consciousness as _what it is like_ to be in a mental state. This paper argues that the ‘what-it’s-like’-phrase in this context has a technical meaning, i.e. a meaning for which the association to the relevant expression is peculiar to a theoretical community. The relevant theoretical community is philosophy and some parts of cognitive science, so on this view, only philosophers and cognitive scientists use the ‘what-it’s-like’-phrase in the way that is characteristic in the literature (...) on phenomenal consciousness. This claim has important consequences. Firstly, I argue that the phrase says nothing informative about phenomenal consciousness. Secondly, I argue that the fact that non-philosophers use the phrase is not compelling evidence that they believe in phenomenal consciousness. These claims have further consequences for debates about phenomenal consciousness. (shrink)
I defend the actualist higher-order thought theory against four objections. The first objection contends that the theory is circular. The second one contends that the theory is unable to account for the alleged epistemic position we are in with respect to our own conscious mental states. The third one contends that the theory is unable to account for the evidence we have for the proposition that all conscious mental states are represented. The fourth one contends that the theory does not (...) accommodate the intimacy we have with our own conscious mental states. To some extent, my defense will be heterodox, in the sense that I will show that some objections are satisfactorily answerable even if we concede to the objectors a point that higher-order theorists do not seem to be willing to concede, that is, that the theory is the result of conceptual analysis. (shrink)
This paper aims to show that Fichte’s concept of Streben or striving of the I is the necessary condition of finite or individual consciousness. The I posits itself absolutely, but in doing so it posits the not-I as well, therefore it posits itself absolutely as self-limiting I. If there was no limitation on the infinite striving of the I’s activity, then there would be no I, at least as we know it. Firstly, the paper emphasizes why this activity or striving (...) needs to be infinite, and at the same time determined. Then, why is it necessary for theoretical self-consciousness, regarding the idea of Anstoss, divided self and absolute I. Finally, why is it also necessary for practical standpoint, considering the ideas of practical striving, tendency, longing, drive, and desire. It will be concluded that the I possesses a “dual nature” or divided character: it is finite, but it strives towards infinity. The tension arising from this contradiction should be the moving force of the I. (shrink)
The need to prove the existence of the external world has been a subject that has concerned the rationalist philosophers, particularly Descartes and the empiricist philosophers such as John Locke, George Berkeley and David Hume. Taking the epoché as the key mark of the phenomenologist—the suspension of the question of the existence of the external world—the issue of the external world should not come under the domain of the phenomenologist. Ironically, however, I would like to suggest that it could be (...) argued that the founder of the phenomenological school of thought, Edmund Husserl, also did not avoid the question of the existence of the external world. What I would like to suggest further is that Immanuel Kant grants himself illicit access to the external world and thus illustrates that the question of the external world is vital to the argument structure of the first Critique. (shrink)
ABSTRACT It can be summarized as the Why of Doing philosophy and the How of Doing Philosophy. For this purpose I deal with the notion of Consciousness. Not, to develop or advocate yet another idea about this notion, nor to present another speculation about how everything is conscious or that all thinI deal with a number of meta-philosophical issues and ideas. gs are physical, or any of the possible positions in between these two poles. I merely mention this issue so (...) as to illustrate what and how philosophy will deal with it. I then deal with some of the possible reasons and factors why certain individuals feel the intense need, motivation and obligation to philosophize. I focus on the Western tradition of philosophy and on original- and creative philosophers. In other words, I do not deal with those involved in academic institutions and professionals. The reason for this being that they teach, study, criticize and use the ideas of other thinkers and for academic related reasons, rather than those of original- and creative thinkers. I then deal with ideas about the nature and origins of our universe, as one possible universe, in a possible multiverse. Again, the reason for this is not to support or advocate any of the models, but to try and identify what is philosophically involved and to show how one will deal with them philosophically by questioning, argumentation and reasoning. Many people think when they talk about their every day lives, relationships and other aspects of their minute, little worlds, they are doing philosophy. Some of the fashionable issues that are favoured at the moment are: racism, gender, feminism, men and colonialism. Such people think their attitudes, beliefs and opinions about these flavour of the month topics are philosophy. Let them have their obsessions and concerns, let them turn them into academic subjects and qualifications, let them do post-doctorate research and write endless books about them, but do not involve me. How can I do philosophy as - there are things I do not know, there are things that I do notknow of and there are things that will be know and thought in future that I will never be aware of. Multi-sensory, embodied, consciousness (or mind) and minded or conscioussed, multi-sensory bodies of living organisms can said to be poles of a continuum (2 perspectives). Mind and body are often viewed in isolation, as unintegrated, dualistic phenomena, thus leading to false problems and -isms. I deal with issues concerning the origins of our universe for examplethe mediocrity principle and the anthropic principle, fine-tuning hypothesis. These three ideas, principles or hypotheses are of interest for a number of philosophical reasons, so I will mention what they are about. (shrink)
