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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Is it truly necessary to upgrade Tononi's criteria of consciousness in the Integrated Information theory?

I am referring specifically to a very recent paper by Max Tegmark, http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.1219 In this paper he proposes 3 more criteria (independence, dynamics, and utility principle) in addition ...
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How does Kant rule out permanent soul in his argument for the existence of external world?

I have been studying Stephan Körner's intro to Kant's philosophy. I'm not sure if in the following excerpt I make sense of the reasoning quoted from Kant. In fact, I wonder how the permanence must be ...
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Is it possible to have an original thought and express it in english?

Given that we have learned English and all the words are defined for us, is any combination of words we string together and speak/write an original thought? Or since all the definitions of words ...
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Does the existence of colors give evidence against materialism?

It seems to me the only thing about colors that can be understood rationally is that they are distinct. We interact with other people who for the most part label my red as their red, my green as their ...
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Why do philosophical discussions of the teleportation paradox seem to ignore the physics involved?

When I read philosophy treatments of the teleportation paradox and related subjects like swampman, they seem to focus primarily on drawing analogies to various entirely different scenarios (...
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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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Eastern philosophy for a Western audience

I have been listening to and reading a lot of Alan Watts material on Eastern philosophy which I find to be greatly edifying literature. I am having difficulty finding information on who is currently ...
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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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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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Are simple physical laws actually simple?

This is a question about the philosophy of physics. If one takes a glance at the philosophy of mathematics its easy to see that the idea of number is filled with philosophical niceties and is a much ...
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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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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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Can Thomas Nagel be considered a pantheist?

I have recently come across Thomas Nagel's book "Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False", which I've only skimmed. I've also just finished ...
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Concerning the first self-aware human [closed]

I hope I am asking these in the right SE. Please direct me to the right one if it isn't and correct any false assumptions my question may be based on. Was there a specific moment when the first ...
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Can observers be particles?

Generally Quantum mechanics divides a system into what is to be observed and an observer. This is usually taken to be some macroscopic measuring device (sometimes taken to be some human being in ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Where to start to be savvy about the current literature on consciousness?

I imagine that there are probably only a few major schools of thought, though this may be a misjudgment on my part. I am very familiar with Daniel Dennett's work, Chalmers, Hoffman's (though I'm not ...
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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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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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Must consciousness display intentionality?

Husserl affirmed intentionality as characteristic of consciousness. If matter can be conscious, as in Lucretious atoms of anima, and in Tegmarks baroque but physicalist constructions; must matter, to ...
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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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If consciousness was an illusion, would it be less real?

Even though qualia are generally considered to be unexplainable, there are philosophers like Daniel Dennett attempting to get to the core of consciousness with scientific methods. In his view, ...
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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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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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Why is it that the hard problem of consciousness appear hard?

Most of us are physicalists now meaning that most agree that nature is all that is the case and that there are no super-natural phenomena. Given that this is so then consciousness (no matter how it ...
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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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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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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 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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What is the purpose of consciousness?

Please jump to the 'Edit' portion of the question, because the below portion MAY seem confusing or irrelevant. Assuming that the control over things we have is illusory, as beautifully explained by ...
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By what criteria would we recognise a theory of AI?

By what criteria do we judge as to whether we have understood consciousness on a theoretical basis? One criteria might be the construction of AI (but this can't be the whole story as everyday new ...
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How many colours are there for-us (as qualia)?

The visual spectrum, for human beings, occupies only a very small section of the full electro-magnetic spectrum. This, allows the possibility, that there are more possible colour qualia possible. ...
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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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What is the opposite of me (i.e., my consciousness)?

In a thread on this site, somebody says that everything that can be defined, must have an opposite. Then what is the opposite of me? I can define me using my consciousness: I am my concsiousness. ...
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For Berkeley, how do subjective experiences exist?

In Three Dialogues, Berkeley advances a theory of subjective idealism. Things only exist as experiences of individual consciousnesses. These things are static and themselves unthinking, as they are ...
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Isn't biocentrism just a simple deduction from subjectivism?

I havent actually read his book, but as he's described it, I thought that he was just sharing his view on subjectivism. Biocentrism, as Robert Lanza says, is: ..."the view that life creates ...
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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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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?