Tag Archives: Consciousness

The implications of embodied cognition

Sean Carroll on his podcast interviewed Lisa Aziz-Zadeh on embodied cognition: Brains are important things; they’re where thinking happens. Or are they? The theory of “embodied cognition” posits that it’s better to think of thinking as something that takes place … Continue reading

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A qualified recommendation: Consciousness Demystified

A couple of years ago I did a series of posts inspired by Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt’s excellent  The Ancient Origins of Consciousness, a book on the evolution of animal consciousness.  Somewhat building on what I had read in … Continue reading

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Is consciousness a thing or a process? Yes.

I came across this tweet by Amanda Gefter: If you've never read James's 1904 essay "Does Consciousness Exist?" please do so immediately. Spoiler alert: No. No it does not. #WilliamJames — Amanda Gefter (@AmandaGefter) January 11, 2019 William James, the … Continue reading

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Higher order theories of consciousness and metacognition

Some of you know, from various conversations, that over the last year or so I’ve flirted with the idea that consciousness is metacognition, although I’ve gradually backed away from it.  In humans, we typically define mental activity that we can … Continue reading

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Dogs have metacognition, maybe

Last year in a post on panpsychism, I introduced a hierarchy I use to conceptualize the capabilities of systems that we intuitively see as conscious.  This isn’t a new theory of consciousness or anything, just my own way of making … Continue reading

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On imagination, feelings, and brain regions

The last post on feelings generated some excellent conversations.  In a couple of them, it was pointed out that my description of feelings put a lot of work on the concept of imagination, and that maybe I should expand on … Continue reading

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The construction of feelings

I’ve had a number of conversations lately on the subject of feelings, the affective states of having valences about conscious perception, such as fear, pain, joy, hunger, etc.  Apparently a lot of people view feelings as a very mysterious phenomenon.  … Continue reading

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Inflate and explode, or deflate and preserve?

Philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel has an interesting post up criticizing the arguments of illusionists, those who have concluded that phenomenal consciousness is an illusion. Here’s a way to deny the existence of things of Type X. Assume that things of Type … Continue reading

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The prospects for a scientific understanding of consciousness

Michael Shermer has an article up at Scientific American asking if science will ever understand consciousness, free will, or God. I contend that not only consciousness but also free will and God are mysterian problems—not because we are not yet … Continue reading

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Adding imagination to AI

As we’ve discussed in recent posts on consciousness, I think imagination has a crucial role to play in animal consciousness.  It’s part of a hierarchy I currently use to keep the broad aspects of cognition straight in my mind. Reflexes, … Continue reading

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