This paper aims to uncover where the disagreement between illusionism and anti-illusionism about phenomenal consciousness lies fundamentally. While illusionists claim that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, many philosophers of mind regard illusionism as ridiculous, stating that the existence of phenomenal consciousness cannot be reasonably doubted. The question is, why does such a radical disagreement occur? To address this question, I list various characterisations of the term “phenomenal consciousness”: (1) the what-it-is-like locution, (2) inner ostension, (3) thought experiments such as philosophical (...) zombies, inverted qualia and Mary’s room, (4) scientific knowledge about secondary properties, (5) theoretical properties such as being ineffable and being intrinsic, and (6) appearance/reality collapse. Then I examine whether each characterization provides (i) a dubitable sense of phenomenal consciousness in which the existence of phenomenal consciousness can be reasonably doubted, (ii) an indubitable sense in which its existence cannot be reasonably doubted, or (iii) a gray sense in which it is controversial whether its existence can be reasonably doubted. By doing so, I show that there is no single sense of phenomenal consciousness in which illusionists and anti-illusionists disagree whether the existence of phenomenal consciousness can be reasonably doubted. I conclude that the disagreement between illusionists and anti-illusionists is fundamentally terminological: while illusionists adopt a dubitable sense of phenomenal consciousness, anti-illusionists adopt an indubitable sense of phenomenal consciousness. Because of the extreme vagueness and ambiguity of the term “phenomenal consciousness”, illusionists and anti-illusionists fail to see that they talk about different senses of phenomenal consciousness. (shrink)
In this work I propose a theory of evolution as a process of unfolding. This theory is based on four logically concatenated principles. The principle of evolutionary order establishes that the more complex cannot be generated from the simpler. The principle of origin establishes that there must be a maximum complexity that originates the others by logical deduction. Finally, the principle of unfolding and the principle of actualization guarantee the development of the evolutionary process from the simplest to the most (...) complex. These logical principles determine the existence of a virtual ideological matrix that contains the sequence of the preformed and folded morphogenetic fields. In this manner, the evolutionary process consists of the sequential unfolding and actualization of these fields, which is motorized by a process of teleologization carried out by the opening consciousness of the forms included in the fields of the ideological matrix. This theory leads to a radical change of perspective regarding the materialist worldview, and places life at the center of the evolutionary process as an activity carried out by a consciousness that seeks to fulfill a purpose by actualizing its own potentialities. (shrink)
The Human Consciousness and Mind will be thoroughly analyzed as expressed in the Upanishads and Brahmajnaana. The six orthodox systems of philosophy – Vaiseshika, Nyaaya, Saamkhya, Yoga, PoorvaMeemamsa, Uttara Meemsa or Vedaanta, TheSabdabrahmaSiddhanta, Gayatri Mantra, Mantrapushpam and related Indian seers’ spiritual expressions also will be used to further the understanding mind and its functions. The cognition, re-cognition, communication and action-reactions of the body through mind and sense organs and actions organs will be analyzed as cognitive science. The structure and function (...) of mind thus delineated will be used to define meditation and methods of meditation. Self-Realization – Jeevan Mukti state will be defined and explained in relation to meditation. The architecture of mind and insight of meditation thus understood will be presented to the practitioners of meditation; suiting both orthodox and scientifically tempered minds. (shrink)
This article demonstrates that certain issues of philosophy of mind can only be explained via strict observance of the logical law of identity, that is, use of the term “consciousness” in only one meaning. Based on the understanding of consciousness as space in which objects distinguished by the subject are represented, this article considers problems such as the fixation of the consciousness level, correlation between consciousness and thought, between the internal and the external, and between consciousness and the body. It (...) demonstrates the insufficiency of the reactive conception of action for the resolution of the hard problem of consciousness and the necessity of a transition to an active paradigm in which many issues in philosophy of mind would be formulated differently. (shrink)
Borrowing the functional modeling approach common in systems and software engineering, an implementable model of the functions of human consciousness proposed to have the capacity for general problem solving ability transferable to any domain, or true self-aware intelligence, is presented. Being a functional model that is independent of implementation, this model is proposed to also be applicable to artificial consciousness, and to platforms that organize individuals into what is defined here as a first order collective consciousness, or at higher orders (...) into what is defined here as Nth order collective consciousness. Part I of this two-part article includes: Summary; Introduction; Set of Postulates One; Set of Postulates Two; Overview of the Model; Model of Homeostasis; Model of the Functional Units; Model of the Body System; Model of the Other Basic Life Processes; Model of the Other Functional Systems; Model of Perceptions in the Perceptual Fields; Model of Body Processes as Paths in the Perceptual Field; & Model of Conscious Awareness. (shrink)
