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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Is the person in the mirror an example of a philosophical zombie?

Consider the following situation: You are in a room that has a mirror as one of its walls. You assert/commit to that you are conscious and have qualia. You look at the mirror, and you observe your ...
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My thought experiment on consciousness

Scenario 1: Somebody removed your brain, destroyed it, and then replaced it with another which was identical (and replaced all the connections as they were). Essentially every atom/molecule would be ...
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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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Asymmetry of consciousness?

There's a problem I've been thinking about recently. I feel like it must be ubiquitous, but I don't know what the popular solutions to it are, or if it has a fancy name. Basically: Why do I ...
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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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How would someone think if he/she was born without any senses? [duplicate]

Can thought originate from nothing? I was thinking about this last night and got me wondering what would happen if someone was born without senses.
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Can I know I am not dreaming if I can't tell the difference between sleep and wake?

I know this question has been asked before, so before you shut it down for being a duplicate, please hear me out. The answers I saw in other similar threads were not satisfactory to me and they left ...
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How can consciousness be an illusion?

Regarding this New Scientist article: Metaphysics special: What is consciousness? It contains this strapline: “You may know beyond a doubt that you exist, but your ‘I’ could still be an illusion“. (...
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What consciousness theory refers to all of us being the same observing entity?

Recently I ran across this amusing but thought provoking CGI video supposedly by Zak Field (can't find the original page, so apologies for the Facebook link). In it, the "alien" being questioned ...
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Can there be intentionality without consciousness?

Searle distinguishes between intrinsic intentionality of the mind... vs 'as-if' intentionality of physical objects like a computer, book, picture etc... that depend on conscious minds to exhibit ...
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What are convincing examples of “mistaken” qualia?

What is the strongest example that we can be mistaken about the experience of our qualia? The reasoning for the infallibility of the experience of qualia is based on the immediateness of qualia. ...
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Is it possible to catch the moment of waking up?

Brian Magee, a British philosopher, begins his autobiography by a question that possessed him as a child - why could he not be aware of falling asleep; the actual moment of the onset of sleep evaded ...
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Looking at Descartes, does the temporality of consciousness justify doubt in it?

Let's look again at Descartes' cogito argument: “let him [the deceiving demon] deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing so long as I think that I am something. ...
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What are the best arguments against substance dualism? [closed]

As I understand it, substance dualism is a position that holds that current physics and neuroscience cannot account for certain properties of qualia and the mind, implying the existence of some other ...
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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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What sort of things might a higher level of consciousness be capable of? [closed]

While the nature of consciousness itself is still unclear, the products of consciousness are quite evident. A few of the perks of human level consciousness include: The capacity for complex ...
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How does human intelligence differ from Searle's chinese room?

The Chinese Room argument attempts to prove that a computer, no matter how powerful, cannot achieve consciousness. Brief summary: Imagine a native English speaker who knows no Chinese locked in a ...
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Who was the first person to speculate that consciousness is a by-product of evolution?

Darwin, it seems, did not believe this. He considered even insects to possess a certain level of consciousness. I'm aware that there is the problem of defining consciousness. I'm curious whether ...
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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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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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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 unconsciousness exist? Do we have sufficient warrant to believe consciousness is interruptible?

I posted this question on Reddit's /r/AskPhilosophy sub, but didn't receive much of a response. Hoping you guys can help. As I see it, there are two versions to the claim that consciousness is ...
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Free Will and Intelligence

What is the relation between free will and intelligence. I'll identify free will with conscious mind and wonder what their relation is. Obviously there is free will without intelligence. Just have a ...
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How does physiology support the claims of transparent consciousness or direct realism?

Although no one can say with certainty how conscious experience is realized in relation to the brain's activity, all the evidence seems to indicate that it must occur somewhere downstream from the LGN ...
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Does truth not require belief?

The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.--Neil Degrasse Tyson Such scientific medievalism runs rampant today and speaks to the propaganda of vacuous ...
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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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Are Dawkins and Dennett more Sci-Fi than Science? [closed]

We hear much talk today about "consciousness explained" or the "selfish gene." These have become fashionable pop culture scientific explanations of the implications of human evolution from Daniel ...
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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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Who was the first to argue that consciousness exists?

