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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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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can a dog give consent?

We know consciousness requires a specific level of awareness. Many people view other life forms who have a lower level of awareness as having a lower level of consciousness. Thus consciousness ...
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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 are the main oppositions to the extended mind thesis? and who presents them?

Andy Clark and David Chalmers are huge in promoting the extended mind thesis but who/what is their main opposition?
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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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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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Which are the best Artificial Intelligence philosophy books?

I am a Computer Scientist interested in philosopy of Artificial Intelligence. Is there a good book that covers AI main philosphical questions?
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What is consciousness

Is it a question that science may answer? This article became the root of my thinking. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/mar/01/consciousness-eight-questions-science
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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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Why am I this particular human being?

Some philosophers dismiss this as a question about a tautology: when Alice asks "Why am I Alice?", this is equivalent to her asking "Why is Alice Alice?", which is not an interesting question. But ...
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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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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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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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What is the relationship between cognition and qualia?

First, I must admit I'm having trouble formulating this question because I'm somewhat confused about the relationship between these two items (cognition and qualia). Please let me know if I can ...
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Is Artificial Intelligence an Oxymoron?

Is Artificial intelligence an oxymoron? One can not 'fake' great intelligence except if like a con-artist one say's all sorts of things that 'sound' intelligent without saying anything. An actor ...
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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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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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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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Is there any coherent argument in support of consciousness being an illusion?

Whenever, I hear someone like, say, Daniel Denett say conscious is an "illusion", I'm always left pretty stumped. Firstly, both the terms "consciousness" and "illusion" are generally left undefined, ...
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How can we describe consciousness?

Humans consist of complex physical materials. However, we determine and experience our lives through numerous spiritual moments. Should consciousness be described as an outcome of physical matter and ...
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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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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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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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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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How close are we to conquering death?

The background for this question is basically I am struggling with the problem of coping with grief of loss of loved ones, past or imminent. (See Death) However, I have been aware of the concept of ...
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If we assume logic is correct, does it imply that our consciousness proccesses real information?

[major edits] Even if our consciousness is an illusion (even in the sense Denett suggests), the mere fact we see some information flowing across the universe means there is at least something that ...
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What if Brentano was wrong?

Brentano held that every mental phenomenon has content, has a mental object, is about a mental object, or words to that effect. However, skillful Buddhist phenomenologists, over millenia, have found ...
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Is There a Paradox of Self-Observation?

Many philosophies and religions teach self-observation. For instance... The Oracle at Delphi told Socrates to "Know Thyself". Yoga teaches people to discover their true selves. On the surface, self-...
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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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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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If we don't have free will, why was the quality of being conscious selected for?

I think scientists agree that we're conscious and aware that we have consciousness and awareness. But they don't agree on whether we have free will. I think they don't even have a universal definition ...
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The illogical nature of want/motivation and its effects on free will

Are all the decisions and desires of humans made in order to stimulate pleasure centers and avoid pain? If so, could someone/thing which is unable to feel pleasure and pain, and only had the power of ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Why do some non-religious people reject artificial consciousness?

I use "artificial consciousness" as a broad term to describe the possibility that a computer may have the same experience of reality and of itself that we have. I guess that a religious view, more ...
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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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Why did Daniel Dennett not explain consciousness?

Dennett frequently talks about consciousness as if it has already been solved and that we're just inventing new problems because of some innate fear of naturalism. In his (now rather old) book ...
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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 ...