Consciousness, and related notions like sentience and self-awareness, denote the capacity of certain organisms to express recognition of their own presence in the world.

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About the philosophy of physicalism

Other than Mary's Room and maybe Searle's Chineses room are there any other interesting thought experiments against the ideas of physicalism , and the ideas our minds are identical to our brains?
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How is physical space inferred from sense data?

Everyone seems to have a notion of "physical space". How do we come to acquire it in our development, exactly? Every individual person has a visual percept, but how do we extrapolate from that to a ...
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Can we distinguish physical from informational existence?

Physical existence would be everything that exists in the physical world such as the stone in my garden while the informational existence would be the consciousness and qualia (I don't really know how ...
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55 views

About a great canadian neurosurgeon

Wilder Graves Penfied was a pioneering Neurosurgeon dealing with the brain, who had thought till his death about consciousness and the mind and whether the human soul exists. Did he write about ...
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Books about mind–body philosophies

Are there any well-written books about the "mind vs. brain" problem and related questions like the hard/soft problems of consciousness that are not written by authors that already don't believe the ...
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what is the state of consciousness of inert objects?

Is it defined that inert objects by our scientific subjection of them being non-living have no consciousness at all? If that be so, what about viruses? And how would a rock's consciousness differ from ...
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Consciousness and its relationship to Category Theory [closed]

Since consciousness is implicitly understood/used in the use of categories , could we consider it a "fundamental" functor ? Category Theory is very general (covering/useful) to many fields now ...
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104 views

Are Societies as an Individual Entity, Aware?

I started this business law class as well as a Science and Technology class that sought to teach the history of technology, and I was thinking about my research on AI and classes that teach about ...
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What caused the cause (to the power of eternity)

Modern science says that a cause causes another cause. i.e. the big bang was a cause which eventually caused everything we see today. So what caused the big bang? Apparently multi-verses colliding? ...
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Consciousness without thoughts or feelings?

I have noticed that I can sit in a room around people and be consciously aware ... but have no thoughts at all. People often say that your "mind is always thinking", but I can literally stare at a ...
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71 views

Regarding the Mind-brain conflict

Some philosopher or scientist made an analogy of Mind versus Brain is related to Software versus Hardware. What was that about? If an A.I. computing system called P.A.L. has a self-sustaining ...
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59 views

Are information carrying systems of the same complexity equivalent? (integrated information theory)

I have just come into contact with the integrated information theory of consciousness (and its relatives), which would have it that consciousness stems from information-rich (and integrated) systems. ...
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Unconscious Mental States and the Ontological Subjectivity of Reality

Searle claims that social reality is ontologically subjective. By this, should one interpret him as meaning that our perception of reality is ontologically subjective since perception requires ...
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135 views

If we would split my brain would there be two of me? [closed]

Considering that I can survive with only half of my brain, and I am a mind living in a body. If we would split my brain in two and then implant one part into some other body and leave other half in my ...
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What happens when a conscious, intelligent being interprets a deterministic model?

Sorry, I’m new here, and I’ve truly no experience with philosophy. However, I’ve had this problem that I’ve been thinking about for awhile concerning a deterministic model for the universe. Consider ...
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Can human consciousness be “felt” without complex emotions?

Can human consciousness be "felt" without complex emotions such as love, sorrow, anger, empathy ? If so, what would it be like ?
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What school of thought is used in Wolfenstein: The New Order Tekla Monologue?

What philosophical frame is used in this Wolfenstein: The New Order Tekla Monologue? -B Jesus Christ Tekla, aren't you asleep? -T I try not to sleep. No telling if I will ever wake up. -T Let me ask ...
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Concerning the first self-aware human

I hope I am asking these in the right SE. Please direct me to the right one if it isn't and correct any false assumptions my question may be based on. Was there a specific moment when the first ...
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65 views

Is the cogito analytic a priori?

Descarte said 'I think therefore I am', or in the orginal Latin, cogito ergo sum. Is this analytic a priori? The evidence for it being analytic, is that the first statement 'I think' includes a ...
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Does the existence of colors give evidence against materialism?

It seems to me the only thing about colors that can be understood rationally is that they are distinct. We interact with other people who for the most part label my red as their red, my green as their ...
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287 views

If the universe came from “nothing”, why is it assumed that there is no life after death?

I've been thinking today about the Big Bang theory and how I've heard people claim that before the big band there was "nothing". And that when we die, there is nothing. No more life, etc. But is that ...
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57 views

How many colours are there for-us (as qualia)?

The visual spectrum, for human beings, occupies only a very small section of the full electro-magnetic spectrum. This, allows the possibility, that there are more possible colour qualia possible. ...
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98 views

the self as agency is a brain function or a kind of solid entity, a soul? [duplicate]

Blockquote Sense of agency From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The "sense of agency" (SA) refers to the subjective awareness that one is initiating, executing, and controlling one's own ...
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Is there a way to prove if something is self-aware?

Is there a way to prove if something is self-aware or has the quality of consciousness? Can I even prove that I am self-aware to myself? Would consciousness be like a faith or belief, in that I can ...
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92 views

is knowledge an impediment for seeing things the way they are? is silent observation the true instrument of comprehension? [closed]

when we are in a state of not knowing there is much more sensitivity, choiceless awareness, impartial observation, it seems to me.its knowledge the cloud of belief, conclusions preventing the true ...
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How not to judge? [closed]

People constantly say not to judge people, but how is this possible? We all make mental remarks based on our past experience, for instance if I see a single mother smoking cigarettes, I will judge ...
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What step in this argument is the least valid?