Classical phenomenology is locked inside a form of transcendentalism and so it is the entire tradition which made it possible. This is the reason (some think) why it must become object of a systematic criticism meant to convince us that phenomenology abandoned the world of facts and construed a nonrealistic account of consciousness. This argument must be understood as part of a much broader form of criticism philosophical naturalism erected not only against phenomenology but against all pre-phenomenological theories which employ (...) themselves to defend non-naturalistic accounts of consciousness. It was first Hume and the logical positivists to address these theories in a critical manner in order for later contemporary naturalists to reinvigorate the same kind of argument. But similar replies have been also put forward by those usually considered defenders of classical phenomenology (the so-called “post-phenomenologists”). There is however a third category of philosophers, the so-called “transcendentalists”, who defended Husserl and continue to do so. I think some of the transcendentalists were onto something but they ultimately failed to do justice to classical phenomenology for the same two particular reasons I believe the post-phenomenologists have failed to convince. (shrink)
Twenty five years ago, Sir John Carew Eccles together with Friedrich Beck proposed a quantum mechanical model of neurotransmitter release at synapses in the human cerebral cortex. The model endorsed causal influence of human consciousness upon the functioning of synapses in the brain through quantum tunneling of unidentified quasiparticles that trigger the exocytosis of synaptic vesicles, thereby initiating the transmission of information from the presynaptic towards the postsynaptic neuron. Here, we provide a molecular upgrade of the Beck and Eccles model (...) by identifying the quantum quasiparticles as Davydov solitons that twist the protein α-helices and trigger exocytosis of synaptic vesicles through helical zipping of the SNARE protein complex. We also calculate the observable probabilities for exocytosis based on the mass of this quasiparticle, along with the characteristics of the potential energy barrier through which tunneling is necessary. We further review the current experimental evidence in support of this novel bio-molecular model as presented. (shrink)
The primary aim of a theory of consciousness is to articulate existence conditions for conscious states, i.e. the conditions under which a mental state is conscious rather than unconscious. There are two main broad approaches: The Higher-Order approach and the First-Order approach. Higher-Order theories claim that a mental state is conscious only if it is the object of a suitable state of higher-order awareness. First-Order theories reject this necessary condition. However, both sides make the following claim: for any mental state (...) M of a subject S, M is conscious if there is something it is like for S to be in M. This is the Nagelian Conception of consciousness. Taking the Nagelian Conception as a starting point, I contend that the best rationalizing explanation for the ways in which Higher-Order and First-Order theorists contribute to their dispute is to see those contributions as consistent responses to two distinct questions. (shrink)
Peace, Culture, and Violence examines deeper sources of violence by providing a critical reflection on the forms of violence that permeate everyday life and our inability to recognize these forms of violence. Exploring the elements of culture that legitimize and normalize violence, the essays collected in this volume invite us to recognize and critically approach the violent aspects of reality we live in and encourage us to envision peaceful alternatives. Including chapters written by important scholars in the fields of Peace (...) Studies and Social and Political Philosophy, the volume represents an endeavour to seek peace in a world deeply marred by violence. Topics include: thug culture, language, hegemony, police violence, war on drugs, war, terrorism, gender, anti-Semitism, and other topics.. (shrink)
The above problem is discussed with the use of the example of selected canonical Upanishads. The analysis starts with a fragment from the Mundaka Upanishad : “When he [ brahman ] that is both high [ para ] and low [ apara ] is seen”. In my opinion, this very conjoining of the absolute and relative reality, which is considerably rare in the canonical texts, requires in-depth analysis. In the discussed texts, the para / apara dimensions of reality are strictly (...) correlated with the states of consciousness in which they are experienced. Thus, in my discussion, I also consider whether all yoga adepts have always been talking about experiencing the four states of consciousness. I discuss the terms which denote the para and apara dimensions as well as the question whether the text indicates their hierarchy and, if this is the case, in what contexts and in what respect. I refer to the canonical Upanishads which belong to the Atharvaveda lineage, i.e. to Prashna, Mundaka, and Mandukya. (shrink)
This paper presents an argument in support of physicalism and the biological foundations of consciousness, approached from the direction of human error. The ideas put forth are a framework in which consciousness, cognition and free will emerged from a single evolutionary adaptation to safeguard against perceptual errors.
