Q&A on the Mind Object Identity hypothesis

A perceiver and an external object, a candle.

I recently did a post on Riccardo Manzotti’s interesting IAI article: There is no problem of consciousness (warning: possible paywall). In that article, Manzotti described his Mind Object Identity hypothesis. He also published a paper on this idea in 2019, which goes into much more detail. A quick recap. We make a mistake, he argues, in trying to … Continue reading Q&A on the Mind Object Identity hypothesis

The function of color

Pencils of all the primary colors in a circle

In the history of discussions about consciousness, there have always been ideas that some aspects of human experience are irreducible to physics. Colors have long had a special place in these discussions. During the scientific revolution, colors lost their status as objective properties in the world, with people like Galileo relegating them to secondary qualities … Continue reading The function of color

Do regular people see a hard problem of consciousness?

This week the latest Mind Chat episode focused on whether regular people actually perceive a hard problem of consciousness, or if it's an issue largely created by philosophers. Keith Frankish and Philip Goff interview Michelle Liu and Edouard Machery. (The video is a bit over two hours. You don't necessarily need to watch it to … Continue reading Do regular people see a hard problem of consciousness?

The debate between phenomenal realism and illusionism, and the scope of perceptual properties

In the last post, I pondered the idea that the real difference between a realist and anti-realist stance toward a scientific theory is about how broad or narrow the scope of the theory might be, about it's domain of applicability. An anti-realist takes a narrower view on scope; such as that the theory can be … Continue reading The debate between phenomenal realism and illusionism, and the scope of perceptual properties

Russellian monism, the same as illusionism?

I usually have to wait for the audio version of these Mind Chat podcasts, but this one seemed a reasonable length and I had some time this weekend. Keith Frankish, an illusionist, and Philip Goff, a panpsychist, interviewed Noam Chomsky for his views on consciousness. (The video is about 72 minutes. You don't necessarily need … Continue reading Russellian monism, the same as illusionism?

The specificity problem

Picture of a lancelet

Henry Shevlin has an interesting paper from 2021 in Mind & Language that just went open access: Non-human consciousness and the specificity problem: A modest theoretical proposal. Shevlin discusses the problem of applying cognitive theories of consciousness, developed within the context of human psychology, to non-human systems, such as animals or artificial systems. For example, … Continue reading The specificity problem

Consciousness, illusions, and definitions


I've discussed many times that the word "consciousness" has a variety of meanings. But most commonly, the various meanings can be grouped into two broad categories. One refers to some combination of functionality, typically the information processing that happens in the brain enabling an organism to take in, assess, and use information about itself and … Continue reading Consciousness, illusions, and definitions

Attention and consciousness

I noted in the post on Susan Blackmore's views that often consciousness get associated with the results of one of three processes: perception, attention, or introspection. Interestingly, while everyone and their brother has a book out on consciousness, attention receives far less... attention. At least in the popular press. The science of attention has a … Continue reading Attention and consciousness