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
When it comes to my philosophy of consciousness, I've noted many times that I'm a functionalist, someone who sees mental states, including conscious ones, as being more about what they do, their causal roles and relations, than what they are. Since functionalism focuses on functionality exclusively, it often gets lumped in with illusionism, which typically … Continue reading What does it mean to be “like something”?
Often when I mention that I'm a functionalist in terms of the mind, someone references the Stanford Encyclopedia entry on functionalism. Strange to say, but I've never gone through that entire entry. This week I poked around a little in it, mostly in the objections section. Most of the objections either strike me as more … Continue reading The function of qualia
For some reason, Mary's room has been garnering attention lately. This TED Ed video on it was shared on Aeon's site this week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGYmiQkah4o The wording of the actual thought experiment is important, so quoting Frank Jackson's words (via the Wikipedia article on the knowledge argument): Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, … Continue reading The problem with Mary’s room
The cognitive scientist, Hakwan Lau, whose work I've highlighted several times in the last year, has been pondering illusionism recently. He did a Twitter survey on the relationship between the phenomenal concept strategy (PCS) and illusionism, which inspired my post on the PCS. (Meant to mention that in the post, but it slipped.) Anyway, he's … Continue reading Do qualia exist? Depends on what we mean by “exist.”
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 when our cognitive systems engage in visual and auditory information-processing, we have visual or auditory … Continue reading A possible answer to the hard problem of consciousness: subjective experience is communication
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 sense to refer to phenomenal consciousness as an illusion. Unfortunately the full text of the … Continue reading The illusion of phenomenal consciousness?
After discussion on my post the other day on consciousness being in the eye beholder, I realized that I probably should expand a bit on my hypothesis about what we would intuitively consider to be a conscious being. We, as minds, are aware. We have awareness from our senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. From the … Continue reading More on computer consciousness