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Archive for the ‘consciousness’ Category

Another easy answer

This is a follow-up to this recent post, and it refers to the same Guardian article. As I see it, the “philosophical zombie”, a hypothetical creature that can pass as a normal human being in every way but is actually just a “brilliant robot”, entirely automatic, is simply a person with whom you do not […]

March 3, 2015   Posted in: consciousness, Dennett, philosophy  Comments Closed

The Hard Problem of consciousness and its easy answer

And the answer is: the zombie is simply any person with whom you do not empathise. The UK newspaper The Guardian recently published what I guess is quite a good account of the state of the art in consciousness studies, which asks Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness? Philosopher David […]

February 28, 2015   Posted in: consciousness, philosophy  One Comment

DTMD abstract and slides

My talk at the DTMD workshop (see recent posts) is this afternoon, and I thought I’d make the abstract and slides available.

September 7, 2011   Posted in: announcements, consciousness, Dennett, information, philosophy, physics  Comments Closed

Second Annual Online Consciousness Conference

This might seem a bit gimmicky (or maybe I’m just behind the times—I certainly am as regards this announcement) but some big names are taking part.

February 23, 2010   Posted in: announcements, consciousness, philosophy  Comments Closed

No wonder people don’t like Dennett

In Kinds of Minds (1996, p15), Daniel Dennett quotes Elaine Morgan: The heart-stopping thing about the new-born is that, from minute one, there is somebody there. Anyone who bends over the cot and gazes at it is being gazed back at. (1995, p99) Dennett responds: As an observation about how we human observers instinctively react […]

December 19, 2009   Posted in: Dennett, differentials, philosophy  Comments Closed

The Churchlands

(All references are to Susan Blackmore, Conversations on Consciousness, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005.) Pat says we don’t know that the “hard problem” is really any more hard than many others (p50-52), and “we don’t know how consciousness is produced in brains” (p51). I know that it’s a pseudo-problem, and that consciousness is not produced. […]

May 25, 2007   Posted in: consciousness, differentials, philosophy  Comments Closed

Some thoughts on Dennett

Added December 2009: This now needs a health warning. It was written before I knew anything about theory-theory and simulation theory, and though my basic stance has changed little if any, I’d now express some of these ideas quite differently. (Also, some of the internal links might not work.) In Susan Blackmore’s Conversations on Consciousness […]

May 16, 2007   Posted in: consciousness, Dennett, differentials, information, philosophy  Comments Closed

Hofstadter on perception and reception

I’m reading Douglas Hofstadter’s new book I Am A Strange Loop just now, and just ran into my first significant disagreement with him (in this book, that is). On page 76, after describing a walk along an airport concourse during which various scents evoke numerous associations, he writes (emphases in the original): Each of these […]

April 25, 2007   Posted in: AI, consciousness, differentials, philosophy  Comments Closed


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