Questions tagged [consciousness]

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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How do people learn about the existence of things? [closed]

I cannot tell you how many "cool things" or "useful sites" I've only heard of many years after they were new/current, making me experience only the very end of its life, which usually is much worse ...
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How do epiphenomenalists explain our knowledge of felt-states?

The traditional epiphenomenalist claim is that the mental properties are simply a by-product of neurophysiological events and so have no causal efficacy over the physical world. This obviously implies ...
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Models of the brain as a graph and another neural correlate of consciousness [closed]

I've learned to believe that there are two ways to look at the brain as a network or graph: Neuron A is connected to neuron B when there is a synapse between them. Neuron A is connected to ...
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Thought experiment: The distorted brain in a vat

[This is the second version of another question: How does consciousness depend on spatiality?] I admit that the technical details of the following thought experiment sound completely weird but that's ...
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Reverse epiphenomenalism and recursion?

Let's say for a moment that the mind is of unknown substance, and that the state of a particular brain region is emergent from it. That is certain states of the mind will cause certain states of this ...
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Thought experiment: How does consciousness depend on spatiality? [closed]

Assuming that conscious experience has to do with information processing and integration (see here and here) and that information is coded and processed by the firing of neurons, I wonder what the ...
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Are neural correlates of consciousness and immortal souls compatible?

Can one be a hard-boiled believer in neural correlates of consciousness and at the same time believe in things like the immortal soul reincarnation telepathy and if so, which approaches have been ...
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Is consciousness (as we perceive it) what really separates us from animals?

The last couple of weeks or even months, I'm thinking a lot about consciousness. I have some ideas I would really like to discuss with some open minded, philosophical people. And in the search for ...
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The role of qualia in explaining Skinner box experiments

I wonder if this point of view has been considered before and which role it does play in the discussion of consciousness: Consider a typical Skinner box experiment: A rat is exposed to some pleasant ...
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Does being able to remember conscious experience mean consciousness cannot be an epiphenomenon?

It has been proposed (or maybe just speculated) by a number of philosophers and scientists, including Richard Dawkins, that consciousness might be an epiphenomenon, but I think this cannot be the case....
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Physical correlates of consciousness

The term neural correlates of consciousness is well established (~ 277,000 Google results, one Wikipedia article), but I'd like to ask for more general physical correlates of consciousness (~ 6,000 ...
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Is there any theory of consciousness that extends conscious existence into the future?

I would like to be able to claim that consciousness is a physical phenomenon, arising from, subject to, and embedded in the physical structure of the universe, while at the same time claim that ...
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What does “there is something that it is like” in Thomas Nagel's “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” mean?

I was reading The enigma of human consciousness in ANNALS of the New York Academy of Sciences and this came up: think it’s very hard to define consciousness in terms of anything more basic than ...
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Why does consciousness appear unitary? [duplicate]

Let us imagine lightning striking you so hard it disintegrates all your atoms and then, simultaneously, lightning strikes just a few meters from where you stood, somehow happening to rearrange all the ...
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Free will and consciousness [duplicate]

I am reading about free will and it seems to me that for everyone free will is associated with consciousness and this is why the Libet experiment has been so important in this debate. I do not ...
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Are these arguments — in philosophy of mind?

Do any of these arguments [epiphanies] exist in the philosophy of mind? Consciousness is a complex structure, and it is unlikely to be realizable in just any structure, else anything big enough would ...
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What is the utility of consciousness if free will is an illusion?

Introspectively speaking, it seems to me obvious that free will is illusion. Thoughts just emerge from background causes, and actions are just thoughts about actions that we have more thoughts about ...
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Why do we personally identify with our future selves, but not mental copies? [closed]

I'm sure this question has been asked somewhere before, but I don't know the name of this type of question, and so I've been unable to find it. Any pointer to literature written on the topic would be ...
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What is duality called when it refers to the separation between us and the external world?

Like many philosophical terms, dualism and duality are used differently by different people and in different circumstances. I am aware of Substance dualism (mind and body being separate things ...
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Is there a 5'th position on conscious experience interacting with the physical world?

Question So there are 4 positions I think of on how the conscious experience interacts with the physical world. I have some intentionally heuristic terms such as physical world and conscious ...
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On Kierkegard's definition of the Self: “ a relation that relates itself to itself” ( question based on an SEP's quote)

In The Sickness unto death , Kierkegaard says in a sybilline way that the self is (1) a relation that relates itself to itself (2) a synthesis of finite and infinite. Should I understand that " ...
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What is the self? [closed]

Let us accept that science has an answer. The self then would be a representation of one's own body in the context of the environment. However if that is true wouldn't it imply that something is aware ...
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From Sartre's Being and Nothingness, what is the difference between reflective consciousness and self-reflective consciousness?

I am currently writing a philosophy paper for one of my graduate courses and one of the questions posed is "how can consciousness be pre-reflective, reflective, and self-reflective?" My ...
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Does the first law of thermodynamics guarantee us free will?

I'm considering what may already be a well-known argument. Overall I am looking for a rebuttal. I'd like to make a quick point before the argument: For this question I would like to think of free ...
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Can we create a paradox of self-consciousness?

