Tag Archives: Philosophy of Mind

The sparsity of phenomenal consciousness, or of cognition, or both

Ned Block gave a Google talk (embedded below) that was ostensibly supposed to be about why AI approaches to cognition won’t work.  However, while he does address this topic briefly, it’s toward the end and he admits he hasn’t really … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments

Are zombies conscious?

This is not a question about philosophical zombies.  I did a post on them a while back.  (The TL;DR is that I find that whole concept ranges from incoherent to dubious, depending on the exact version.) This post is on … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments

Emotions, feelings, and action programs

Sean Carroll’s latest Mindscape podcast features an interview with neuroscientist Antonio Damasio: When we talk about the mind, we are constantly talking about consciousness and cognition. Antonio Damasio wants us to talk about our feelings. But it’s not in an … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

Do boiling crawfish suffer?

This Easter I visited one of my cousins and, as is tradition for a lot of people this time of year, we had a crawfish boil.  Eating boiled crawfish (crayfish for you non-Cajuns) is an ever present activity in southern … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

The brain is a computer, but what is a computer?

Kevin Lande has an article up at Aeon which is one of the best discussions of the brain as a computational system that I’ve seen in a while.  For an idea of the spirit of the piece: The claim that … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 199 Comments

SMBC on what separates humans from machines

Source: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (Click through for full sized version and the red button caption.) My own take on this is that what separates humans from machines is our survival instinct.  We intensely desire to survive, and procreate.  Machines, … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

A neuroscience showdown on consciousness?

Apparently the Templeton Foundation is interested in seeing progress on consciousness science, and so is contemplating funding studies to test various theories.  The stated idea is to at least winnow the field through “structured adversarial collaborations”.  The first two theories … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 37 Comments

Why we’ll know AI is conscious before it will

At Nautilus, Joel Frohlich posits how we’ll know when an AI is conscious.  He starts off by accepting David Chalmers’ concept of a philosophical zombie, but then makes this statement. But I have a slight problem with Chalmers’ zombies. Zombies are … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 36 Comments

Consciousness lies in the eye of the beholder

There are few things that everyone who ponders consciousness can agree on.  It’s a topic where debates on the very definition of the subject are common.  The only definitions that seem to command near universal assent are the ones oriented … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , | 93 Comments

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

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , | 36 Comments