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 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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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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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 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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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 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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Consciousness doesn't need your body - a thought experiment

1) During a deep sleep, your consciousness deactivates to reactivate upon awakening 2) During a deep sleep, you are narcotized and killed, to be replaced instantly by an identical copy, which wakes ...
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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 ...
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Do other animals have conscience?

Does any other animal (apart from humans) have conscience, feel guilt, and have the ability to discern right and wrong?
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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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If there's an physically identical copy of me, is that me?

I recently came up with a question. It is as you may know based on consciousness. Let’s say I made a blueprint of myself, exactly the same person I am talking at the atomic level. Let us say the ...
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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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Cloning: Will you be the same person? [closed]

Imagine, in the future, we have mastered the technology of cloning. The rich and powerful have got their own cloning devices. They clone their bodies and keep the clones in a cryogenic environment to ...
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Does consciousness exist?

I am not the first to ask that question. There is at least the article written by William James with that very same title in: The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, Vol. 1, ...
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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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The Hard Problem of Consciousness and Wave Function Collapse [closed]

Philosophers and physicists have been throwing around the idea that "consciousness causes collapse" since the early days of QM. Today most physicists reject this idea, but it seems to me this is ...
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bypass for morality, proof of consciousness

Logically morality can stem from thinking that other people are just as living / human as yourself, so you shouldn't do to others what you don't want to be done to you. But this can be bypassed by ...
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Sketch of a proof for real free will?

I have read many contemporary philosophers and the mainstream view seems to be that real free will is an illusion in the sense that consciousness is an emergent phenomenon which is only set on top of ...
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Is the phenomenom of “subjective consciousness” or “qualia” formally captured by any state-of-the-art Theoretical Model in Physics?

Is the phenomenon of "subjective consciousness" or "qualia" formally captured or defined by any state-of-the-art Theoretical Model in Physics? If so, can you share a brief summary of such ...
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Is it possible for the “feeling of having a rational thought” to be an illusion? If so, how can you have any confidence whatsoever in your thoughts?

All our reasoning, logic, deductions, Science, Philosophy, eureka moments, Aha! moments, etc. are based on a feeling of confidence that we are "thinking correctly", we are "reasoning correctly", we ...
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If consciousness is an emergent property of brain state, does this mean that we can only truly exist for 1 Planck unit of time?

Suppose my self-awareness, consciousness, point of view (POV) or qualia is not a "thing in itself" but rather an intrinsic emergent property of my brain's current brain state. Then, as my brain ...
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If two brains A and B were 100% identical, why would A's self-awareness emerge in A instead of emerging in B and viceversa?

What I'm asking is basically how is the "self-awareness allocation problem" solved. I know this problem can be confusing, so let me try to explain it by means of examples: Example 1: Let’s imagine ...
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Is 'self ownership' encompassed in John Locke's 3 natural and inalienable human rights life liberty and property?

Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has any right to but himself. The labour of his body and the work of his hand, we may say are properly his. [- John Locke, Second Treatise, ...
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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 do materialists respond to the thought experiment of the perception of blue and red colors being swapped?

By materialism, I mean the belief that the totality of all in existence is material. That is, particles/waves/energy in the space-time fabric. If one were to construct a thought experiment that ...
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Continuity of our consciousness beyond physical life

From (superficial) reading about this subject I am a Physicalist (our consciousness doesn’t exist without our brain) I am trying to keep an open mind about Mind–body dualism but I find it difficult ...
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Schrödinger: order and perception

In a book called What is life? the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger ask himself why we don't perceive atoms, and says: The reason for this is, that what we call thought is itself an orderly ...
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What happens to consciousness after death?

Is it possible that our innate sense of self, our egocentric outlook on the world, could be wrong? After all, our brains are never REALLY connected; so we cannot know for sure that our consciousness ...
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Would there be any point in mind-uploading?

If you cloned a human being, atom for atom, you would almost certainly find that you've created a new entity, with its own consciousness, and memory of having been previously conscious. Assuming the ...
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The exaggeration of the role of observer in quantum mechanics

In the famous double slit experiment, it's often said that the presence of an observer causes the electrons to behave as particles. "The need for the "observer" to be conscious has been rejected by ...
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Language and consciousness

Background When studying German, I started to think in language and its relation to reality. The story I came up with is like this: As we know we born with no language. The baby starts trying things....
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Aquinas on the role of consciousness in women

My question is on exactly what comments Aquinas has made on consciousness in women. This is because I believe he said we all have God-given reason as we are made in the image of God. Except he also ...
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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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Origin of consciousness [closed]

Is it possible that consciousness arose because of the conflict between 'self interest' and 'pack interest'? Does the 'level of consciousness' depend on the 'size of the pack'? Humans are social ...
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Consciousness/soul outside the range of human capabilities of intellect? McGinn/Searle

I personally extremely enjoyed the answer that Colin McGinn gave on understanding consciousness. Previously, I was actually afflicted by the question because the world seemed to divide itself in half ...
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What is the purpose of a high in terms of it being created or intended by a creator

I Believe God is real, if believing God is real and that he created the universe and everything it it, what is the purpose of a high? (produced by weed or any other drug) Why would God create a high? ...
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Does the Knowledge argument refute physicalism?

Is there any research that disproves Jackson's three premises? Is there any research which argues that Mary does not learn all the physical facts whilst in the room, because experience itself ...
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Does belief in the existence of God and the afterlife logically imply a belief in the soul?

Theories of God and the afterlife differ greatly in their implications for the existence of the soul. Is it logically possible both for God to exist and for there to be an afterlife but for there not ...

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