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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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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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 ...
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Almost Sure Mind Transfer via Parfit's Identity Theory (interesting thought experiment)

Under Derek Parfit's theory of identity, we should direct our concern to future selves not because they are identical to us, but because they bear some special relation to our current self. He used ...
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Why wouldn't Searle learn Chinese in his Room given infinite time?

Humans have an amazing capacity for pattern recognition. I don't understand Searle's assertion "it seems to me quite obvious in the example that I do not understand a word of the Chinese stories." Of ...
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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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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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Can mind-body dualism be modelled by computer programs and their corresponding logic gates at the physical level?

If we a consider complex computer program (such as an operating system) running on an unknown architecture, then somebody observing the computer program at the logic gate level may be able to gain a ...
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If we would split my brain would there be two of me? [closed]

Considering that I can survive with only half of my brain, and I am a mind living in a body. If we would split my brain in two and then implant one part into some other body and leave other half in my ...
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Would rebuilding a human body rebuild the person it was?

I have zero background in philosophy, so forgive me for...asking this in an informal manner. We have a hypothetical scenario. Suppose that our consciousness at some time were reducible to ...
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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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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 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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Dreaming and Awakening: Both False?

Please pardon my layman's language as I am not a student of philosophy. I was talking to a friend who has read Advaita Philosophy of Shankara in-depth. He iterated the fundamental theory of this ...
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What is the connection between color qualia and color frequencies? [closed]

I acknowledge that what we perceive electromagnetic waves of frequency 400 micro meters as green because that's what we decided to call green and not the other way around. But by our experience of ...
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How does one bring mind and matter into a single ontology that accounts for subconscious mind?

How does one define mind and matter coherently... do these categories even make sense in a single framework? I can refer to my consciousness and the contents of my consciousness as "mind", this leaves ...
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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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Can you exist in two places at once?

One idea in H+ is that a person's consciousness can be digitized to outlive its human body. I think the assumption is that everything that you consciously are is just the emergent configuration of ...
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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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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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Anaesthesia and an Immaterial Soul — Edit Anaesthesia and Awareness

Consider that undergoing anesthesia completely suppresses consciousness. If one posits the existence of an immaterial soul which survives bodily death, how do they reconcile that the immaterial soul ...
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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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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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Materialist Defense of Existence of Free Choice and Morality. Book rec?

I'm doing a detailed personal study of possible explanations for free will and morality (the existence thereof). My starting impression is that these notions can't exist in a completely material world....
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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 are the theoretical limits of self-awareness?

Let us sidestep fundamental questions such as whether there is in fact self-awareness. In this, let us define self-awareness in its common form of usage, typically meaning awareness of one’s ...
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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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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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When an individual makes a discovery

When an individual, or society as a whole, makes a discovery, different outcomes can occur e.g., they can enrich the individual or, they can debilitate the individual or, they can confront the ...
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Looking for mathematical models of awareness, consciousness, and unconsciousness e.g. Matte Blanco

Question: Do you know of any resources for mathematical models of awareness, consciousness, and unconsciousness? I am doing some work relating pure mathematics (among other things) to ideas of the ...
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Is the concept of a universe of holographical nature discussed in philosophy?

In Michael Talbot's Book 'Holographic Universe' he comes up with some very interesting concepts regarding the nature of the universe (although much of the book is half-esoteric nonsense). Especially ...
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What are the main oppositions to the extended mind thesis? and who presents them?

Andy Clark and David Chalmers are huge in promoting the extended mind thesis but who/what is their main opposition?
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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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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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Is autonomy or deduction the more primary component of intelligence?

I find myself again facing a gap in definitions with a given range of philosophical schools. So at the risk of "pushing agenda" or "simply requesting opinion" I would like to ask for other ways of ...
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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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Is the consciousness currently in oneself the same the the consciousness that used to be or in the future will be in oneself?

People seem to believe that one's consciousness is a "different" consciousness than that of others, but the "same" consciousness as the one that has been in one's body in the past and the one that ...
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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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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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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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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 human consciousness encoded in DNA in an infinitely regressive way?

Human DNA contains roughly 3 Billion base-pairs. That is 1.5 Gigabytes of data. This can easily fit onto a small usb memory stick. Can something as complex as a human consciousness be derivable from ...
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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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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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I am looking for the name of this paradox (too long to put in title, sorry)

I am looking for the name of the paradox below. I don't know if it is really a fallacy, its just what I'm calling it. I would like to read read more about what people think, but I don't know what it ...
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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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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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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 machines work (making free ...
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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 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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What are some arguments against the hard problem of consciousness?

Does anyone know of any particularly interesting arguments or rebuttals against the hard problem of consciousness? I'm looking for arguments that are either neurological, cognitive, or philosophical ...