This old talk by Daniel Dennett touches on a lot of topics we've discussed recently. Dennett explains why it's wrong to regard phenomenal consciousness (the "what it's likeness" or "raw experience" version) as separate from access consciousness (the cognitive access of information for decision making, memory, report, etc). Note that Dennett doesn't deny the existence … Continue reading Daniel Dennett on why phenomenal consciousness is access consciousness
This interview is pretty much classic Daniel Dennett. He starts off pointing out that introspection is unreliable, that our beliefs about our inner experience are what need to be explained, not necessarily what the beliefs purport to be reality. He doesn't name the meta-problem, but it's clear that, and related concepts, are what he's talking … Continue reading Daniel Dennett on consciousness and the hard question
Ever since sharing Ned Block's talk on it, phenomenal consciousness has been on my mind. This week, I decided I needed to go back to the main spokesperson for the issue of subjective experience, David Chalmers, and his seminal paper Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness. I have to admit I've skimmed this paper … Continue reading Chalmers’ theory of consciousness
Daniel Dennett and David Chalmers sat down to "debate" the possibility of superintelligence. I quoted "debate" because this was a pretty congenial discussion. (Note: there's a transcript of this video on the Edge site, which might be more time efficient for some than watching a one hour video.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHN_o6RqrHY Usually for these types of discussions, … Continue reading Is superintelligence possible?
Click through for full sized version, and philosophical explanation if you're not familiar with David Chalmer's and Daniel Dennett's positions on philosophical zombies. Philosophy Humans - Existential Comics. I can't say I've ever been too impressed with the idea of a philosophical zombie. I could see maybe a zombie existing that behaves identically to a … Continue reading Zombies discussing philosophical zombies
In this TED talk, David Chalmers gives a summary of the problem whose name he coined, the hard problem of consciousness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhRhtFFhNzQ via David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness? - YouTube. It seems like people who've contemplated consciousness fall into two groups, those who are bothered by the hard problem, and those who are not. … Continue reading David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Bart Ehrman has a post up featuring an interview on his agnosticism. (If you're short on time, the most relevant part is at the 2:12 point.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeFdhyuVyzI As someone who myself isn't a religious believer, but who also strives to be honest on what the limitations of knowledge are in this area, I find a lot … Continue reading On atheism and agnosticism
With the essays traded between Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris, free will is back in the web conversation. I wasn't planning on making another free will post myself, having been mostly satisfied with my previous statement on it. But I've had a few conversations lately, both here on the site and in some other mediums, that … Continue reading Free will and the value of compatibilism
Dear Dan— I’d like to begin by thanking you for taking the time to review Free Will at such length. Publicly engaging me on this topic is certainly preferable to grumbling in private. Your writing is admirably clear, as always, which worries me in this case, because we appear to disagree about a great many … Continue reading The Marionette’s Lament : A Response to Daniel Dennett : : Sam Harris
Daniel Dennett has written a long paper on free will, specifically taking on Sam Harris' book on the subject. Dennett is a compatiblist and uses arguments similar to the ones I used in describing this position and in the limitations of determinism. Harris is aware of Dennett's paper... https://twitter.com/SamHarrisOrg/status/427472770025283585 ...so I'd think we'll see a … Continue reading Daniel Dennett on free will