I know this is not a totally formal argument, and it is not mine, I just tried to distill it as much as I could to find where the weakest point is. Please help me if you want. It goes like this: H ...
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Should “meaning”, as we experience it, be considered qualia?

By qualia - assume as defined in [wikipedia]:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia, give or take ( up to you ) By "meaning as we experience it", perhaps I could just say "meaning", but i want to ...
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Materialist Epistemology?

In a normal theory of knowledge, a person's phenomenal consciousness is taken as basic. Thus, the sciences are an attempt at explaining the "world" that affects phenomenal consciousness. Excising ...
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Who is inside and outside the bubble? [closed]

Are some people 'inside the bubble' ie. non thinking and sheep like and other people 'outside the bubble' with self awareness and well developed consciousness? If so is there a way of defining the ...
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47 views

Was there support for panpsychism among the Romantic poets?

Phillip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy and vocal critic of religion, is a supporter of panpsychism, the doctrine that consciousness arises because every inanimate particle actually ...
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186 views

If a brain in a vat never received any sensory input, could it still develop a consciousness? What would a functionalist say?

First of all, I'm not knowledgeable of philosophy by any means (engineering student). However, I was wondering if from a philosophical point of view we could reason about what might happen to a brain ...
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82 views

Why we think that we thinking by ourselves, independent and free [closed]

If anything thats every been created depends on its creator. Take computers for example where they think math but its us that programmed them. Then why do we feel that we think by ourselves, is it ...
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109 views

Observation as a non-conscious state of matter?

Observation (unintegrated information) causes changes to physical experiments in the same way conscious observation of information with integration alters experiments. Could observation be a ...
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Is it truly necessary to upgrade Tononi's criteria of consciousness in the Integrated Information theory?

I am referring specifically to a very recent paper by Max Tegmark, http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.1219 In this paper he proposes 3 more criteria (independence, dynamics, and utility principle) in addition ...
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197 views

Looking for mathematical models of awareness, consciousness, and unconsciousness e.g. Matte Blanco

Question: Do you know of any resources for mathematical models of awareness, consciousness, and unconsciousness? I am doing some work relating pure mathematics (among other things) to ideas of the ...
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229 views

Eastern philosophy for a Western audience

I have been listening to and reading a lot of Alan Watts material on Eastern philosophy which I find to be greatly edifying literature. I am having difficulty finding information on who is currently ...
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96 views

A discussion of consciousness and existence

Consider the following three scenarios: 1) Two clones with the same memories, feelings, etc. are in a room. Clone A is killed by Clone B. Clone B immediately loses all memories of Clone A and the ...
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How would Kant have responded to Darwin's conception of human evolution?

How would Kant have responded to Darwin? That is, how would Kant's theory on the individual as being comprised of a unity of consciousness (in his critique on pure reason), with the theory of Darwin's ...
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51 views

According to Marx and the Material Theory of History, what is the definition of consciousness?

It's important to note that I'm not referring to class consciousness, or other types of political consciousness. I'm just wondering how he explains the ability of conscious beings to experience ...
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Argument against conscious Turing machines?

Imagine a non-halting Turing machine that repeats the same calculation forever. Let us assume that each time it runs its algorithm it increments a loop counter. Surely such a machine is conceivable ...
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Objective qualia definition

I thought of an, as I think, objective definition of qualia which is this: In any material (= physical) system a quale is defined by a boundary from the containing universe and with a negative ...
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Almost Sure Mind Transfer via Parfit's Identity Theory (interesting thought experiment)

Under Derek Parfit's theory of identity, we should direct our concern to future selves not because they are identical to us, but because they bear some special relation to our current self. He used ...
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Was Bergson a physicalist?

In Radical Philosophy 92, Sean Watson in his article The New Bergsonianism writes: The first proposition central to any Bergsonist philosophy is simply that (in contrast to the traditional ...
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121 views

Why are things conscious? [closed]

What is the reason for animals or more general entities being conscious? How did this evolve? What is the advantage? I'm aware of ideas that consciousness is merely a illusion, however I find them ...
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The ultimate definition of being awake? [closed]

What is the ultimate definition of being awake? These are my considerations: At night, when I sleep, I can't say I am a sleep. But when I think about it the next morning, I would say I was asleep. ...
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123 views

Can observers be particles?

Generally Quantum mechanics divides a system into what is to be observed and an observer. This is usually taken to be some macroscopic measuring device (sometimes taken to be some human being in ...
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257 views

Temporal Consciences theories, what is meant by “temporal extension”?

I am reading an article on the overview and various theories of temporal consciousnesses. I have stumbled across some jargon that I can't seem to grasp. Retentional Model: our experiencing of ...
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208 views

Would rebuilding a human body rebuild the person it was?

I have zero background in philosophy, so forgive me for...asking this in an informal manner. We have a hypothetical scenario. Suppose that our consciousness at some time were reducible to ...
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Is the concept of a universe of holographical nature discussed in philosophy?

In Michael Talbot's Book 'Holographic Universe' he comes up with some very interesting concepts regarding the nature of the universe (although much of the book is half-esoteric nonsense). Especially ...