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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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What is the evidence that subjectivity is objectifiable?

Ray Brassier, a British Philosopher in this interview says: My claim is not that science has succeeded in explaining consciousness, but only that considerable progress has been made, and that the ...
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Is meditation valid to study consciousness scientifically?

In the study of consciousness, neuroscience observes mental phenomena through physical correlations, using techniques such as fMRI, PET and EEG. These are considered valid and reproductible, and can ...
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Is the android a kind of mankind?

In St.Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica, it said But to know distinctly what is contained in the universal whole is to know the less common, as to "animal" indistinctly is to know it as "animal"; ...
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Are Douglas Hofstadter's views on consciousness taken seriously by philosophers?

I'm reading "Godel, Escher, Bach", and Hofstadter's idea that consciousness emerges out of strange loops born out of experience. Now, I know nothing about the philosophy of consciousness at all. But ...
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Is self-consciousness because of complexity?

Suppose I have enough material from the chemistry periodic table and also I have enough power to combine and concatenate them to create a complex human once at a time; Does this complexity guarantee ...
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What are the differences between sentience, consciousness and awareness?

Dictionary definitions such as this one often seem to use the terms sentience, awareness, and consciousness as if they are synonymous with each other. Is this really the case? If not, how do they ...
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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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Can we tell whether human groups or societies are behaving as superorganisms?

An anthill can be described as a superorganism, with behaviours and interactions much more complex than those of an individual ant. We could find analogies between the superorganism and other living ...
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Did something improbable happen when I became conscious?

Let's take that person's subjective experience of the universe is given. If we take for example one particular person - lets say the person that is reasoning about this question (denoted with I in the ...
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Does knowledge exist outside human consciousness?

Wikipedia defines knowledge as "familiarity with someone or something" and Plato defined knowledge as "justified true belief". Belief and familiarity is something that only a sentient being can have, ...
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The problem is choice, (paradox) Or is enhancing choice the solution to increasing free will [closed]

While reading Incognito by David Eagleman, there was a chapter about justice and the neural plasticity of the brain. The ability (or in some cases inability) to regulate "moral" functioning. The legal ...
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Is reincarnation possible for a concious computer?

The physical substance of a computer can deteriorate and eventually stop functioning, but the immaterial program & its state can be transferred to another computer. Its conciousness is effectively ...
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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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If I upload my brain into a computer is it still me?

I think the answer is yes but I know a lot of people disagree. So, I would like to ask these people when exactly does it stop being me. Let's say I want to upload my brain into a computer using the ...
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Does the Weak Anthropic Principle make certain assumptions about the nature of sentient biological organisms?

There are various forms of the Anthropic Principle, and the Weak Anthropic Principle in the version stated by Barrow and Tipler roughly says that the observed values of the physical and cosmological ...
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Can mental experiences exist unperceived?

I have noticed recently that my mental experiences seem to posses the appearance of temporal continuity even when I cease to be aware of them. For example, if I'm running through a song in my head, I ...
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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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Does language itself support the extended mind hypothesis?

language, even when taking into Chomskys hypothesis of the biological ground of 'Deep Grammar', is primarily public: The English language is not built into our minds, it is 'out there'. I come into ...
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Why do we reproduce? [closed]

Why do we (including other living organisms) reproduce? Why is it necessary that our race keeps flourishing and multiplying? I couldn't find any useful articles on google except for some yahoo and ...
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Am I still the same person as I was yesterday?

Since every living being has a metabolism, we all live in non-equilibrium state. We keep on exchanging molecules and atoms with our environment. I assume that our brain is affected by this as well as ...
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What are the characteristics of consciousness which seem to pervade all sentient creatures? [closed]

There seems to be a great disparity when it comes to the definition of Consciousness in the western and eastern schools. Now, in India, according to Advaita Vedanta(non-dualistic school of ...
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How should we understand the teletransportation thought experiment?

Please read the short story here:Beam me up First, I'd like to to know whether there is anything inherently inconsistent about this teletransportation idea? Is there fundamental reasons which say it'...
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Why does Chalmers' argument about “the hard problem” not entail idealism?

Chalmers famously argues in Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness: At the end of the day, the same criticism applies to any purely physical account of consciousness. For any physical process we ...
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If we assume The Turing Test to be the criterion for moral personhood, would simulated minds pose a problem for existing moral systems?

In an answer to this question I made the rather bold speculation that if the Turing Test is taken to be our defining criterion of a consciousness of human level, then all questions in the ethics of ...
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What came first, language or consciousness?

What came first, language or consciousness? Has any philosopher said that language gives us consciousness by allowing us to communicate with ourselves and therefore giving us choices that we did ...
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If zombies are possible would that imply that physicalism is false?

The SEP article on Zombies writes: Zombies in philosophy are imaginary creatures used to illuminate problems about consciousness and its relation to the physical world. Unlike those in films or ...
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What does 'consciousness' indicate in the context of the anthropic principle?

The anthropic principle postulates that our universe is selected for the presence of consciousness in it. I cite Wikipedia: the anthropic principle is the philosophical argument that observations ...
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Is the Earth a Being? [closed]

Does the Earth exist? What is the Earth's essence?
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At what point can a being be said to have gained sentience?

It's pretty much universally accepted that healthy humans have sentience, but that's where the agreement stops. Many would say that complex animals have sentience, such as dogs, cats, cows, sheep, ...
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Which signs indicate consciousness in other beings?

There are arguments confirming and denying that animals have consciousness. Some arguments say that not even all humans have consciousness, e.g. small babies. Which observable signs do exist that ...