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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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Universal consciousness

What do you suppose is happening when we traverse our mind to recall a memory or experience? Is this our innate ability to traverse a universal consciousness and immaterial repository of knowledge ...
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Is it rationally possible to believe in a sensationless soul after death?

Epicurus's thoughts on death were: -Death is the cessation of sensation -Good and evil only make sense in terms of sensation Therefore: Death is neither good nor evil My (sort of related) question ...
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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 book recommendations on Philosophy of Consciousness by contemporary authors?

I am looking for a book that is more focused on the philosophy of consciousness(rather than general topic of Phil. of Mind) which takes up the hard problem as a major theme. Can you guys give me ...
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What good books are there on the mind–body problem?

What good books are there on the mind–body problem? I would be especially curious whether there are any well-written books about the "mind vs. brain" problem and related questions like the hard/soft ...
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Which major philosophers (if any) prior to the 1900s believed that consciousness was an emergent property of the brain?

I am going to be doing an Independent Study with one of my professors, and I am obligated (due to the professor's expertise) to choose a philosopher prior to the 1900s. Were there any philosophers ...
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Can an animal have qualia without self awareness?

Can an animal have qualia without self awareness? I understand that many animals are said to have qualia but not self awareness (perhaps not the great apes). In particular, I'm having a hard time ...
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If we had a hive mind, could we discover it?

Question prompted by @jobermark answer to my question: Are there many minds or is there only one? The idea that 'greater-that-the-sum-of-its-parts' minds (functional decision capable entities) exist ...
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Where's Sophia along the “spectrum of consciousness”?

This is really more of a follow-up to all the recent (and not-so-recent) somewhat goofy (and maybe some not-so-goofy) ai-and-consciousness-type questions. In that vein, I serendipitously stumbled ...
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Integrated Information Theory - If correct could humans create artificial consciousness with spatially dynamic digital systems? [closed]

First off please keep in mind I am self-learning and am learning about this for fun, I have no end goal. I'm trying to make predictions about what I am learning implies or means, so I can ask better ...
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Can science account for consciousness

Looking at the mind and body it can presumably all be accounted for with physics and chemistry each activity happening purely as a result of the previous state just like as machine works (making free ...
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What is the minimum statement of faith?

Taking 'faith' to mean: an effective trust or acceptance of the veracity of certain statements of fact, or the truth of existential claims. I.e. the kind of faith/beliefs that are cardinal to the ...
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Was active ignorance the genesis of self awareness?

In other words, is an organism's ability to ignore some of the sensory input it receives from the outside world the first requirement in defining self from other?
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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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Does anyone assert the real existence of p-zombies?

Philosophical zombies are usually presented as, let say, "conceivable" and then this assertion is used to infer dualism. Have any philosophers taken the position that p-zombies are in fact real, and, ...
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Can a version of the philosophical zombie concept be used to argue for libertarian freewill?

Philosophical Zombies are a thought experiment that is used to argue for dualism and against functionalism. The argument goes something like this: A purely functionalist account of the mind fails to ...
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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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Scholarly retorts to “Quining Qualia”?

I've been reading and rereading Daniel Dennett's dismissal of qualia, and I have been wanting to see what some of the experts in the field think of his portrayal. For example, has Nagel, Hoffman, or ...
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What does the Soon unconscious determinants study prove?

I recently read this scientific study: Soon, C. S., Brass, M., Heinze, H. J., & Haynes, J. D. (2008). Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain. Nature neuroscience, 11(5), 543....
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Does it make sense to say that consciousness does not exist or there is no such thing?

Does it make sense to say that consciousness does not exist or there is no such thing? I've not taken any classes in reductionism, but it seems reductionst. How would philosophy of mind and ...
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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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Does having free will presuppose consciousness, can philosophical zombies have it?

Philosophical zombies may lack a consciousness, but does this preclude the ability to have a free will? Why does consciousness matter, for agency, or at all, if determinism is real? (I've framed the ...
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Does this reasoning refute John Searle's Chinese Room argument?

I'm a programmer interested in the development of artificial intelligence. I just read about the Chinese Room argument by John Searle, and would like to know if my reasoning successfully refutes his ...
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On the nature of reality

On the last times of our history there have been lot of discoveries in neuroscience and physics-chemistry. Just to remember relativity and quantum mechanics, and how the brain is not only a device to ...
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When would someone not have free will?

