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 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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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 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 ...
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If the universe came from “nothing”, why is it assumed that there is no life after death?

I've been thinking today about the Big Bang theory and how I've heard people claim that before the big band there was "nothing". And that when we die, there is nothing. No more life, etc. But is that ...
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What makes a computer artificially intelligent?

What features would make a computer be considered truly artificially intelligent? Better question yet, what would make a computer truly intelligent and conscious? (true artificial intelligence is an ...
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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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Tegmark conscious matter, Lucretious atoms of anima and qualia

Tegmark in his paper, Consciousness as a state of matter appears as something as an outlier in the physics and philosophy literature in that he designates consciousness as a state of matter. But this ...
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Regarding the Mind-brain conflict

Some philosopher or scientist made an analogy of Mind versus Brain is related to Software versus Hardware. What was that about? If an A.I. computing system called P.A.L. has a self-sustaining ...
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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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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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The inexplicable case of consciousness locality and continuity

Recently, Ars Technica ran a monumental article on beaming in Star Trek and its implications, and more importantly, whether it's plausible to beam consciousness without killing us in the process. It ...
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What Ethical Responsibilities Could the Creator of an Artificial Consciousness be Held To?

Or in other words, what are the implications of this act of creation? Would it be unethical to even pursue this? Quoting "what ethical rules must developers of AI adhere to for humane reasons?" (...
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Does Nagel's take on what it's like to be a bat dissolve the question of what causes consciousness?

Does Nagel's take on what it's like to be a bat dissolve the question of what causes consciousness? As far as I know, he claims that we can't know what it's like to be a bat. Does that mean that the ...
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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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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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How is physical space inferred from sense data?

Everyone seems to have a notion of "physical space". How do we come to acquire it in our development, exactly? Every individual person has a visual percept, but how do we extrapolate from that to a ...
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Unconscious Mental States and the Ontological Subjectivity of Reality

Searle claims that social reality is ontologically subjective. By this, should one interpret him as meaning that our perception of reality is ontologically subjective since perception requires ...
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What step in this argument is the least valid?

I know this is not a totally formal argument, and it is not mine, I just tried to distill it as much as I could to find where the weakest point is. Please help me if you want. It goes like this: H (...
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Physical correlates of consciousness

The term neural correlates of consciousness is well established (~ 277,000 Google results, one Wikipedia article), but I'd like to ask for more general physical correlates of consciousness (~ 6,000 ...
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Authors on consciousness and its relation with suffering

Let's say we take a group of volunteers willing to receive a 120V discharge under fMRI scanners. They all may receive the same intensity but how can we know that they all recieve the same amount of ...
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If we had a hive mind, could we discover it?

Question prompted by @jobermark answer to my question: Are there many minds or is there only one? The idea that 'greater-that-the-sum-of-its-parts' minds (functional decision capable entities) exist ...
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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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What are the main theories about divided consciousness?

I've found several different articles which compile interpretations of an actual possibility of brain dissection where both hemispheres continue working, and, where both still closely relate, but I'm ...
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Is it possible that things that are not alive possess conciousness?

Is it possible that things that are not alive possess conciousness? I guess it's pretty plausible that animals like dogs or cats feel that they are alive. We humans are there to experience things ...
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Who invented the notion of Philosophical Zombies?

Philosophical zombies are beings that look like human beings, act like them, drink, eat, talk, and in every other way behaviorally identical to normal human beings. However they have no inner life. I ...
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How not to judge? [closed]

People constantly say not to judge people, but how is this possible? We all make mental remarks based on our past experience, for instance if I see a single mother smoking cigarettes, I will judge ...
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Temporal Consciences theories, what is meant by “temporal extension”?

I am reading an article on the overview and various theories of temporal consciousnesses. I have stumbled across some jargon that I can't seem to grasp. Retentional Model: our experiencing of ...
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From Sartre's Being and Nothingness, what is the difference between reflective consciousness and self-reflective consciousness?

I am currently writing a philosophy paper for one of my graduate courses and one of the questions posed is "how can consciousness be pre-reflective, reflective, and self-reflective?" My ...
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The “Brain” of Theseus?

I'm sure everyone is familiar with the Ship of Theseus paradox, basically "If you replace parts of a ship over time until none of the original ship is left, is the end product still the same ship?" I ...
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The illogical nature of want/motivation and its effects on free will

Are all the decisions and desires of humans made in order to stimulate pleasure centers and avoid pain? If so, could someone/thing which is unable to feel pleasure and pain, and only had the power of ...
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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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Unethical to keep fishy trapped?

I've always wondered if it isn't too unethical afterall to have enclosed my goldfishy in a tiny tank given her extremely small memory span. Assuming that it is shorter than the time it takes her to ...
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When are we part of something and when is something a part of us?

"I wanted to be a part of something bigger" "Hello people of the Internet" (implying the Internet has ownership of people)"
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Can a tool use itself?

I ask this question with connections to consciousness. It seems neuroscience has hit a plateau in explaining it materially since the smallest element of consciousness in the material brain seems to be ...
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Qualia in Computers [closed]

If it is possible to simulate consciousness using computer hardware and software, does that mean that computers are able to experience qualia?
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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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Is consciousness mediated?

What are the main arguments brought forth in favor and against the unmediated nature of consciousness?
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what is the state of consciousness of inert objects? [closed]

Is it defined that inert objects by our scientific subjection of them being non-living have no consciousness at all? If that be so, what about viruses? And how would a rock's consciousness differ from ...
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A discussion of consciousness and existence

Consider the following three scenarios: 1) Two clones with the same memories, feelings, etc. are in a room. Clone A is killed by Clone B. Clone B immediately loses all memories of Clone A and the ...
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What does “there is something that it is like” in Thomas Nagel's “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” mean?

I was reading The enigma of human consciousness in ANNALS of the New York Academy of Sciences and this came up: think it’s very hard to define consciousness in terms of anything more basic than ...
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At what stage of human development does a person attain secondary consciousness?

In regards to Gerald Edelman's definition on consciousness, at what stage of human development would a person attain secondary consciousness apart from their existing primary consciousness? Could this ...
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Is it possible to dissolve the hard problem of consciousness?

In the positivist tradition, it is common to dissolve certain ideas as being meaningless and not worth further consideration. Roughly, the statements corresponding to those elements of our mental ...
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Which major philosophers (if any) prior to the 1900s believed that consciousness was an emergent property of the brain?

I am going to be doing an Independent Study with one of my professors, and I am obligated (due to the professor's expertise) to choose a philosopher prior to the 1900s. Were there any philosophers ...
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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 ...