On the theme of Russell's paradox: Does the set of all sets that do not contain themselves contain itself? And the Barber's paradox: Does a barber who shaves all men who do not shave themselves ...
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Consciousness and a simulated brain

There are already several projects that are trying to simulate the human brain (see, for example, Algorithm for large-scale brain simulations) Let's suppose that it is possible to simulate with an ...
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Is space experienced?

Space doesn't have a taste, a smell, a sound or a "shape". Anything we experience and think seem to require it. It doesn't have any experiential property whatsoever, but we still normally refer to it ...
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The “Brain” of Theseus?

I'm sure everyone is familiar with the Ship of Theseus paradox, basically "If you replace parts of a ship over time until none of the original ship is left, is the end product still the same ship?" I ...
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The experience of simultaneously holding very different interpretations of reality

Disclaimer: I am describing here something that's been my personal perception/interpretation/mode of being for many many years. I may not (probably don't) know the correct terminology, or whether this ...
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What makes things real?

Suppose that a person can't sense anything. He can't see, hear, feel. Nothing. So for him, does anything even exist? Does that mean only things we can sense are real or existent? Also, how would you ...
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Has any philosopher discussed pre-cognitive or pre-linguistic conceptualization?

To get an idea of what I'm talking about one may pay close attention to their own thought process. It may become evident that one can gain awareness of certain conceptual assemblages. If awareness at ...
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On a specific illusion of consciousness

The ability to form models of the world and other people to understand and predict their behavior can be quite beneficial for animals. The ability to react in an appropriate amount of time to what is ...
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Philosophy of anti thinking: What does it feels like to consciously not thinking about X?

Take apples as an example: When we think of apples, we think of e.g. a round shaped object that is red and is juicy. But when we are not thinking about apples, we are either not aware we are ...
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Problem with defining existence and being conscious

First of all i know that there is no widely accepted definition of existence, the same with definition of being conscious. However i would like to know whether there are definitions which are not ...
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In how far is experiencing other Consciousness' part of the Hard Problem of Consciousness?

To start with the easy problem of Consciousness - this is really more around the mechanics. It is asking about our scientific understanding of our neurological hardware and the processes thereon. It ...
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Did consciousness always exist?

Speaking of Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose: "Both of them now believe that consciousness, as the interplay of fine-scale quantum events, may have always existed in the universe." - ...
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Authors on consciousness and its relation with suffering

Let's say we take a group of volunteers willing to receive a 120V discharge under fMRI scanners. They all may receive the same intensity but how can we know that they all recieve the same amount of ...
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What are some views on the ability to transfer consciousness into a machine?

What are some views on the ability to transfer consciousness into a machine? So when discussing this question, there are two set of questions that arises. What is consciousness, is it something that ...
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According to early Wittgenstein, do we need language or thought for the mystical to show itself?

According to early Wittgenstein, do we need language or thought for the mystical to "show itself"? He does say the mystical shows itself. 6.522: There is indeed the inexpressible. This shows ...
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Why does the sense of self change between going to sleep and waking up? [closed]

During the day one can become more and more awake because of activities that connect to the higher sense of self, especially hen one is a practitioner of self-realization: meditation, all types of ...
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How does Chalmers' “hard problem” differ from the “mind-body problem”?

They both seem be be asking how neurological processes can give rise to consciousness. Is there a real difference between the two questions, or is one just a reformulation of the other?
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Is the fact that there are qualia something internal or external?

I'm struggling to digest the SEP article on qualia. Is anyone saying that there being qualia is something about the world which exists independent of conscious awareness (knowledge and perception)? ...
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At what stage of human development does a person attain secondary consciousness?

In regards to Gerald Edelman's definition on consciousness, at what stage of human development would a person attain secondary consciousness apart from their existing primary consciousness? Could this ...
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Can anyone recommend a good book on The Self?

I don't have any formal education on philosophy but I read some books including Think by Simon Blackburn that got me interested in this subject. Thanks. Edit: Specifically, I was intrigued by Kant's ...
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Self contradictory things that can't really exist: can they be fully conceived of?

It seems like we can conceive of self contradictory things that can exist. e.g. the proposition expressed by "this sentence is false" is self contradictory but I don't seem to have any trouble ...
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A possible way to test whether integrated information theory causes collapse?

One criticism, of the hypothesis that consciousness causes collapse, is that 'consciousness' has not been well defined. Perhaps, in order to test whether consciousness causes collapse, it is best to ...
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What did Bohm exactly mean when he said that mind and matter were the same?

In 1990, the physicist David Bohm published a paper named "A new theory of the relationship of mind and matter" promoting a "panpsychist" theory of consciousness based on Bohm's interpretation of ...
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What is the purpose of the existence of the universe? [closed]

Why did the universe come into existence? Going through the timeline of the universe (Big Bang, separation of forces, symmetry breaking, particle formation...), everything that happened lead ...
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Are there philosophers who argue for a close connection between consciousness and existence?

(I'm not entirely satisfied with this question because I can't quite express it clearly, but a personal experience has moved me to ask it. I know it may be too vague or general.) The consciousness my ...
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Is it possible to dissolve the hard problem of consciousness?

In the positivist tradition, it is common to dissolve certain ideas as being meaningless and not worth further consideration. Roughly, the statements corresponding to those elements of our mental ...