I was thinking about free will, and I kind of got confused. What would it look like for someone to not have free will? For example, if someone was paralyzed, they could still control their thoughts. ...
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Why do scientists get bent out of shape when mystical interpretations of physics are brought up? [closed]

Science typically refers people to Philosophy when such subjects are brought up. But yet they know that there are profound metaphysical implications of the physics of the last century, and since the ...
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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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Trouble understanding Chomsky's answers on the free will question

Now, I don't think there's any scientific grasp, any hint of an idea, as to how to explain free will. Suppose somebody argues that free will is an illusion. Okay. This could be the case, but I don't ...
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What is the physicalist response to the explanatory gap for conciousness?

The zombie argument against physicalism usually goes like this Physically identical zombies are conceivable. If zombies are conceivable, they are metaphysically possible. Therefore physicalism is ...
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How do epiphenomenalists make sense of discussions about qualia?

Epiphenomenalists believe that mental events have no causal effect on the physical. They may differ in what they consider "mental events" but it seems all of them would consider qualia / phenomenal ...
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How do I believe in free will? [closed]

After considering all possible ways that famous philosophers have tried to explain it, and reading so many articles that treat it like God’s greatest gift to mankind, I still don’t get it. Is it that ...
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Could “I” become consciousness as someone else in the future?

I want to immediately dismiss any idea of soul or spiritual component of human being and I accept that death is nothingness (end) when it comes to my question. No rebirth, reincarnation etc. But ...
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Can this consciousness of mine exist irrespective of the body?

I know that I exist. So, can this 'I' exist without the brain? Or is it the creation of the complex structure of the brain?
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Is there any literature discussing whether all conscious entities are separate, discrete experiencers or a single experiencer?

I would like to know if there is any work discussing whether conscious entities (minds) are perceived by different "experiencers," arguably who we are. The other option as far as I know would be ...
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Consciousness and Spacetime [closed]

What is consciousness? Is our conceived perception a part of space or time? Can we be conscious in a state where time is non existent, or frozen? Is consciousness energy? Does it adhere to ...
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Why is Sartre averse to “images” in consciousness?

Jean-Paul Sartre, in his book The Imaginary, describes a mental image of a chair as follows: "My perception is, in accordance with the terminology that we have adopted, a certain consciousness ...
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Understanding Sellars' The Myth of the Given rigorously

I understand the general view presented by Sellars in "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind". Yet, I can't get rigorously convinced. The main point is shown in part XIII, specifically in section 35. ...
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Is consciousness the base definition of living?

Humanity is at the advent of making self-aware and hence conscious Artificial Intelligence. What is the limit when we stop calling these "Artificial"? When does a machine take the title of "Living"? ...
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The inexplicable case of consciousness locality and continuity

Recently, Ars Technica ran a monumental article on beaming in Star Trek and its implications, and more importantly, whether it's plausible to beam consciousness without killing us in the process. It ...
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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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What is the relationship between consciousness and intelligence?

Some philosophers say that consciousness is all about experiences, feelings, etc. Can we say that intelligence is also an experience or feeling making it one of the outcomes of consciousness or ...
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Does anyone really know that they're conscious?

According to the YouTube video What Is Consciousness, somebody can know that they are conscious but doesn't know that other people are conscious. I think it might not even be possible for one to prove ...
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Resources for learning about philosophy of mind and consciousness

I would like to devote a significant amount of time over the next year learning about philosophy of mind with a specific focus on topics related to phenomenal consciousness. I have a background ...
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What scientific evidence is there that our actions are pre-conscious?

I recall reading some article or other some time ago that it had been demonstrated that our actions are apparent before we are entirely conscious of them; and here we are not talking about fractions ...
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What is time for Bergson? And how is it different from duration?

I stumbled across references to Bergson while reading Photography, Cinema, Memory: The Crystal Image of Time. I started reading "Bergson's Conception of Duration" in The Philosophical Review to ...
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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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Can physical aspects of the brain reveal everything about what one's subjective experience is like?

In Colin McGinn's "The Mysterious Flame," McGinn argues against the materialistic response to the hard problem of consciousness with the following argument: Suppose I know everything about your ...
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Is death impossible because it is impossible to be conscious of being unconscious? [closed]

I looked at a site called The Truth Contest which is a compliation of what "The ultimate truth" is. One of the ideas explored is immortality. Here is an excerpt: You are immortal; it is impossible ...
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Given Wittgenstein's characterisation of language as essentially public, can he characterise what form thinking takes?

According to Wittgenstein, language is an essentially public activity between minds; and language is structured by a grammar so that this communication can indeed occur. I think, the notion of ...
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What is the relation between consciousness and thinking? [closed]

This jumble of questions isn't organized in any specific way. Please don't feel the need to address all the questions. Do we need the ability to think or be in possession of a unifying self to be ...