PHIL 255: Week 10



The final exam is scheduled for Dec. 21. Plan your travel accordingly.

Essay topics are now available.

Powerpoint presentation: Hot Thought.

Churchland's responses to philosophical arguments

1. Consciousness is a mystery.

2. I cannot imagine how science could explain awareness.

3. There could be zombies.

4. The problem is too hard.

5. How can I know what you experience?

6. Doesn't neuroscience leave something out? [what Mary knows argument]

7. It is ridiculous to expect a reduction from the behavioral level directly to the neuronal level.

8. Consciousness is not a neural effect but a subatomic effect.

9. Science cannot solve all problems.

10. (Mine). Mechanistic explanations of consciousness undermine morality and happiness.

Toward understanding consciousness

Look for theories, not definitions. E.g. fire.

Look for mechanisms of consciousness, not just neural correlates.

Crick: look for brain differences with onset of awareness: collective activity of distributed neurons.

Edelman: Re-entrant neural pathways (loops).

Baars: global workspace.

Damasio: self-representation.

Allman: spindle neurons.

Thagard: emotional consciousness.



Phil 255

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

Paul Thagard

This page updated Nov. 14, 2005