Category Archives: Mind and AI

The magic step and the crucial fork

Those of you who’ve known me for a while may remember the long fascination I’ve had with Michael Graziano’s attention schema theory of consciousness.  I covered it early in this blog’s history and have returned to it multiple times over … Continue reading

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The layers of emotional feelings

One of the ongoing debates in neuroscience is on the nature of emotions, where they originate, where they are felt, and how innate versus learned they are. One view, championed by the late Jaak Panksepp and his followers, see emotions … Continue reading

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The barrier of meaning

In the post on the Chinese room, while concluding that Searle’s overall thesis isn’t demonstrated, I noted that if he had restricted himself to a more limited assertion, he might have had a point, that the Turing test doesn’t guarantee … Continue reading

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The problems with the Chinese room argument

In 1950, Alan Turing published a seminal paper on machine intelligence (which is available online).  Turing ponders whether machines can think.  However, he pretty much immediately abandons this initial question as hopelessly metaphysical and replaces it with another question that … Continue reading

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Integrated information theory

I think most of you know I’m not a fan of integrated information theory (IIT).  However, it is a theory proposed by scientists, and I’ve always had a mildly guilty conscience over not having read about it other than through articles … Continue reading

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A standard model of consciousness?

I’ve often noted that I find more consilience than disagreement between the empirically grounded theories of consciousness.  They seem to be looking at the problem at differing levels of organization, and together they may present a growing scientific consensus about … Continue reading

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A correction: LeDoux’s actual views on instrumental learning in vertebrates

I have to make a correction.  In my post on LeDoux’s views on consciousness and emotions, I made the following statement: Anyway, LeDoux states that there is “no convincing” evidence for instrumental behavior in pre-mammalian vertebrates, or in invertebrates.  In … Continue reading

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Layers of consciousness, September 2019 edition

A couple of years ago, when writing about panpsychism, I introduced a five layer conception of consciousness.  The idea back then was to show a couple of things. One was that very simple conceptions of consciousness, such as interactions with … Continue reading

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Joseph LeDoux’s theories on consciousness and emotions

In the last post, I mentioned that I was reading Joseph LeDoux’s new book, The Deep History of Ourselves: The Four-Billion-Year Story of How We Got Conscious Brains.  There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this book.  As its title … Continue reading

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The difficulty of subjective experience

As I indicated in the Chalmers post last week, phenomenal consciousness has been on my mind lately.  In the last few days, a couple of my fellow bloggers, Wyrd Smythe and James Cross, have joined in with their own posts.  … Continue reading

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