I have seen the following argument in several places: Consciousness cannot be an illusion, and it surely exists. An illusion is perceiving something to be true when this something is not actually the ...
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How does Chalmers' “hard problem” differ from “the problem of other minds” ?

It's not clear to me how Chalmers conceives of the "hard problem" of consciousness as separate from "the problem of other minds". He seems to wish to differentiate himself from those who see ...
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Quantum entanglement and its implications for modern science [closed]

In light of the now undisputed existence of the phenomenon of quantum entanglement and it's implications, can any field of science (e.g. Neuroscience and, specifically, the study of consciousness) ...
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Why do epiphenomenalists believe that consciousness exists?

Epiphenomenalists believe that consciousness exists but has no effect on the physical world. Why do they believe that consciousness exists? It would be a phenomenon completely unlike anything else in ...
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Is taking a drug that makes us mentally go back in time and simulate our life in sleep the same as doing it “physically”? [closed]

Imagine if you had done something really bad in the past which had caused you suffering in the present. You really want to go back in time and change it. Unfortunately, at the moment, it's impossible ...
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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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Are physical measurements constructs?

This question was provoked by my knowledge of the kochen specker theorem, which if I am correct is a theory that states measurements sometimes, within a system, do not exist until it is consciously ...
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Quantum immortality testability paradox [closed]

Let's suppose the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (MWI) is correct and a Schrödinger's box is possible. I put myself in the box. I live or die. I repeat. One version of me keeps ...
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Is humanity as a whole a philosophical zombie?

In some respects human communities function like intelligent subjects. They acquire and process knowledge, and then act on it. This collective "intelligence" is not reducible to individuals: ...
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Contemporary literature on the teleportation paradox

The classic formulation of the teleportation paradox goes something like: you have a machine that scans, disassembles, and reassembles you somewhere else instantaneously (modulo details of different ...
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Should any definition of “consciousness” include its sexual reproduction?

The project of rigidly correlating consciousness with brain states has met with many refutations. But I have never heard of one that refers to one of the simplest physical facts about consciousness. ...
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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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Is an AI the kind of entity that would qualify for basic human rights? [closed]

If hypothetically someone were to create an artificial intelligence possessing systemic consciousness nearby that of humans, then would that separate entity be entitled to basic rights such as those ...
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How might the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness assign a degree of consciousness to the internet

I am puzzled by a claim by Christof Koch, one of the authors of the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness (IIT), that the internet may possess a “small” degree of consciousness. According to ...
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Does Neural Complexity Have Anything To Do With Consciousness?

I am quoting here something from George Stuart Fullerton's An Introduction To Philosophy. Here, he is toying with the argument made by W.K. Clifford. We must assume that consciousness is a complex ...
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In a Computational Theory of Mind, how do we identify what is being computed?

In a Computational Theory of Mind, how do we identify what is being computed and/or what algorithm is being executed? In general, a process can be viewed at different levels of abstraction. So, for ...
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Can conjoined twins share a mind?

A unique recent case of conjoined twins having a neural bridge connecting their brains raises some philosophical questions concerning mind sharing and the mind-body problem. From the article by ...
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Whole Brain Emulation - what is a being [duplicate]

As we approach the age of artificial intelligence, I was curious about whole brain emulation. If a brain and consciousnesses is uploaded to a computer, is it still the same person, even if it was ...
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Is consciousness produced as part of mental images by the same mechanism?

This question came up when I was trying to explain that color is subjective. My conclusion is, color is constructed by our "Imagination", the same mechanism that produces mental images. That ...
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Is there anyway Dan Dennett's multiple drafts theory of consciousness could support an ego theory of consciousness as opposed to bundle theory?

Is there anyway Dan Dennett's multiple drafts theory of consciousness could support an ego theory of consciousness as opposed to bundle theory? What are the flaws in his theory? I want a ...
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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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Would two identical people ever be able to communicate successfully?

Let's say you know some guy. And you told him that he was going to be copied and both him and the clone moved to an area where there are no external factors. After telling the man this, the man is ...

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