The non-transitivity of the relation looks the same as has been used to argue that the relation has the same phenomenal character as is non-transitive—a result that jeopardizes certain theories of consciousness. In this paper, I argue against this conclusion while granting the premise by dissociating lookings and phenomenology; an idea that some might find counter-intuitive. However, such an intuition is left unsupported once phenomenology and cognitive access are distinguished from each other; a distinction that is conceptually and empirically grounded.
The Yogacara school of Buddhist thought claims that all language-use is metaphorical. Exploring the profound implications of this assertion, Roy Tzhoar makes the case for viewing the Yogacara account as a full-fledged theory of meaning, one that is not merely linguistic, but also applicable both in the world and in texts.
This is a 4-volume collection of Major Works on Consciousness commissioned by Routledge, London. As the collection forms part of a Critical Concepts in Psychology series, this selection of major works focuses mainly on works that have a direct psychological relevance. From the mid 19th Century onwards, psychology began to separate itself from philosophy, and the development of psychological thought about consciousness links intimately to the development of psychology itself. In order to trace this development, the four volumes of this (...) collection follow a rough, historical sequence. Volume 1 deals with The Origins of Psychology and the Study of Consciousness. Volumes 2 and 3 deal with contemporary Cognitive and Neuropsychological Approaches to the Study of Consciousness. And Volume 4 focuses mainly on New Directions: Psychogenesis, Transformations of Consciousness and Non-reductive, Integrative Theories, which deal with issues likely to expand current mainstream thought in potentially novel, and, sometimes, challenging directions. The printed, 4-Volume collection presents 89 major readings (or salient extracts from major readings) drawn from the entire field of Consciousness Studies, along with comprehensive introductions to each volume and an extensive index. Further details, along with extensive supporting material are provided in four online Companions to the printed collection (one Companion for each Volume) listed separately in this Archive. (shrink)
Many philosophers of mind believe that the term 'consciousness' is ambiguous and charge that theoretical work on consciousness is often guilty of conflating distinct concepts of consciousness. I criticize the best arguments for this view -- what I call the multiple concepts view -- and I offer some preliminary support for a new brand of univocalism according to which the concept of consciousness is a cluster concept. In particular I address three lines of evidence for the multiple concepts view: (1) (...) Rosenthal's distinctions between creature consciousness, state consciousness, and transitive consciousness, (2) the argument from theoretical diversity (as I call it), and (3) Block's distinction between access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness. (shrink)
The “Problem of the Rock” (PoR) is a famous objection to Higher-Order (HO) theories of consciousness. According to PoR, the HO theorists’ claim that a mental state is conscious iff there is a higher-order mental state about it implies that a rock is also conscious iff there is a higher-order mental state about it. In this paper I show that this argument confuses two grammatically distinct attributions of consciousness, and that if the consequent equivocation fallacy is avoided, PoR is either (...) a straw man argument or has an unproblematic conclusion. (shrink)
This book arrives with a reputation. Apparently, it is the first book on psi and other anomalous human experiences to be published by the rather traditionalist APA (American Psychological Association). If this is true, this is likely due to the fact that much of the book relies on carefully monitored and repeated experiments to demonstrate the statistical veracity of such things as precognition, remote viewing, clairvoyance, mental telepathy, and even psychokinesis. This is the key to the authors’ claim of empirical (...) testing and scientific proof. (shrink)
The ‘Toward a Science of Consciousness’ conference – which has now become ‘The Science of Consciousness’ conference – recently (June 5-10, 2017) took place instead at the receptive venue of the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla, California. It was well-planned and organized, which is extraordinary considering that it had to be organized all over again within a month or two when the original Shanghai location was cancelled. Things ran smoothly at La Jolla and it was well attended for an odd-year, (...) non-Tucson setting. The Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies, Dr. Stuart Hameroff, and his able Assistant Director and logistics manager, Abi Behar Montefiore, deserve full credit for carrying off this last minute transfer, as do many others who worked in supporting capacities. (shrink)