Category Archives: Mind and AI

Is consciousness only in the back of the brain?

There’s an interesting debate going on among some neuroscientists about which parts of the brain are involved in subjective experience.  On the one side are Christof Koch, Giuilio Tononi, and colleagues who argue that consciousness exists wholly in the back of … Continue reading

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What about subjective experience implies anything non-physical?

Mary’s room is a classic philosophical thought experiment about consciousness.  The Wikipedia article on what’s called the knowledge argument quotes Frank Jackson, the originator of the argument, as follows: Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced … Continue reading

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A possible answer to the hard problem of consciousness: subjective experience is communication

In 1995, David Chalmers coined the “hard problem of consciousness”: It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing. Why is it that … Continue reading

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The illusion of phenomenal consciousness?

Philosopher Peter Hankins at Conscious Entities has a write-up on the November 12 issue of the JCS (Journal of Consciousness Studies) in which philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists such as Keith Frankish, Daniel Dennett, Susan Blackmore, and Michael Graziano, debate whether it makes … Continue reading

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Is consciousness a simulation engine, a prediction machine?

Back in September (which now seems like a million years ago), I did a series of posts on consciousness inspired by Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt’s recent book, ‘The Ancient Origins of Consciousness: How the Brain Created Experience‘.  In that series, … Continue reading

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The problems with philosophical zombies

In any online conversation about consciousness, sooner or later someone is going to bring up philosophical zombies as an argument for consciousness being non-physical, or at least some portion of it.  The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy introduces the p-zombie concept as follows: … Continue reading

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The range of conscious systems and the hard problem

This is the fifth and final post in a series inspired by Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt’s new book, ‘The Ancient Origins of Consciousness: How the Brain Created Experience‘.  The previous posts were: What counts as consciousness? Predators and the … Continue reading

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